5 reasons dual monitors are a must

You’ve seen it all over the desk tours on youtube, or even at a friend’s place, but will two monitors really boost your productivity enough to offset the cost of buying an additional monitor? We’ll i’ve tried it, and never looked back since.

1: Your computer can absolutely handle it

There is a misconception that running an additional monitor will drain computing resources from the CPU, while that is true to a certain extent, the fact is you probably wouldn’t notice the difference at all. Almost all modern computers can comfortable accommodate two monitors with ease without any noticeable dip in performance.

2: Productivity on steroids

While it takes some getting use to at first, the productivity boost using a dual monitor setup kicks in within a week. Having bigger screen real estate means being able to visually keep track and refer to any material without the hassle of constantly having to switch tabs or windows. I would have my email and my school documents open at the same time, or having reference material concurrently running on one monitor, while i work on another document. For those whose work frequently involves looking at monitors all day, having two is a godsend.  The verdict: the less time your finger spends on the mouse, the more productive you become

3: Work while you play

We’re all victims of procrastination, and monitors are here to make you feel a little less guilty about it. Now you have to power to reply to emails while you’re on netflix without ever missing a single moment, or make the best use out of horrendously long game loading times. Remember, as spiderman puts it best:  With great power comes great responsibility.

4: No desktop, no problem

Even if you don’t have a desktop at home, all you need to hook up an additional monitor to your laptop is just a hdmi cable(which often comes with your monitor). However mac users(like me) need an additional  HDMI to thunderbolt display adapter since there are no HDMI ports on a MacBook. That should run you about an additional ten dollars, but believe me, it is the best ten bucks you’ll ever spend.

5: Monitors are really affordable

The most affordable ones will often run you about between $100-$200, and don’t scoff at picking up second hand ones either! If you know what you’re looking for, you could just walk away with a really sweet deal, especially from friends(exactly how i got mine).…

Why you need a messy desk

According to leading experts, a cluttered working environment is a sure-sign of a cluttered mind. It is a productivity nightmare because whatever your looking for at the moment never seems to be there when you need it, and everything behaves like they are covered in grease.

At this perfect moment, Einstein comes to the rescue! This was the answer he gave when asked about his famously messy desk, word for word. Thats right, from the man himself. While clean, minimalistic workspaces are all the rage now, we might actually be doing ourselves a huge favour by being lazy once in a while, even if it’s just an excuse to clean up after ourselves a little less often. Einstein is just one person you say? Looks like we need ourselves a little more proof:

The key is to strike a balance between einstein’s secret formula to success and being able to actually find things on my desk.  FYI, the featured image is how my desk looks like as I’m writing this post; looks like i still have a long way to go! All of us, either consciously or not, have created a truly unique and dynamic workspace, it always has just the right amount of clutter, yet, when you search hard enough, things would hardly go missing for long. It also changes from season to season, on no two days will your desk look exactly the same, so everytime you come back the next day, it never ceases to surprise you. That can hardly be a bad thing.

It turns out, science can back this up. In a recent study done by Psychologist Kathleen Vohs, from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, one experiment was particular eye opening. Two rooms were set up, one tidy and the other messy. Subjects were randomly chosen to enter the two different rooms and asked to come up with as many possible uses of a ping pong ball within a fixed time limit. You heard me right, PING PONG BALLS. They found that subjects in the tidy room came up with almost identical numbers of interesting uses for ping pong balls, but the people in the messy room were much more creative and perhaps diabolical in their uses.

If you ever find yourself in need of a little creativity boost, why not suppress that little OCD devil within us, and just let nature take its course.  The best were messy, the science checks out and like all those who created fantastic workspaces by their own hand, you never know if you never try right? Who knows, you might just be the next big thing.…

Aromatic diffusers: more than a cool name

Hello deskers! Recently there’s been a new addition to my desk, i came across it at an electronics store and i have to say if nothing, this gadget looks great. This nifty little gadget  spews out a constant stream of ionised water droplets and comes in a million different LED colours, since then, my workspace became a little more colourful.

Not many have heard of an aromatic diffuser before, and that includes me. The one i got takes the shape of a tall glowing cylinder, about the size of your average beer glass. Doing a little bit of research online, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is an indispensable tool used in aromatherapy. When used together with essential oils, it works wonders when helping me feel relaxed and adds a new dimension of sensory experiences while i’m at my workstation.

How it works

The operation of this insanely cool looking desktop device is dead simple, even a hamster could operate it without a hitch! You simply lift up the top cover, pour about half a glass of water followed by a few drops an essential oil of your choosing(my favourite is lavender, but literally a ton of other scents are available), close the top again and the diffuser is primed and ready to go. The mood lights really completes the vapour spewing look, it comes in five different colours. While five is definitely not a lot to choose from, it adds an interesting touch to my desk.

Even though it doesn’t necessarily make me healthier from a scientific standpoint, the feel good factor and cool aesthetic value it adds to your workspace far justifies the $80 i dropped on this little guy, plus a small bottle of lavender oil for $5. My only gripe is that i have to put a few drops into the diffuser every hour or so. Maybe I’m just lazy, but i guess it forces me to take a small breather every now and then!…

Top Ten Scholarship Opportunities for Interior Design Majors

The fortunes of interior designers typically rise and fall with the economy. Working with architects, interior designers play an important role in the design of a new building, lending their expertise to the project by helping lay out the interior of the building, suggesting the best placement of walls, stairwells, rooms, etc. Other interior designers find work designing the interiors of upscale restaurants, department stores, banks or wherever else their services are needed.

For students pursuing a degree in Interior Design, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) supports the claim that demand for designers is on the rise. As our nation pulls out of its current recession, new building construction and renovation is expected to boom thanks to pent up demand. For those students expecting to complete their studies between 2013-2015, the job outlook for them looks quite good.

While several state and private universities such as Southern Illinois University, SUNY and the University of Wisconsin offer interior design programs, schools whose strong suit for interior design include Brown College, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Design Institute of San Diego. At some schools, tuition, room and board and related fees can run in the tens of thousands of dollars for each academic year. To help prospective students afford these costs, we’ve tracked down some of the top scholarship opportunities for Interior Design majors and have listed them here:

1. American Society of Interior Designers Foundation (ASID) — Open to any undergraduate student of interior design enrolled at a degree granting academic institution.

2. College of Design Scholarships, Iowa State University (IAU) — Working with various foundations, Iowa State University offers several scholarships to design majors each year in the form of tuition credits ranging from $1000-$2000 per academic year.

3. Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) — The Keith Hooks Scholarship is a new award commemorating the life of an accomplished San Francisco interior designer. Junior level CIDA students may apply; $2500 or more is awarded to recipients.

4. Georg Andersen Interior Design Scholarship — Interior design majors enrolled at Central Arkansas University in Conway can apply for a scholarship sponsored by a local business.

5. Indiana University, Bloomington Campus — The Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design awards nearly $70,000 in scholarships annually. Available to enrolled students who are pursuing Bachelor or Master degrees in the appropriate program.

6. International Furnishings and Design Association Educational Foundation (IFDA) — Open to full and part-time enrolled Interior Design majors or a closely related field. Requires recommendation from active IFDA member.

7. International Interior Design Association (IIDA) — The Kimball Office Scholarship fund awards $5,000 to a senior year student pursuing a degree in interior design. Eligible minority applicants are nominated by their schools; additional scholarship opportunities are available through local IIDA chapters.

8. New York School For Interior Design (NYSID) — One of the top schools for Interior Design offers dozens of scholarships, graduate fellowships and assistantships each year.

9. Sandra Graham Shelton Scholarship in Interior Design (Meredith College) — Meredith College, which is a small, private school located in Raleigh, NC awards scholarships to entering freshman majoring in interior design each year. The scholarship recipient is determined on the basis of scholarship and potential for success in the field of interior design.

10. The School of Design at Westwood College — Online school Westwood College has an established Interior Design program which means that students who are enrolled in their program can apply for scholarships worth $2500.

Interior design majors should apply for as many college scholarships as possible to increase their chances of receiving one or more awards. Some scholarships are awarded annually while others are a one-time gift. When applying, make certain you follow application instructions precisely and submit your application in advance of the deadline date.…

How Long Does it Take to Finish an Interior Design Major?

There are several different programs that result in a student attaining an interior design major. Many have a specific focus, such as feng shui, eco-friendly and lighting or furniture design. If the program you are considering is a Bachelor’s degree program, it will take approximately four years to complete. This is based on a national average of programs for full-time students. If you enroll as a part-time student, it may take considerably longer, depending on the number of credits you complete per semester. There are also in-depth programs that that can take up to six years to complete. Remember, these are only averages. If time is a concern, it is best to work with the university or school that you have selected to see if there are options.

In some cases, an interior design major combines traditional classroom classes and studio work with online courses. This may enable you to complete the program in a shorter period of time. There are also schools that allow you to use experience and existing knowledge to count towards course credit. For this to be considered, you must demonstrate an understanding of the course you wish to “test out of.” With the large selection of interior design programs that are available, both online and in a classroom setting, it is important that you research your options before choosing a school and a focus. Another option is to pursue an Associate’s degree.

This type of interior design major focuses on many different aspects of a designer’s daily duties from contract design, drafting and the use of color and texture to visual merchandizing and furniture. When the degree has been completed, you will be qualified to become an interior designer, commercial design assistant and a visual merchandiser, just to name a few. Programs usually provide hands-on training for many of the advanced courses. Depending on the school, they may also offer internships and provide placement assistance once the program has been completed. It is not uncommon for students to finish their degree within two years of their start date, if enrolled full time.

The time it takes to finish an interior design major varies greatly, based on many different scenarios. For students who are enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree program on a full-time basis, it is usually completed in four years. This is the national average, but there are online options and the possibility of earning credit for experience that can help reduce the amount of time spent in the classroom without sacrificing quality. An Associate’s degree can often be earned in 18 to 24 months. Part-time students and those who are able to take more time in school may take much more time to complete their studies.…