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Learning to Type Faster Doesn’t Take Very Long

I re­cently switched to Cole­mak. Cole­mak is an al­ter­na­tive key­board lay­out for in Eng­lishtyp­ing. It only changes 17 keys com­pared to the nor­mal QW­ERTY lay­out, so it should be faster to learn than some­thing like Dvo­rak.

Cole­mak
The Cole­mak key­board lay­out. Only the let­ter keys, the ‘:’ key, and the Caps Lock key are changed from QW­ERTY.

It took me less than a day to be able to know where all of the keys are with­out hav­ing to look, but my typ­ing speed was abysmal. with­out any ded­i­cated prac­ticeOver a month after that, I was up to around 30-40 WPM. My usual typ­ing speed in QW­ERTY was around 70 WPM, so I still had a ways to go.

I stum­bled upon keybr.com and de­cided to give it a go. In less than a week (about 4 hours of prac­tice) I have al­ready im­proved to 60 WPM. That’s an in­crease of about 5 WPM/Hour! That’s a lot! I would never have ex­pected I could so sub­stan­tially im­prove my typ­ing speed with such lit­tle prac­tice. e keybr.com has some ex­am­ples on the site of anonymized user pro­files, for ex­am­ple:

Ex­am­ple #1 from 30 to 70 WPM after 4 hours 20 min­utes of prac­tic­ing in the course of 15 days

So it seems my progress was not un­usual.

Typ­ing is so much more com­fort­able now that my speed is close to my old QW­ERTY 70 WPM, es­pe­cially since Cole­mak puts the most-​used keys on the home row, so you can type a lot of words with­out hav­ing to twist your hands all over the key­board like spi­ders play­ing Twister.

Typ­ing faster is a sur­pris­ingly easy skill to learn with some ded­i­cated prac­tice, at least if you al­ready know how to touch type. Go give it a try! Or switch to Cole­mak first like I did, but use ded­i­cated prac­tice to get the rough pe­riod out of the way quickly.