18 Oct

New Keyboard Layout Progress Update

Back in June I decided to change my keyboard layout with the hopes of increasing my typing speed. I have touch typed for 20 years on a QWERTY keyboard and was getting about 54 words per minute. First I tries Dvorak layout, but had a tough time even learning the keyboard never mind typing with any speed. Then I switched to the Colemak layout which I was able to get some speed on very quickly.

I’m currently typing at 60 words a minute. That’s a 10% improvement, and I’m sure there is still some speed left to be gained, but I’m not sure I’ll ever make it to my original goal of doubling my typing speed. That would be 108 WPM, and at this point I’d be thrilled with 80 WPM.

If I could go back, I’m not sure if I would switch again. More speed was my original goal, and I think I could have increased my speed faster if I had done as much practice with QWERTY as I have done with Colemak. But here I am, I have switched and I don’t think I’ll be going back.

The Colemak layout is noticeably easier to type on. Much less reaching for common letters (I’m looking at you E, R and T). My typing hasn’t suffered too terribly on QWERTY keyboards, but I can no longer touch type, I have to watch the keyboard.

Up next on my experiments with typing, mechanical keyboards. I have noticed in my practicing that there are times when I’m not sure whether I have typed a letter or not because of the mushy keys. I’ll monitor my WPM before and after that switch when I finally fork over the money for a >$100 keyboard.

2 thoughts on “New Keyboard Layout Progress Update

  1. Really? :O I think qwerty rocks. The aalepbhts may have been awkwardly laid out but years of practice has made us or least me master of it. My current speed is somewhere between 65 to 70 wpm and I’m okay with that. I’m not a typist anyway. And when blogging, this speed is more than enough. I suppose the same applies when coding as well.Reply

  2. Nice! I’m on the Colemak bus, too! Started on Friday by putting stcireks on the 18 keys that are different from qwerty and printing out a layout. I was on my second attempt to learn Dvorak last week, but couldn’t stand the world of pain that opened up, especially in stuff like vi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>