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- Registered: 02-Dec-2018
- Posts: 2
Just like everyone else I've been a QWERTY typer since birth, so roughly been typing 25ish years. About a year ago my speed was between 80-90wpm using just 3 fingers on my left hand and 2 on my right, I then decided to learn proper touch typing which I found fairly easy and I was soon able to break my original record.
Throughout the year though I became more and more frustrated with the layout, I found so many words have such unnatural movement patterns and knew that I wanted to look into alternative layouts.
I already knew of DVORAK but wanted to do more research before changing layouts. I later found Colemak when browsing the Mechanical Keyboards subredit and decided to do a bit of googling, I was instantly impressed to learn it has better stats over DVORAK all whilst leaving a lot more keys unchanged and more importantly leaving more shortcuts in their original locations. It took a few days of pondering if I really wanted to learn a new layout but eventually decided to give it a go.
My fastest QWERTY speed taken just before making the change was 116wpm.
Day 1 - As you'd expect for the first day
Day 2 - 13wpm
Day 3 - 18wpm using a lot less effort and taking fewer pauses but speed obviously still slow
Day 4 - 22wpm
Day 5 - 28wpm starting to feel a little optimistic but a few trouble letters, I find the S and R difficult, I'm also regularly reaching for the original location for the N key
Day 6 - 31wpm
Day 7 - 34wpm this is the first time I've started to gain any sort of rhythm while typing, still a few combinations that trouble me (mainly the top row)
Day 8 - 38wpm
Day 9 - 41wpm felt really sloppy today need to be careful to prevent bad habits and poor accuracy. F, P, G, J are still my trouble letters
Day 10 - 43wpm first day I've started to see the benefits of Colemak, when I get a string of words I'm confident with I start to feel the flow and get a sense of the finger rolls that Colemak is known for
Day 11 - 47wpm
Day 12 - 50wpm
Day 13 - 53wpm
Day 14 - 55wpm
Day 15 - 58wpm
Day 16 - 59wpm
Day 17 - 60wpm
Day 18 - 64wpm
Day 19 - 67wpm
Day 20 - 70wpm
Day 21 - 73wpm
Day 22 - 74wpm
Day 23 - 76wpm
Day 24 - 76wpm
Day 25 - 78wpm finding a few old QWERTY habits are trying to force their way back in when I type quickly and get into a rhythm
Day 26 - 77wpm
Day 27 - 78wpm
Day 28 - 80wpm Accuracy has previously been pretty good but the last few days it's been really inconsistent, something I'm going to concentrate a lot on
Day 29 - 84wpm
Day 30 - 86wpm
Day 31 - 86wpm
Day 32 - 87wpm
Day 33 - 88wpm
Day 34 - 90wpm
Day 35 - 89wpm
Day 36 - 96wpm... no idea where this came from (next closest result was 90wpm), must have just been a perfect string of words. I've been working hard on improving my accuracy and the past few days it's definitely improved but toady I felt like it's taken a big nose dive apart from this one anomaly
Day 37 - 95wpm This one didn't feel like a one off and was backed up with a 94wpm, accuracy was much improved compared to the previous day too
Day 38 - 96wpm
Day 39 - 98wpm wrists felt on fire after this, although I've done faster on QWERTY before this felt like the fastest my hands have ever moved. Accuracy also much improved both today and yesterday
Day 40 - 98wpm
Day 41 - 96wpm
Day 42 - 99wpm
My main complaint is the L and K placement, with both keys being typed by the right index finger I find any words with those letters in even when spaced by one or two letters really awkward. I'm aware the Mod-DH layout would fix this but I'm not sure it's worth me learning that especially since I actually quite like the current DH keys.
The awkwardness of pressing Control + Caps Lock to remove a whole word is now a lot harder, this isn't really a big complaint since the ability to use the original backspace key is still an option.
Overall though, Colemak is a big improvement over QWERTY and I think any issues I point out are merely going to be down to personal preference. The real question is should you invest the time and effort into making the switch? My answer is a big it depends. I could afford to lose efficiency at work while making the switch since I don't do an awful lot of typing. For me, progress was steady and within under two weeks the major frustrations of learning a new layout were gone and I was already quicker than the "average" typist. I spent roughly half an hour daily dedicated to learning Colemak, and after the first few days I completely abandoned QWERTY.
I don't necessarily think everyone should switch to Colemak but I do think everyone should at least be aware that there are other more efficient layouts available. I think once you've made the switch and become decent with Colemak then you definitely won't regret it. It's whether or not you can justify the time, effort and any potential lack of work efficiency whilst you switch, if you can then great, that's one more Colemak user if not then that's totally understandable.