quick wins on technology – touch typing

The motor car is a great invention for travelling around. An average sedan can seat 5 adults in relative comfort, and they can all travel together to the one destination.

But what if you’ve never learned to drive a car? Imagine trying to take people from one place to another in a car, and having to push the car everywhere? The advantages quickly evaporate because you’ve never learned to use the technology properly!

If you’re using a computer on a regular basis, there are a lot of different skills to master that could be likened to driving a car vs pushing a car. The least sought-after one, though, and I think the most important, is learning to touch-type.

If you’re a hunt-and-peck typist, you can probably type at 15WPM (words per minute). When I used to type like that, I could type at about 30WPM, which seemed to me pretty fast. These days, I can type consistently at 80WPM.

Not sure how fast you type? Try an online typing test and find out – it will take as little as a minute!

Think about it. How many hours of your life are you spending on typing: the mechanical action of selecting keys to carve out the words you want to say? If you could type twice as fast, would it take very long to win that time back?

If you invest – say – 1 hour a day for a month on learning to touch-type, you should see your touch-typing speed be even faster than your current hunt and peck speed. If you keep practising, doing the typing drills, you can be even faster.

Years ago, my uncle bought me a copy of Typequick. I worked through the exercises over a series of weeks, and before long, I was touch-typing faster than I had been able to hunt-and-peck.

If you’re looking for a new year’s resolution, I would recommend learning to touch-type. It will really make the difference between pushing a car and driving it.

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3 Comments

  1. Hey that was fun. had a net speed of 43 words per minute with 97% accuracy. Oddly, I was looking at the keyboard a lot more for that test eg I’ve barely looked at it while typing this comment. Mistake rate is slightly higher on this comment but overall speed is much faster. That may well be because of the typing I do involves creation rather than dictation. Always meant to learn to touch type but I’m way beyond hunt and peck too 🙂

  2. There’s a sense that all these tests are artificial because in real life you don’t (hopefully) type what’s on one part of the screen back into another part of the screen. And yet, it’s a good way of benchmarking.

    It’s never too late to learn to touch-type, I think. I’m really glad my uncle encouraged me to do so. With some practice, you could double your typing speed: imagine that!

  3. Great comment Dave. Touch typing is also gentler on the keys as the fingers travel less vertical distance. The other method is hunt, peck and dive bomb! I’ll have a go at the test.

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