My Experience Studying Typing

Overall Take-aways from Studying Typing

Lesson 1: it can be very rewarding to practice a simple, clearly defined, physical skill. It is joyful and empowering.

Lesson 2: I felt empowered by engineering my own learning—by picking a small, clearly defined activity (i.e. this app for this time).

Lesson 3: I reconnected to the joy of learning for learning's sake. Does fast typing really matter? Not too much. Did I have fun learning it? Yes.

How to apply it:

If you want get started on your own typing journey today, see my guides on improving your typing speed and using fast-typing to take better meeting notes.

My Journey into Touch-Typing

One of the things I do often at work is transfer text written in a word processor into the web-based program that we use for bulk emailing (Ontraport). One day, the paste functionality was glitchy. It would add all kinds of unwanted formatting and strange colours into the email body. Rather than fuss with this formatting, I decided it would be easier to just re-type the email into the body of the message. Doing so was slightly meditative as i didn't require much focus. Unlike when I'm writing, I didn't have to think at all about what I was saying. I was free to copy symbols as they appeared. I realized two things at this moment. 1. I am very slow at typing. 2. Unlike hand writing, typing can be reduced to mere button pressing. As my mind wandered a question appeared in my head. What would happen if I could type faster and more accurately?

So began my journey into typing training.

Like many of you, I'm sure, I was trained to type in school by playing some funny computer games. This is where I began.

On my first search I encountered

I used it to relearn the proper technique by practicing for 15 minutes every day for a month. In this time I worked through all of the free exercises.

Once I had exhausted this approach, I began trying to find other apps.

I found uses machine learning to help guide users through their slowest and sloppiest keys. I like for practicing accuracy and technique. It's nice that it captures a lot of data about which keys work well and which don't, so that I can focus on the keys that slow me down the most.

I found which I like to use as a warm up and cool down for This keeps me motivated because every time I practice I see changes between my first result and my second. Right now my top speed hovers around 75 words per minute while my average speed on is 58 words per minute.

Is typing speed everything? No, but there are few reasons that I am grateful for my training:

  1. Being able to type faster means that I can be more efficient.
  2. I notice my efficiency most in small areas like typing search phrases into a search engine, typing quick email replies, or writing small marginal notes in something I'm reading.
  3. I can capture more thoughts.
  4. When I have an idea--either an idea for anew blog post or an idea about a project I'm already working on, it only takes me a few minutes to jot down a very quick scribble. This makes me feel confident that I am actually engaging my mind and reflecting on my life.
  5. It's easier to transition from analog to digital.
  6. I often take notes on physical books, want to quote a phrase or passage, or want to turn a piece of writing I originally kept in my notebook into a digital document for safekeeping or to publish. Being able to type quickly makes this activity easier and less cumbersome. Most importantly, practicing the mindset of symbol replication as opposed to thinking (by using makes this job enjoyable and relaxing.

Some reason that typing speed is not useful.

  1. Writing as thinking.
  2. I believe that there are many ways of writing. Only one of which benefits from very high speed. When I really need to focus in on an idea I will still use pen and paper. Slowing down the mind allows me to connect more deeply with my heart or other sense perceptions, enabling me to see an argument or idea more clearly.
  3. Speed can impede the accuracy of word use.
  4. I noticed this a lot in first-round writing. Specifically I notice that words are use without precision. The danger here is saying something other than what you actually want to say.
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