As you can imagine, one of our passions here at Das Keyboard is for really fast typing. We love that Das Keyboard has helped so many people to improve the speed and accuracy of their typing skills and we’re always looking for ways to help more. I came across a great post by David Turnbull with his 9 tips for How to Type 100+ Words Per Minute. These are quoted directly from his site:
- Feel the location of keys. If you can’t feel the location of keys whilst typing slowly then you won’t be able to type fast. Close your eyes and try to type out your full name. Go as slow as you need to. Repeat this exercise until you can identify every key by touch. Touch typing is the foundation of speed.
- Switch to DVORAK. Like most people I use the QWERTY keyboard setup, but this setup is actually designed to slow down typing (it goes back to the days of typewriters). DVORAK is meant to be the fastest keyboard layout to use and if you’re serious about typing fast you should definitely look into it. Some people claim making the switch doesn’t make a huge difference, but at the very least your fingers will be moving less and therefore less likely to strain.
- Use the DAS Keyboard Ultimate. Whilst it’s not available as a DVORAK keyboard, this is still a pretty nice looking piece of hardware. It claims to be the best keyboard for typing, which is obviously debatable, but the cool thing is, the keys aren’t labelled. They’re all just flat, black surfaces. This means you’re forced to memorise the location of keys.
- Play the piano. One of the first instruments I learned to play was the piano. I was never particularly brilliant at it, but the skills required are similar to that of typing on a computer keyboard: speed, accuracy and finding the location of keys. Sure, the most “pure” type of practice will be with a computer keyboard, but playing the piano will less likely induce boredom.
- Have something to type. The only times I type slowly are when I’m trying to tackle writer’s block. It’s my brain that’s moving slowly, not my fingers. Have something clear in your mind that you want to type before trying to clear 100+ words per minute.
- Beware of traditional typing tests. Tests that determine your typing speed have a major flaw: they require you to read. I’m certainly no speed reader, but I’m not slow either, yet it still takes me a second to “process” the sentences I read in a typing test, and then I have to regurgitate them on the keyboard.
- Typing tests 2.0. Back in high school, we’d occasionally be in the library where our teacher would dictate information we had to type into a Word document. I found this to be the best typing test available. There’s little thought required and, unlike in a traditional typing test, your thoughts aren’t jumping ahead to the words you have to write in the future (because you don’t know what they are). It’s a very “in the moment” test of typing speed.
- Practice with substance. Don’t try to improve your typing speed by typing out some lame sentence over and over again. Start a blog or novel that makes typing both interesting and engaging. There’s no single moment where I thought “wow, I can type fast!” I was simply always typing something that I found interesting and my speed progressed naturally.
- You don’t need to follow conventions. In primary school there was a chart on the wall that displayed where you should place your fingers on the keyboard. I ignored it. Whilst I’m sure these diagrams have value, I feel it’s best to just do what feels natural. If typing doesn’t feel natural for you at all then maybe use these types of diagrams as a starting point, but don’t feel constricted by them.
Thanks to David for his tips above. I was, or course, both appreciative and honored that Das Keyboard made it in as number 3. But this also got me thinking; how many other tips are out there for improving your typing speed? So I wanted to ask you; what tips or tricks have you learned and/or used to increase your typing speed? Have you been able to get it over 100 WPM?