Editor's Note: With my typing journey complete, I've since stopped adding to this journal
Being a programmer by profession, I spend a great deal of time typing each day. My hands are paying the price for this.
I have good days and bad days. On most days my fingers feel a bit creaky. On a bad day I feel like I never want to touch a keyboard again. Considering also that my two main hobbies are gaming a piano playing, losing my fine motor skills would be pretty hard to deal with.
With that in mind, I purchased an Ergodox Moonlander, a rather esoteric ergonomic keyboard. I've configured it for a Workman layout and I'm struggling through typing lessons. I'm reminded of my poor experience learning touch typing on a QWERTY keyboard all the way back in the first grade. I'm typing this very article at an excruciating 8 words-per-minute but I glimpse occasional rays of hope every once in a while when I can get through a whole word without mistyping it or needing to look at my hands.
You can view data visualizations based on my learning progression in my keybr.com profile
- Day 2 (05/15/21):
- 8 wpm. Struggle, frustration, and woe.
- Day 4 (05/17/21):
- 14 wpm. Showing some improvement. I used it all day at work.
- Day 7 (05/20/21):
- 23 wpm. Learning a new keyboard layout has been difficult but not as difficult as I had expected. I changed the modifier key layouts on the keyboard and I am getting pretty comfortable with my current arrangement. I can't believe how far I've come in a week.
- Day 11 (05/24/21):
- Day 17 (05/30/21):
- 32 wpm. I feel like I'm hitting a soft-cap in terms of my typing abilities. The improvements feel like they're coming slower although that could be due to the fact that I'm practicing with all the keys now rather than the smaller subsets you start with in training. One strange habit I've noticed is that I sometimes have a reflexive urge to look at my hands even though I know all the keys at this point.
- Day 21 (06/03/21):
- 35 wpm. Typing is hard but after three weeks I've definitely made a lot of progress. I wish I had done a QWERTY speed test before I started so I'd have something to compare to.
- Day 28 (06/09/21):
- 38 wpm. Four weeks and 726 lessons later. I've put in 9 1/2 hours practice in total and I'm pretty happy with where I'm at. Last Thursday, I replaced the Kailh Copper switches with Kailh Pro Burgundy switches. They have a smooth linear actuation and are really quiet if you don't bottom out. I think I like them more than the Coppers but I'm not certain.
- Day 38 (06/19/21)
- 45 wpm. Constant practice really does improve touch typing skills.
- Day 57 (07/10/21)
- 52 wpm. I'm ending my typing journal after two months with a sense of accomplishment. Here's my current layout. I can still use QWERTY keyboards although it feels a little strange sometimes. I'm quite pleased with where I ended up on this journey and I can see myself trying out more layouts in the future. I'd definitely recommend that people practice their touch typing skills, no matter the layout. You will see improvement and it's worth it.