You Got to Learn Touch Typing

Daniel

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If you are not familiar with it, touch typing is the ability to type with all your fingers and without the need to look at the keyboard as you go. Many people learn it during their school days, but many don’t. Those who don’t tend to use only two fingers to type, and some even need to look for the right key before pressing it.

Until last week I used to type with only two fingers as well. I was not bad with it (averaging 65 words per minute or so), but still I felt that it was necessary to switch to touch typing. Why? Because typing is where we spend most of our time these days, and even small improvements on your typing speed will translate into huge productivity gains.

Suppose that you spend three hours per day typing. That is around 15 hours per work week, 60 hours per month and 720 hours per year. If you increase your typing speed by 30%, you would gain 216 extra hours of work every year. That is a lot.

If you are convinced, here are some resources that I found while trying to learn touch typing. The first one is a test to see how fast you can currently type: speedtest.10-fast-fingers.com. This one is useful to track your progress.

For the learning part I used this site: typeonline.co.uk. It comes with five basic lessons that will teach you the basics of touch typing, including all the finger positions. Each lesson also comes with ten exercises that you can use for practice.

Now the trick is: once you know the positions and can type with all your fingers without looking at the keyboard, albeit slowly, you need to make the switch and never return to typing with two fingers again.

In the beginning you will feel miserable, but this is the only way to go. For example, with two fingers I was able to type 65 words per minute, and as of today with touch typing I am down to 30 words or so. It is a pain, but I am sure that within 2-4 weeks I will be back to 65 words per minute, and hopefully within some months I will be able to increase it to 100 words per minute, which is considered to be pretty fast.

If you are still typing with two fingers, make an effort to learn touch typing. I am sure it will be worth it. For the rest of you guys who already touch type, what is your wpm (words per minute) speed?

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54 Responses to “You Got to Learn Touch Typing”

  • Tomas

    I don’t want to brag, but I can type 189 characters per minute according to speed test. In my native language my score is over 200… I am using my hybrid style of typing, but I am looking forward to master touch typing. Thanks, for tips.

  • Stephanie

    I took the test. 56wpm. Typing one-handed with a baby in my arms.

    I probably should learn touch typing. Thanks for the link. I’m going to check it out.

    I hope you’ll give us an “update” on your progress in a few weeks.

    P.S. I just found your blog and I’m enjoying it immensely.

  • Marketing Now

    I look the test 3 times and actually got worse:-) Started at 31 words and ended up at 27 (twice). Boy, 65 using 2 fingers – that is fast… why would you bother learning touch typing.

    I’ve used speech to text software to assist in writing books. That’s fun!

    Also, with all this typing every day… does anyone else feel like they’re in grade 2 when they pick up a pen to write?

  • –Deb

    I totally agree. I’ve been grateful for years that my parents forced me to take a typing class in high school (circa 1985), and even though my Dad was a programmer, not even they expected keyboards to be such an important part of my life. I can’t imagine how much longer it would take me to do EVERYTHING if I couldn’t touchtype. And, well, okay, I may cheat a little for the extra characters like ^, *, #. The ones that I don’t use often. And I’d rather type numbers on a number pad any day, than use the ones above the letters. But, still. Typing is soooo much easier this way!

    Oh, and thank you for the speed test site. My first time through, while I was figuring out how it worked, I got 65 wpm. The second time, through, while concentrating, I got 89. Fun!

  • Roy

    I totally agree. One the best decisions I made at college, was to take a typing course in the first term. It’s been a great benefit through my career.

    So if you can’t type, you have to learn.

  • John Collins

    Hi Daniel –

    You had it right when you said “never return to typing with two fingers again”. I even took a class to do it right and by the end I was typing 85wpm. But old habits die hard and every once in a while I would go back to my old ways. Which was 4 fingers and a thumb 🙂 but really no better than two fingers. Next thing you know I wasted taking that class and I’m still using 4 fingers again all the time. I even tried doing it the proper way recently but I’m going to have to reinvest more time again because I am almost as bad as I was before I took the class. “never return to typing with two fingers again”.

  • Tom Bradshaw

    Man I wish I could touch type – it’s taken me 6 minutes to write this!

  • ffoucaud

    Thank you for this article.
    I’ll try to increase my typing speed with these lessons.
    (For the moment, it’s around 31 wpm… I have some efforts to do 🙂 )

  • Joe Walters

    I could reach just up to 50 wpm 🙁 However, will try to improve myself..

  • Liane YoungBlogger

    Oh, so that’s what they call it? Touch typing??? Hahaha. Cool. I’m actually good at it! Especially in usernames and passwords… 🙂

  • Carey

    Learning to type is the first thing I learned when I started in the transcription industry, I really helps in blogging too.

    Every blogger should not only be able to type with all fingers but also without even looking at the keyboard for every letter!

    So, here we have another challenge for blogger wanting to improve their productivity and efficiency, huh?

  • Chester

    I’m bad at typing! I should practice more.

  • Harrison

    You hunt and peck this entire thing that is too much! I learned touch typing a long time ago. It wasn’t that hard just took a few months. Just have to learn where the keys are. We had to take classes in school!

  • Paul

    59 wpm on that speed test site just now, but thats with my laptop which I always type a bit slower on because of the smaller keyboard.

    I’ve touch typed (not strict, my own adapted style) for over 10 years now just because so much of my day job involves typing shell commands and typing job logs, emails etc.

    Its certainly worth learning and sticking to.

  • Starla Insigna

    98 wpm. 🙂 Touch typing is so worth learning.

  • Christina Crowe

    I agree! touch typing saves loads of time.

    I taught myself how to touch type when I was a little girl. Now I type 80-90 wpm. I’m still struggling with typing numbers without looking though.

  • Boerne Search

    I use all my fingers, but I still need to look at the board every now and again. I type aound 70 words a minute. But like mentioned above plue copy and pasting url’s.

    Kane

  • Ellie

    I learned touch typing around age 9. I can type about 70 words per minute. It’s second nature to me, so I never look at the keyboard. I do admit that switching to a Mac threw me off, so I have had to learn this keyboard style and learn how to switch back and forth. Some buttons aren’t where I expected them to be!

  • Colby

    My mother forced me to learn touch typing when I was 10 years old by putting me in summer school. I hated it every step of the way. While my friends played all day I was sitting in summer school. Today and throughout school I’m very glad I learned to touch type at such an early age.

    By the way, 65 wpm with only two fingers is pretty darn fast.

  • infmom

    I learned to type before people landed on the Moon. 🙂 I can type 110wpm easily. Yes, it’s miserable while you’re learning, because for the first few weeks the hunt-and-peck method you’ve used is faster, but once you get all your fingers flying over the keys you’ll never go back.

  • Nicholas Z. Cardot

    I’ve been able to touch type since I was in school and I often wonder how others deal with typing so slow. I’m glad you decided to learn how to do it!

  • Alison

    That was fun.

    You have 88 correct words and
    you have 1 wrong words

    I learned touch typing in high school.

    If you can type 65 wpm with two fingers, you’ll fly with touch typing once you get the hang of it.

  • Rete

    I had an awesome typing teacher in school and use that skill every day — 75 wpm according to that speed test site.

  • Matej

    53 words correct, 4 wrong, 2 fingers.

    When I try to type with all my fingers, I always type some letters before they should come. For example: ‘fingres’ instead of ‘fingers’. Well, maybe some day I learn :))

  • Joshua Elliot

    I have not tried before.

    I was using like total of 5 fingers, and I have to look.

    That means that I have to learn how to do it.

  • Mr. I

    I look at keyboard when I am typing most of the time. Looks like I will need to learn touch typing!

    Now, heading over to typeonline!

  • Rob O.

    Oh man, this is one of my regrets, to be sure. I’m no two-finger tapper – I involve nearly all of my fingers in my funky hybrid hunt-n-peck technique – but even at my best, my speed is only fair.

    This is such a vital skill. I sure hope the schools emphasize touch typing. To heck with my kiddo learning Word, PowerPoint, or such. Software changes. They keyboard is a permanent fixture.

  • Eric C

    I type 45-50 words a minute two finger style. it’s my thing, and I’m sticking with it.

  • Steve

    Quite impressive that you could write all these articles with only two finger typing. I work in IT and have several coworkers that cannot type worth a dime. I don’t see how they get their jobs done.

  • Chris Foley

    90-105 wpm depending on the day. Minus the time it takes to cut and paste links when blogging 😉

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