Why I needed to learn to type differently

Preface by author Remco Livain – Why I need to improve on my typing skills

Breaking habits is hard, especially those you have become accustomed to over long periods of time. Typing is one of them, for me. I am not the slowest typer in the world, but my typing could certainly be more accurate. And for some reason, I don’t feel extremely confident in my typing skills.

I spend a lot of time behind a keyboard. Or at least, some form of digital screen. I have tried out numerous keyboards, from Logitech to Apple and Lenovo. Yet, I have come to believe that my typing skills have very little to do with the keyboard I use.

The more time I spend using my phone, the more accustomed I have become to dictating my messages. However, there are lots of situations in which I am unable to dictate my words and sentences in public.

Keyboards have never been my friends, but we’ll have to learn to get along, somehow. So I have decided to do something about it, and spend half an hour a day learning to use my keyboard correctly in the coming month.

Language matters

Writing in different languages can be tricky. I grew up using a Dutch QWERY keyboard – Dutch is my mother tongue and the keys still come natural to me. But at the age of 21, I moved to Germany, where I had to learn to use ö, ä and ü’s in my daily typing.

So I switched to a German keyboard. But I never took up a class/self-study to learn to use the key-combinations, correctly.

It got even worse when I moved to Switzerland. The Swiss keyboard layout is, yet again, a little different from the German one. It accommodates both to German- and French native speakers.

I switch between German, English and Dutch – a lot in my daily typing and communication – the split is probably 40-40-20 between the three languages on a daily basis. So I’ll have to learn how to use all three, blindly – using a solid 10 finger technique.

How bad of a typer am I?

Is my typing really that bad? Am I the slowest typer in the world? What can I do to become more fluent in typing?

It’s hard to say what makes for a bad typer. I personally don’t think it’s only about the speed, though. The most important thing for me is to eliminate friction and mistakes. Whenever I make a typing error, I am thrown off guard a little and forget what I wanted to say.

Fluency in writing comes from being able to keep up with my thoughts as well. I currently feel that my typing skills are holding me back from communicating more.

I can write a blogpost in under half an hour. Yet, I still do not know whether or not that is sufficient – at least by my standards, I would love to write down a whole lot more and double my output if I could.

How do I test my typing speed?

Here are some links to websites where you can test your typing speed. I will do a quick review of each of these as soon as I have tested them.

My typing challenge

This month I will take 30 minutes per day, every morning, to train my typing skills. The reason I wan to share that with you here on my blog is for one, to test my typing and to force myself to actually do it on a daily basis. Peer pressure can really help to achieve your goals and it certainly keeps me motivated.

I do not want to win a typing challenge or become the fastest typer in the world, but simply become a little more fluid and learn to type using all ten fingers, correctly.

The reason I say correctly, is because I know that I leave my pinkies out of the equation far too often when typing – reaching across the keyboard too much. I personally think that this is one of the main reasons I make too many mistakes and I don’t feel entirely comfortable typing longer pieces of content.

Wish me luck, and have a great start to your Monday!

Best, Remco

Also published on Medium.

Remco Livain
I’m a digital entrepreneur, online performance marketeer, founder and CEO of the digital innovation consultancy GANDT Ventures (based in Switzerland). We support organizations (SMBs, corporates and later stage ventures) in their digital efforts. I learned the trades of the (online) business at Venture Stars (MIFLORA), Rocket Internet (Westwing Home and Living) and Insparx (C-Date and be2).

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