Last year I attempted learning how to touch type in Dvorak and I think I only made it about 2 weeks. One of the problems was that I decided to go cold turkey, doing everything at the computer using Dvorak almost right from the start. It was incredibly frustrating to say the least. Now that I’m trying to learn Colemak I thought I’d adopt a different strategy but one that’s just as simple.
- Practice touch typing 1–2 hours a day with the drills in Master Key
- and copying a piece of text using Colemak for about 5 minutes every day
- Switch full-time to Colemak in 1–4 weeks when I feel up to it.
And that’s it. Practicing in Master Key is kinda fun and copying out text for about 5 minutes gives me a real world idea of how I’m doing without being too frustrating. And to make it even more interesting I’m using a speech I found in the Art of Manliness’ 35 Greatest Speeches in History as the text. (I like to err on the side of edification.) Once I feel the time is right to make the switch, I’ll go Colemak full-time, possibly even switching the keys around on my keyboard at that time too. (I’m still undecided on that last one — there are a bunch of pros and cons.)
If you’re interested in learning to touch type in Colemak or Dvorak or something even weirder (Workman?) you can also check out Lance’s tips on switching to Dvorak. Lance successfully switched to Dvorak last year and is getting faster all the time.