Switching to Colemak for Typing: What worked

First of all, What’s Colemak? To put it simply, it’s a more efficient arrangement of the keys on your keyboard. Yes, more efficient than Dvorak. Plus, unlike Dvorak, it keeps all the most common keys used in keyboard shortcuts in place. It’s a keyboard layout for people who make their living using a computer. I touch type with it after using a “QWERTY” keyboard layout for years and years.

I was just talking to someone about my Strategy for learning to type with Colemak and realized I should post a quick update with what actually worked for me.

  1. Practice touch typing 0.5–2 hours a day (I started out at 2 hours and over a week went down to half an hour) with the drills in Master Key
  2. and copying a piece of text using Colemak for about 5 minutes every day
  3. Switched full-time to Colemak in 3–4 weeks when I felt up to it.

That’s what I did. That’s what worked. Are you tired of using an outdated, inefficient keyboard layout? Are you worried about RSI and would like to move your fingers less when you type? And just type more comfortably? Give it a shot.

You can see more about my experience with Colemak by checking out posts tagged as Colemak on this blog.

5 responses to “Switching to Colemak for Typing: What worked”

  1. I should also note that I’m really lucky to have an employer that allows — and encourages — crazy stuff like switching to alternate keyboard layouts and suffering temporary losses in productivity (my words per minute went down as I was getting used to the keyboard) for lifetime gains.

    Come work with us if you’d like to enjoy the same benefits.

  2. holy crap man. i switched and started in december. due to some complications with my schedule, i had to move back and stopped practicing, but in just 30 days i was doing 30WPM. i even made my desktop background the new layout for a time.

    i want to give it another go later this year.

    1. Give it another go!

  3. I type Dvorak for over a year now. Best advice I had is to go cold turkey.

    1. Me too. I on a cold turkey approach right now. I currently trying to learn the colemak layout.

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