7 Effective typing tips to help master the 10 finger system
Learning how to type fast and effectively can be a training intense task. Even if you know all about touch typing, there is still this thing called practicing.
If you don’t do this in the correct conditions or apply the right methods, you may progress at a much lower speed.
If you’re like me, you’re probably not going to be paying too much attention to this at first, but I now wish I had read some of these tips, advice or videos before I started improving my typing speed. It would have saved me several weeks of practice, for sure!
Typing Tips at a Glance
- Set a goal: Which skills do you want to develop or improve on?
- Methods: Are you familiar with the basic typing techniques?
- Ergonomics: How to maintain a healthy posture? What is good hardware?
- Progress: It’s easier to improve skills with patience and persistence.
- Relaxation: It’s recommended to take regular breaks from tasks and activities.
- Courses: Consider typing software to track your learning progress.
- Training: Practice daily or on a regular basis.
1. Three Techniques to Type Faster
Learning the basic concepts of touch typing will ease your learning process as an increased speed goes along with improved coordination of body (fingers, muscles) and mind (keyboard recognition).
The principles to learn how type faster relate to master the home, top and bottom row as well as the numpad. You can teach them yourself by reading articles, books and practicing or use software that will guide you through customized exercises and track your progress.
The most important tip is therefore to sit down and run regular keyboard exercises. You can do this online here fore free. The graph below shows how each finger is assigned to a specific keyboard area or letter keys.
Instant learning: Most common shortcuts
|Ctrl + C||Copy|
|Ctrl + X||Cut|
|Ctrl + V||Paste|
|Ctrl + Z||Undo|
|Ctrl + S||Save|
Shortcuts help to process commands faster. This list of blog posts comprehensively covers the topic.
2. Set Your Own Goals
What is your long-term goal, what your daily target? Practicing typing for several hours each day is a sure way of progressing quickly, but how do you know how far you’ve progressed after a week of training, or how do you know when you’re ready to move on from the home row to the bottom row, for example? By setting goals!
Session goals – Before each training session, set a primary goal, and several secondary goals. For example, you could set a primary goal of being able to hit any key on the home row, 20 times in a row, without looking at the keyboard, and as secondary goals, learning the keys for the left hand, the keys for your right hand, and so on.
Strong goals – By reaching your goals you will be able to properly judge your progress each week. As a final piece of advice: be creative when setting your goals, and try to set them as difficult as possible, even if it requires extra work. You wouldn’t be happy reaching a goal that was too easy, would you? If you don’t know your goals I suggest to browse this post listing various typing test websites.
Anthony Robbins is pretty good in teaching how to set goals. Please look here.
3. Focus on Posture and Lighting
You’re probably all hyped up and ready to start typing until your fingers ache, but there are several things to consider first, such typing ergonomics. First of all is your posture. Yes, your posture, because you don’t want to ruin your back while typing and sitting in a bad position.
Remember, you’re probably going to be doing this for hours each day, so you want a comfortable and correct posture! Second of all, the room you’re going to be doing your training in needs as much light as possible.
You need to be able to see the keys at first, without squinting, and it’s good for your eyes to have as much light around the computer screen as possible. Finally, you’ll have to consider a good keyboard.
4. Fast Typing Requires Good Hardware
There are several different types of keyboards, each with its own advantages and disadvantages and you may want to consider the keyboard you’re going to start training on.
A regular keyboard is good because it’s the most common keyboard around, and once you get used to the key positioning on that one, you’re going to have no problems moving on to more advanced keyboards. However, regular keyboards are not very ergonomic, and you may encounter wrist pain if typing for several hours each day on such a keyboard.
Ergonomic keyboards come in several shapes and sizes, but the most notable one is the divided keyboard. Such keyboards are divided into two parts, at around a 45 degree angle. The position of your hands on such a keyboard is much more relaxed, and these are actually very good for learning how to type faster, because the letters for each hand are clearly divided. It would be too difficult to try to reach a key on the left side of the keyboard, with your right hand, because of all the extra space between the keys.
There are also ergonomic keyboards that are not divided in two. They usually have the keys placed at a different angle than a regular keyboard, allowing you to change the position of your hands slightly, while still being able to hit all the keys easily.
The force required to press each key is also different for each keyboard, so play with it a little before purchasing it. For example, laptop keyboards require very little force to press, and fast typists prefer them.
Bottom line: If you don’t want your fingers or wrists to hurt a lot after long typing or training sessions, consider a keyboard that is best suited for you. Liferhacker website has a good guide to choosing a good mechanical one.
5. Be Patient with Progressing
What sort of a tip is patience, you may be asking? Well, it’s the best advice I can give you, and this is the single more important advice when it comes to saving weeks or maybe even months of practice time!
Take time – If you take everything slowly, and don’t rush through exercises, you will see that your fingers will develop a near perfect muscle memory, and you will be able to type faster and write almost error free.
Evaluate – You may not be as fast as you would like, but sometimes it is better to be able to write without making any errors, than to type a huge number of words per minute, with some errors. Just remember that going back to delete a wrong key can take longer than typing each word at the speed at which you are most comfortable at.
Accuracy – When I first started learning I was all about the speed, and I didn’t care about the mistakes I was making, as long as I was getting the highest speed possible. However, I have come to realize that speed is not everything, and that accuracy plays an important part as well.
I am proud to say that my fingers have almost completely forgotten where the Backspace key is, and hopefully, so will yours, if you have patience when you’re practicing!
6. Relax and Rest
Have some background music playing while you learn how to type faster, to relax you as much as possible. I know how frustrating it can be to make the same mistakes over and over again, but getting mad about it is not the solution.
You’ll simply lose focus and you’ll start making even more mistakes, and the worst part is that you will start confusing your fingers with all the mistakes you’re making.
Get your fingers used to typing the wrong word, and you will see that the next time they will unconsciously type it that way, even if you intended to type it correctly. Don’t confuse your fingers, and just listen to some soothing music while you learn!
7. Prepare in Advance
After you’ve mastered everything, and you’re working with large chunks of text, there is still a tip that can help you: prepare in advance!
This means, while you’re typing, allow your fingers to work alone, while your browse through the text in advance. You will help your fingers prepare for the upcoming words, and you will see if there are any special portions of texts that require your attention.
This is usually the case with uncommon words, or numerous special characters. By preparing a little, even if you lower your actual typing speed while reading, you will be saving time that you would have wasted deleting wrong key strokes, or time spent looking at the keyboard for special characters when you got to them in the text.
How to Type Faster: Conclusion
Typing can be a lot of fun, as long as you do everything correctly! Have a correct posture, a nice room with a lot of light, some ambient music and a nice keyboard, plus patience, and you have all the conditions for a successful learning experience.
It may sometimes still look like a chore, especially in the beginning, but hang in there and practice as much as you can, and you will see just how much fun it can be! Learn the correct way of typing, and have some fun while doing it, because this will probably be a skill that you will use daily, so why not have fun while doing it?