How To Type Faster
Have you ever wanted to get your thoughts out faster? Learn the basics of developing your typing ability, with the help of proven techniques and a few free resources.
I haven’t been practicing lately so I only top out at about 95wpm (words per minute), but with continued training it is fully possible to kick your typing speed up to 160wpm or even higher. Why am I mentioning these speeds? Because the average person’s handwriting speed is somewhere around 25-35wpm where the words are short and speed is at the maximum. I only write 20wpm by pencil so when I’m typing, the advantage is pretty obvious.
Here is how you can learn to type fast:
 Learn the Layout
The primary reason why it takes a long time to punch the right key is that you have to find the right button. Memorize the positions of the keys. Be able to close your eyes and visualize every letter, number, and symbol on the keyboard. If you can do that, then when you are typing, you are not searching for the keys but instead pushing them.
 Put your hands in the ‘Home’ position
Notice how the ‘F’ and ‘J’ buttons on your keyboard have a special groove on them. Put the index(pointing) finger of your left hand on the ‘F’ and the three fingers left of the index finger on ‘D’, ‘S’, and ‘A’. Now put your right hand’s index finger on the ‘J’, and the other three fingers to the right of it on ‘K’, ‘L’, and ‘;’. Rest both of your thumbs on the ‘spacebar’. Feel the grooves of the ‘F’ and ‘J’ buttons under your index fingers. Your hands are now in the home position. This is the centered position which puts your fingers equally distant to all the keys so that you can type better.
The keyboard was designed to be used this way. The grooves on ‘F’ and ‘J’ are there so that you can find the home position without looking at the keyboard. Try it now. Tilt your head upward so that you see the monitor but not the keyboard at all. Now take your hands off of the keyboard. Feel the keyboard with your fingers until you get your index fingers back on the grooves and your other fingers are on the keys described just previously. Practice this several times.
You are only tilting your head up temporarily to prevent you from cheating and looking at the keyboard. When you look at the keyboard, you are cheating yourself and losing your own time because you are relying on your eyes finding the key (slow) rather than using your memory to know where the key is (fast).
Now that you know where to start your hands from and where all of the keys are by memory, you can type without looking at the keyboard. When you get better at typing, and have reaffirmed the positions of the keys into your fingers, you do not even need to look at the monitor to see if you typed the right thing. This frees up your eyes to look at the sheet of paper you are transcribing, to a book you want an excerpt out of, or even the ability to talk to someone while looking at them and taking notes at the same time. The possibilities are endless. However, you cannot expect speed just from thought alone. Your fingers are not used to moving in these ways and need practice.
When you are first learning, say the letters of the word you are typing one at a time and concentrate on where you should move which finger to get to it. You should not need to look at the keyboard to do this. If you find it hard to remember the layout of your keyboard, there’s a link at the end of this article to a site where you can get a ready-made keyboard layout. Just print it out and follow the included instructions to make it stand upright. This isn’t a permanent solution though. It’s just for when you’re learning it.
Eventually you will want to go entirely by memory. I can recommend two ways to improve your memory of the keys. The first is the way I did it, and that’s through TONS of practice. It’s not that hard, but it takes some time. The other way, you might be able to accelerate your learning curve by improving your memory first.
I’ve written a book on exactly that topic, memory improvement, and even if it doesn’t teach you how to type, it will improve your memory, which eventually will help you with everything in your life, and not just typing. Just look around and you’ll see that memory is fundamental to everything you do. For more information about the eBook, see the bottom of this article.
If you choose to wing it for now, what you want to do is to make an effort to store in your mind the positions of the buttons relative to your fingers and their home positions. The intention of remembering often helps, though you will have better results if you improve your memory and practice associating keys to finger positions.
Practice repetetive combinations of certain letters so that you get those committed firmly into memory. A good direction of learning the keys is to go bit by bit. First learn the home keys with your left hand only. When you get good with those four keys, learn exclusively the four keys of your right hand when in home position. Then practice combinations of those 8 keys. Then learn the keys immediately above your left index finger.
Then your right index finger. Don’t try to overload yourself. This is a new hand-eye coordination exercise that you have never done before, and you are literally causing your brain to wire itself to be able to do this more naturally. You will most likely feel mentally strained, so I would not recommend learning more than 4 new letters at a time. Be patient, you will make many mistakes at first, but as you practice more, your mistakes will decrease and your speed will go up.
Notice your accomplishments and keep going.
 How to Measure your Speed
There are two ways to do this, but they’re both roughly the same strategy. You can make up a story on the go and type it down, but if you get stuck in creating your story, then your speed will go down. The other way is to get out a book, article, letter, or anything else already written down in front of you and opened. Grab a stopwatch. Open up Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer. Both are word-processing programs and both have word count. You can use any other word processing program, but then you’ll need to count the words by hand.
Start the stopwatch. Type a length of words. The better and faster you are, the more words you should write. When you finish typing, immediately stop the stopwatch. With your mouse, select on your screen the text you just typed. If you are using Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer, click on the ‘Tools’ menu, and pick ‘Word Count’. Take the number of words you just typed and divide it by the number of seconds it took you to type it. Now multiply this number by 60 to get the number into words per minute. The resulting number is your speed in words per minute.
 Helpful Resources
1. For a free copy of the OpenOffice.org Productivity Suite (which includes Writer), visit http://ift.tt/iS11X5
2. For memory improvement, visit http://ift.tt/1fZS6Lt
3. For a printable keyboard layout, visit the downloads area of http://ift.tt/1eNPwfy
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