I am going off topic a bit here but I thought Id do a quick post on the benefits of touch typing!
I spend a lot of time typing, at work and home, typing E-Mails, Blog Posts, letters and documents, programming, using chat clients… a lot of button pushing!
I learned to touch type around five years ago before starting a University Degree course. Typing was not taught when I went to school, but I realised what a benefit it would be to learn, as degree’s involve a lot of writing!
Five years later it is still a major benefit to me… anyone who has ever used a chat client to talk to me will testify to the fact that I push out 10 words to their one (not always a good thing!!), and I am still working on other stuff in between!
I decided to write this post after someone at work commented on how fast I was typing and I realised that I have only met one person who can out type me, that person was a PA to a company director with professional typing / shorthand qualifications.
So, what does touch typing mean?
- Make use of all digits on both hands, not just your index fingers!
- Looking at the screen, or document you are copying from, not the keyboard.
The benefits of touch typing are two fold:
- You will be able to type at least twice as fast!
- As you are looking at the screen (not the keyboard) you are able to concentrate fully on your work, it is far easier to get into a creative flow if you can touch type.
I taught myself to type using an old copy of Mavis Beacon, by Old I mean pre 2000. The graphics were really poor, and the commentary was really annoying. I muted the sound on my computer and spent two hours a night using the CD ROM for five consecutive evenings.
After those ten hours I had learned the keyboard well enough to type without looking at the keyboard, however I was still typing a lot slower than I had been using my previous finger and thumb method. I think this is where a lot of people fail when leaning to type in this way, they learn the keyboard, but …. old habits die hard.
You have to force yourself to use the new methods you have just learned, if you do this, within a couple of weeks you will be working faster than you ever have before, and will continue to do so for the rest of your life!!
It really is one of the most useful self taught skills I possess, there is no way I could get as much done without being able to touch type.
You can get an old (used) copy of Mavis Beacon for less than five dollars (Â£2.50) on Amazon! If you use the CD properly, and force yourself to use your new found skill, it may well prove the best $5 you ever spend… really!
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