Sunday, November 25, 2012

Touch Typing

A long, long, long time ago, when I was barely a teenager. My father bought me and my brother our first Gateway PC. It came in a cow pattern box. It was a neat thing. My brother about two years older installed everything, He could read a manual very well. I don't do the read manual thing. Anyway in the package we got an Encarta Encyclopedia, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, and some other stuff I forgot about.

I wanted to learn to type. So I tried. I tried for a week and gave up. I developed my own style of typing with two fingers. It's similar style as those old people you see who never seen a typewriter or computer before, hunched over the keyboard, pecking at the keys, moving very slowly. Only I was not that slow, I managed to type at a 20 words a minute speed and burst of near 30wpm. Though my eyes were half the time on the keyboard which kept my speed limited.

Touch typing benefits us all. You can type without looking at the keyboard and with time as your proficiency increases so does your speed. I knew this and still I drudged with my slow pace typing, because it was sufficient for the occasional email, or report I had to type. Once I started writing I felt the drawback. I would write my stories longhand, because my typing was too slow to keep up with me, and held my storytelling back. Drawback of longhand is that my handwriting is not pretty, making it difficult to read and in typing it over.

It's only now at 34 that I decided to learn touch typing and become proficient doing so. I registered for the free online tutorial typingweb and did the courses for two months, each day typing about 2 hours, practicing till I managed to touch type. I can now type at 40wpm with bursts of up to 60wpm. I wished I've done this before, it saves a lot of time. I can now type at the speed with which I can keep up with my story telling, and I don't need to type my handwriting over ever again.

Added benefit is I can type my emails, reports, and instruction manuals much faster, so it also benefits me on my day job. I don't dread now when asked to document something, now I'm able to do it in half the time I normally would.

I intend in keep improving and up my speed to 70 wpm. I do recommend to anyone who doesn't touch type to teach themselves to do so. You'll benefit from it. Using will help you considerably to do so. The courses and practices are topnotch and it's free. The added benefit is you can certify your typing skill and use this when applying for a job.

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