Exactly one month has passed since I impulsively switched my keyboard layout from QWERTY to Colemak in the hopes of faster and more efficient typing (dream big, Ben!).
Learning Colemak has been a battle that I entered on my own volition. Why did I do it? I didn’t have a good reason not to switch other than it wouldn’t be fun for a month. And I’m not 5 so I can’t use that as an excuse. I asked myself: In 5 years or even 1 year, will I be happy that I switched to Colemak? Definitely. (Note to self: start asking this question before purchasing cupcakes.) The QWERTY keyboard doesn’t make any sense. If you lost all knowledge of keyboards and had to pick between QWERTY and Colemak, unless you’re a masochist you’d pick Colemak.
The problem with relearning something is the burden of knowledge. Knowledge, like almost everything, can be good or bad. Once you learn something, you can shut your mind down from opposing or conflicting views and only see information that confirms what you already know. Once you learn something, you can cling to it and never let go even after it no longer makes sense. There is a billion dollar consulting industry dedicated to this.
So what happened in the last 30 days?
This is what it feels like to relearn touch-typing:
Despite the initial stumble out the gate, I switched cold turkey and didn’t plan on switching back. Though I did try to switch back on Day 5, but found I was now terrible at both! I switched back to Colemak and carried on. Below are the results from Day 1 and Day 30.
Colemak – Day 1
Colemak – Day 30
While my fingers aren’t quite flying off the keyboard yet, I’ve made enough progress for switching to be worth it. I can tell that once typing becomes completely automatic, I’ll be faster and more efficient than I ever was with QWERTY. An old dog can learn new tricks.
One typing tip for anyone:
If you want to speed up your typing without switching your keyboard, there is one thing you can do: change your CAPS LOCK key to another backspace key. Unless you’re an angry internet commenter or enjoy shouting at people, you probably never use the caps lock key.