Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Can you learn colemak in just 20 hours?

Just like any other great answer to a hard question I should say, it's complicated.

Let me explain. In Josh Kaufman's 'The First 20 Hours' book he explains we can learn or at least get started with a skill at a basic level in just the first 20 hours and he has a process(or should I say checklist) which could lead you to that.

I started by practicing colemak after completing chapter 6 of the book 'The First 20 Hours'. The book was pretty cool. If you didn't read the book I'd advice you to read at least his blog post. I started practicing touch typing using colemak just like the book said. In 2 weeks at ~22 hours or so I've reached 45 WPM on average, YAY! that's +1 WPM compared to my previous QWERTY speed! Then I kept practicing, and tada! I was at 49 WPM in very less time, so cool!

That's already past my original typing speed. It felt so awesome. I then wanted to go 60 WPM, just like Josh did, but he was doing 60 WPM on QWERTY already. I thought I could just achieve that in next two weeks are so.

At least I thought so, I was so wrong. Achieving your previous speed on a new keyboard layout is possible in just 20 hours, but its not the same if you never typed 60 WPM before. It's been 3 months. To be honest, there were a lot of days off, like once or twice a week. Three days in some weeks. I worked on it for 3 hours at times to just a single 25 minute session. I reached 53 WPM very recently. One thing to notice is that these 20 hours were spaced out in two weeks and it was not just straight out 20 hours in one day. Sleep has a major role in consolidating muscle memory.

As you can see the second part of my journey was a whole different animal. I've talked to a lot typing enthusiasts, their advice was keep practicing for like 30 minutes everyday. Some one else said that I had to work on it at least 3 hours everyday. I could not find anyone who talked about maybe the technique of movement of fingers or anything else. I was expecting some one to talk about that. But hey not a single person did, they all said just practice! I do not blame them, I am just curious for a much faster solution no where to be found.

From what I've seen you can get to the same speed you were typing at in a different layout in 20 hours, but its not the same thing as a being able to type faster than before. Well at least for me. So Josh Kauffman's method did work on me, but I just made a blind assumption that I'll keep getting the same increments in speed as I keep working on.

I'll keep this blog updated with what goes on  as I keep progressing. If I find any techniques that improved my speed even by little bit in a small amount of time I'll be sure to share in this blog post.

See you later! If you like my post, please bookmark this blog. Please comment if you have any questions, and also 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Learning 'Touch typing' in Colemak my way - part 2

Continuing from part 1 ...

I am at 10 hours and 30 minutes mark and I've observed that my numbers aren't improving past the 9 hour mark for some reason, even when racing with many people, but sometimes and only sometimes I do type 40WPM.

Time to move and do some more research.

  • Josh kauffman wrote that he used Amphetype
  • Use the count_1w.txt file. It contains most typed 1 grams aka most used words. di-grams are most commonly used two words together, etc.
Let us see where it leads me

to be continued ...

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Learning 'Touch typing' in Colemak my way - part 1

So I've thought of improving my speed, I've lost a good opportunity because my workflow isn't efficient and its not fast enough. I felt improving my typing speed would be a good idea, correct? Well, I don't know let us see, a bit more speed wouldn't kill.

Colemak is a good alternative to qwerty. I always try new stuff out, so Colemak it is!

I liked Josh Kauffman's article about touch typing. It's actually a chapter in his book. Thanks to him for summarizing it for us. He says he learned to type well in 20h or so of practice, pretty fast for me I thought. I usually do stuff in twice the time :p, but let us try first.

I'm trying to do what he did:

  • I use fedora, so it was pretty easy to change the layout to Colemak. It's in the System > Preferences > Hardware > Keyboard.
  • I did not change my keys, I was afraid I was gonna damage the keyboard. Touch typing is about typing without seeing, no help here.
  • I also changed my android keyboard layout to colemak and now am starting to use Fleksy keyboard. I thought of reducing intereference.
  • My target is 60WPM with around 90% accuracy. My previous speed was just 44WPM, 86.31% accuracy, but I'll try to go higher.
  • I took his advice and tried out keyzen, his version actually. 
  • Practicing 45 mins before sleep check.
  • I could not switch to Type-Fu, because it costs money end of story. hehe.
  • I will continue practicing on keyzen and continue my practice with Type racer as it is free and is similar to type-fu. Yes, I like opensource and community stuff a lot!
  • to be continued ...

Its been 9 hours so far averaging a speed of 34 wpm in type racer races, have a look:

TypeRacer.com scorecard for user f00lest


Trying to do 10 mins on type racer + 10 mins on keyzen and then 10 mins of rest, no scientific formula here, I get frustrated / bored too easy so keeping myself interested.

part 2 >>