Being more productive working on a computer requires good skills with your keyboard. Here are some basic tips about it:
1. Get Rid of Bad Habits. Changing habits is one of the hardest things to do. You already have some typing skills and habits the way you started using a keyboard. If you are chicken-picking the keys, using one or two fingers or have mostly gaming related hand placement, it is time to pay attention to the proper typing position.
2. Use All 10 Fingers. So, if not done with it – learn the correct finger placement. Look at your keyboard and notice the bumps on the F and J keys. Your index fingers should rest on these keys. All other fingers will fall to the right place afterwards. The color coded picture represents quite well where the fingers will fall:
3. Learn to Touch Type. Touch typing means to type without having to look at the keyboard. People who do 10 fingers typing for a longer time actually get slower if look at the keyboard. This could take weeks before good results show up. Try typing first word by word, then sentences. Remember the position of the keys. You will sneak and look at the keyboard from times to times. This is ok. You will look at the keyboard less and less over time.
4. Use Keyboard Shortcuts. Windows and Mac OS provide a lot of keyboard shortcuts. It is a natural way for a typing person to use less and less the mouse. There are many shortcuts. You don’t need to know them all and probably you know the most common ones. Check the keyboard shortcuts here . There are shortcuts for clipboard, working with text editors, web browsers and more.
5. Typing Exercise Apps. Obtaining typing skills requires practice. There are different applications helping with it. We will review some of them:
- TypeRacer. Simple and fun game. Each player is represented by a car. A passage of text appears on screen and you have to type it. The faster you type, the faster your car goes.
- Typing Maniac. This is a Facebook game where you can compete with friends to see who can earn most points. As words appear onscreen, you have to type them and make them go away.
- Keybr.com. The application generates readable random words. Some of the words are spelt incorrectly to help you think on and remember common letter combinations. The application provides statistics – which are of the keyboard is most problematic for you.
- Typing Study. Offers exercises to get the proper finger placement. The program asks you to type the letters with the correct fingers. Available in different languages.