Introduction

Over the years I have taught myself to touch type using the QWERTY keyboard layout and if memory serves, my maximum recorded speed was around 60 WPM. About 4 years ago I wanted to improve my efficiency when typing as I spend around 12+ hours at my keyboard and started exploring alternative keyboard layouts. I decided to give Colemak a try. Maybe the time wasn’t right, or I wasn’t able to spend enough time acquiring the new skill, but it never stuck.

I turned back to QWERTY somewhat dejected. After some months the bug bit again, and I decided to give the Dvorak layout a go. At the time, about 1 year after the Colemak attempt, I was starting a new job and decided that I would go cold-turkey and hit it at 100% as my on-boarding was quite gentle. This dedicated time seemed to do the trick and as of today, I am touch typing in Dvorak at around 55-60 WPM.

What spurred the latest desire to improve my typing speed was coming across a “chorded” keyboard and being reminded at how fast one can “type” on a steno machine which uses this same “chording” technique. While this is something I definitely want to explore and try, it feels like the learning curve is relatively higher than just improving my conventional typing speed.

Enter the current experiment - see how much I can improve my touch typing speed in Dvorak in 4 weeks of daily, consistent, measurable practice.

What I’m Expecting/Hypothesis

I’m expecting my typing speed on Dvorak to improve by at least 20 WPM or about 33%.

Method

The idea is to practice 5 minute each day per keyboard for 4 weeks using keybr.com using two different accounts. My baseline speed measurements in WPM for a 2 minute test on Monkey Type on both keyboards will be recorded the day before commencement and the at end of each week (7 days) in order to track progress.

Commencement: 12/05/2024
Duration: 4 weeks
Baseline Measurements:

DateTimeDuration (min)Speed (WPM)Accuracy (%)KeyboardScreenshot
12/05/202400:0026290Lilyimage
12/05/202400:0024681T14image

Variables

Multiple Keyboards = Different Results

Something to mention is that I use 3 different keyboards in my day-to-day, namely:

That said, I will only be specifically practicing and testing on the Lily and the Thinkpad’s (T14) built-in keyboard.

Additional Improvements

I will also try to get into the habit, when I’ve made a mistake about 3 characters or more into a word, of using ctrl+backspace to delete the entire word and retype the whole thing again. I have no way to record the progress of the adoption of this technique nor any way to know how it has affected my typing speed.

Accuracy of Test Results

With regard to the test results, I will take 1x 2 minute tests, each with a different keyboard and with a 5-minute break in-between.

Logbook

Activity Tracker

DateTimeLilyT14Notes
13/05/202407:30
14/05/202414:03
15/05/202407:30
16/05/202406:62
17/05/202409:05It’s really hot, and I’m tired today, performance was lackluster.
18/05/202416:45

Test Results

DateTimeDuration (min)Speed (WPM)Accuracy (%)KeyboardScreenshot
12/05/202400:0026290Lilyimage
12/05/202400:0024681T14image

Journal

12/05/2024 Captain’s log: Taking initial measurements…

16/05/2024 Captain’s log: I noticed that putting the Thinkpad in front of me as opposed to out there where it is during my work day is much more comfortable, and it feels like I’m able to type faster with fewer mistakes generally - go figure 😅

17/05/2024 My right wrist has been suffering under the five minutes of continuous practice. I will try to stand and see if that changes anything.

Findings/Results

Final measurements:

DateTimeDuration (min)Speed (WPM)Accuracy (%)Keyboard
09/06/202400:00200Lily
09/06/202400:00200T14
09/06/202400:00200Lemur

Conclusion