Many people venture into mechanical keyboards as a way to increase their typing performance. Just about any job you’ll have throughout the course of your life will benefit from being able to type faster and more accurately. This will allow you to be more productive, and get your thoughts out to your computer more quickly, letting your brain work faster with less interruption because your fingers can’t keep up.
If you’ve decided you want to improve your typing word’s per minute (WPM), here are the best tips to help you out.
1. Create a Training Regimen
How good you get at typing will directly correlate with how much effort you put into getting better. Guided practice software will help you target specific weak areas and help you improve faster by drilling into your muscle memory faster.
Here’s some of the best training resources we’ve found for improving your typing skills –
2. Measure Your WPM to Track Progress
First of all, you won’t be able to know what’s working if you’re not tracking your progress. We prefer to do this using 10 Fast Fingers, which will let you create an account in order to measure your progress over time. You should do a WPM test at least every week to have an idea of where you’re at.
Being able to see where you’re at today versus where you started is hugely motivating. The chart about is a real progress chart from when one of our writers decided to switch to a Dvorak layout (more on that later) and relearned typing from scratch.
3. Utilize Your Pinkies!
If you’re looking for typing speed, you really need to be able to use all 10 fingers on your keyboard. Many people ignore their pinky fingers completely. This means you need to move your hands around the keyboard more, taking longer to type words than if you just use your pinkies.
Many people skip using their pinkies when they learned to type as they found it awkward to coordinate this little-used finger with the rest of their phalanges. This greatly hinders your ability to type quickly, especially if you’re using a standard Qwerty layout.
Take a look at the video below to see a typing competition where the winner registers a blazing 163 WPM! You’ll notice he uses all 10 fingers, while his opponent barely uses his pinkies.
4. Touch Typing is Mandatory
Touch typing is the ability to type on your keyboard without having to stare down at the keys as you type. This requires you to have muscle-memory of the keyboard, so practice is key. It will certainly take some time to get down if you’re used to staring at the keyboard, but within a few days of steady discipline you’ll make a lot of progress.
One huge benefit of touch typing is you can watch the letters on the screen as you type, so you’ll be much more likely to catch typos and correct them.
5. Ergonomics Are Key
You need to be comfortable to type optimally. Make sure your work setup is comfortable and doesn’t strain your body, which will make you type sloppily. Many people find Tenkeyless mechanical keyboards to increase their ergonomics by aligning their hands in a more natural position. Here’s a good guide for other computer and desk setup tips.
The basics of an ergonomic keyboard setup are –
- Type with your palms elevated off the keyboard, don’t use a wristrest while typing.
- Setup your chair height so your forearms are parallel with the floor. Your wrists shouldn’t be bent while typing.
You can also look into some alternative keyboard layouts to increase your typing abilities. Here’s an article on the best keyboard layouts for programming which covers the main 3 keyboard layouts.
6. Mechanical Keyboards for Typing
Some mechanical switches are better for typing. You should check our list of what works best and make an investment if your typing experience is important to you. Mechanical switches will give your fingers more feedback on your key presses, leading you to making less mistakes when you’re typing quickly.