A brief one-stop guide to Typing for beginners

Touch typing is a skill that everyone is looking for to upgrade their skills. Typing without seeing the keyboard is a daunting task at first. With precise strategy on conquering touch typing, we can make typing a second nature to us.

Why touch typing is important?

It solves the bad process of not focussing on what you write rather than writing. When you are looking at the keyboard to type the letters, there is a barrier of flow.

Before starting the journey of touch typing, know your speed using 10FastFingers. Do a test and note down your speed. There one rule in this test, never look at the keyboard. (Don’t worry if you can’t type without seeing keys, just try)

  • What is WPM?
    • It is words that you are able to type in a minute, it determines the speed of your typing.
If you're in knowledge work & academia know why touch-typing is essential for academia and the other 6 benefits of touch typing. (like decreased fatigue, productivity, health-wise, etc).
  • Recommended typing goals (level wise)
    • Beginner – 30 WPM
    • Intermidiate Beginner – 50 WPM
    • Intermidiate Advanced – 60+ WPM
Type fast

There are three stages of learning in touch typing.

Level 1 – Beginner Stage

Level 1 of this guide will give you the confidence to type without looking at the keyboard at a slow pace. This will make you develop the muscle memory of each button situated on your keyboard.

  • Training period – 1 day to 1 week (depends on your pace)
  • Resource – BBC Typing (tutor based on the proven scientific method)
  • Lessons to learn – keyboard layout, finger positioning, precision and accuracy
1.1: Fundamental Learning

BBC typing is your first resource. Make sure that you follow all the sets of lessons with care. With BBC typing, you will learn the basics of layouts and finger positioning. These are the fundamentals of learning to touch type.

1.2: Precision and Accuracy

Focus only on the accuracy and precision. Not on the speed.

Precision and accuracy:
  • Build precision through the elimination of indulging in backspaces.
  • Never delete the word that went wrong.
  • If a word goes wrong refresh the test that you are currently progressing through. (habituate for accuracy)
1.3: Practice Methodology for Level 1

Practicing daily on BBC typing until you’re familiar with keys and associated fingers. Everyday practicing will grow the habit of muscle memory in your brain.

Reference:- Almena Method - video Beginner typing lesson - article

*The Speed you want to achieve is 30 WPM (Words Per Minute).

Level 2 – Intermediate – Beginner

Enhancing the ability to improve your accuracy with speed and precision. This is done through repetition practise.

  • Training period – 1 week
  • Resource – Keybr.com (Algorithm training for isolation of characters training)
  • Lessons to learn – Reduction of errors, layout memorization through repetition of words, with more precision and accuracy
2.1: Repetition of keysets

Start the second week with keybr. Keybr uses unique machine learning techniques to understand what keys you struggle with, so you need to practice and go through each keyset for a unique set of repetitions done by the website.

2.2: Reduction of tangling of fingers

Never let go of the basic finger positions. It helps in the reduction in finger tangling. Finger tangling happens when typing fast, and your fingers overlap each other.

  • The optimal typing speed goal is 50.
  • Make all the words that you type is on the appropriate finger.
    • This article about the Reduction of finger tangling will shed light on how to Reduce finger tangling with pace reduction also there’s a keyboard layout comparison with QWERTY and DVORAK
2.3: Practice Methodology for Level 2

Make sure that you practice keybr for 30 mins per day.

  • Benefits of practicing in keybr.
    • Muscle memory generation of each keys
    • Making the button domination for each finger
References:- 1. Typing motor skills: Proof of improving motor skills while touch typing. 2. Everyday Typing - Aalto University Research on how people learn to type and common misconceptions of typing like using only index fingers for typing

*The Speed you want to achieve is 50 WPM (Words Per Minute).

Level 3 – Intermidiate Advanced

Progression through word typing with punctuations included.

  • Training period – 1 week
  • Resource – Monkeytype.com (Real-world typing scenario generation)
  • Lessons to learn – Real-world typing skills, enhancing the prerequisite learning abilities from the previous levels.

Common misconceptions happens in level 3:

  • Isolation of fingers
    • The alignment of your fingers is lost, and your wrist starts to hurt.
    • Reaching out for other keys with the wrong fingers.
  • Curling of fingers
    • While typing, one finger might overlap the others due to lack of practice.
    • Overlapping can be reduced by pacing down the typing speed.
3.1: Real world typing skill

Start the third and the final week with Monkey type. This will make you practice with real words, punctuations, and capitalization of letters. Advisable customizations are 50-word tests, not recommended timer settings.

3.2: Letter recognition

Rewiring of the brain synapse to the real world letter recognition.

  • Brain synapse is the motor skills that your memory retains over time.
    • Motor skills are reflex actions that require less conscious power since mostly it is a subconscious activity.
3.3: Practice Methodology for Level 3

Practicing 30 mins a day, can do more if time permits. Be cautious to not train more than an hour.

  • The optimal typing goal is above 60 WPM
  • Make sure a reduction of use in backspaces is made.
  • If a mistake is made, delete the entire word with alt-backspace on windows and opt-delete in mac.
  • This will save you a lot of keystrokes.
Additional tips:- Learn to Type Fast (95 Words per Minute): this video covers laymen's attempt to reach high typing speeds. Check this Double your typing speed article

Note that

  • Type speed charts with 50 WPM considered above average.
  • Techniques like typing accuracy and efficiency without retaining bad habits is good foundational learning.

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