Learning a new keyboard layout

Recently I started learning a new keyboard layout: I’m a fast enough typist on QWERTY (at least for my needs: somewhere around 80 WPM average, 110 max), but I have some terrible habits!

I found when I started thinking about it that I only actually use about 6 or at most 8 fingers and my hands stay nowhere near the home row… Trying to alter existing muscle memory was pretty tough, but strangely I found it much easier to learn a whole new layout.

I fired up my typing tutor of choice: keybr.com, and switched the keyboard over to Workman layout. You can read more about the layout and the design at workmanlayout.com.

Progress has been pretty good - I’ve typed all this in the layout, and although its slower its doable! According to the stats on the website I’ve spent a total of 8 hours 45 minutes training, and in a few minutes training this afternoon has me at a top speed of 81 WPM and an average of 65 WPM. Not bad!

The hardest part for me has been getting used to Vim in a new layout - no matter that I know the commands are all verbs, my brain remembers them in their QWERTY places! Very confusing.

I’m going to persevere with it and see what sort of speeds I can get up to, I’m hoping that if I can stick to typing “properly” and keeping my fingers on the home row then I should be able to get way faster than I was before! I’ll try and update this with progress in a few months!