2021 Challenge 4: Learning Touch Typing (typing with ten fingers)

2021 Challenge 4: Learning Touch Typing (typing with ten fingers)

Why did I not learn Touch Typing earlier?

The short answer is – I didn’t see the need for the skill until now. When I wrote my big written assignment in school, it was all done by hand. I have been hacking along fine as a hunt and peck typist until now. However, when I started publishing articles, the pain became clearer that touch typing was worth learning. 

I guess I felt a bit like this dog earlier. It did not hurt enough for me to do something about it until now.

What is the average typing speed and how much could I improve?

According to typing.com, the average typing speed when using only 2 fingers is 27 WPM (words per minute) when copying, and 37 WPM when typing from memory. The average typing speed using touch typing is 40 to 60 WPM. 

For example, if you write 10 emails a day for work, it might take you around 2 hours to write these emails using just two fingers at a rate of 27 WPM. It would take closer to 1 hour to write the same exact emails if you were touch typing at a speed of 50 WPM. That adds up to a full hour of extra time every day!

Looking beyond just the average typing speed, exceptionally fast hunt and peck typists can reach up to 70 WPM while the fastest touch typists can break 100 WPM. This means that as you get faster, the speed disparity between 2 finger typing and touch typing only grows. (Source: https://www.typing.com/blog/hunt-and-peck)

As we are all different and I have been hammering away on my keyboard all day for 20 years, I did a number of speed tests. 

Copying I hit on average 26 WPM (typing errors corrected while typing) 
Writing from memory I hit on average … wait for it … 89 WPM (2 typing error on average)

Wow! That is actually quite a lot faster than the average 37 WPM and much faster than the average 40 – 60 WPM for touch typing. Several times I went over 90 WPM. I am not sure I trust those statistics in the above averages. Look at this hunt and peck typist for example. Now THAT is incredibly fast!

In any case, it seems like I am in the fast hunt and peck typist category. But I have had an exceptional amount of practice typing the not-so-optimal way. So it is even worth learning for me? I think it is, because I am slower when it comes to copying directly, writing from notes, or e.g. writing from a blackboard. Any activity that requires me to look away from my keyboard. It will take me a lot of time to reach my current hunt and peck from memory speed with touch typing, but I could beat my copy speed of 26 WPM in the foreseeable future. 

29-03-2021 Status after three months (10 minutes per day)

Still quite slow, but I am not even through the alphabet yet. I do one exercise a day and it takes about 10 minutes. A small consistent habit that I am sure will pay off over time. I am using the free online tool typingstudy.com to learn.

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