I must confess, I started learning to touch-type sometime in November 2008. But I had fallen off the wagon at the beginning of January. To compensate and motivate myself to keep at it, I decided to make this one of my top goals for 2009.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, I'm using typingweb as my teaching tool of choice. I've tried various touch-typing software,both online and offline, but somehow I just felt comfortable with typingweb. My results are posted below.
I'm not sure how the accuracy is calculated but as you can see, I was making steady progress until the end of December 2008. After that, I hovered around the 25 wpm mark.
After 2 months, I've noticed the following:
- Aiming for accuracy is much better than aiming for speed. If you try and type too fast, your error rate increases and your frustration as well. Concentrate on typing accurately, by using the assigned finger for the respective letter. Speed comes naturally as your muscles memorise the keys.
- Constant and regular practice is a must. You need to build some muscle memory and this can only occur with regular practice. My feeling is that the minimum you could do is 3 times a week. I'm aiming for everyday.
- Practice sessions should not be too long. You fingers start get tired after while. I find that taking a short 3 minute break after every 15-20 minutes helps maintain accuracy. I try and keep each session to a maximum of 1 hour
- Posture and relaxed finger placement is important. I've found that I make significant improvements when I'm relaxed and sitting correctly. My error rate seems to increase as my posture deteriorates. I wonder if expert level typists have this problem as well.
- The lessons can be frustrating but it does get better. As with all learning experiences, the first few lessons seem very difficult and you wonder if you ever going to master it. I remember this exact feeling when I was learning to drive a car. But, If you keep it at, it gets better. I found that the second week was much more enjoyable than the first.
- Review your problem keys. You need to be constructive in your learning. Doing the same mistakes over and over again, and you'll never make real progress. I find that specific letter combinations give me the most problems as opposed to individual letters. For example, my error rate increases when the word has an "i" and a "u" in it.
At some point I should actually start touch typing for my everyday documents. I hope to do this when my speed is consistently 30 wpm and above.