We take our keyboards for granted, but there’s a lot you don’t know about them. For example, did you know that QWERTY is incredibly inefficient as a keyboard layout? If you have a repetitive stress injury like carpal tunnel syndrome, QWERTY could exacerbate it.
When typing the most common words in English, the Colemak layout is more than 50% faster. It optimizes key placement so that your fingers travel less — not only do you type faster, but you reduce the repetitive stress on your wrists.
And best of all, Colemak is super easy to learn.
Some people think it isn’t worth the effort to relearn how to type, but Colemak shares much of the same layout as QWERTY so the transition isn’t very difficult. In fact, you only have to relearn 17 keys — yet these 17 keys make all the difference in the world.
Here’s the good news: You don’t have to dive in cold turkey. Since it’s based on QWERTY, you can switch a few keys at a time, which allows you to progress in stages. This is called the transitional Colemak method (or “tarmak”) and it really works.
Or you could just dive in cold turkey and learn it all in 10 to 20 hours of serious practice. It’s well worth the time investment. All you need is Portable Keyboard Layout, which makes it easy to toggle your computer between QWERTY and Colemak layouts.
Fun fact: Despite how inefficient the QWERTY layout is, the AZERTY layout is even 5% worse! Otherwise, QWERTY truly is the most inefficient way to go.
Do you use Colemak? What would it take to convince you to try it out? Let us know in the comments!
Image Credit: Typing on Laptop by jannoon028 via Shutterstock