Self Improvement

One Simple Change Can Boost Your Typing Speed by 50%

Joel Lee 18-11-2015

We take our keyboards for granted, but there’s a lot you don’t know about them 5 Curious Facts You Didn’t Know About Your Keyboard We all take our keyboards for granted. Here are a few factoids to help you regain that appreciation! Read More . 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 5 Reasons Working With Computers Is Bad For You & How to Stay Healthy Working on the computer may sound like the most relaxed job in the world, but it's quite the contrary. It's very tough on your body, which is not used to this modern type of work.... Read More , 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 Curious About Colemak? Learn The Best Keyboard Layout Easily Your keyboard sucks. There, I said it. Don't take it personally -- you're not the one who invented the QWERTY layout. Read More (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 Learn A Better Keyboard Layout & Take It Everywhere With You Using Portable Keyboard Layout As some of you guys may know, I have been using an alternative keyboard layout for years. It is called Colemak, and it is brilliant. But using such a layout puts me in an awkward... Read More , 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 A History of Keyboard Layouts, Is QWERTY Lagging Behind? QWERTY is over 100 years old. It's outdated and outclassed by several alternatives, yet it's still the most popular keyboard layout in the world. How did we get here? Read More .

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

Related topics: Keyboard, Productivity, Touch Typing.

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  1. Siva
    November 20, 2017 at 1:57 am

    Some years back, when I wanted to have a diff keybd layout , I didnt knew there existed DVORAK COLEMAC etc.
    Then I modified keybd layout using Microsoft keybd layout creator - u can map any key as u wish. Mine :

    qwdy;:plkj <- qwertyuiop
    aeioustrng <- asdfghjkl
    zxcvbfm!? <- zxvbnm!?

  2. top engineering colleges of india
    June 2, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Thank you for sharing information with us

  3. Terry Findley
    November 19, 2015 at 3:04 am

    The QWERTY keyboard was designed to be slower because on the first typewriters if you typed too fast the keys would go up and stick together and you'd have to reach up and separate them. QWERTY was slow enough to keep you from typing that fast!

  4. Suomynona
    November 19, 2015 at 1:15 am

    _Decades_ ago I started to learn Dvorak. Within an hour I was beginning to type faster. Then I had to move to a different computer and couldn't type at my normal speed.

    If I'm ONLY typing on one computer or on computers I own, any keyboard remapping would be great. But I don't, and they're not always transferable, and even if I do stop and change it for me I'll have to change back again for the normal user. The time I save typing I waste again by undoing the mapping.

    QWERTY won a century ago. Supposedly it was to _slow down_ typists so they wouldn't jam the physical movable type pieces. It's standardized everywhere decades ago. Too bad, so sad; learn to type faster or switch to voice input.

  5. Anonymous
    November 18, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Stop. I don't wanna reprogram the keys in all my games from WASD to WARS...

  6. rho
    November 18, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    This is a theoretical case of technological lock-out ;)
    I'll give it a try during my hollydays though jeje

  7. Matt
    November 18, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    The big interest of colemak is that whatever language you write with, as long it is a latin alphabet, it will be faster and less painful than whatever you currently have.

    Most modern os have it in there keyboard layouts already.

    You do not need to look at your fingers.

    It is easier to learn, feel more logical under the fingers.

    And if you really want your letter caps to match the layout, you just have to buy a US keyboard and switch a few keys.

    Every one interested in typing faster and healthier should switch there key caps and use the colemak layout.

  8. Anonymous
    November 18, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Colemak may be a better/healthier keyboard but QWERTY was here first and became ubiquitous just like Linux is a better/more secure O/S but Windows was here first and became ubiquitous.

    • Anonymous
      November 18, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      Linux still has the webserver crown. Quit it with the Windows/Linux flame war; even Valve can't make Steam Linux fast enough to dethrone Windows/DirectX, just like Dvorak/Colemak can't make "more efficient" a reason to switch from QWERTY.

      • Anonymous
        November 18, 2015 at 7:37 pm

        All I'm saying is that it is not going to be easy for anybody to break the hegemony of Windows and QWERTY.

  9. Anonymous
    November 18, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Yes, just stop with other keyboards. The future is SIRI or similar, no just another typing config.

  10. Anonymous
    November 18, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Stop it. Just stop. Every keyboard at work uses QWERTY. Why are you trying to complicate my life?

    • Alan Trinder
      November 19, 2015 at 12:28 am

      Agree Michael, I saw this and thought ok for the stuff I own but what when I have to use a strange keyboard...