Touch-typing is a skill that is becoming more and more valuable as the world becomes more digital.
Being able to type faster has made writing blog posts, articles, university assignments, and reports so much easier and faster for me.
In 2011, during year 11, I decided to teach myself to touch-type. I wasn’t a particularly slow typist – using a few fingers and looking down at the keyboard constantly – I just really wanted to learn this skill and make everything easier.
The process was very slow at first, trying to remember where the keys are, constantly having to hit backspace and re-type a word, and typing slower than I normally would for months on end.
This was frustrating, and at times I gave up and reverted back to my old typing habits. But I persisted, and once I made some solid progress, I knew there was no going back.
The Methods I Used
My method of learning to touch-type may not be traditional.
I tried some touch-typing courses online and followed some exercises like repeating aaaa ssss dddd ffff over and over again.
While they may have helped, this wasn’t fun and I lost interest pretty quickly.
I’m unsure how, but I stumbled upon a website called typeracer. On this website, you can compete against other users as you type out a section, quote, paragraph, or sentence of a book, song, or movie. This was much more fun and I loved how it kept a record of your stats.
Similar to typeracer, I also used Nitro Type which has a very similar format and layout.
Lastly, there was 10 Fast Fingers which gave you one minute to type out a random mixture of the most common English words (with no need to fix typing errors or punctuation).
I spent hours on these websites, slowly improving my typing speed. While I can’t remember all of my different accounts and logins, from what I can access, I have 1,500+ races on typeracer, 270 races on Nitro Type, and 115 on 10 Fast Fingers.
My starting typing speed was around 20 words per minute. After 2 years of practicing every now and then, I was able to hit a record of 82 words per minute! A year later, I could type at an average of 80 words per minute.
And in 2015, 4 years after starting, I was able to reach my goal of typing at 100 words per minute!
After reaching 100 words per minute, I haven’t made much progress, but I’m really happy with my typing ability and speed. Increasing my speed any further at this point will require some deliberate practice and actively working to improve.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to type as fast as Sean Wrona (with a personal best of 271 words per minute), and that’s perfectly okay.
I’m super grateful for my current touch-typing ability, which has helped me with every writing task I’ve had (including this blog post). I may look further into improving my typing speed, perhaps as a 30-day challenge.