It is probably about a year ago that I decided that I was done typing by searching for the correct keys and hitting them one by one. I knew that I had to learn touch typing, but when I was watching others it looked like some sort of black magic to be able to hit all the correct keys without looking once at the keyboard.
So how long does it take?
The incredible good news is that touch typing isn’t hard to learn at all; I spent probably 3 or 4 hours in one day before being able to write without looking at the keys. Within a week of 1-2 hours per day of practicing as well as using touch to chat and do all the writing on the computer I was able to write faster than my previous speed using the search and hit method.
I cannot guarantee that you will get the same results as I am. You can do a little worse or a whole lot better, but I am positive that you will grasp the full concept of touch typing in less than a week if you practice just a few hours per day.
Why should you learn touch typing?
Basic computer skills are almost a must in the workplace now and being able to touch type at a greater speed than average means that you will be able to do more work than the average person in the same amount of time. When you start to learn touch typing you will feel like a wizard, just making the words you are thinking about appear on the screen just by using skill and muscle memory. When you start to really master touch typing you don’t even have to look at the screen anymore, you can pay full attention in a class or lecture while writing comprehensive notes on your computer without looking. I’m not completely there yet but I am getting real close for sure.
Where can I learn touch typing?
I have tried quite a few different typing programs, most of them are online based and the one I found the most useful is totally free and enabled me to learn the basics of touch typing in less than a week. Typing.com is a fantastic piece of software that will enable you to start from absolute scratch and improve in giant leaps in a very short time. They have different typing tests and games that you can do and when you are registered you can also print a certificate that states your typing speed in words per minute as well as your accuracy percentage. I recommend that you start by taking a few typing tests before you start and then again a few more after the one week is over so that you can see just how much you have improved.
Keys for success
Learning to touch type is just like learning any other skill, and like any other skill you will get the greatest results if you deconstruct the skill so that you can focus on the most important parts first so that you experience that initial mastery that motivates you to continue. Typing.com does an amazing job in doing this deconstruction for you and helping you along the right track. The other key to success is to go cold turkey on your previous typing technique and use touch typing for all your typing from now on. It will be painfully slow and awkward the first couple of days, but when you really immerse yourself in a skill like this you will experience massive gains in skill in comparison to if you where just practicing with the online course.
Other tools that can help
Another great free test you could try online is typingtest.com, you can choose from different types of categories in which to type and then do tests of different lengths. They also have a course but I have not tried it so I would not feel confident in recommending it.
One tool that do cost a bit of money is Das Keyboard, it is a high quality mechanical keyboard with a twist; it has no signs and letters on the keys! This will help you gain fluency in typing in the shortest time possible because there is no reason for you to look at the keys anymore. It costs a little, but it is well worth the investment for a great keyboard and also looks amazing and clean on your desk.
The rest is up to you!
In order for you to start increasing your typing speed and your fluency in touch typing you need to practice, practice and then practice some more. Try to find something that makes sure that you have to type every day. This could be web chatting with your family and friends, writing that book you always wanted to write, taking great notes or anything else that sparks your motivation. It will be slow and demanding at first, but I promise you that you will increase your skills faster than you could ever have imagined.
I wish you all the luck you can get and I look forward to hear how you did in your first week and beyond.