Colemak Keyboard Layout, 1 Month(ish) In

Typing is one of the most important aspects of my professional career.  That’s why, a month ago, I decided to change my keyboard layout to Colemak.

The first hurdle I faced was switching in December, what a weird time to switch right?  I was supposed to be scaling down and focus on relaxation, but I thought the switch to be such a huge challenge, that It wouldn’t matter when I did it.

The second hurdle: I went cold turkey. I simply switched, printed out the new layout, gave it a solid glance and memorized all the new positions and kept it next to my desk. I watched my typing speed go from 35 WPM(words per minute) to 9. And my frustration levels go into the red.

I started to use this at work immediately. I warned my team mates and just jumped in. A good thing this sort of thing is encouraged at Automattic.

Learning the new layout.

The two things that helped me the most during the first month was Type Fu and a supportive team.

With Type Fu you repeatedly type similar phrases until you “master the keys. At this point, you move on to the next level with more variation. It also has a setting to select the keys you battle with and only focus on them.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 6.12.34 AM
Doing typing drills in Type Fu

My current speed is 30 WPM. I use it as my default layout and I’m way more confident than I was a month ago. My main take away is that, if I can go from 9 -30WPM in a month then I’ll be more productive as time goes on.

I hope to increase this as I continue to practice every working day.

4 thoughts on “Colemak Keyboard Layout, 1 Month(ish) In

  1. Welcome to the ranks of Colemak – so nice to see you!

    It helped me to change my phone’s keyboard. I didn’t try to keep qwerty at all, and have lost the musclemmemory – not sure there’s a good way to keep it.


    1. All thanks to your inspiration! The tribute post is coming if I can make it to 3 months. Still use QWERTY on phone as I only use 2 fingers so muscle memory not affected so much. Also Lauren also uses my phone, it may freak her out.


  2. Man, I so want to try and switch, but going from an average of 30 wpm to 8 is going to push my frustration levels into scary zones and kill my productivity. One day…


    1. If it wasn’t for working full time and having a supportive team, I would never have made the switch. I’ll be posting all my resources in the 3 months in update, maybe you will find something there.


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