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.

WooCommerce 3.3

Today we released an updated version of WooCommerce. The most exciting feature for me is Greater theme support and customization. Them support is an extremely challenging problem simply because theme developers have so much freedom in how they can structure themes.

I take great joy in knowing that many new users will get to use WooCommerce with almost any them and have it working without thinking about custom code.

Kudos to all those who have contributed to this release.

Read more about the what’s new here:

10 things I learned from reading my 2017 journal.

Since I decided to start Journaling, I also decided that I’ll read my own Journals to keep tabs on myself. As the saying goes: “Pen and paper do not forget”.

I feel like I’ve been sleeping all the years before 2017. Feels like I haven’t done much with my life. Journaling is one way to be awakened as to never forget what I did and how I progressed.

I’m learning a lot about myself. These are the top 10 things I gathered after reading through my Journal entries in 2017.

  1. I realized how Important the art of communication is, particularly, listening.
  2. Always write slower and neater, it helps to be able to read things in future.
  3. My health routines improved dramatically.
  4. Do not Journal todo lists, they do not make sense in the future.
  5. I Must read my Journals, If you don’t you may as well stop writing. It is for self-improvement.
  6. It was a year of financial mindset shifts: zero debt, living more simplistically lastly deciding what is important and spending on that.
  7. Accountability and Routines are valuable keys to success.
  8. The words of Dave Ramsey and Jim Rohn mentored me.
  9. Hardly wrote about my walk in Christ, needs urgent attention.
  10. Having multiple, themed, journals have helped me write a lot.

I hope to continue Journaling.

Colemak Fingers

I’m switching to Colemak. It’s an alternate keyboard layout that allows you to type while your fingers travel shorter distances. You can read more about the reasons this is better than QWERTY here:

My main reason for switching is that so many others at Automattic made the switch and had only good things to say. For me it came down to comfort, speed and the joy of trying something new.

I was considering the impact that this will have on my work as a programmer, but figured there will never be a good time to do this. There will always be deadlines, things to get done and communication to be had. So now is the best time.

Also, it’s time to try something new as QWERTY hasn’t done me much good. My current typing speed and accuracy is terrible and I experience pain in my wrists. I pathetically type 30wpm with 77% accuracy. My goal is 100wpm with at least 90% accuracy.

I hope to improve accuracy and typing speed and so my productivity and reduce fatigue in my fingers.

I’ll write more about my journey.

Keeping a journal can change your life

I started some time ago, but it is now more focused and intentional.

I’ve always used a notebook but have recently started using the Dayone App. It allows for multiple journals in one app. So I have a journal for health, wealth my walk in Christ and even one for my son Judah.

I keep track of all my goals and my progress towards them. I write down lessons learnt and mistake I wish to avoid in future. I write some very private stuff, and also keep note of my bad habits.

When you journal you keep a record of your growth. The mind simply doesn’t track change like this. It doesn’t remember small changes over a long time. Just like when you see a friend after a long time, you can show they’ve changed, but they and the people around them don’t notice much. Reviewing the journal after some time is like visiting an old friend. You see all the changes in their life and can compare what you’ve written down.

Jim Rohn speak so powerfully about Journalling, this inspired me even more: