Monday, December 14, 2009

A better way to type?

Have you ever asked yourself if there is better way to type then Qwerty?

For this post, I wanted to mention the keyboard layout I use: Dvorak.

I first stumbled across the different layout thanks to Forward Motion for Writers, and decided to make the switch from Qwerty back in May of 2006. The beauty of Dvorak, is that it is designed with the English language and human physiology in mind. Letters that are most often used are in the home row, the next most used are in the upper row, while the least used are in the bottom row. Also, because it's easier to move from pinky to index finger, letters are arranged with that in mind. Try drumming your fingers on the table, which is more natural, pinky to to index, or starting with your index?

What does Dvorak have to do with my writing blog? Well, aside from typing everything sans-qwerty, it's how I get my words down from keyboard into MS Word. Except for random notes, I work primarily on the computer. I type much faster than I (legibly) hand write.

I didn't notice much of difference right away, and some slow typing frustrating times. My productivity was down a little while I was relearning to type, but it was an investment in my future writing career. I have 7 novels planned currently, with more ideas hanging around waiting their turns.

Maybe not better, as that's subjective, but for me Dvorak feels more natural then Qwerty ever did. I can have a 6,000 word day now without my fingers feeling weird. On typing tests I hit around 60 WPM now, which I'm not sure how fast I was with Qwerty minute wise. I knew from various Novembers that I can hit 1k words an hour pretty easily. Once I hit that with Dvorak I knew my switch over was complete.

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