Switching to Colemak (part 1) – The reasoning

This is going to be probably the first part of a multi-part on my attempt to switch to the Colemak layout.

Why Colemak?

My reasoning to change keyboard layouts has to do with the amount of typing I really have to do every day. I can write consistently around 50-55 words per minute on a traditional QWERTY keyboard and this speed was slow for the amount of writing I did in my PhD thesis. As that is finished, I decided to invest some time in learning a better (and faster) keyboard layout.

I want a layout that is less stressful on my hands (not getting younger…) and is easy to transition to. After reading a lot about alternative keyboard layouts I decided to try out Colemak.

The main reason I adopted Colemak instead of Dvorak (another popular choice) was to make the transition from qwerty easy. There are fewer changes (17) to get used to and traditional shortcuts like copy and paste are in the same place.

My main concern right now is with the time it will take me to get at least to a similar speed as the old layout. I started practicing using the fabulous Amphtype software a few days ago. My idea is to read a book by writing it on the software. Right now my speed is around 18 wpm and my most used key is the backspace, but at least I have already memorised the layout.

By the way, this post was already written in Colemak. I’d love to hear about your experiences with different layouts and if you have any tips on how to improve the speed, please send them. I promise to keep you updated on my progress with the Colemak.