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This post is the definitive guide on learning how to type faster.
It’s time to discover everything you need to know about typing faster.
- Why typing fast matters
- Tips on how to type faster
- Free online typing tests
- Games that will help you to type faster
And MUCH more.
Let’s jump right in.
Why Does Typing Fast Matter?
Learning how to type faster is one of the most underrated life hacks.
It can be a complete game-changer.
Given a huge proportion of our lives are spent in front of a computer screen, mobile device or tablet, it’s important we learn how to type fast.
Shaving a few minutes off writing a long email or texting on WhatsApp may not seem overly important.
However, those minutes soon add up.
Time is being wasted when you could learn how to start typing faster.
Learning a simple skillset such as typing faster can dramatically improve other areas of your life.
Productivity, prioritisation, and time-management are all areas that can be improved.
How Much Time Can You Save By Learning To Type Fast?
According to Ratatype it’s possible to save 21 days per year by learning to type fast.
That’s 3 whole weeks every year we are wasting by not typing as fast as we can.
Let’s break that number down a little to give it some context.
Most people spend about three hours a day using a keyboard.
This includes working, writing emails, social media etc.
If you are able to increase your typing speed by just 20%, you will save up to 35 minutes every day.
That works out to be 213 hours per year.
Given that most people are active for around 10 hours a day, this equates to 21 days every year that we could get back if we learn to type fast.
The numbers are pretty incredible.
Average Typing Speed
The average typing speed is 40/41 WPM.
However, this can vary significantly depending on how you type.
For those that use just two fingers, sometimes known as ‘hunt & peck’, the average typing speed is only 27 WPM.
Those that use the 10 finger method significantly improve their average typing speed, it goes up to 50 WPM.
We will look at the 10 finger method in more detail later in the post.
Fastest Typing Speed
The fastest ever typing speed recorded was 216 WPM.
Set by Stella Pajunas in 1946 using an IBM electric typewriter.
The current modern fastest typer is Barbara Blackburn, who recorded 212 WPM at a speed typing test in 2005.
Average Typing Speed By Age
Young people under the age of 18 make up the largest group of all typing students.
They learn to type faster while in school or before getting their first job.
In this report, they break down the average typing speed by age groups.
They are split into kids and adults.
As you can see from the chart above kids who can type between 21-30 WPM are considered to have average typing speed.
Wheres for an adult, 36-45 WPM is considered to be the average typing speed.
Anything above 40 WPM for kids and 80 WPM for adults is considered to be extremely fast.
Who Types Faster?
The average typing speed for girls is 37 WPM, whereas for boys it’s 44 WPM.
This is a pretty significant 7 words per minute faster than girls.
The data seems slightly strange given that girls actually enjoy working on their typing skills more than boys do.
Typing Speed Infographic
The 10 Finger Method
The 10 finger method is the most established technique to type on a computer keyboard.
With practice and the correct finger positions, you will be able to type blindly.
Once you are able to do this you will be able to significantly improve your typing speed and lower your error rate.
Objective Of The 10 Finger Method
The objective of learning to type using the 10 finger method is that you want the handling of the keyboard to embed in your subconsciousness.
The reason being is our subconscious helps us to process more complex actions within seconds and almost automatically.
The distinct 5 finger combinations will help you to improve your typing speed and over time it will become second nature.
If you currently have your own style of typing, when you switch to the 10 finger method you will probably be slower at first.
After a fairly short amount of time, you will start to notice quick progress and you will be typing faster than your previous method in no time.
Basic Positioning For The 10 Finger Method
To type fast using the 10 finger method you need to get your basic positioning right.
Your finger will take up a fixed starting position, enabling you to reach any key you need.
Your left fingers will be positioned on keys A, S D & F.
Your right fingers are placed on J, K, L and ?.
Both thumbs are placed on the space bar.
You are able to get into the basic position without actually looking at your keyboard.
The F & J keys have a little bump. If you have never noticed this before check it out now.
This means you can feel where to put your index fingers and then place the rest of your fingers accordingly.
Fingers & Keys
As you can see from the chart below, each finger has to hit several keys.
The coloured marks show you which key and which finger correlates.
For example, you want to hit key E. Your left middle finger needs to do the work.
It starts in the basic position of key D, you reach up to hit key E and then bring it back down to the basic position on key D.
Advantages Of The 10 Finger Method
Using the 10 finger method has 3 distinct advantages which can improve your daily work on a computer.
Using this method helps to significantly improve your typing speed, saving you time, and helping you become more productive.
Since the focus is no longer on hitting single keys, you can concentrate fully on the text you’re writing.
Your brain doesn’t have to switch back and forth anymore, it will work more fluidly and efficiently.
Having a permanent eye on the keyboard doesn’t help with your posture.
By using the 10 finger method you don’t have to keep looking at your keyboard so you will naturally sit more upright and in a better position.
22 Tips On How To Type Faster
For this part of the post, we will show you lots of tips on how to type faster and more efficiently.
Let’s get to it.
1. Create a Good Working Environment
It’s important that you create a proper working and typing space.
Set yourself up somewhere which is comfortable, has good light and lots of airflow.
You should be typing at a desk or table and not working from your lap.
Making sure you are comfortable is really important if you need to work for longer periods.
2. Get Your Posture Right
The correct posture for typing is to be seated with a straight back and your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
Make sure your wrists are at the same level as your keyboard, so your fingers are able to arch over the keys easily.
Tilt your head down ever so slightly when you are looking at the screen.
The ideal distance you should be from the screen is between 45-70cm.
3. Don’t Start Slumping
It’s really important to not let your form start slipping as you are working.
Try not to let your shoulders and back hunch up and start to slouch.
Stay upright and relaxed.
Also, make sure you keep a good body position to avoid starting to get achy wrists as this will slow you down.
4. Get To Know The Keyboard
Almost all keyboards use the same layout, called the QUERTY layout.
This is the keys that make up the top left hand side of the keyboard.
There are also lots of other buttons on a keyboard that aren’t used for standard typing.
Get familiar with them and understand what all the buttons do.
5. Learn The Correct Hand Position
We looked at this earlier on in the post with the 10 finger method.
Your left fingers will be positioned on keys A, S D & F.
Your right fingers are placed on J, K, L and ?.
You work from this position to hit all the other letters on the keyboard.
6. Close Your Eyes And Say The Keys Out Loud When You Press Them
One of my favourite tips on how to type faster.
To really get to know the positions of the keys make sure you are looking away from the keyboard and saying the letters out loud as you press them.
This really helps to memorise the positions of all the keys.
Keep doing this until you no longer have to say the letters as you hit them on the keyboard.
It will become second nature.
7. Work Out Your Starting Speed
It’s important to know where you are starting from if you want to learn how to type faster.
Your typing speed is measured in words per minute (WPM).
Try out this typing test to see what speed you are currently at.
This gives you a good starting point to work from.
8. Start Slowly And Build
To learn to type fast effectively it’s a case of steadily improving your skill.
Touch typing takes some time to master so don’t rush it.
The more you work on getting the foundations right the better it will be in the long run to improving your typing speed.
9. Stop Looking At Your Hands
This is a really important tip.
You need to avoid looking at the keyboard as you type as much as possible so that your fingers are forced to learn where the keys are.
They will only do this by constant repetition.
If you are finding it hard to look away from the keyboard, try placing a cloth, or hand towel over your hands.
You might look a bit silly but if nobody is around just go for it.
10. Keep The Palm Of Your Hand Still
According to Dr. Weir from Alto University, the secret to fast typing is to keep your palm still and only move your fingers.
It helps to maintain a consistent finger pattern, which allows you to quickly and effortlessly work over longer periods.
11. Don’t Forget Your Accuracy
Obviosuly this post is about typing speed, however, it’s important not to neglect typing accuracy.
And it makes sense right. If you are not accurate you are going to have to go over your work more and this will slow you down.
By focusing on being accurate, it inevitably increases your overall typing speed.
12. Stretch Your Fingers
You might think this seems a little extreme, but bare with me.
it’s really common for your fingers and wrists to start to ache if you are typing for too long.
Much like before we go for a run we stretch, the same should be done for typing.
13. Use Shortcuts
Using shortcuts on a keyboard can save you lots of time.
It enables you to process commands faster.
See the table below for the most common shortcuts. If you want a more comprehensive guide check out this post.
14. Set Some Goals
Whenever you are looking to learn something new it’s really important to set some goals.
Think about what you want your long term typing goal to be. How will you break this down into daily actions?
Have you got a target WPM count you would like to get to.
Make your goal really specific and write it down as it increases your chances of reaching your goal.
15. Practice, Then Practice Some More
The only way you are going to master learning to type fast is by constant practice.
Make it a habit every day to consciously practice your typing, working on your speed and accuracy.
Over time you will notice an increase in your WPM.
16. Practice With Online Games
There are lots of different websites which have free typing games that you can use to practice.
They will typically give you a score and record your WPM so you can try and beat your best scores.
You can also compete with others too.
Who doesn’t like a bit of friendly competition to help you get better at something?
17. Practice By Dictation
A really great way to learn to type fast is by practising dictation.
This is basically listening to something and typing it out as you go.
Try and make it fun.
You could put on your favourite song or TV show and type away as you listen to the lyrics or words on the TV show.
18. Have Good Hardware
Fast typing requires good hardware.
There are lots of different types of keyboards, all with their own advantages and disadvantages.
However, if you really want to start typing fast you should probably consider an ergonomic keyboard.
The position of your hands on these types of keyboards is much more relaxed and designed to help you to type faster.
19. Track Your Progress
You can only see how far you’ve come if you track your progress.
This is part of the reason for suggesting to take a typing test when you start learning how to type fast.
Keep a track each week of your current WPM record.
With enough practice, over time you should see that number steadily increase.
20. Formal Training
There are lots of training programmes out there that are specifically designed to help you learn to type faster.
They could be guided sessions or specially designed games where the outcomes depend on your typing speed and accuracy.
Formal training can also hold you that little bit more accountable and push you a little further than just doing it on your own.
21. Be Patient
You may not be moving as quickly as you like.
But, stay patient.
As with most things in life, real success comes after doing something for a sustained period of time.
Keep evaluating where you at and tweak your practising as required.
22. Stick With It
Don’t give up.
Keep going and you will soon be typing really fast.
Remind yourself why you are learning to type faster.
This will drive you on in the times you may not feel like practicing.
Learn How To Type Faster On iPhone, Android and Tablets
Learning how to type faster on a keyboard is a relatively stragihtforward task.
However, learning to type fast on mobile devices is more tricky as there is no physical keyboard.
This doesn’t mean it cannot be done.
Here are some tips on how to type faster on mobile devices:
Thumbs or Index Finger?
There isn’t really a right answer to this one.
Thumbs are generally better if the device is smaller. You can use two thumbs at the same time.
Index fingers are more practical when you are holding a larger phone or tablet.
You are also less likely to make mistakes.
Voice dictation software is developing all the time and typing may not even be needed at some point in the future.
Activate it on your smartphone or tablet and your spoken words will automatically be converted to text.
You will need to double-check the spelling and edit some text so this might slow you down a bit.
Most of us use acronyms such as LOL, OMG, and BFF when texting.
However, try making shortcuts for other phrases you type more often.
This really speeds things up as you aren’t typing out whole words all the time.
This type of technology recognises your finger movements and then predicts and converts them into words.
Be careful of some 3rd party apps as there are some risks associated with keyboard loggers.
Quick Tips On How To Type Faster On iPhone, Android and Tablets
- Make sure auto-correct is on
- Put predictive text on as you type
- Ignore capital letter and apostrophes as autocorrection should fix it
- Use an external keyboard for tablets
Mistakes That Prevent You From Typing Fast
We have looked at ways that help you to type faster, however, it’s important to be aware of what can slow you down too.
Let’s have a look at some of the most common examples.
Looking At The Keyboard
Stop it – you will not get quicker at typing if you constantly look at the keyboard.
It will feel strange at first, but given enough practice looking at your keyboard when you type will be a distant memory.
Caps Lock On
It’s pretty common for people to type with caps lock on without even noticing.
First, notice when you are doing it otherwise you will have to go back and change what you have already typed.
Second, start using the shift key when you need a capital letter.
It’s quicker and you don’t run the risk of forgetting to take caps lock off.
When you are rushing you automatically fall back into your comfort zone.
In this case it will probably mean reverting back to your original way of typing.
Using Your Phone To Practice
It’s not a good idea to learn to type fast on your phone.
Learning with a proper keyboard is the only way to go if you want to increase your WPM.
Learning by doing is the best way forward.
Free Typing Lessons For Beginners
There are lots of free online typing lessons available for beginners that can teach you everything you need to know about typing faster.
Here are 3 online typing courses that are free and suitable for beginners.
Typing.com has free online typing courses for entry, intermediate, and advanced level typists.
You will need to register if you want to save your typing progress.
You are required to register before you start your typing at Good Typing.
At each stage you will be required to make less than 3% errors before you are able to proceed.
Peter’s Online Typing Course
Peter’s Online Typing Course has a full set of typing knowledge and lessons for beginners.
They recommend you study the principles for effective learning before you start the practical lessons.
Free Online Typing Tests
As we mentioned earlier in the post, it’s important to take a typing test when you first start learning to type faster.
It’s a way of measuring and monitoring your progress.
Here are three of the best free online typing tests:
One of the most popular free online typing tests.
You can complete a typing test in just 60 seconds at typingtest.com.
Speed Typing Online
Another great online typing test.
You can also use speed typing online’s tutoring and lessons to help you type faster.
Nice and simple – Key Hero is just a free online typing test.
Games On How To Type Faster
Learning to type faster doesn’t have to be all about online typing lessons and tests, it can be fun.
Luckily there are lots of games on how to type faster which you can play.
If you are enjoying something it’s more likely that you will stick to it.
Let’s take a look at some games that can help you to get faster at typing.
The Most Dangerous Writing App
This app is great for those who are facing writers block or who are working to a tight deadline.
The Most Dangerous Writing App makes your fingers type as quickly as your ideas.
If you stop for more than 5 seconds, everything you have written up until that point slowly starts to disappear.
The session times range from 3 minutes to 20 minutes, or from 75 to 1667 words.
Ztype is a shooting game with the same shooting concept as Space Invaders.
How fun does that sound!
Stages must be cleared but instead of fighting off aliens, you type out the words before missiles destroy your ship.
Every now and again, more complex words appear and if they aren’t typed in the given time, a series of letters disperse like missiles.
Epistory – Typing Chronicles
Epistory – Typing Chronicles is an adventure game of a young girl that rides a fox in a magical, fictional land.
In the game they fight off enemies that come in the form of words.
The paper craft art aesthetics of the game will have you fully engaged, along with the character’s storyline.
Daily Quote Typing
Daily Quote Typing is one of the games available to play at wordgames.com.
This website has lots of different typing games that are suitable for different levels of experience.
With Daily Quote Typing, you type out quotes by famous people such Albert Einstein and Mark Twain.
To Sum Up
You now have all the tools you need to help you start typing faster.
Refer back to this guide as and when you need to.
Remember to keep practising.
Practice really does make perfect when it comes to learning to type fast.
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