How to Get an Extra 10 Minutes Out of Every Work Day

Being able to type will help you get a job, but once you have that job you need to keep it and, if possible, advance in your field and career. One of the best ways of ensuring that you’re always in mind for promotion is to be extremely efficient. If you’ve ever stayed late at work to finish up a task, you know how valuable extra time is. Well, if you’re an excellent typist, the time you save with that skill can give you 10 “extra” minutes – at a minimum – to devote to other things. In fact, some estimates put the time saved by expert typing skills at over two hours every day! Just think of what you could do with two full hours of additional productivity.

To get those expert skills once you’re familiar with keyboard basics, you can concentrate on building your touch typing speed and accuracy. Typesy’s Speed Building Course and Accuracy Building Course don’t take long to complete, and they are an excellent way to quickly improve speed and accuracy. The courses are made up of several computer generated activities accompanied by instructions that guide you through the steps. All you have to do is follow along. You can repeat the courses as many times as you like; each time you complete them your speed and accuracy will improve.

Expert Typing Tips From Professional Typists

If you’re already a practiced touch typist, and want to focus on speed and/or accuracy, Typesy accommodates your learning needs as well. Its Advanced Typing Course is actually a collection of six mini-courses that focus on developing specific touch typing skills. These mini courses use more difficult words and focus on developing automatic proficiency when typing vowels combinations and diphthongs, uncommon consonants, short but difficult words, words with doubled letters, common phrases, and practice with prefixes and suffixes.

In each of these mini-courses, you’ll learn and practice many of the key combinations you’ll likely encounter while touch typing. For example, the exercises in the “vowels” course cover the vowel combinations A-I and O-U, plus several other common combinations. In the advanced typing course on consonants, you’ll practice typing words that begin with or include frequently-occurring consonant blends such as C-H, N-T, and others.

Believe it or not, although there are over 60 keys on the typical QWERTY keyboard, you’ll find you frequently use just a fraction of them when you type. Think about it. Very few words begin with or include the letters Z, Q, X or V. But there are lots of words that include the G-H-T consonant blend, like “night.” Plus, nearly every word you type will include at least one vowel.

Because you’ll touch type certain letter combinations more than others, it makes sense to get more practice typing words that include the more frequently used letter combinations. And that is exactly what the six Advanced Typing mini-courses are designed to help you do.

When you allocate sufficient time to practice the exercises included in these Advanced Typing Courses, both your touch typing speed and accuracy should increase quickly.

The World’s Fastest Typist – Could It Be You?

Typing 45 to 50 words per minute (wpm) might help you meet the minimum requirements for an office job, but it won’t help you set any world records for typing speed. People have probably been competing for the title of “world’s fastest typist” ever since the typewriter was invented, but until the machinery of the typewriter was improved to eliminate most of the moving parts, real speed wasn’t possible. The first official speed records were set in the 1940s by Stella Pajunas, who traveled the world showing people how the electric typewriter could help them achieve speed and efficiency. According to the September 16, 1947 issue of The Montreal Gazette, Pajunas showed off her speed by demonstrating the ability to type 163 words in one minute, and then told the audience that “rhythm, posture and touch are the secret of speed and accuracy in typewriting.”

As cited in the Guinness Book of World Records, Pajunas was clocked at 216wpm in 1946 in one of these short sessions, but the current official typing speed record is held by Barbara Blackburn, who was able to type steadily at a rate of 150-160wpm with a top speed over over 200wpm. Blackburn used a Dvorak keyboard, rather than a standard QWERTY keyboard, but although there are strong supporters of the Dvorak layout, it’s never really caught on. That means if you’re looking strictly at making a living by winning speed awards (and there aren’t many, nor do they pay well) you might go for the Dvorak keyboard, but if you need to bring in a paycheck at any other job, you’d better stick with the standard QWERTY when you learn to touch type.

Back in 2010 the “Typesy Championship” was held both online and at the SXSW (South By Southwest) festival in Austin, Texas. The winner was Sean Wrona, who managed to type 256 words per minute on another online site, but at the festival averaged 163wpm. Obviously 163wpm is an achievable goal! If you’re using the Typesy software system, you can program your goal in and let the software help you track your progress towards that number. If you’re really aiming high, put 165wpm as your target goal – but only if you’re already a good typist with a speed of no less than 50wpm. If you’re just starting, it will take time for you to build your skill and accuracy, so set a lower goal and then keep raising it as you improve. But no matter where you’re starting, practice and the application of good typing techniques will get you the typing speed you need.

Home Alone: Why Hand Position Matters

When you’re touch typing, the Home Row is where the four fingers of your left hand and the four fingers of your right hand will remain whenever they are not in use. Positioning your fingers on the Home Row is always the starting position whenever you begin a touch typing session. So get into the habit of placing these eight fingers on the eight corresponding keys on the Home Row. Here’s where your fingers should be when they’re properly positioned in “rest” mode:

The little finger on your left hand is on the letter A.
The left-hand ring finger is on the letter S.
The left-hand second finger is on the letter D.
The left-hand index finger is on the letter F.
The little finger on your right hand is on the semicolon.
The right-hand ring finger is on the letter L.
The right-hand second finger is on the letter K.
The right-hand index finger is on the letter J.

Rest both of your thumbs on the space bar. You can use either thumb to press the space bar. Some people use only one thumb (for example their left), while others use a combination. This is really a matter of personal preference.

If you’re new to typing, take some time to get comfortable with the location of the Home Row keys and proper Home Row finger placement. When your hands learn to automatically return to this position, you’ll be able to accurately position your fingers to hit the correct keys when typing. If your hands are off to one side, you might think you’re reaching for the right key, but you’ll be missing it and will type the letter or number to its left or right instead. Some QWERTY keyboards have a little raised bump on the “F” and “J” keys. The bumps make it easier to feel your way onto the correct index finger home keys. Once your index fingers learn the location of the correct Home Keys, placing your remaining fingers on their proper keys is simple.

Note: If you feel cramped in the home row position, try spreading your fingers a little. Space can be a problem with a smaller netbook or laptop keyboard.

A Simple Tip For Getting The Most Out Of Your Day

If you’re like most people, you never have enough time during the day to get everything accomplished. In fact, if you work in an office and have responsibilities at home as well, you’re probably always running behind. There’s a simple solution to this time management problem, and it’s the ability to touch type. Just think of the amount of time you waste if you have a job that requires you to sit all day and type reports, business letters, and other correspondence and you can’t touch type! Not being able to touch type can also adversely affect students who need to turn in type-written homework assignments by a certain deadline.

In fact, no matter your profession, lacking this one specific skill can translate into a significant waste of time every single day. This is true for every person who has not developed touch typing skills.

Here’s something else that further compounds the amount of time lost. During all the time you spend focused on the keyboard while typing, you aren’t able to look at your computer monitor (or piece of paper if you’re actually typing on a typewriter!) to see what you’ve typed.

If you don’t look at the screen to see what you’ve typed, you have no way of knowing the accuracy of what you’ve typed until you stop typing and check. If you’ve made errors, which you undoubtedly have, you will need to go back and correct those errors. This may take just a few minutes, but again, those few minutes all get added into your pool of wasted time.

If you want to save time every day and increase your efficiency at work, then you need to learn how to touch type.

3 Things You Need to Reach Your Goals

As we mentioned in a previous post, it’s true that setting a goal is an important first step. But goal setting is easy. Just think how many times you have said, “I want to quit smoking” or “I want to lose weight” or “I want a better paying job.” These are all goals that people set.

Defining a goal, whether it is quitting smoking or losing weight or something else, is the first step in reaching that goal. The problem is this: that’s as far as most people get. And when they don’t back up their words with actions, they continually fail to meet their goals.

Once you have set a goal, there are three things you need in order to actually achieve that goal.

#1: Commitment
In order to reach your goals, you need commitment. In addition, you also need to be confident that you are committed to working towards achieving your goal. When you feel a strong commitment towards achieving your goal, it is much easier to make necessary sacrifices, overcome obstacles, effectively deal with conflict, and devote yourself to the effort.

Achieving your touch typing goal, whether it is speed or accuracy or both, most likely will require certain sacrifices. You’ll need time to practice, and if your schedule is already full, you will need to decide what you will sacrifice, temporarily, in order to free up time to practice. Your actions must display a commitment to being ready and willing to make those sacrifices, whatever they are. Until you are committed, it will not be possible to achieve your goal.

#2: Time
Besides commitment, you also need to create a timeline for achieving your goal. A timeline is crucial to keeping your goal on track. Obviously, if you are starting out with no previous typing experience other than being able to “hunt-and peck,” it will take you longer to achieve your goal than it might for someone who is more familiar with keyboard layout.

If you want to begin applying for a new job by a certain date, you can use that date as a deadline for accomplishing your goal. Then you can work backwards from that deadline when identifying the dates by which you plan to achieve smaller accomplishments that move you towards your ultimate goal.

Defining a timeline is also going to help in another important way. It’ll make it easier to gauge the amount of time you will need to spend each day working towards your goal so you can turn that goal into reality.

#3: Planning
In order to meet your goal, you’ll need to develop a plan of action for overcoming the obstacles you’re likely to encounter. If you’re as busy as most people are, one of your biggest obstacles will likely be finding time to use Typesy to develop your touch typing skills. We’re all so busy juggling our jobs, our families, and so many other daily chores and responsibilities that finding time to improve ourselves often falls to the bottom of the priority list. But when you believe strongly in your goal, you will find a way to overcome whatever obstacles stand in the way of your success.

How to Turn Basic Typing Abilities Into Advanced Skills

Whether you’re starting at the very beginning or just re-training yourself to touch type, you’ll eventually complete all the beginner level exercises available. Once you’re satisfied with what you have accomplished, you can move on to advanced courses where you can focus on activities designed to build upon the basics and help you improve both your touch typing speed and accuracy.

Once your basic training is complete, your fingers know where they’re supposed to be positioned on the home row, and you can type all of the required letters in words and sentences – including punctuation – using the proper fingers, and you rarely need to peek at the keyboard to locate the keys you need. With that basic skill set, you can turn to working on building touch typing speed and touch typing accuracy.

You’ll be happy to know that Typesy offers focused instruction in specific advanced skill building areas. Included in the advanced course are specially designed “fast typing tonics” for working with the regular keyboard, the numeric keypad, and more. Typesy’s Fast Typing Tonics are designed as quick refresher courses that take fifteen minutes or less to complete so you can work on them whenever you have spare time.

Typesy also offers an advanced free study section. This lets you select from a number of activities and games, and allows you to select the text that you would like to practice with. The types of practice text you can choose from include drills, stories, and other types of text blocks.

Note: Even if you can already touch type, you should complete the speed and accuracy tests in Typesy. Typesy may also require you to complete typing speed and accuracy tests so it can track this information for you.

Multimedia and Making Things Fun: The Typesy Advantage

We all know that all work and no play would make learning feel like a chore. The people that designed Typesy know this, too which is why they’ve included multiple fun typing games. You’ll enjoy playing these games, and while you play, you’ll be working towards the goals you’ve set for improving speed and accuracy. The games train your eyes, your fingers, and your brain to quickly recognize and accurately type a series of words, letters, symbols, and numbers. Unlike standard typing tests, these games allow you to have fun while you’re working on your typing skills. We’ll bet you won’t even realize how much time you’re spending playing these games! But it’s not a waste of time, like some games: each typing game hones your touch typing skills effectively and easily. You’ll find that even children enjoy learning how to touch type when these fun games are part of the program!

Speaking of learning, Typesy is the only touch typing skill builder that includes Wiki Connect Technology. This proprietary technology lets you practice typing with any article on Wikipedia, or any other wiki site. It’s a great way to improve your typing while discovering amazing facts. Compared to other typing courses that use canned texts that you soon get bored with, you’ll always be able to use new material to enhance your typing capabilities.

As a matter of fact, Typesy’s Advanced Text Management feature lets you import text or exercises from a variety of sources. That means you can make your own typing exercises and then import them into Typesy. The import process is quick and easy and offers another creative way for you to challenge yourself.

Typesy even offers a module that lets you practice typing to dictation, which is a valuable skill to learn for many jobs, especially high-paying ones like medical or legal transcription.

Do You Know Where Your Keys Are?

In some respects, getting to know your keyboard is probably the single most important thing you can do before starting work on your touch typing skills. Because touch typing is the ability to type the correct letters in the correct order using the correct symbols, numbers and/or punctuation – without the need to actually look at the keyboard in order to locate the desired keys – you’ll need to memorize the layout of your keyboard. Depending on where you live and whether you use a desktop computer or a laptop, you may find variations in keyboard layout.

The letters of the alphabet typically take up a total of three rows on a standard computer keyboard. The row in the center of these three rows is referred to as the “home” row and it is where the “home row” keys are located. The home row keys consist of letters and several important punctuation marks. As you learn more about touch typing, you will start to understand the need to familiarize your fingers with these home row keys.

The rows immediately above and immediately below the home row also consist of letters, along with other punctuation marks, the Tab key, the Cap Lock key, the Enter key (formerly the “Return” key on a typewriter), the Shift key, and other symbols that are used primarily for programming.

Directly above the top row of letter keys sits a row of keys that displays the digits 1 through 0 from left to right. You’ll notice that each of these keys also displays a symbol above each of the digits. For example, above the four is the dollar sign. The left and the right parentheses are displayed above the digits nine and zero respectively. You’ll also notice a few other keys on this row that display only symbols but no digits. Over to the far right is the frequently used Backspace key.

The top row on the keyboard is where you will find the function keys. The function or functions that each key performs depends upon the software that is currently being used. The instruction manual for the particular program or software will define the functionality of each function key. Since these function keys have no relevance to touch typing, you don’t need to be concerned with them when you’re working on your typing skills.

Using Ergonomics to Improve Your Typing Ability

You may have heard the term “ergonomics” and may even be convinced of its value. But have you actually taken steps to set up an ergonomically-correct workspace, either at home or at your office or both?

When it comes to ergonomics for computer users, many factors are involved, including decisions made on selection and placement of common components like a computer desk, computer monitor, and chair. However, when thinking about ergonomics, it’s also important to consider your mouse, the height and position of your keyboard and monitor, ambient lighting, glare, document holders, and even leg and foot support. When all of these components are set up just right, you can lower your risk of injury, strain, fatigue – and tension!

Before designing an ergonomical work space, remember that there isn’t any “one-size-fits-all” guideline. Every computer user is different, both physically and in how each uses his or her computer. That means work space ergonomics is really more about achieving certain goals.

For example, you can reduce neck tension by ensuring your elbows are properly supported. Here, proper elbow support is the goal. Making adjustments to your chair’s height until your elbows are properly supported is one way to achieve that goal.

Something you may want to invest in, especially if you will do a lot of touch typing, is a document holder. This desk accessory holds your working documents close to your monitor. In fact, the ideal place to put a document holder is right beside the monitor so your source document is at the same distance and height as your monitor. Proper positioning of source documents helps reduce eye strain, headaches, and fatigue, and will keep you from putting your head and neck in awkward positions.

It’s important to consider ergonomics when setting up your workspace. Many employers are open to suggestions on how your desk area should be set up in order to suit your body and work style. After all, they want to keep you at work, not out with back pains or stress injuries! In fact, many offices will pay for special keyboards, mouse components, and chairs in order to benefit their employees.

Note: If you experience musculoskeletal pain and discomfort now, or while completing the Typesy Course, you may need to seek professional help. Only someone with the proper training can accurately diagnosis the source of your pain or discomfort and recommend a treatment plan that may or may not include ergonomics.