Type Faster: Touch Typing for Beginners

Dean Paarman
March 19, 2021

Did you know that you can increase your typing speed in a really short space of time? Many people simply put up with the speed at which they type, because they think it's going to take far too long to improve and be far too bothersome to correct old habits.

I'm sure you are pretty efficient at typing as you are right now. I thought I was too.

So don't fix what ain't broken, right?


Learning to type faster is a MAJOR improvement to your life. This is especially true if you are a knowledge/online/computer worker, like me. This is an opportunity for you to make a permanent life changing improvement, with a once-off learning window.

The modern day sword.

The benefits of committing to learn faster typing are well worth it.

  • You will save loads of time.
  • Improve your focus and be more productive.
  • You will even improve your posture.

And all of this can be yours within 2 to 3 months. I know you can do it, because I did it.

At 34 years old I may not be old, but I have been using a keyboard for the better part of 25 years. So yes, you can call me an old dog, and yes, even I could learn a new trick.

My typing really sucked

A few months ago the ikario team was put to doing a typing speed-test.

Turns out I was the slowest typer on the ikario team, by far. Everyone else was dancing between 60 WPM (Words Per Minute) and 100 WPM. I was averaging 32 WMP.

I had absolutely no idea I was that slow. The next slowest person was almost twice as fast as me. Think about it, I was taking almost twice as long to write messages, emails and blog post.

The two finger typer, paused to look up.

I've been doing a lot of typing over the last decade and it's scary to think how much time I could have saved if I had just dedicated a little bit of focus to speeding up my typing.

So as a result of my appalling speed-tests, I committed to learning how to touch type.

Typing Speed Test

Just for your information we use a website called
10 Fast Fingers

You are welcome to test your speed there and share your results with us in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

Introducing Touch Typing

Touch Typing simply refers to the use of all ten fingers on the keyboard, while maintaining eye contact with the screen. My problem was not that I don't know where the keys are, it was simply that I was looking down at the keyboard all the time.

The reason I was looking down is because of the use of only a few fingers that have to move around too much. When you use predominantly your index fingers it is very hard to stay focussed on your monitor and consistently fly from letter to letter without mistakes.

Now forget letters and try whole word sequences. During my speed typing tests I would have to look at the screen, memorise 4 to 6 words, look down, type them out, then look up and memorise another 4 to 6 words. The physical and mental effort is way more strenuous than maintaining a fixed gaze at my screen slowly typing in real-time.

With touch typing...

  • Your hands and fingers move less & are faster in a more relaxed state.
  • Your neck and back remain upright helping avoid long term bad posture.

Step 1: Learn the basics

I didn't have a clue where to place my fingers, so trying to do the speed-typing test was not a good place to start. I needed to learn all the basics.

You can use this link above to go straight to the first lessons for beginners.Here they will introduce the finger placements and take you through learning sequences to get you going. I found these exercises quite fun.

Result:  I dedicated one hour a day for 4 days. Within a single week I had mapped out the entire keyboard and was able to type, albeit very slowly, without looking at the keyboard. I was over the moon.

Step 2: Focus on accuracy, not speed

Next I returned to 10 Fast Fingers and resumed my speed typing tests. On my very first attempt I managed to get 5 WPM. I was really happy with this result, because I had 100% accuracy. That is first prize.

When you are learning touch typing I cannot emphasise enough how important accuracy is over speed. The idea is that you want to imprint the correct muscle memory. You are starting afresh and must avoid bad habits. Trying to go fast and making mistakes that require you to repeatedly be reaching for the backspace key, is absolutely crucial to avoid. You need to aim for accuracy, even if you are typing at snail speed.

The principal behind Step 2 is simple:
 "Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast."

Result: After my second run I was up to 7 WPM. Then 8. My speed just naturally picked up as I went along. By the end of my first session I had worked up to 10WPM. My second session reached 12WPM. By the third I was on 15, but I was making mistakes again. So I had to slow down.

Step 3: Blackout the Keyboard

I continued doing tests for at least 10 minutes a day for about 2 weeks. I reached 15WPM, but then started to stagnate on about 18 WPM. Even after another week I couldn't go faster than 18 to 20WPM without severely compromising my accuracy. I felt stuck.

Shane made the recommendation that I spray paint my keyboard black. This way I would be forced to adopt the touch typing method all the time. The problem was that I was only using it during practice and resuming my old method the rest of the time.

Result: I'm quite proud to say that this post was written with a blacked out keyboard (it took way longer than I wish to admit). It was painfully difficult at first, but soon my typing speed started to pick up speed again. After a week of this I broke the 22WPM target I had set for myself.

Step 4: Setting Bigger Goals

Right now I'm still moving forward fairly steadily. I have set myself the goal of reaching 50WPM within another month. In my mind this was something that was going to take forever, be extremely boring and tedious.

Quite the opposite was true. It was fun, and with only 10mins a day I was able to make immense progress within a single month. Since completing this phase I have been introduced to some new tools that could have helped speed up my process even more.

I am currently working with another two platforms which look like they are having even more amazing results. I look forward to sharing my progress with you in an update very soon.

If you would like to start your touch typing journey I suggest you learn the basics on Touch Typing Tutor. Wishing you all the best.

What about Keyboards?

Keyboards certainly also play a role in optimising your typing speed even further. The main point to take away here is that you should not be putting up with faulty, sticky or lagging keys. A keyboard must be responsive to get the best results.

In the video Shane dedicates a bit of time to showing you the different keyboards he has used in the past. If you would like to know more about keyboards and what his recommendations are please leave a comment below and we will dedicate a post to this subject.

Dean Paarman

About the author

Enthusiastic, hungry for skills, easily motivated and passionate about people, the outdoors and creative projects.

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  • What do you call people who like taking tests? Well, I’m one of them. And a typing test? I couldn’t wait! Had to force myself a little to read the blog and watch the video first. 😀

    I took the test in two languages (English and my mothertongue Dutch): that makes quite the difference!

    Round 1 English: 59 WPM (297 keystrokes), 96,43% accuracy
    Round 2 English: 61 WPM (306 keystrokes), 98,71% accuracy

    Round 1 Dutch: 86 WPM (431 keystrokes), 99,54% accuracy
    Round 2 Dutch: 90 WPM (452 keystrokes), 100% accuracy – woohoo!! 🙂

    Small tip, in case you’re still doing it: in the video I saw you type with ‘locked’ knuckels. That compromises your range of motion big time. Shane uses his knuckels the right way: as the starting point. If you use your hands like that, you can even be a bit of a lazy typist (resting the palms of your hands on your keyboard or desk a lot of the time) and still maintain speed and accuracy.

    Keep on having fun typing!!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Nice results! Thank you for sharing.

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