Should you learn it? Depends... how often are you around a computer? Many people take speed-typing for granted. It's a very useful skill, like speed-reading. Once you master it, doing it becomes intuition, better than second-nature. You don't have to think about it.
Let me define "mastering it": If you can type at least 60 wpm, all over the keyboard with ease (without looking and without concentrating), then you've mastered it. I did it through years and years of practice, beginning with my first computer. You can too.
Basics of the QWERTY Keyboard
It's like learning a new musical instrument. You have to know where to put your fingers.
This is the Home Row. It's the only thing I remember about learning to type. ALWAYS begin there. After you touch any key outside of Home Row, ALWAYS go back there.
This is the only thing you need to know. Now all you need is practice. The rest is meaningless fluff. Since your left pinky starts on A, and you always go back to Home Row as instructed, then your left pinky will naturally be finger that taps Q or Z as needed. You'll naturally use the most convenient fingers necessary to get back to Home Row as quickly as possible.
Why does the index finger of the right hand start on J instead of H? The right hand has better reach, to tap the far right keys such as -, =, [, ], and \
Basics of the Numpad
Instead of reaching for numbers on the QWERTY keyboard, it'd be more accurate to use the often overlooked Numpad.
This is the Home Row of the numeric keypad. Always begin there. Always end there. Practice. That's all you need to know.
Home Row is located in the center of the Numpad, 456 instead of 123 or 789, so that your fingers will have the smallest reach. It is more accurate to use the numpad for numbers, instead of the QWERTY keyboard, because the you don't need to reach for numbers. The higher the reach, the higher the inaccuracy.
The Shifty key
Never use Caps Lock. Never use the right-hand Shift key.
I'm not ambidextrous; I strongly favor the right hand. But I always Shift with the left pinky. Since I don't use Caps Lock, this format changes my Home Row for the duration of the capital letters so that I can hold down Shift while typing other characters. Look:
It saves time from having to decide which Shift key to use, or whether or not to use Caps Lock. Decision making is wasting time. Always shift with the left pinky and you'll never need to use Caps Lock or Right-Shift ever again. This works especially well if you need to type special characters, or shifting middle keys such as T, Y, U, G, H, V, or B. No decision making!
My SecretsThese are a couple tricks I use to type a little faster.
- If you're using a right-handed mouse, then limit your chosen passwords to only characters on the left side of the keyboard. This frees your right hand to use the mouse as needed. Vice versa for the left hand.
- Learn the shortcuts for your operating system, whether it's Windows, Mac, or Linux