Are you one of those people who have to look at the keyboard while typing because you are unsure where all the the letters are? Do you use both hands equally with each finger knowing its letter, or do you only use one hand with the occasional help of the other? Whatever your case might be, you can surely learn how to type fast and speed up your work.
The first thing you should do is learn, if you don’t already know it, the so called home row finger placement. It is the starting position for your fingers, so make sure each finger knows its place. Without that, you won’t be able to type fast without looking at the keyboard, and that is exactly what slows you down.
For those using the standard QWERTY keyboard the starting position goes like this: the thumbs are on the spacebar, the left hand fingers on the “A,” “S,” “D,” and “F” keys, while the right hand fingers on the “J,” “K,” L” and “;” keys. You will then move your fingers up or down to hit other letters, just remember to put them back to the starting position as soon as you do.
Of course, you have to memorize where the letters on the keyboard are. It might be a good idea to start learning to type two letters, then the next two and so on until you learn them all. A good tutor or software could help you do this.
You also need to be concentrated and watch your fingers as little as possible. You will probably need to look at the keyboard for a while, but with time and practice, your fingers will remember their place and you will be able to look away and type fast.
I would also suggest some simple, but efficient exercises. First, type the alphabet until you memorize where all the letters are. Then, master typing your name without looking at the keyboard. And there is one more, type this sentence, it’s good practice because it has every letter on the keyboard: “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” And here is one more practice sentence: “Crazy Fredericka bought many very exquisite opal jewels.”
Be patient, it takes time to get used to typing fast without looking down. Your typing will be slow and full of mistakes at first, but it will get better and faster as you keep practicing.
The next step would be to practice typing paragraphs. They help a lot because your typing gets faster and faster as you repeatedly type the same words. Find some shorter paragraph to begin with, and then move on to the longer ones. Don’t worry about the mistakes.
Online activities and games can be quite helpful, for you will surely find the one for your level of speed and have fun while improving both your typing speed and your accuracy.
There is a variety of them, including those that teach you to type letter by letter, those that measure your speed by giving you words to type like Fast Typer (www.rapidtyping.com), and those that give you the whole paragraphs to practice. I would recommend www.freetypinggame.net because it has all of the above.
You can also use some of the many tutorial programs and online typing courses to practice and check your progress. Take some of the typing tests to see how fast you are, and then take them again after some time to see your improvement.
http://imtyping.com/exercises.php is a good place to start.
Finally, let’s not forget about your typing posture. Make sure you are comfortable. Sit up straight and relax your body and your hands. If they become sore or cramped, stop and take a break.
And keep practicing! Join a forum, chat room, or a social network where you will be able to communicate with others, improve your typing speed and learn how to type fast.