Using The Colemak Keyboard Layout - 1 Month


After using Colemak for 1 month, I have some thoughts. For those who are curious, using the metrics from the last posts, I average high 50 wpm and my PB is 74 wpm.

What I Learned

he biggest lesson I learned since the last post is that I've gotten used to the words used in Monkeytype. It's like how I accidentally memorized the letters on my eye exam. That's why I specified the metrics from the last posts (words, 25). When I use another game mode or Typeracer, I average mid 50 wpm and have yet to break 70 wpm. While I'm a bit slower, I am way more consistent. Regardless of the length of the text, I am almost always able to average at least 50 WPM. Moving forward, I'm going to base my typing speed on feel and long quotes on Monkeytype.

More Comparisons to QWERTY

I mentioned in my last post that I might have more to write about the differences, but honestly, the reasons why Colemak is superior to QWERTY boil down to efficiency, ergonomics, and logical placements of common letter

Other Thoughts

I still use QWERTY on my laptop and on my phone, so it's not like I've completely forgotten how to type with QWERTY. However, my typing speed on QWERTY has suffered, and I doubt I will ever fully recover from that unless I put in a lot of hours.

A few weeks ago, I bound Caps Lock to Backspace, and it is so much better. It feels like it should have always been there; the location of Backspace is really stupid and it should not be all the way up there, even on QWERTY.

One extremely underrated feature that Linux (*at least for me running Debian 11 KDE) has is that Colemak is seamlessly integrated. All the OS shortcuts such as Ctrl+Alt+T (to open the terminal) are remapped to their respective locations on Colemak (Ctrl+Alt+G), and all the games I played worked without having to switch layouts (on Steam at least, I had to change keybinds on osu! lazer; granted it's a game in beta). It seems like programs such as browsers and file managers are based on the character, not the location, so they can be awkward to learn at first. Testing on Windows, it works pretty well on it too.

My Verdict - Should You Learn Colemak Too?

There are many factors that you should look at. Let me start with reasons why you shouldn't switch to Colemak:

While it is possible that it increases, you have to remember that you are learning a whole new layout, so it will take a long time. On top of that, some top typists do, in fact, use Colemak, but the majority still use QWERTY, so it's not impossible to type fast with either layout. When you get to a certain level in typing, you will see just how much better Colemak is though.

Here are reasons why you should learn Colemak:

So in the end, it really depends on who you are and what your motivations are. Colemak actually isn't that hard to learn. Keys used for the most common shortcuts like z, x, c, v, and a are in the same place. Only 17 keys are in a different place. Depending on how serious you are about learning, you can be typing at your QWERTY speeds within 3-8 weeks. It just depends if you are a Nathaniel speed demon or you're normal.

For me, I'm going to continue to use Colemak because I really enjoy typing with it and for the reasons listed above. All in all, yes, it was worth the time and effort to learn a new layout. It's not all that insane or anything, but I'm still proud of what I was able to do within just 4 weeks.