Mokkun's Excellent Adventure

Goodbye QWERTY, hello Colemak!

It’s been a long time since I first heard about different keyboard layouts and how beneficial they can be for your health and typing. Since I acquired my Model 01 I’ve been willing to try something different.

But given all the different options available (Dvorak, Colemak, Soul, QFMLWY, etc.), it was hard to pick something, and all options seemed to have a somewhat steep learning curve. It turns out changing muscle memory is quite tricky. So I never went deep into the idea of using a different layout, even though I was convinced of all the advantages of doing it. That changes now. And I’m going to use this blog to document how this whole experience goes.

At the beginning of the month, I researched and played with a few options until I’ve settled on the Colemak layout. I’ve chosen it primarily due to how comfortable I felt when trying it compared with the other options. And given its popularity, it is easier to find support for it on most platforms, and it also has a big community of users. It also seems to be easier to transition from it to other options of my interest, like Colemak Mod-DH or Soul.

Image illustrating the vanilla Colemak layout

Now, I’ve considered switching to it the “cold turkey” way, but the price to pay is relatively high. It’d affect my performance at work, so I’ve decided to do the transition gradually. For that, I’m using the Tarmak Layouts. It feels like a good compromise between learning speed and performance; we will see.

The first layout changes the (J)>E>K>N keys, the “most essential” loop.

Image illustrating the Tarmak layout one, the first step when transitioning to Colemak

I first took a MonkeyType test with the QWERTY layout to fully understand how much progress I am making over time with the new layout.

I’ve tried the test with 10, 25, and 50 words and got a WMP of 81.14, 82.95, and 72.65, respectively, with over 98% accuracy.

For my Tarmak layout one, I got an average WMP of 34.13 with 85% of accuracy on the first try. Hopefully, these numbers will improve quickly. I’ve struggled the most with the K and J keys during the test, probably due to their low use frequency in English.

Although much slower, I think the typing speed won’t affect my performance at work. Put in a few minutes of focused typing practice every day, and things should improve.

#Colemak #Tarmak #Keyboard #KeyboardLayout #RoadToColemak