Suggested typing patterns


I just got my Model 01 today, and am excitedly using to practice typing on it.

I’ve never used a split or ergonomic keyboard before, so I know this will be a bit of an adjustment for me. I’m a little afraid that, because I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m going to train myself with bad habits over the next few weeks that will be difficult to un-learn later. Has anyone written a guide on suggested typing patterns and habits for the Model 01 (or other similar) keyboards?

And in case that was too vague, here’s a more specific question I have from day 1 of practice: I notice that I’m not consistently using the same finger to type each given key. For instance, I normally type u with my index finger, but if it immediately follows an h, I’ll type the h with my index finger and then the u with my middle finger. This feels more natural to me, but given the neat columnar alignment of the keycaps on the Model 01, the physical layout of the keyboard suggests to me that maybe I should always be using my index finger to type a u. Is there a general consensus from others as to whether or not each key should only ever be typed with a single finger, or is this something where different people have different habits depending on what feels natural to them?


In classical touch-typing, at least IIRC, you’re taught that each finger is assigned to its own region of keys, and that any key in that region ought to be typed by that finger. This is how I was taught and how I generally type.

However, I’ve come to believe that this is a load of rubbish, and that you ought to use whichever finger makes sense at a given time. I remember when the reading an interview with the fastest typist in the world and him saying that which finger he uses for a given key changes based on the keys before/after it; in my opinion this is probably the best practice.

One good habit I’d recommend is keeping your hands relaxed and ‘floating’ when you’re typing, and to rest them (i.e. physically remove them from the home row to e.g. your lap) in between typing things. It’s easy to get in the habit of having your hands overly tense when you’re at the keyboard, which can end up causing pain down the line.

(JP) #3

I would say do this… If it hurts or you have to reach too far, or strain, then you’re probably doing it wrong. OTH, @harrdb12 has a good point. Look ahead at next keys makes a lot of sense.

I would go as far to venture that if you’re writing prose or coding, you may even look at different configurations (layouts - qwerty, dvorak, etc.) that are optimized for certain things, of course all of these come with trade offs.

(Andrew McCauley) #4

To some degree, columnar setups make it harder to be flexible on what finger you use, I’ve found. That is part of why, when designing my layout, I was super careful about not putting keys often used together on the same columns.

(Andrew McCauley) #5

Situations like this are hard to avoid with qwerty. Ignoring doubled letters which make you use the same finger twice 2.6% of the time anyway, qwerty makes you use the same finger twice about 7% of the time typing “correctly”. Even dvorak has this 2.5%. Colemak is pretty good at just over 1% though, and I got my own layout down to 0.82%.

So unless you are committed enough to learn a new layout, I wouldn’t worry about the “proper” technique and just do what is comfortable, especially if it avoids doubled finger use which feels so slow and wrong to me!