How to type faster

An In-Depth Review of TypingClub

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An online typing tool that has done wonders to my typing speed

Keyboarding is, perhaps, the most essential of all 21st-century skills

TypingClub

Look around you, keyboards are everywhere. If you’re reading this on your laptop or desktop computer all you have to do is look down and you have one right in front of you. Reading this off your phone or tablet? Open up your browser and try searching for anything on Google. What pops up? That’s right, a keyboard.

Since we use it daily, doesn’t it make sense that we master the keyboard and learn the correct technique to typing? It was this kind of thinking that started my journey on improving my touch typing skills, this eventually led me to TypingClub.

My journey

For two weeks, I had set out on a goal to improve my touch typing skills using a variety of tools that were available to me. I stumbled across TypingClub by accident and thought I'd give it a go. After logging numerous hours on TypingClub I’ve witnessed a big improvement with my typing speeds.

Recommended Reading: How to Type Faster: How I improved my typing speed by 42% in 2 weeks

In this article, I review my experience with TypingClub and break down every section of the program. Hopefully, by the end of the article, you will have a good idea if this is the right program for you.

What is TypingClub?

TypingClub is a web-based typing program that takes you through a series of different keyboard exercises to help strengthen your fingers and educate you with the correct technique to touch typing.

Is it free?

Like many web-based programs, TypingClub uses the freemium business model. This means that you’re able to access TypingClub straight away without inputting any credit card information, but if you want to take advantage of any additional perks you’ll have to subscribe to a monthly fee.

Below is a breakdown of Free vs Premium edition:

Free Edition

  • Limited Games
  • Limited Lesson Plans
  • Limited Reports

Premium Edition

  • Ad Free
  • More Games
  • More Lesson Plans
  • More Reports
  • Replay Attempts
  • More Themes

In my experience, I found no need to subscribe to the premium package. Although the free edition featured a limited amount of games, lesson plans, and reports, it had more than enough resources and data to improve my typing speed.

What’s included in the lesson plans?

Depending on what lesson plan you select you’ll be given a variety of different exercises that’ll break down the correct technique to touch typing.

For example, I chose to work on the lesson plan titled ‘Typing Jungle’ which included 684 exercises. It starts slow. For the first few exercises you’ll only be working on the letters located on the home row (A, S, D, F, J, K, L and :). The further you progress, you will be introduced to new letters, symbols and numbers, all the while making sure you use the correct positioning.

Every exercise is interactive and it requires you to use the keyboard. A keyboard guide is placed at the bottom of the screen, to remind you where each letter is located and what finger should be used when inputting the character. It’s encouraged to refer to the guide at the bottom of the screen, that way, you’re not looking down at the keyboard and constantly training yourself to focus on the monitor.

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Depending on the exercise, you are given a specific set of letters, words or phrases that you have to input correctly. In the beginning, speed isn’t important. You are constantly reminded to slow down and use the correct fingers for better accuracy.

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To progress to the next exercise, you will have to hit certain requirements based on your accuracy, speed, and speed goals. As I mentioned earlier, there are a variety of different lesson plans that you can select from, 11 to be exact, and that’s not including the exercises that are in different languages. TypingClub covers exercises in Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Slovak and even in Chinese!

In my experience, I only committed to one lesson plan. That was enough for me. For someone who is starting and wanting to learn the correct technique I recommend you start with either ‘Typing Jungle’ or ‘Typing Basics’. If you focus on the exercises within the lesson plan, by the end of exercises you should witness a major improvement.

Educational and entertaining videos are included

TypingClub features short educational videos that are well designed and informative, I'd look forward to them whenever they pop-up, they are littered throughout the ‘Typing Jungle’ lesson plan.

I was impressed with the design, animation, and information that was included in every short video. It kept me engaged and gave me great advice that helped me increase my typing speeds.

Games are included as well

There are a variety of games included throughout the ‘Typing Jungle’ lesson plans. Similar to the educational videos they are randomly placed throughout the exercises, this helps break up the monotony of the lesson plan.

Every game is interactive and it requires you to input the correct letter. You have less time to react, forcing you to type faster, otherwise, it’s game over. Some games feature a furry monster slowly walking towards you, and the only way to combat it is by throwing skulls at it.

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Other games require you to hold onto a balloon that is slowly sinking to the ground, the only way to survive is by hopping onto the next one and the next until you’re safely across the other side.

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If you subscribe to the premium option you’ll have access to more games. In my experience, the two games I just mentioned were more than enough for me. It was testing my speed and it got complicated as I moved along, at times I had to repeat the game as I kept on falling to my death.

Reports to help you progress

As you progress throughout the lesson plan, TypingClub tracks numerous aspects of your typing technique. From your typing speed to your keyboard coverage, you’ll find many interesting reports about your typing.

Below is an example of one of the many reports that are available to you:

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Being aware of your progress is a great method to help you pinpoint your weaknesses and allow you to strengthen them. Similar to the games, the premium version features additional statistical reports. Although, in my experience, I found the free reports to be enough for me to recognise where I needed to improve.

Collecting badges

There are various badges that you can achieve throughout your TypingClub journey. None of them will impact your ability to type, but they are little rewards that highlight your progress and hard work.

Below are a few badges that I’ve achieved:

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Earned badges like ‘Fast and Furious’ (which means you have typed 90 wpm for over 7 seconds) give you a sense of achievement and highlights your improvement, I know I felt really happy with myself when I achieved that one!

Now and then I’d realise I had unlocked a new badge, it was a nice little achievement, but it wasn’t my intent to go out and collect them all. Increasing my typing speed was the main focus, earning badges was merely an afterthought. It’s a nice touch, I can see how this can keep people who like to reap achievements more engaged within the lesson plan.

A special edition to teach at schools

TypingClub features a service that is available for teachers, allowing them to have complete control over their students' typing progress. I assume this would be suitable for teachers trying to teach touch typing in a classroom setting.

Similar to the normal edition, the school edition features a free and pro edition.

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As I’ve only used the normal edition, I have little to no experience with the school edition.

My overall thoughts

I enjoyed my experience of using TypingClub. Not only did it help improve my touch typing skills, but it kept me engaged with consistent design, informative videos, and interactive exercises.

I found the free edition packed full of enough valuable resources that I felt no need to upgrade to the premium version, but your experience can be different. If you’re trying to improve your touch typing skills and want to stay engaged and have a pleasant experience, you should give TypingClub a go. Within 2 weeks of using the program, I saw a major improvement in my typing skills and I didn’t have to pay a single penny!


Do you want to learn new skills to improve the quality of your life? Download the free 13-page e-book that teaches you the methods to approach every new skill you plan to learn. These same methods are what I've been using and it has helped me learn skills effectively in half the time. Click here to download the free e-book.

How To Type Faster

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How I improved my typing speed by 42% in 2 weeks

You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!

Albus Dumbledore

Before we begin, I have something I would like to share with you that I am ashamed to say. As I write this article I am in my late 20’s, it is only now that I have finished all of the Harry Potter books. It’s not that it took me over fifteen years to read, it’s just that when Harry Potter came out I wasn’t really into wizards and witches, I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Was I the only one?

After being bored with the endless amount of self-help books, I decided to read something fictitious. Enter in Harry Potter and all 7 of the books!

After a good few months I can finally put the Harry Potter series to rest. I can now understand any Harry Potter reference thrown my way, it’s just a shame that I’m fifteen years too late. Oh well!

You’re probably thinking to yourself,

Why on earth is he talking about Harry Potter when the headline is about increasing my touch typing skills?

Firstly, I wanted to share with you my achievement - it took me ages to finish those books! Secondly, it occurred to me that during her time of writing each book, J.K. Rowling had to type each word out. All 1,084,170 of them, and that’s not including her drafts!

If she were to type at an average speed of 40 words per minute (WPM), it would’ve taken her approximately 19 days of typing without ever taking a break. Of course, it would’ve taken years for Rowling to invent a story, let alone type all the words out. It took Rowling 6 years just to finish the first book.

I realised that the ability to seamlessly pour all your thoughts out onto paper without any friction is undervalued, it’ll save you time and effort and it’ll allow your creative juices to flow. I’m not expecting to create a masterpiece within 19 days, but if I don’t have to worry about where each letter is positioned and simply focus on the creating itself, it’ll make the process of writing a more creative and enjoyable experience.

Recommended Reading: What Is Touch Typing and How Will It Benefit Your Life?

Alright, alright, I understand, let me get to the good stuff. You’re here because you want to know how to improve your touch typing skills. You want to know what quick fix I implemented to increase my WPM by an astonishing 42%. If you don’t believe me, check out my test results below.

This was my score when I started the project:

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This was my score 2 weeks after:

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The photos above aren’t enough you say? Below is a graph which shows my improvement over the two weeks using one of the typing resources, I’ll share with you which one later on. This photo shows a 166% speed increase!

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What’s that you say? You still don’t believe me? Check out my video that visually shows my improvement, you can see that my technique has improved and that I now position my fingers differently.

Recommended Video: How to type faster

Your humble beginnings

The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.

Stephen McCranie

To know how much you’ve improved over the past 2 weeks, it’s important for you to know your base level. Before I started working on my touch typing skills, my average speed was around 45 WPM, which was slightly above average.

I recommend that you find out your current WPM rate, when you eventually get faster typing, you’ll be able to take note of how much you’ve improved.

You can check your speed using one of the tests linked below:

Memorise each position of the letters on the keyboard

The true art of memory is the art of attention.

Samuel Johnson

I already knew where each letter was positioned on the keyboard, it was ingrained into me at an early age. I guess all those hours spent playing World of Warcraft made me subconsciously memorise all the positions of the letters.

However, If you’re constantly looking down at the keyboard whilst you type, I would recommend studying the keyboard itself. Pay attention to where each letter is, make a note and test yourself.

One of my go-to techniques for memorising anything is the use of flashcards, it’s highly effective and it’s such a simple process. I came across a useful online flashcard system that tested the positioning of each letter on the keyboard. I strongly recommend you take time out memorising where each letter is, otherwise it's going to hamper your progress.

Recommended reading: How to Improve Your Memory

Use the correct technique

If you are playing with technique, it is a big mistake. Big, big mistake!

Daniel Coyle

Memory wasn’t the issue for me. I was struggling using the correct positioning for all 10 of my fingers. I never used my right pinky finger for any keystroke, nor did I ever take advantage of the right Shift button. I was limiting the amount of ground I could cover on the keyboard.

Growing up, no one taught me the correct method for typing, I created my own technique. It was relatively fast, but I plateaued quickly due to bad technique.

I knew I had to relearn everything and start from ground zero. Thankfully, I came across a free online resource that not only taught me the correct positioning, it also gave me several different exercises to strengthen each finger.

Recommended reading: An In-Depth Review of TypingClub

No quick fixes

It's not how fast you can do it. It's how slow you can do it correctly.

Daniel Coyle

From the headline, you might’ve guessed what this next section is about, but let me repeat myself so that it stays with you. There are no quick fixes.

I know 2 weeks sounds short, but in those 2 weeks I was practicing up to 2 hours every day. I had to dramatically slow down my typing and work on my weakness' first before I could continue, as I got better I was able to speed everything up again.

If you want to get good at learning any new skill, it requires time in deliberate practice, there is no way around it. You have to adopt the same mentality with your touch typing skills if you want to see an improvement.

Recommended reading: What Is Deep Practice?

Remain consistent

Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity.

Bruce Lee

If you don’t have 2 hours to spare every day, that’s fine, but try to be consistent with your deliberate practice. Consistency is one of the key ingredients that is needed to improve any new skill and help you attain mastery.

If you can only spare 15 minutes on your touch typing skill that’s great, but make sure you don’t miss any days. If you find yourself missing one day of deliberate practice, say to yourself that you will not miss practice two days in a row. Try to get back on track as quickly as you can.

If you find that you don’t see an improvement as steep as mine within the two weeks, I would be far happier that you remain consistent in your practice than forget everything. These things take time and every one different, just put in the reps and you will see a difference.

Recommended Reading: How to Be Consistent

My typing schedule

Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.

James Clear

If you’ve never heard of the Pomodoro Technique I recommend you take some time out to read about its methods and benefits.

Recommended Reading: What Is the Pomodoro Technique?

Here’s a brief overview:

  • Step 1: Place a timer for 25 minutes and work distraction-free during that period.
  • Step 2: Once the timer is done take a five-minute break.
  • Step 3: Repeat step one.
  • Step 4: After the fourth 25-minute timer take a 15-minute break
  • Step 5: Repeat step one.

As you can see by the fourth timer, 2 hours have gone by. If you studied distraction-free you would’ve learned a lot in that allotted time.

Here’s an example of how I broke up my 2 hours:

Immediately after the 4th timer, I would test my WPM using TypingTest.com to see if I was able to increase my speed, I was seeing improvement almost every day. This wasn’t a strict schedule, I would move things around depending on my mood, but within every 25-minute slot, I was making sure that I would deliberately practice my touch typing skills with no distractions.

Recommended Reading: How to Take Control of Your Time

Summary:

  • Find out your current WPM rate
  • Memorise the position of each letter on the keyboard using flashcard techniques
  • Use the correct finger positioning on the keyboard
  • Be patient and remain consistent
  • Create a schedule and plan your time for practice

Everything I’ve outlined in this article is pretty simple and straightforward, anyone can follow the advice and increase their touch typing skills. What it does require is discipline, consistency, and patience.

Perhaps you won’t see the same improvement as I did within 2 weeks, but I assure you, if you can stick with it, you will see a difference with your touch typing skills in no time.


Do you want to learn new skills to improve the quality of your life? Download the free 13-page e-book that teaches you the methods to approach every new skill you plan to learn. These same methods are what I've been using and it has helped me learn skills effectively in half the time. Click here to download the free e-book.