Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves
Episode # 339
When people ask me how to make the Mac faster, I often see how they work to discover (for my fear) that they are two-finger typists.
You I have to shit! Your keyboard (and of course the mouse or trackpad) are the main controls of the computer. The more appropriate you drive, the more you will achieve. Whatever you use your computer for, write faster without looking at the keys (touch pressure), you can complete almost any task faster.
The secret: Type faster!
I didn't learn to touch until I was 30 years old. In high school, only girls were allowed to write (boys had to go by or car shop instead). So this year I thought writing was "unmanly" and refused to learn to do so. I plowed for about 20 words per minute with my two fingers for many years before writing up a training app and learning to touch.
It was so long ago that neither the program I used nor the company that did it is still here. The good news is that there are many free and affordable writing instruction apps in the Mac App Store. Or search the web to learn how to write to find countless writing games and tutorials.
I couldn't believe the difference. Writing with two fingers is like living in the Stone Age.
When you first write 50 or more words per minute without looking at the keyboard, you will admire how little time previous heavy tasks take. It's like getting more hours every day.
Learn Your Children
Here's another thing: If you have kids, one of the greatest things you can do for them can help them develop good keyboard skills. My kids (now adults) used to believe Mario Teaches Typing was an arcade game. They played for fun, but learned good keyboarding skills along the way.
Two more things:
First, Mario Teaches Typing has not been available for decades, but I found a free emulation here.
It's cute and nostalgic, but you're better served by the free Typist app (my favorite) or any of the other free or cheap writing applications in the Mac App Store.
Finally, there is a tip on how to make innovative writing skills even more useful: Remember and use the hot keys. Most programs have them; Most menus show them prominently. Keyboard shortcuts save you so much time – it's so much faster to type Command-S than to take the hand of the keyboard, move the mouse pointer to the File menu, click the menu, and then choose Save.
There is no doubt writing faster saves you time … and saving keyboard shortcuts for actions you often perform will save you even more. Do yourself a favor and learn to write faster.