As Tony said, if I were you, I'd start using it full time, I'm sure you'll see much faster improvement if you do. If you have your reasons not to – work or whatever, then at least increase your training time. 10 minutes a day is not enough. I don't want to give you a number of minutes – the important thing is to always be fresh when you train, so your brain can absorb and learn fast.
Even if you don't use it full time, at least do as much work on Colemak, as you can, for example when you're home. Do your internet browsing, isntant messaging, emails, forum posts with Colemak. It'll be slower at first, but beneficial.
Thanks DreymaR, but I can't really use it without understanding the code because I'm already using my own AHK file with shortcuts and other stuff that is about 1000 lines long – so I'd need to do some compatibility and possibly combine them in one if I want them to work together. And I know the comfort of navigating from (almost) home position, yeah. I've got my (sift+)LAlt + NEIU mapped to (shift+)Ctrl + ←↓→↑ which is golden for text editing/navigating. Maybe one of these days I'll feel less lazy about it and dive in and let you know if I need some help with the setup :)
Yeah, DreymaR I love the idea of your extended layer but I haven't tried it yet because (and I will deny I've ever said this) I don't want to spend time learning/getting used to the new shortcut setup and to get it working and understand exactly how it works (the ahk code). I'm such a hypocrite, I know. I'm always saying to my friends: optimisation, optimisation...
You can try this: write down some notes that remind you how to type better – purely subjectively, focusing on accuracy. Sounds very silly but this is what worked for me when I was starting. I would start typing in Typeracer and after one good race I would just start making mistakes – possibly out of impatience, as you say. So I wrote a note on my computer and looked at it when I started typing sloppily. You don't actually need to type it down, you can just make a mental note, of course. So here's what I had in my OneNote notebook:
– Keep accuracy above 98% (that's just for motivation at the end, try to see the number 98, even if I typed slower)
– Type fluently, don't do sudden bursts on common words that I know how to type with one roll.
– Keep my hands on place and try to stretch my fingers rather than moving the whole palms around – this sounds awful but I noticed it helped with my accuracy. It's just a matter of starting to do it, keep my accuracy high for a while, then relax and go to my normal way of typing while keeping error-free
– force myself to use both backspaces rationally depending on the next letter. That's usually handled well by the brain by itself but I found it good to force myself sometimes to consciously think which backspace is better. The right one can be pressed quicker in succession but the left one could be more beneficial in other situations. Also pressing both twice deletes 4 characters for the time it would take to delete only 2 if I used just one of them. Anyway, too much details...
These, as you can see, are so subjective and most probably wouldn't work the same way for you or anyone else, but you see the idea. Figure out some "rules" that help you guide yourself on how to type better – be it accuracy (probably is), rhythm, hand position, etc. Then look at them and try to follow them until you're happy with the result and slowly start raising the speed.
I remember that when things were very bad with accuracy I would intentionally force myself to type slower for a while while my hands start typing without the constant mistake interruptions, then slowly raising the speed.
Star trek reference – that would explain why I didn't get it (I was a baby when they were still running :D). And yeah, I know well about the Doppler Effect, just didn't get the joke with they keyboard. Anyway – an explained joke loses its charm :P
And btw if you'd pressed Ctrl–Shift–T that should have reopened the closed tab and in case you're using Chrome (possibly other browsers too, I don't know) all your filled information in the text fields would still be there.
By text expander, do you mean you want to type a few characters and a software to replace them with predefined text? Maybe the easiest (also free) way of doing that is using AutoHotKey. It can do that, and a lot more and it's fairly easy to learn even for non-programmers (like myself). The pkl is actually autohotkey script.
If you're looking for something that will check your spelling and will autocomplete the words for you though (like on smart phones' keyboards), I don't know of anyone who has done a complete script for that with AHK. I'm running a universal AHK spellchecker on Windows but I don't know if that is what you're looking for.
Sadly I can't see it. It's probably unavailable in Denmark.
I don't think exideas will make any changes on the layout. Introducing a separate layout for the left and the right 3×3 grid would require not only a lot of research but some major rework on the software and they've got quite a lot on their hands already. Just saying, but if you wish to ask them, head over to their website.
And you find these key size comfortable? That's one of the main points of ME – to provide large keys for better comfort. But I suppose different people, different preferences. If the keys were this small, I'd find them useful only for tapping, not for swiping, and with this many keys, you can actually have all the letters on either tap or double tap – which has already been around for quite a while – the QW ER TY type layouts.
I'm currently using MessagEase with two thumbs but on one 3x3 grid (if not counting the 4th column and space) all the way from the left edge to the right on a 4.7" screen and it works great for me.
BTW which app is that on the screenshot?
Welcome to the forum and Colemak!
Your problems are quite common for first comers to touch typing. The only solution is more practice. Your weak fingers will gain the needed strength and your brain will stop consciously thinking of the location of the letters. But that comes with time, as you would imagine, so just keep up practising and you'll get there.
Given the fact that you'll be touch typing Colemak and typing Qwerty with your old technique, I assume it won't be that difficult to maintain both for some time, at least compared to if you touch typed Qwerty as well.
Also it's good that your software is focusing on accuracy. That's getting more and more important as you raise the WPM stairs :P . You might be struggling with it until you learn the whole keyboard and then it should start raising and you can keep the overall accuracy in the high 90s.
If I take a couple of questions from Tony's post's structure (sorry, I haven't read thoroughly the op):
3. If it's a short word with only one switch between the shifts, that's how I'd do it. If it's longer, I would either hold only the left shift for the whole word (and use the most comfortable fingers for each letter), or toggle CapsLock (I'm also using AHK and my toggle for capslock is left+right shift). You don't necessarily need to remove the CapsLock from your keyboard though, there are situations when it's useful. Just keep it on a "forgotten" key, far far away, or use a key-combination shortcut.
5. I think Colemak would actually feel more awkward than Qwerty on a full on-screen phone keyboard, because most of the letters are close together on the home row, and "finger rolls" are actually counter productive on a two-thumb finger typing. But even if I'm wrong about that, Switching to Colemak on your phone would require you to learn that completely separately from your desktop. Keeping Qwerty on your phone won't mess up with your learning on Colemak on your computer – 100%.
If you want optimization for touch screen input – or even a brain exercising experiment – I can recommend you to check out MessagEase keyboard. See this thread for discussion on it: http://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?id=1567
A few members of the forum are happily using it now and I, for myself, can say I've never been happier or faster typing on a phone (with the exception of my the physical keyboard on my last Xperia Pro – better comfort of course, but actually the same max speed).
Yes, I saw the Minuum video on youtube and I can't say I'm a big fan either.
For your performance problems with ME – do you have multi touch enabled in the advanced settings? It's written that it increases resource requirements. And for the testing – you can either use MessagEase game from the play store or download the beta release of the hi-games.net from their website or here: http://hi-games.net/TypingTest-debug.apk (for Android).
I enjoy typing on ME a lot. The switch to it feels like the one from Qwerty to alternative layouts on a desktop. That being said most of the time I use a set of apps that allow me to type stuff on my computer and copy it to my phone's clipboard to send in IM. I like to practice ME just for fun in the game.
Can you explain more precisely what you think by "tighter" and why? It seems many people thinks that's the contrary (more "natural" movement than alternation).
Well it's just how I would compare the difference between the two ideas – more freedom vs "tighter" feeling. It's because when you start up with a new layout, things like these (where the following letter is) are very noticeable. And after a little while with Dvorak, when I started Colemak, I felt strange and somehow strangely restricted by having to keep my hands on place and do combinations like YOU, ION (which translate to Qwerty's O:I, L:J). It was just different and required some learning and adjusting, unlike the hand alternation, which comes naturally. That is because no matter how much you try, you can't not have some odd rolls. After a little while these rolls became so easy and fast that I don't see them as a problem that doesn't bother me, but a really comfortable roll with very high speed and accuracy. This is also what I referred to as "finger independence". You have to control better what each finger is doing more often than before. The learning experience is somewhat similar to learning to use your pinkies the first time you start touch typing, just not that much.
Talking about accuracy – that's the other thing. Some of these odd rolls in the beginning feel unnatural and thus provoke some errors. That's why I said initially the hand alternation approach would have better accuracy. But I've got to say after I became comfortable with the layout, the accuracy wasn't a problem at all.