Photo by Ednacole
Do you like to do things the easy way or the hard way?
Me, I prefer the easiest way possible to do something.
I love to hack. I am not talking about computer hacking (although you can as a white hatter hack your system to make its performance better). There is many ways to hack not just computers but life itself.
For example, Mr. Normal will work out insanely in the gym doing multiple sets and reps to try to make an Atlas body.
Mr. Lifehacker, if they are financially able, would hack their workout by purchasing the Quick Gym ROM Machine to do a workout in only 4 minutes a day.
Mr. Normal will write all of their ideas on napkins, bits of paper, cotton balls, etc.
Mr. Lifehacker will use Evernote to capture all of their ideas easily.
Mr. Normal will use Windows for all of their computer needs while spending exorbitant costs on tech support and upgrades.
Mr. Lifehacker will use a Linux OS and pocket the money normally used on Windows upgrades to fund other projects.
Hacking can indeed make life easier.
A Hacker You Probably Don’t Know About
Read more about Barbara HERE.
That’s great that she was able to do that, E.J., but what does this have to do with me? Glad you asked. I am about to introduce you to a secret weapon that as a writer can boost your productivity to new heights. You will shave your time off tremendously in typing manuscripts. You will be placed in the pantheon of the Elite (Similar to E.J.’s Elite yet much more cooler).
Introducing Dr. August Dvorak
Photo by Astorix
Dvorak. Doesn’t that name reek sweetness? Like a cologne or a secret fighting move. “Don’t make me Dvorak you, Fool!” I could see Mr. T saying something like this.
(E.J., could you focus please?)
Sigh. Okay, Mom.
Dr. August Dvorak was an inventor who like Nikola Tesla left a lasting legacy which many do not know about. Dvorak created a system that has revolutionized the one thing we use everyday: typing. He created a keyboard layout based on logic and research (Source cited below). His keyboard design allows you to type faster and more accurately (Source cited below).
Image by Gustavo Pimenta via Flickr
Think about the implications of this, H3roes. How would you like to finish your manuscripts faster? How would you like to crank out more stories at near superhuman speeds? How would you like to cut your errors in your typing?
All this is possible and more for $19.95!
Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Seriously, Dvorak system is based on common sense and not convenience. He studied the hands and the movement of the hands to increase efficiency in typing.
The inventor of the QWERTY system, Christopher Latham Sholes, created his keyboard design experimentally to overcome mechanical problems so the home row is just as random as the rest of the layout (Source cited below).
Let’s look at the evidence between those who use QWERTY (Q for short) and Dvorak:
- With Qwerty home row, you can only type 300 words.
- With Dvorak home row, you can type 3,000 words.
- With Q, only 31% of your key strokes are on the home row.
- With Dvorak, 70% of your key strokes are on the home row.
- With Q, you spend 69% of your time reaching for keys that are not on the home row. Hence, the complaints from typists who develop Repetitive Stress Injuries.
- With Dvorak, the finger movement is reduced by a factor of three.
- With Q, the alternations from typing is lesser (slowing down your typing).
- With Dvorak, you are achieving one alternation per word guaranteed.
- Dr. Dvorak’s 1932 study discovered that Q typists who switched to Dvorak improved their speed by 20% and their accuracy by 50%.
- In addition, Dr. Dvorak trained two groups of people who never typed before. One with Q and one with Dvorak. Q group took 56 hours to train to achieve a typing speed of 40 words per minute. The Dvorak group achieved 40 words per minute after only 18 hours of training.
- Not satisfied, Dr. Dvorak wanted to place the nail in the coffin. He took a third group who were already proficient in Q and retrained them using the Dvorak layout. This took only 52 hours yet the typists were able to achieve their previous Q speeds.
I presented a way for you as a writer to hack your productivity now. The benefits of Dvorak are obvious. You type faster, more accurately, more comfortably, plus it’s easier to learn (Source cited below). Will you continue to be Mr. Normal or a Lifehacker?
O.k., I’m convinced…Where can I learn this?
Of course, I am not going to leave you hanging. I am going to give you the resources you need to learn Dvorak and hey, we can encourage each other as we learn. Deal?
- The History of Dvorak Simplified Keyboard – Comic Book Style – Yay! – Click HERE
- Wikipedia Entry on Dvorak Simplified Keyboard – Click HERE
- Learn How To Type Dvorak Style Using Typing Web – Click HERE
So what about you?
What was the toughest thing for you to learn and how long did it take you to learn it?