How To Type With One Hand

April 18, 2014 — 2 Comments

Maybe twice a month I’ll get this response while chatting with someone online or at work:

“Dude…I just remembered that you’re typing with one hand. How do you type so fast?!”

It’s true, I type like a cheetah. Well, not¬†like a cheetah, but as fast as one. I mean, as fast as one runs. ANYWAY, YOU GET WHAT I’M TRYING TO SAY.

The fact of the matter is that I’m able to type quickly¬†because I’ve had nearly thirty years of practice. I remember being the only kid in my school to learn Logo (a computer language) and then I taught it to my classmates. From time to time I stayed in from recess and tried to find Carmen Sandiego or survive the Oregon Trail.

So, how did I develop my technique? I just did. I remember taking a keyboarding class in sixth grade and we all had to put those covers over our keyboards so we could memorize “home row.” They tried to get me to develop my own “home row,” and I wasn’t having it. I convinced them to let me uncover my keyboard and learn the most efficient way for me to type. I’d love to give the instructor credit for allowing me to do this, but…I probably gave them no choice in the matter. I’ve also never used anything other than a standard keyboard. I know different types of keyboards and adaptations are out there, but the way I figured it, learning on a standard keyboard put me at an advantage because then I could type on any computer anywhere I went.

Over the years I’ve had several keyboard-heavy jobs. At least two data entry job that I remember and over a decade in customer service which is almost exclusively computer driven. Over the last eight years I bet I’ve averaged typing nearly eight hours a day. And in all that time, I’ve never had finger or wrist issues. That said, I’ve been very careful if I notice a twinge or something and I stretch quite often. I can only remember one time ever having to tell my boss that I needed to rest my hand for a bit and that was because I got scared. Otherwise, it’s been smooth one-handed sailing… Hmm, sailing. I’ve never tried that.

Anywho, here’s a quick video of me typing with one hand. It’s not really an instructional video; more of just a snapshot of how I do it. I hope you like the little story I type!


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I'm a husband, a father, an author, a speaker, a friend...all kinds of things, actually.

2 responses to How To Type With One Hand

  1. Hello Ryan,
    I am 64 years old and have been typing since I was about 10 when I taught myself on a somewhat veteran style family typewriter. So I had already sorted myself out before I started work.
    I agree; no-one else can teach you how to type one handed; you need to sort it yourself.
    Work was mostly calculators until we started to move processes to computers in the 80’s.
    Now I work with computers all day, Excel work-papers, several accounting programs, electronic copies of docs and dual desk screens which means keyboards all the time.
    Who’d a thought it?
    From when I was about 40 my one arm which is not a naturally primary arm has been showing signs of over-work.
    Housework has become an optional extra.
    The last few years my hand has been showing signs of over-use.
    A couple of years ago I started using an upright mouse which I think is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Within a few weeks the forearm and hand symptoms had diminished greatly.
    I also use an exercise ball at my side to stretch my hand and forearm.
    I suspect the long term effects of keyboard use depend greatly on whether the solo arm is the naturally strong arm and on whether you are male or female.
    Unfortunately I think my setup is the least desirable of these 4 possibilities.
    Sue Hancock, Australia

  2. Ryan,
    Wow you are super fast typer. . . I am waiting to see the “Sailing” video clip next. Go for it!

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