If you want to increase your typing speed, you may have to go back to the basics. If you didn't learn good form and good habits when you began typing, you're probably doing a number of things that are holding your typing speed back   and may even be physically harmful eventually.

A number of websites offer tips, tricks and lessons on how to improve your typing speed, and there is also typing software that can get you started right at your desk. These tutorials all focus on the importance of having good form, finding the right equipment, practicing and becoming a touch typist. You might also want to consider using different keyboard styles if you really want to become the fastest typist in town.

Good Form
Begin with good form. As fans of the Feldenkrais method know, good posture combined with efficient movement and support from the right parts of the body help you get the optimal use out of each muscle. Feldenkrais, like tai chi, yoga or just plain common sense, is a practice that encourages you to always consider your posture and the placement of your hands, and to create a situation where you are optimizing your workstation and the alignment of your spine, arms and hands so that you will type your best   and minimize potential fatigue and injuries.

Special Equipment
We can all use a boost. Modern keyboards are designed to ship well   not many are designed to conform to the contours of our wrists and hands. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) has invested a lot of research into identifying ways to help office workers avoid carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that can really slow down your typing and could require surgery if not addressed with the onset of symptoms.

These tips also have a side benefit of helping you improve your typing speed. The agency suggests using tools like wrist rests and palm rests to ease your comfort, and suggests ways to place these items for healthy use. You can also see diagrams on exactly how to position your hands when typing to avoid fatigue and injury.

Tips from the Experts
Once your workstation is set up and you are ergonomically ready to increase your typing speed, it's time to start learning the right way to type. Search for a software program that teaches you how to type and embrace it with an open mind, erasing everything you learned about typing before. Dedicate yourself to really listening to the tips and tricks you'll hear from instructors, and follow the lessons they suggest.

Low-cost programs like Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing help you learn basic concepts of typing and back up the lessons with more than 400 practice sessions. You can track your progress and record how you're doing as you go along. If you prefer cloud technology, consider Ultimate Typing, a cloud-based touch typing class that delivers detailed video instruction. You'll learn typing skill by skill, with an instructor and video tutorials to back it up, and lots of opportunities to test yourself and practice as you learn.

No doubt about it   the only way to really improve your performance is by practicing. Software programs provide practice exercises designed to help you improve your concentration, accuracy and dexterity. Once you have most of the basics down, you can make practicing interesting by typing something you want to read. For example, if you start typing a book you're reading, you improve your chances of becoming a better touch typist because you want to keep your eye on the book rather than on the keys and screen. Working with material that's interesting to you keeps you at the keyboard longer.

A New Keyboard
The kind of keyboard you're using could be slowing you down. Laptops are notorious for having square keys that promote error-ridden typing. These days, there are new ergonomic designs for keyboards, such as split keyboards, or wave designs, that encourage faster typing. There are also keyboard layouts designed to optimize finger movements for fast typing. Try out keyboards, or layouts such as the Dvorak, to see if you can increase your speed.

Fast typing is an essential skill in today's workplace. Learning or improving your touch typing is the best way to increase your typing speed and accuracy. These tools can help you become a true touch typist.

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