Back to QWERTY – Am I making a Mistake?

Indecision – a wavering between two or more possible courses of action.

I suppose if someone was to ask me what is my biggest flaw, that would be it – Indecision. I just have trouble Making up my mind; especially when making choices that I would have to live with for the rest of my life.
You see… with me, when faced with a choice, I prefer to choose once and choose well. Hence, why I don’t have much of regrets when it comes to my stuff. Even if they were bad decisions in the end, like the Alfa Romeo, I have no regrets because I knew had weighed all the options and the details before committing. I’ll discuss the Alfa later in another post. The story behind it is far more complex.

So as the title suggests, this article is about choosing a keyboard layout and basically sticking with it. It has actually been about just over a year, I’ve been deliberating on the choosing a layout – QWERTY vs Dvorak.  You see I know that I don’t want to go back to Colemak – even though it makes the most sense.
The reason is because I’ve already tried it for about 2 years or more and not only did I not make much progress in it, I didn’t really enjoy using it that much. You can read about that in my previous posts.

In choosing a keyboard layout, I feel that it is something that I will be choosing for life. Now, I know that there are those who say, “I don’t need to choose. I can learn and train my brain to switch back and forth”. These people may be right. I just saw a video posted where this guy was basically typing at over 100WPM on every single layout. So, there are people who are really that smart. I however know my limitations. I would rather stick to just one – however considering I spend quite a bit of this blog talking about layouts, maybe I should take the time to do so.. Who knows, it might become a useful skill. Oh, I would like to say something here – If you don’t know how to touch type yet, do yourself a favor and learn it. Regardless of your age, it is a necessary skill these days. We are in the computer age, where everything is done through computers, so looking at your keyboard and typing anything should not be a thing unless you are like 5 years old. It really annoys me to see places where you go to a counter and someone is literally taking an age to do something because he/she isn’t touch-typing. This really should not be a thing in 2020.
Think about how much faster things would go if people were touch-typing…

Now back to my indecision. I always have this fear that whether I would regret choosing one over the other 5 or 6 years down the line. Oh how I sometimes wish that I had never known that such layouts exist. But then again, you know that is the part of the problem. Most people don’t know that they exist and hence why we don’t have such a change of shift into the using them as a norm.

Whenever I think about alternative layouts and no matter how much more comfortable I do feel them to be, this article always comes into my mind.

Why Dvorak And Colemak Are Not For Me

As well as this video…

Quite pessimistic views I would say; however they do make some great points. For instance in the article, while the movement of the fingers is minimum, I have large hands and I felt that when using Dvorak, my fingers were a bit cramped and that would actually fatigue my fingers more and cause me to make mistakes. A number of tests on 10fastfingers.com proved the point. Believe it or not, QWERTY was faster for me. However I felt that I was making less mistakes on Dvorak, especially when using my Bastron Glass keyboard.

I think I’ve weighed the pros and cons of alternative layouts (specifically Dvorak) in this article here – Dvorak – Does it make sense?
I wrote the article to weigh the pros and cons of moving to Dvorak. Yet, here I am a year later, still trying to make up my mind. For now, I believe that QWERTY is where it is at for me. But what I still have that nagging feeling that perhaps it is a mistake and I should just choose to stick with Dvorak.

At home, I use MacOS and I use the Dvorak + QWERTY Cmd layout. It is the best layout by far for me because it addresses the issues that most people have with Dvorak when it comes to the keyboard shortcuts. However, at work I am forced to use Windows and Microsoft does not have such a feature. So I am stuck using the shortcuts in the standard Dvorak location. It’s not that bad, but it is not as good as the standard QWERTY.

So it seems that for my needs, QWERTY is the better fit, but I still have this nagging feeling and it has to do with one thing – health. As I suggested in my previous article, I adhere to the phrase “Prevention is better than cure.” While there is still no clear evidence that QWERTY causes RSI and Carpal tunnel, there is clear evidence that those who move over to Dvorak have had their pains and aches reduced or even eliminated altogether. So when it comes to overall health, if there is something better, I would choose that. However, in this case, both the better options have their flaws. Dvorak’s flaw is the shortcuts. Colemak’s flaw is that is it not installed by default on quite a few operating systems – which was one of the reasons for me moving away from it.

This still nags me though because recently the IT manager at work, who is incidentally my age, was complaining of pain in his fingers. I advised him to look at Colemak or Dvorak if he didn’t want to move to an ergonomic keyboard.
I also noticed quite a few others at work using ergo keyboards; all of whom spend quite a bit at the computer at work. And then comes this video…

All of this should actually send me packing all the way back to Dvorak, if it weren’t for one issue. Whilst typing on Dvorak on the Bastron,  I did feel that my fingers were feeling a bit more cramped than when I was using QWERTY.  I feel my fingers more free with QWERTY; even though typing is less efficient, slower and slightly more hard work. It is less comfortable, but not overly so uncomfortable to say its an issue.

I am going to give QWERTY  on my Bastron another go. Can’t say for how long. Perhaps till I am reasonably comfortable with it. With considerable practice, let me see if I can reach my goal of crossing 50WPM typing on Glass. If I can, then I will stick with it for life.






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