Two weeks in

I picked up Colemak gradually by mostly using, for 62 5-7 practices, over 13 days.

I come from a QWERTY, ~42 WPM typing speed, that I got in 2005-ish, for my computer graphics design degree.

Now, I feel very slow with my current record time of almost 18 WPM, and it keeps getting faster. I only stopped using QWERTY, 4 days ago.

I still struggle mostly with the 'G', and to a lesser degree, with the 'U' (which is at almost the same location).

But my top accuracy % for now is of 98.24%. Which is still not enough in my opinion, since it still hinders too much my typing to remain into "the zone".

Update: two days after writing this post, I can now say that even though I'm still at 20 WPM, I no longer need my "system two" thinking as much as during the beginning of my learning.


I'm pretty minimalistic for now regarding my Vim setup, but it works for me so far.

Here is the part of my .vimrc that makes this move possible without much trouble:

" Navigation :
noremap n j
noremap e k
noremap i l
" End of word navigation :
noremap j e
" Next in search mode :
noremap k n
" l becomes the equivalent of i, for insert mode :
noremap l i

" Moving between splits :
noremap <C-w>n <C-w>j
noremap <C-w>e <C-w>k
noremap <C-w>i <C-w>l

The biggest thing to remember is that you'll no longer use the i key to enter into insert mode, but l instead.


In Vim, I need to be able to navigate through the folders of my projects, and since the 'e' key is now being used for navigation instead of 'k', and NERDTree is using 'e' to explore the selected directory, I need to override those:

let NERDTreeMapOpenExpl="E" " free up the 'e' key to be used for something else
let NERDTreeMenuUp="e"

Typing in french

With Colemak it is possible to type common french accents like:

  • ç - with AltGr + c
  • é - with AltGr + e
  • à - with AltGr + r, then a
  • ê - with AltGr + x, then e
  • ï - with AltGr + d, then i

So for me, it replaces not only the English QWERTY, but also the French Canadian QWERTY layout, as I often need to switch between the two when working (which involves communicating in french and coding with my English US physical (mechanical -- more on that in another post) keyboard.


It's too early to say that I'm more productive with that layout, but so far I see a small but steady increase in speed. And I've noticed that it really helps getting good sleep because I tend to get my best performances in the morning.