Increasing Your Typing Speed
I've been on the keyboard most of my adult life, but it only recently occurred to me that I may not be typing efficiently or to my fullest potential.
I realized this when I tried the typing tests online (do a quick Google search) and I kept getting an average score. Around 60-70 WPM. Considering how long I had been typing, these were poor results.
Therefore, I decided to deliberately get better at typing.
I know that those nipples on the F and J key meant something, but I never asked why. I decided to take a free online typing course where they showed how to position your hand on the keyboard. There is a home row and rows below it and above it. Keeping your fingers closer to home row allows you to be more efficient in your movements.
Specifically, keep your index fingers placed on the F and J keys at idle. That way, you will know where and how far you will need to move your fingers to get to the next target key.
I want to stress here that maintaining the proper position will be absolutely essential to your progress. This is the foundation of getting a faster speed.
Accuracy Vs Speed
So you might be tempted in the beginning to just start moving your fingers fast, thinking that it might help you increase your speed. On the contrary if you spell a word wrong, that means that not only did you waste time typing those string of letters, you now have to spend time deleting those letters and then redoing it. It probably would have been faster if you had slowed down and typed it correctly the first time.
So, start slow. Focus on accuracy over speed. You will instinctively become faster as you get more accustomed to the keys and your finger position.
So you have to learn how to work with all of your fingers. That means those awkward movements with your pinky. If a key should be pressed with your pinky, and it feels awkward or frustrating, force yourself to use the pinky. Eventually, it will becoming habitual. But getting through those uncomfortable situations is key to progressing.
There is a great site site to practice called 10 Fast Fingers that has helped me assess my progress. It includes a quick 1 minute test, which I come back to a few times a day when I'm not doing anything and I just try to hit a high score.
The Next Step
I am a coder, and I do a lot of typing in text editors. As a matter of fact, this article was written in VIM. VIM has become my favorite editor and I have tried to get its keybindings in all facets of my life. VIM is, after all, life. The gist of VIM is, in my opinion, to keep your fingers in the home row as much as possible. Cursor movements, correcting words, finding words can all be done from the home row. So you don't have to awkwardly reach for the mouse, or the arrow keys. Everything is at your finger tips (most) of the time.
There is even a browser plugin for Chrome and Firfox called Vimium that has enhanced by browsing speed.
VIM may not be usable in all environments, where it can be applied, it will be extremely beneficial.