A couple of months ago the folks at Typesy reached out to tell me about their product – typing software. I had a flashback to 1986 when MasterType for my IBM PCjr was the greatest thing ever. That software, combined with using a computer since I was 7 prepared me to ace my high school typing class.
(Yes, there used to be a classroom of actual typewriters with an instructor calling out letters.)
I chortled to myself as I thought, “With computers everywhere, isn’t everyone a very good typer now?” I’m at the point where I can type about one thing and have a conversation with my wife. (I don’t do it very often, because it really freaks her out. Also, writing about one topic and talking about another will make my brain explode if I do it for too long.)
Here’s the thing: I type a lot. Most of the people I know type a lot. It may be less than a few years ago thanks to smartphones and tablets, but there’s always going to be a need to create words to express thoughts.
If you can type faster, you can express more thoughts in less time. That’s productivity that saves you minutes every day… maybe hours each week.
When I think about that productivity and combine it with everyone not having a computer at age 7 like I did, it’s very easy to make a case that typing software is very valuable. Almost as if on cue, my 3-year old son provided another good reason for typing software… teaching kids to type. (Hey just came up to me and asked if he can type on my computer. He proceeded to type his name. Yes, I’m a proud papa. At the same time, should I be concerned that his typing skills are better than his writing skills?)
I decided it was worth a look, so convinced Typesy to let me try their software. It knocked my socks off. To be fair, my socks were prepared for a remake of a mid-80’s Mastertype.
There’s a lot to the software, so it’s for me to touch on everything, but I went straight to the training section to see if where I started. (I’m not the type to read instructions… I want to dig in.) It gave me a passage to type and I could see the letters change color as I went. I expected it to be short, but it felt like 3-4 minutes which I felt to be a long time as I was trying to typing as fast and as perfect as I could. I usually make very liberal use of the backspace key, and that wasn’t an option here. It definitely pulled me out of my comfort zone, which is what I wanted.
I finished with a score of 50 WPM and 1 error. I was pretty happy with that. I’ve never been one to do things very fast (call it Laziness if you want), so 50 is probably close to my physical figure speed maximum. The software integrates with an online account that saves all my tests, so I can graph my progress over time.
I looked through the website and see a lot of things that I didn’t try. For example, I didn’t look at the tutorials. Call it hubris, but I didn’t want to spend my time there. There were always ways to connect with your social network. That may be helpful for newer typers, but that’s not something I’d make use of either.
Typesy comes with access for 5 people, so I’ll give each of the boys their own account when they are a bit older (2 and 3 seem a little early at this point). When that happens, I’ll have a better idea of what their teaching program is like.
So far everything here has been glowingly positive about right? I did have some difficulties in installing the software. That didn’t help my early bias that typing software was outdated. However, when I closed the installation and tried it a second time, it worked.
The software itself runs on Adobe AIR. That’s good for Typesy because they can write it once and have it work on both Windows and Macs. Unfortunately, it requires installing extra software (the Adobe AIR environment). That was quick and it worked well. The style of the software itself doesn’t have a “modern” feel to it. I’m not quite sure if it is the Adobe AIR environment that makes it look outdated, but no one walking by is going to stop and say, “Hey that looks really slick! What are you doing?” If that was one your priorities in your typing software, it may be best look elsewhere. While you are looking, might I suggest that you double-checking those priorities?
Still wondering whether you should give Typesy a shot? They have the best guarantee I’ve seen anywhere: “Our Fearless 12-Month ‘Refund and $50’ Guarantee.” Not too many companies are willing to give you 12-month guarantee. Of those few, I’m not sure any of them (other than Typesy) will give you an extra $50.