Over the years, I’ve put in many hours to make my processes more efficient. I spend 40 hours a week, if not more at a computer; it makes sense to streamline this process.
In this post, I’d like to cover several tools, how they work, and how they work together.
- Kinesis Advantage
- Keyboard Layouts
- Multiple screens
The Kinesis Advantage is a marvel of a keyboard. It’s composed of two large wells placed horizontally; one for each hand. The wells’ distance from each other allows me to keep my arms shoulder-width apart which minimizes ulnar deviation. Also, the wells allow me to maintain natural wrist curvature where my palm is supported and neither my wrist nor my fingers support more weight than they should.
It has cherry brown switches which are quieter than blues and reasonably suited for workplaces. Mechanical switches are better than rubber keyboards because they last longer provide specific actuation points without bottoming out. In other words, you don’t need to mash on them to type.
Finally, it has ortholinear rows (i.e. all of the keys are placed vertically and not offset), which allows my fingers to naturally move up and down while keeping all keys closer to the home row. Finally, it moves some of the most important keys to the thumb (backspace, control, etc).
I interchange between Dvorak and Qwerty. Dvorak was created to minimize finger movement in several ways. Vowels are placed on the left and keys are generally placed to maximize hand alternation. The most popular keys are on the home row, with the subsequent keys placed on the top, and finally the least used keys on bottom. Unfortunately, I’ve never reached the same speed on Dvorak as I have on Qwerty, so I use it in limited capacity.
Importance of Screen Size
I have 3 monitors at home. I’ve found this is optimal so everything I might want to maintain in my mind and reasonably access quickly can be done so with ease. This often looks like a screen with 4 panes of code, another monitor for docs, and finally one more for miscellaneous items.
I’m strongly against using the mouse; I believe our arms should never move (or only move minimally) from the keyboard since everything can be done from the keyboard. Vimium allows me to browse/navigate webpages/search, etc. without using the mouse.