Love Your Office Space Series : Make Typing Fun

You spend a lot of time in your office. It could be a corner of your living room, a dedicated room in your home or even a small, rented space. No matter where your office is, a key to making work enjoyable (and productive) is creating an office space that you love. Over the next few weeks I’m going to give you some ideas for starting a love affair with your office.  We will cover everything from chairs to décor and a bunch of stuff in between.

This week let’s talk about typing. We all do it. A lot of it. It can be drudgery. Answering and writing emails, creating project plans, drafting documents, creating courses, whitepapers and more. Typing is just a huge part of life in an office.

What if I told you that you could make typing fun?

I never would have believed it either, but a few years ago, when my son the gamer was living at home, he bought a high-end mechanical keyboard for gaming. What’s a mechanical keyboard?  PC Magazine defines it as:

A physical keyboard that uses an individual spring and switch for each key. Today, only premium keyboards are built with key switches; however, they were also used in the past, such as in the Model M keyboard from IBM, which used buckling spring switches.

These mechanical keyboards are popular with gamers largely because they are high quality and long lasting.  Some of them also like the old-fashioned clickety-clack noise that some of them provide.  After my son raved about his keyboard and swore I’d love it, I decided to give it a shot and started using it on my work computer. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love, but fall in love I did.

I immediately noticed it was more tactile, due to the individual key switches. As a touch typist, I loved the feeling as each key was depressed. Even more so, I loved the audible click. Added to those two features was the pretty blue LED backlight and I was hooked. So much so that when he moved to Boston a couple of years ago, I begged him to let me buy the keyboard from him.

Then, a week or so ago I happened to see an ad for the QWERKYWRITER, a keyboard that looked like an old typewriter. I just happen to have recently purchased an old Royal typewriter that I use for art and I have a little crush on the whole antique look of the old typewriters. Sadly, the keyboard was way out of my price range, but it spurred a search to see if there might be something similar that was more affordable.

Lo and behold, I found this one.  It not only has the typewriter keys, it is mechanical with blue switches (a typists dream!) and….drumroll…rainbow LED lights that have different fun display settings.  For example, as I’m typing this, I have it set so that the lights respond to my typing. It also has a setting where the lights chase like Christmas lights. Now that’s fun. Add it to the clickety-clack and bouncy feeling the keys have beneath my fingers and it’s a pleasure to type those emails. I swear it even inspired this post.

For those of you who can’t stand the audible sound of clicking keys, you can still enjoy the tactile feeling of a mechanical keyboard without the click by choosing a keyboard with a brown switch. If you don’t think you could handle the rainbow lights you could choose a mechanical keyboard with single-color LED or simply turn the backlight off.

If purchasing a new keyboard just for adding some fun factor to your office space isn’t quite enough to convince you, consider that a mechanical keyboard is built for a lot of use and will last longer than your standard computer keyboard.  Between 30 to 70 million key presses compared to a standard keyboards 5 million press lifespan. Mechanical switches also don’t wear out, so no sticky keys or non-working keys.  How long in years is 30 to 70 million key presses?  A decade or more. See? It’s a great investment.

Plus, it may get you one step closer to loving your office.

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