Quantified Self Experiments / Productivity - Keyboard Guide

Everyday we are using keyboards to control our computers and it might worth to pause for a second and think about it:

  1. Why most of computers come with staggered layout?
  2. Why there 100+ keys on keyboard?
  3. Why do we use a QWERTY layout?
  4. Is it worth to learn hotkeys to speed up work?
  5. Are there any better alternatives to mouse? 
  6. How much time is worth to spend on optimising these things? 

Staggered vs Ortholinear vs Columnar

A lot of keyboards come with staggered layout, but there is not too much on why is good choice.

The main issue with it is asymmetrical finger movements and movement length. Just compare left index finger diagonal pathway from F to T versus right move from J to Y. Another example is pinky movement to upper row - left one goes to Q and right one goes to middle between P and {. 

Ortholinear layout solves these issues, but it does not account for different finger length. Compare your pinky vs middle finger - pinky is substantially shorter. So its weird that pinky should have same button positions as middle one. 

When columnar layout comes to play it solves both problems - we dont have weird finger movements and columns are shifted vertically to account for different finger length.

In my opinion, columnar seems to optimal one.