Geek stats: a half million keystrokes at home (personal analytics)

Today I passed the half-million keystroke mark on my home computer. I started using a keystroke counter back on March 9, when I became interested in personal analytics. I have a keystroke counter on my work computer also, but this half-million keystroke milestone represents just my typing at home and just on my laptop. I don’t have a keystroke counter on my iPad, where I do a fair amount of my writing when away from my computer.

Still, a half-million keystrokes in just under 3 months is about 2 million keystrokes a year on my home computer.

Keycount 1.png

If you eliminate the spacebar, my most used key is the E key, which makes sense. I’m a little surprised my typing speed is so low, but then I remember that this counts ever single keystroke no matter what I am doing.

When I checked after the first month or so that I was using the logger, I discovered that I used the backspace key about 7% of the time. This has improved somewhat to a mere 2.7% of the time.

Keycount 4.png

Here is a “heatmap” of my keystrokes on my home computer (the redder the key, the more used it is). I’ve eliminated the spacebar from the results.

Keycount 2.png

Finally, if anyone is curious what a “typical” month looks like, here is a chart for the month of May. Keep in mind that I haven’t been doing much fiction-writing lately, and that is reflected in the relatively low numbers:

Keycount 3.png

I use a different keystroke logger at work because I use a Windows machine. The one at work does not tell me which keys I press; it keeps a cumulative total. It does, however, give me minute by minute data so that I can produce a diurnal plot of when I tend to be typing.

And since I imagine I’ll get asked the question, the keystroke counter I use on the Mac is the only one I could find in the App Store: TypingStats and it has worked out fine for me since I started using it.


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