What's Your Fastest Text Input Tool?

Designer and blogger Phil Gyford spends a lot of time with six different text input gadgets, ranging from low-tech (pen and paper) to more high tech (full keyboard, iPhone keyboard, etc.) His question: Which gadget provided the quickest means of input.

I have six input methods to compare:

To test the speed of input I was going to use the same piece of text for each one. I also wanted to use some text I could memorise, so I didn't have to pause typing/writing to look up, and the later tests wouldn't benefit from my increasing knowledge of the text.

His results:

Congratulations, full-size keyboard! Gyford is fully aware that his test isn't exactly scientific, and it probably doesn't apply to you, but it did get us wondering: What's your best input method? Share your fastest and favourite input method in the comments.

Pen v keyboard v Newton v Graffiti v Treo v iPhone [Phil Gyford via Daring Fireball]


    as a uni student, text input speed matters, but there are other considerations too.

    For straight text input, for hammering out an essay at 2am, it's keyboard all the way. When you leave it out till the last minute you don't want to have to handwrite and then type it in.

    However, for (good) notetaking I haven't found a better option than a notepad (ruled up in the cornell system) because you can draw doodles and diagrams, arrows between related concepts.

    You also don't have internet capability in paper.
    (some lectures, you need online capabilities so you can look up stuff, and sometimes you need the internet to stay sane during lectures.)

    Keyboard, without a doubt. I can reach up to an errorless 110wpm with my Lycosa, which is exponentially better than any of my other devices. Also, whenever I use a physical notebook, I tend to get distracted easily and fill the margins.

    amazing how after all of these years palm still remains the fastest text input device available!

      @adelaide dancing
      It would be surprising. You misread the graph - the bars refer to the time taken ie Palm takes the longest :-)

    It's rare for my note-taking to be purely text as I tend to process the input as I go with diagrams and connective arrows.

    I may also be entering symbols not easily produced on a keyboard (math, chemistry, music, ...). So then I'd use a Tablet PC with the Windows Journal utility or Microsoft OneNote.

    With time-ordered ink, linked to recordings of lecture content or statements at a meeting, it's easy to clarify or verify any point made during the note-taking period.

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