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Best Productivity Keyboard

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whats the best keyboard for productivity, macros, size, how long you can use it for (stuff like ortholinear).
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xdaimon
0
May 7, 2017
Microsoft Sculpt, because it fits the way our hands, as humans, naturally tilt inward. Microsoft also released a newer keyboard named the Surface keyboard, looks really nice.
OracleKev
244
May 6, 2017
Stumbled upon this old discussion. Sharing my thoughts rather than trying to provide an answer.
Everyone is different and each person faces variety of situations, so I don't think there can be one "best keyboard for productivity", even for individual! I define keyboard productivity with characteristics that maximize output over decades of time. This can be described as formula: Rate of Output x Hours of Work x Longevity of Keyboard Career Each component in the formula can be generalized as: * Rate of output is closely related to type of work and hands. If you work in an application that requires frequent usage of function keys, mini keyboard might be bad idea. On the other hand, if you have tiny hands, it might be better to press FN+1 than reach out for F1. * Hours of work is closely related to fatigue and motivation. ** Those who need to work the keyboard a lot often find their hands tired by end of day. Keyboard with right amount of actuation pressure and backplate shock absorbtion often doubles/triples hours of work without strain. ** Motivation comes from right feel--switch actuation, keycap tactility, aesthetics, etc. For example, while this may not work for everyone, I really enjoy typing on noisy keyboard (vintage buckling spring or blue switches) on down days. * Last but not least, Longevity basically depends on not getting hurt, avoiding RSI. There are countless articles and opinions in this area, but the danger is it doesn't grab one's attention until pain comes and by then remedies have diminishing returns.
Here is my keyboard combination that keeps me productive. I work more than half day on computer doing programming (emacs+evil, majority c++, debugging), productivity applications (mostly MS Office) and web surfing (lots of tabs). Occasionally, I'm on go either on my notebook or on public terminal. My workhorse is TKL mechanical keyboards with switch and keycaps suiting the mood. I have registry key assignments and AutoHotKey set up with SUPER, HYPER modifiers and Function keys supporting my style of keyboard "play." The key point here is keyboard is only half the equation for productivity. SW setup plays far bigger role in reducing amount of keystrokes. When I have a long day or if I feel my hands are tired, I use Topre keyboard which I find helpful because of rubber dome since I tend to hit backplate often. When I'm on the go on my own notebook, I use 40% keyboard with key assignments pretty similar to my desktop. I want to minimize training two sets of muscle memory. This is also relevant when I go work on public terminal with standard setup. My general rule of thumb is 1) keystroke efficiency, 2) repetitive motion avoidance, 3) 70% consistency 30% variation.
For future, I have 75% custom on order with split space bar. When I played with 40% keyboard, I really liked using more thumb. Programmability drew me as well, but it turns out I already had enough programmability on desktop with AutoHotKey. Custom 75% will give me right number of keys with high density, but spread out enough to avoid repetitive motion.
Zenix
304
Feb 28, 2017
Hmm. I'm a student, so I can't really take advantage of the productivity muscle that one can squeeze out of a keyboard. (And I mostly use my PC for gaming, so productivity is rather low on my list)
For me, my favourite layout would be a standard 60%. I have little need for the function keys, the nav cluster or the numpad. As a resident of Hong Kong, where everything is very compact, the real estate from a smaller keyboard is something I appreciate.
A lot of that depends on what you're doing. I use a Ducky SZ2108 at work with Cherry Blues. I love it. I need a fullsize board for the numpad, and the dedicated calculator/volume buttons are fantastic. At home, I use a Planck with Cherry Clears and a Satan GH60 with Gateron Greens. I use the Planck as often as possible, but sometimes I need that extra little bit of space the GH60 provides. The Planck is wonderful for doing photo editing, as well; I need to get some relegendable caps for that purpose alone, but then I feel I wouldn't use it for typing as much. I think the solution is to get another Planck.
j.a.l
716
Jul 13, 2016
I don't think I have any super firm preferences. Still experimenting - custom boards are new to me and I've been typing for a living for a long time, so my (not technically correct) touch typing is pretty set in muscle memory. Another constraint is that I seem to have fairly context-specific muscle memory - I spend half my day in vi, where hjkl is perfectly normal, but when using GUIs reach for arrow keys. I've been playing with a Pok3r at home for a little while to see if I can retrain; I'm trying hjkl for arrows outside of vi, and currently am at the point where I'm starting to notice the instinctual reach for the arrows before I actually do it, so maybe another couple weeks and that will be reasonable to try at work.
I like clicky keys, but have browns at work to avoid enraging cow-orkers. I have blue and greens on home boards.
I like weird boards. An external 8-key and a numpad are for macros - keeping them on physically separate devices just seems to work for me. They're boring - gdb shortcuts, Autocad sequences, triggering KeyboardMaestro[1] rules, a few that automate multi-step GUI actions that shouldn't be multi-step.
I have a VE.A on order, and honestly am not sure how that will work for me. As mentioned, I never learned to touch type the 'right' way - in particular, I reach for the Y with my left hand. It will be interesting to see if I learn to type more correctly or become overly annoyed first. But I liked the idea of the left-hand keys, and the board is just so sexy... If it doesn't work, it seems like there will be no difficulty selling it.
I also have a PCB and plate for an ortho coming. Doubt that's going to be reasonable for a working programmer, but it looks like fun. If I end up keeping it after making a case for it, it will probably become a controller for a little CNC mill I'm (incredibly slowly) trying to build.
[1] If you use a Mac, like keyboards and are unfamiliar with KayboardMaestro, your life is incomplete.
Bog4rt
104
Jul 13, 2016
Network Engineer here, so at work I have to live and die by my 10-key (it helps too much when positioning my hand for manual hex entry). I've used an assortment of cherry and kalih key colors, and I haven't found at least a still in production color yet I live and die by. Cherry blacks on a ducky zero at work with some cheap abs keys I grabbed at a bazaar, and some sig plastic selectrix clones on cherry reds at home on a board which started as a corsair and I don't know exactly what it is now. I would really like to see more of the macro heavy community users discussion as the HHKB following has always interested me (would especially like to hear from any excel gurus that are mkers).
priyadi
570
Jul 1, 2016
The best keyboard for productivity is one that keeps my hands on the the home row. That means, at very minimum, arrow keys+PgUp/PgDn/Home/End keys clustered in second layer of IJKL + surrounding keys, and a Trackpoint for pointing device.
Such keyboard unfortunately doesn't exist off the shelf. But I'm in the process of custom building a couple for myself.
Dr.McCoy
345
Jul 1, 2016
My Pok3r with MX blues is basically perfect for 90% of what I do. The only problem is if you need to do video editing professionally (as I did). There are so many hotkey combinations that you really need a full size keyboard (and probably some other button-y gear). Also, for something like that, I'd pick a heavy spring (e.g. MX greens). Also, you need a full size for spreadsheets.
NYalex
281
Jun 30, 2016
any basic board with mx blue switches.
don't need macros, or useless LEDS, or stupid keycaps.
as a matter of fact, i just bought a second monoprice mx blue for $45. i like it more than my das ultimate.
Xyverz
609
Jun 30, 2016
As a long-time Kinesis Contour/Advantage keyboard user, I'm a bit biased, but I have to say that the Kinesis Advantage is a great keyboard for long sessions. If you get the Pro model, you'll have pretty decent macro programming capabilities as well.
I've also found during general writing (journals, stories, articles) sessions that my Atreus has been a very comfortable keyboard to use for long periods of time as well.
My preference still leans toward the Kinesis Advantage, though.
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