Today I started flashing custom layouts to my new Planck EZ keyboard. It runs QMK firmware, but the manufacturer has tools call Oryx and Wally that make customizing and flashing simple. On a software level, it is the best keyboard I have ever used. On a hardware level, it is solid, too, but I am not used to the ortholinear layout yet or the layers system. Typing with my left hand, especially the letters C and X, is a little problematic for me, because the Planck requires the use of different fingers than what I use for those keys on staggered layouts. Also, I my fingers tend to land in between the keys sometimes when I have to stretch my index finger or pinkie to reach a key.
I have been taking Matt Gemmel’s blog posts about the Planck as an inspiration for customizing it. Following his example, I created a numpad layout today, which will come in handy for work. I also turned on automatic capitalization, which capitalizes letters if you hold them down a tiny bit longer than a normal keypress. It is a cool feature, and may be more important for ergonomics than the layer system is for me.
I have also been practicing the Colemak layout on Keybr.com. Strangely, I could not get the web app to understand my keyboard layout unless it is in QWERTY mode; I have to emulate Colemak in the app, which is kind of a mixed blessing for now, when I could not even log into my computer in the Colemak layout.
All in all, it is fun to try something new. I wonder if I can actually learn the Colemak layout well enough to use it full time.