Learning Vim is a fun and fulfilling journey that has been worth the initial small amount of pain, to learn Vim I have found the following activities helpful:

  1. Play vimtutor, finish it, it doesn't take too long
  2. Start with a blank vimrc, slowly customize the basic settings to your liking
  3. Once you are happy with your basic customization's, start learning various movements to allow you to get around
  4. Use Vim in all opportunities, have your old editor available to fall back to but try use Vim as much as possible, if you get stuck there is no harm in stopping, using your old editor and returning back to Vim when you are more patient and not feeling pressured
  5. Consider using MacVim or some other equivalent, it makes transitioning easier as it allows you interact with Vim more naturally, using your mouse and scroll wheel, copy paste etc. This will help ease the transition.
  6. Open all sorts of files in Vim, README's, documentation, anything - I have my Vim configured so beautifully it is a real pleasure to look at code and documentation in it, I think this has really helped be use Vim more.
  7. Start improving your vimrc, customizing it is a lot of fun, use NeoBundle, checkout vimawesome, vimcolor and make your Vim stylish - avoid adding too many custom shortcuts though - stick to the defaults as much as you can
  8. Read Practical Vim and build your base knowledge stronger
  9. Get by with the basic motions and shortcuts but once comfortable always search and look for a better way to do it, you can get by with the arrow keys, i and ESC but you need to keep looking for better ways to improve your process
  10. Once you are more comfortable, remove your fear of the default Vim documentation, it really is the best resource
  11. Look at others vimrc or dotvim files on Github for inspiration on how to customize yours

Learning and being comfortable in Vim has and is taking me a long time but I have found it very much worth the effort, the pleasure of working in a fast responsive editor that feels simple but is very powerful has added joy back into writing, and reading text.

My dotvim configuration is available on Github.

This article was first noted down on the 15th of February, 2015.