I used to have half of my Let’s Split keyboard as my numpad, but I didn’t feel right wasting a semi-expensive custom keyboard on number inputs only. It also had too much keys and it took up way too much space on the desk anyway.
I use blank keys on my keyboard and using the number row works just fine for simple things like switching workspaces and short numbers. For serious number inputs I highly prefer using something numpad-y though.
So. A few months ago I decided to try adding the number keys from the numpad to my alpha keys, but on a secondary layer that I access via the key that I coloured purple.
This is all made possible due to the ATMega32U4 microcontroller on my custom keyboard, which supports the open source firmware QMK. I’m planning on making a post about that some day if you’re curious about it. :)
I have been using this new “numpad” for a few months now. At first it was really awkward and I had to think before typing any number, but after a few months I have to say I have gotten really used to it. I don’t think a need a separate numpad anymore.
If your keyboard is programmable I would highly recommend you trying this out. :)