Learning with Anki cards
Recently I have started using Anki flashcards to enhance my learning and memorization.
I feel that in the era of information overload and fast-changing tech it’s getting really difficult to retain concepts/topics which you care about. One of the challenges with me is how to retain a concept/topic which I had already understood some time back, though, I mostly make notes of the important topics which I read, but what happens is that over a period of time you lose track of these notes. I use Evernote which is an excellent tool for note-taking but I feel that there is a need to revisit them in a timely manner which you can’t do in a note-taking app.
Here comes the Anki flashcard system, so what Anki does is to make a revision plan for you to revise the cards that you have made. Anki presents these cards to you in a certain interval and asks for feedback like how easy or difficult it was to fetch that concept. So based on the user’s feedback, it sets a new revision timeline.
So the first thing to be done is that once you study a topic and understood it the first time then make Anki cards for all the key points which you want to retain for a long time. This exercise is a bit time taking but worth doing it. Making questions and follow-up questions intelligently is the key to make good flashcards, they should not be very long and should not contain many details.
So, after doing the first Anki card revision you can re-read the same topic and see your performance in the next revision (how much information you retained), that way you can control your revision process and hopefully will retain important information for a much longer duration.
One more thing, if you really struggling to make your own cards you can fetch some shared notes made by others on the Anki web, just to get a feel for how this works. but you will get the most benefit only when you make your own cards.
I have already started making my own flashcards, so far I have not shared them on the Anki platform but a draft of them is available on my GitHub which I am updating regularly.
Feel free to fork my Anki repo and collaborate.
More Readings and links:
Excellent blog post by Michael Nielsen on Augmenting Long-term Memory and tips for how to retain information in your memory using Anki flashcards http://augmentingcognition.com/ltm
Caution: This is a very long post but worth reading
Happy Learning and revising!