Eubolist's Blog

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Anki: An Intelligent Study Card System For Any OS

with 3 comments

A month ago I was looking for a new computer-based method to improve my study schedule. After a bit of searching in the endless depth of the web I discovered Anki, a flash card application that has several very useful features:

  • It is written in Python and available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and FreeBSD – which means it runs on virtually any computer.
  • There are a lot of  “Decks” (=sets of flashcards built by other users) already available on the web
  • The interface is really nice and intuitive, adding sound, video or pictures to your cards is very easy, thus can be accomplished by people with little experience with computers. Also there are many options to adjust the program to your study habits.
  • Anki uses spaced repetition. After each card you have to say how well you remembered it – based on that Anki will set the interval after which the card will be brought up again. With this technique facts will be pushed into your long-term memory. That means you won’t experience black outs in exams anymore as the hormone cortisol, released by your body in situations of psychological stress, only affects the short term but not the long term memory.

If that made you curious, why don’t you give it a try! Here are the download links:

Windows

Ubuntu (you can also install it with apt-get/aptitude, but the version in the repositories is pretty old)

Linux

Mac OSX

FreeBSD

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Written by eubolist

2010/03/14 at 21:10

3 Responses

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  1. What are you using it for? I found that it was easiest to use it for language; I tried it for maths, with some success (LaTeX can be a pain sometimes), and also for some physics.

    By the way, why have you listed Ubuntu and Linux separately? Are they so far apart? 😛

    Eldon Reeves

    2010/03/24 at 20:22

    • I’m currently using Anki during lectures at university, it’s really convenient to just copy-paste slides out of the ppoint/pdf into the Anki flash cards (or if I’m too lazy for even that I just put screenshots on the cards). I plan to use it for learning foreign vocabulary as well, up to now I did that with regular paper studycards and a system of five different boxes for spaced repetition – Anki might not be that much more efficient but certainly hell of a lot more space-saving on my desk 🙂

      You’re right, Ubuntu should be a subcategory of Linux. As I don’t exclusively (almost though) work on Ubuntu I wanted users of other distros to find my blog as well. So the search engines are the main reason why there’s a seperate category.
      There are many other ‘flavors’ of Linux out there (like Arch or Fedora) and I certainly wouldn’t consider any of them “the best”. Personally, I just happen to work mostly with Ubuntu. I guess once you get used to the way one distro handles things you’re just too lazy to change if not absolutely necessary.

      eubolist

      2010/03/24 at 22:35

  2. I’d never considered copying out slides – that’s a quick way of getting material. If only the lecturers at my uni didn’t insist on using the blackboards… And Anki beats paper cards any day – quite apart from the space, it surely can’t be very fun to be sorting hundred of paper cards…?

    And fair enough about Ubuntu – hadn’t considered search engines…

    Eldon Reeves

    2010/03/25 at 22:07


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