This page isn’t quite finished, but may still be useful.
Spaced repetition is a tool that makes remembering a choice.
Unfortunately, however, spaced repetition can be difficult to start: its benefits go unseen for the first few months after starting. Moreover, first learning about spaced repetition can be overwhelming.
But it’s amazing to be able to exert control over what I remember. I have 2,500 Anki cards, each accounting for a single fact or connection, and I only spent 20 minutes a day studying.
Roughly, the first two years requires ~2 minutes of reviewing cards, and remembering for the rest of your life takes another ~2 minutes.
Source. (Caution: this article is extremely long, if you’re looking for an introduction to Anki, read on.) //fix
Assuming 10 average seconds/review, an exponential interval of 2, and a small probability of forgetting, the end result is essentially 2-10 minutes per fact per life. //fix
There are plenty of people on the Anki subreddit that have been using Anki for a decade or longer.
If you don’t know what spaced repetition is, read this before proceeding, it’s the best introduction that I’ve found.
There are a few applications ("spaced repetition systems" [SRS]) for spaced repetition (SR); I use Anki, the most popular one.
With Anki, you create digital flashcards and Anki tests you on them on an exponential interval. First it will test you the day after, then three days after, a week, two weeks, a month, etc.
While it’s intuitive to use Anki to remember facts, nowadays I mainly use Anki for my math classes.
(When I say “Ankify”, I mean “adding cards to Anki for”.)
I use Anki for
I don’t take notes; instead I solely use Anki to study. For both of these courses, I’ve made ~350 Anki cards.
It can be difficult to figure out how to create Anki cards for highly technical courses because often the material is more abstract.
So far, I pay attention to the following to ankify my math courses:
Something surprising I’ve noticed with using SR for technical courses is that it forces me to connect material taught in the beginning of the course to material taught now. Anki will test me on material I learned two months ago, and sometimes this leads to an “ah ha” with respect to current material.
I also fully intend to keep studying my Anki cards for the courses I’m taking now. I want to see how this affects my learning in future years of college. It’s especially an advantage since no one I know does this.
For my research (brain computer interfaces) I am taking the MIT OpenCourseWare course: 9.40 Introduction to Neural Computation.
I don’t take notes; instead I solely use Anki to study. What I add to Anki:
I don’t take notes; instead I solely use Anki to study.
Evolution is the simplest class to Ankify because it consists mainly of pure facts: clearly defined definitions and principles.
Don’t quote me on this but
let them seize, but make sure they can't hurt themselves flailing. don't restrain them.
only call 911 after 2 minutes, or if they have multiple seizures
make sure they can't choke
I have one deck for almost everything. I try not to separate my Anki decks based on topic because real life isn’t separated based on topic. (Plus, serendipitous idea sex occasionally occurs from observing otherwise hard-to-relate ideas in succession.)
I have another deck for example problems from classes. I don’t like to keep these in the main deck because they take longer to do. I may fiddle with the spaced interval for these in the future, too.
Another deck called ‘Everyday’— max interval of one day. For making new habits.
Another deck called 'Unforgettable'— a max interval of 20 days. Ensures I remember passwords (I don't put the actual passwords in anki of course) and anything else that cannot be failed softly.
Another deck of downloaded subdecks. I like to keep this separate from my Default deck, particularly because cards created by other people aren’t as important.
Last of all, I have a deck of downloaded subdecks when new. This is restricted to ~10 new cards per day. It’s very difficult to do more than this consistently.
Be careful with Anki complexity, though. Your use of Anki will get more complicated over time. But it's really easy to get too caught up with trivial things in this way. I try to avoid almost all of this complexity until I absolutely can't—otherwise I'd've gotten lost and given up. The greater error is to become so overwhelmed you quit, not the slight loss of efficiency in studying a few more cards daily.
Posted 2020 July, last updated 2021 January 6.