Sep. 18th, 2008

Especially for those of you still in school, I want to take a moment to talk about Mnemosyne again.

I now bring my laptop to class with me every day, and instead of taking traditional notes, I create Question-and-Answer pairs on the material being taught in class. I generally create about 20-50 of these flashcard notes per day.

Then, in the evening (or any time of day on the weekends), I do a short but comprehensive review: I review all of the flashcards automatically scheduled for that day (which is generally about 50-80 out of my database of ~2000 cards), then review the ones that I had created earlier that day in class. This all tends to take less than 15 minutes, though I might take some extra time to edit typos and rephrase ambiguous questions as I come across them.

And then I'm done.

I haven't really needed any further studying time, and I'm beyond convinced that I know my course material much better using Mnemosyne than I would if I were just taking normal paper notes and never bothering to flip through them. For example, even though I did no special preparation work before my recent statistics exam, I felt over-prepared, if anything. We were given a list of "possibly helpful" equations on the test, but I already had all of them memorized, so there was no need for that. It was relaxing and easy.

This is why I'm [theoretically] writing a senior thesis on this stuff. It works. There's a hundred years of memory research behind this technology, I know it works, and I want to see it catch on more.

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notyourbroom

September 2008

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