Anki is a smart flash card system. It is primarily used by people to learn languages, but it can be used to memorize anything.
Anki is based on the principle of ‘spaced repetition'. This is the theory that our memory is made up of two parts: Short term and long term.
By default all new information goes into short term memory, which can only hold it for a few days. But if it is reviewed often enough, then it will enter the long term memory, where it will stay for life, provided it is occasionally reviewed.
Anki uses a special calculation to test you on information just as your brain is about to forget it. By doing this, it allows information to move into your long-term memory.
The result is that you don’t waste time learning information, as Anki only shows it to you when you are about to forget. But you also never run the risk of not reviewing information enough, which could cause it to be forgotten.
Anki has a number of tools to help with memorizing information.
You can insert all sorts of media into your flash cards, including photos, sounds and videos. The brain responds much better to images, so this can help greatly with learning.
2) Multi-sided cards
You can test yourself on your cards in normal order (e.g. Question, Answer) or reverse (Answer first to see if you can recall the question)
It’s even possible to have more than two sides.
For example, every word in Japanese can be written in 4 different ways (as the language has 4 different alphabets). So you may wish to have a five sided flash card that displays a word in all the different ways to help with learning the 4 different languages (The fifth side will have the word in English).
Anki can automatically read out the contents of your flash cards using an add-in module. It will read it out in a variety of accents. This is very useful for learning languages as it helps to get the pronunciation correct.
4) Free web syncing
You can sync your cards across multiple devices. The statistics of when the cards will be reviewed are also synced.
This is very useful if you study in different environments.
5) Great support
Anki has an excellent support system. There is both a support ticket service and user-to-user support.
All of this is available for free, except the iOS version. It is slightly pricy at $20+ but it helps to cover the cost of the free web syncing server. (You can of course use the free web version on iOS).
7) Excellent modules
These help to enhance your cards and streamline the process of managing multiple cards.
I use Anki for a variety of business functions:
• Learning sales pitches
• Learning facts and statistics
• Learning interesting information in books or the news.
Knowing this information makes me more confident, as I don’t have to look it up or refer to notes.