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Show HN: Spaced-repetition flashcards linked to your learning materials (idorecall.com)
76 points by dhandel 9 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 21 comments

Hi HN friends,

iDoRecall cofounder and 67 y/o entrepreneur here. Today’s version of iDR is a total rewrite of our MVP. iDR began as a digital solution enabling the cognitive science strategies that I used to graduate #1 in my med school class back in the analog 70s [1]. iDR takes spaced-repetition flashcards beyond the bounds of well-known solutions. Barbara Oakley, Ph.D., creator of Coursera’s Learning How to Learn [2], uses iDR for her own lifelong learning. Recently she became our Chief Learning Science advisor.

Upload your learning content into iDR: PDFs, Word files, PowerPoints, images and many other file types. Add videos hosted on YouTube, Vimeo and other sites to your iDR library. Read, watch and listen to your content on iDR.

Create flashcards (we call them “recalls”) that are linked directly to the concepts, facts, formulae or whatever you want to remember in your learning materials.

When you practice memory retrieval with your recalls, if you struggle with the answer, you’re one click away from seeing the exact spot in your content where you created the recall so that you can quickly refresh your memory in the original context where you learned it. Stop wasting time rereading. Read once. Watch once. Listen once. Abstract and curate what you want to remember into recalls and use spaced-repetition memory retrieval to remember everything you learn. Rereading, highlighting and rereading highlight have been proven suboptimal tactics for remembering what you’ve learned [3].

Metacognition training wheels, Pomodoro timer and project management tools for learners included. Create study groups with classmates and collaborate sharing recalls and content. Teachers can create classes in the app.

We have reference docs on our self-hosted Notion [4] and helpful videos on our YouTube channel [5]. I write about learning on Medium and Better Humans [6]. Please let me know if there is any way that I can be helpful to you.

[1] Medium/Better Humans https://bit.ly/32RNRVR [2] https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn [3] https://makeitstick.net/ [4] https://learn.idorecall.com/LEARN-iDoRecall-96fd209b3b294337... [5] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdsHy47vKKsEylCoT-JT6tA [6] https://medium.com/@iDoRecall

Hey David, looks really impressive. And so nice to see some older enterpreneurs out there!

Strange that there’s just another spaced repetition show HN just next to this one. What are the odds?

I’m a co-founder of Kenhub[0] and we use some spaced repetition techniques in our quizzes. But it’s quite different still. The bigger difference for us is that we create and curate the content. I’m wondering if there’s some opportunity for collaboration. See contact details in my profile if you’d like to chat some time.

[0] https://www.kenhub.com

Thanks for the kind words. I just sent an email.


Looks nifty. Is there a way to enter source code(programming) in the editor? I cant find it. The thing I can find is how to enter formula, but that is not what I'm looking for.

Nifty. As an Anki user, I see this as a feature I really wish Anki had. This is an area where I am more than willing to spend money for an excellent product (which Anki strangely fails to capitalize on). Good luck, I hope this grows.

Obligatory HN cynacism: I don't think I'll end up using it due to the massive investment I've already made in Anki + switching friction. Plus, it's not open source, so if the service ever went away I would be crushed (which is really important to me since some of my cards have 10y+ intervals).

Thanks James, You can export Anki Flashcards and import them into iDR as recalls. The catch for now is that only .txt format exports work for the time being. Also, in a few weeks we'll offer self-serve export of all of your recalls in a CSV file which then be uploaded into Anki or Quizlet.

Thanks for the update. This is an important feature for me, too, for a different reason. I've discovered that, with Anki, oftentimes the fastest way for me to bulk edit a deck is to export it, manipulate it with a Python script, and then re-import it.

This is awesome!! I would like this to be my portal to the web. My current portal to the web is my browser, but it doesn’t allow me to create notes/cards/recalls on youtube videos I watch or on articles I read.

I think it would be good if the main content appears on the center (I see pdfs showing on the right side of the screen).

Thanks for the encouragement. Shortly we will be improving the layout and making the document viewer much wider.

I do like the feature where the flashcards are linked to the place in source material where they came from.

Something I didn't like about anything less trivial in Ankhi was that there was a lot of overheard in trying to write a card knowing that I would never reconcile it with its source again. So I would encumber it with context.

> An internal error has occurred. Please contact technical support to resolve that issue

FYI - I tried logging in with facebook.

Thanks. We’ll sort that out.

Does this work with DRMd content like digital textbooks?

No, it doesn't. Even when we add an EPUB reader in the coming months, it won't open DRM protected files. Unfortunately Amazon and Apple don't offer APIs for their ebook readers. The only solution is copy|paste or screengrabs... very suboptimal.

Do you plan to enable linking cards to web content?

My biggest desire is to create flash cards directly linked to software documentation.

Having spent a lot of time making a similar tool this is pretty difficult. Two issues: (1) highlighting and annotating across (partial) XML with rendered output is very hard without some understanding of the rendering, you can't really just say that a particular highlight is a fixed bounding box or interval; and (2) obviously, web content can change, so even if you could do the above what happens to your annotation highlight from character 5 to 10 when the document shifts?

Personally, I gave up and just converted the web page in question to PDF, and annotated from there. Then you get easy document position markers and no changes over time. I would also be very interested in a system that could do proper webpages natively, though.

Currently, you can create a flashcard and paste a URL in the source field. When you practice the flashcard and "turn it over", if you struggled with the anwer, you can click the source URL and it will open in another browser tab.

We do have plans to release browser extensions that will enable you to create flashcards linked to areas of interest in web pages that you are viewing. We will save the URL and a PDF of the page in case the content subsequently changes.

Holy webdesign jesus, this one has cookie popups, chat popups, auto-changing black text on dark background, slow animations that get triggered by scrolling.

All I want is really Anki with manual intervals. Life would be so good :|

You could try using steps(new cards part) for setting up your own intervals. I don't know how much it is fit for your purposes though. What do you not like about Anki's current scheduling, s9w?

I think the entire theory about the intervals is overcomplicated and too much of an overgeneralization at the same time. If users could just have buttons with "110% of last interval", "+2 days", "1 week" that would be the best way. I've written a web app like that many years ago but js development has since outpaced my motivation to keep up.

Steps is just manual entry of the first intervals, right? That's very static.

> Steps is just manual entry of the first intervals, right? That's very static.

You can choose as many steps as you want, so if all your cards have a single card setting, you can choose the schedule you like once and for all. But I don't know if using Steps in this manner is any good. Just an option.

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