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Podcast-Cover300Today, a few thoughts on how your memory works and how it is structured. I spend some time talking about a system called Anki in this episode. I know many of you will think it sounds impractical, hard to learn, or like a waste of time, but give it a shot. It is one of the most exciting tools I have discovered in the last five years and has completely changed the way I study and learn. I cannot recommend it strongly enough. (And it is free!)

You can get Anki here.

Here are the show notes:

Short-term and long-term memory

  • Short-term memory lasts seconds (< 30) unless refreshed. Can only store 7 +/- 2 “pieces”
  • Long-term memory indefinite and infinite(?)
  • Working memory? How does this all work?

Chunking

  • Concept is the same as building words and sentences from letters
  • Connections between information matter
  • Impressive short-term memory feats come from chunking

Moving from short-term to long-term

  • Old way was repetition. It sucks, but it works, with some limitations. It’s also slow.
  • Intensity (under correct conditions) is what matters
  • Build connections
  • Make sure you understand. It’s hard to learn something you don’t understand.
  • Correct reinforcement at the right time is the best way to make knowledge permanent.
  • Long term andshort term can help each other
    • Mnemonics

Space repetition system

  • Anki (http://ankisrs.net/)
  • Flashcards, but not the flashcards you know from school
  • Two parts to using the system
    • Making flashcards
    • Using them
  • What can you put on flashcards?
    • Pictures
    • Words
    • Sounds
  • Time spent making flashcards is time spent learning. I don’t think there is a lot of value in using a pre-made deck.
  • What to do this week:
    • Download it
    • Experiment
  • I’ll follow up with some blog posts in coming weeks.

 

I want to take a few lines here to thank you, my loyal listeners. I certainly would not have continued this podcast if it were not for you. If you have thoughts or questions, please feel free to reach out to me. If you’ve left a review somewhere for the show, thank you. That’s not a causal thank you–your reviews are very important because they help new people find me. If you haven’t left a review and if you enjoy what I do here, please consider taking a minute and writing a short review on iTunes here.

Also, if you like the music for this podcast, then be sure to check out Brian Ashley Jones, my friend, and a fantastic singer-songwriter, awesome guitar player, and a great all around guy!

Enjoy the show: