Best flashcard - Anki, Twinkle, Mnemosyne, etc

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Reply #1 - 2011 July 01, 11:57 am
eri401
Member
From: San Diego
Registered: 2008-12-18
Posts: 16

Hi everyone,

I've noticed that people use different types of online flashcards.  Could someone explain the pros and cons of each? 

I have been using Anki off and on.  Since I'm still working through RTK1, I haven't tried searching for shared decks yet and I haven't yet linked it to my Android.  However, I like that it can hold multiple decks.  It seems easy to customize and generally is a solid, no frills flashcard. 

The downside so far is, I cannot change the typeset in my input (can't put in bold or italics).  I heard that other flashcards can hold multiple testing "fields" too.  Also, the tag system seems useless - maybe I'm doing it wrong but I can't search for the cards that I've labeled "grammar" for example.  What is the point of that??

--
Edit:  I just want to know your experiences on using your choice of flashcard software.  It should be really obvious that I have not really begun tinkering around with Anki and no, this was not a "help me with Anki" thread.

Last edited by eri401 (2011 July 02, 5:34 pm)

Reply #2 - 2011 July 01, 12:37 pm
nucleargorilla
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2008-03-10
Posts: 10

You may want to look at Anki's documentation, since I think you're overlooking existant features. For example, to search for a tag, you would search tag:TagName, obviously replacing 'TagName'. And you most certainly can have multiple fields per card.

Reply #3 - 2011 July 01, 1:06 pm
nest0r
Member
Registered: 2007-10-19
Posts: 5236
Website

Yes, do read up on the extreme basics about Anki and the other SRS programs first, it'll help you understand when people answer your question about their preferences, without them having to explain the most rudimentary elements of the programs.

For that kind of help with Anki, go here: http://groups.google.com/group/ankisrs/topics

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Reply #4 - 2011 July 01, 1:29 pm
mark95427
Member
From: California
Registered: 2010-05-24
Posts: 26

eri401 wrote:

The downside so far is, I cannot change the typeset in my input (can't put in bold or italics).  I heard that other flashcards can hold multiple testing "fields" too.  Also, the tag system seems useless - maybe I'm doing it wrong but I can't search for the cards that I've labeled "grammar" for example.  What is the point of that??

In Anki you can change the card layout only when you're reviewing a deck.

You do this by either pressing F2 (after opening up the deck), or by going to Edit->Card Layout at the top of anki.

With that you can edit the field layout and the font.
I believe Anki uses HTML editing, so it uses less/greater than signs.
For example:</b>text<b>

Last edited by mark95427 (2011 July 01, 1:48 pm)

Reply #5 - 2011 July 01, 1:39 pm
TwoMoreCharacters
Member
From: Sweden
Registered: 2010-07-10
Posts: 477

eri401 wrote:

The downside so far is, I cannot change the typeset in my input (can't put in bold or italics).  I heard that other flashcards can hold multiple testing "fields" too.  Also, the tag system seems useless - maybe I'm doing it wrong but I can't search for the cards that I've labeled "grammar" for example.  What is the point of that??

Anki can do all of that. Play around with it more or read up on the site.

As for flashcards/SRS, I think Anki really has it all. Until no other program has a desktop client, browser version, AND android/iphone support, I see no reason to use anything else.

Reply #6 - 2011 July 01, 5:20 pm
rich_f
Member
From: north carolina
Registered: 2007-07-12
Posts: 1670

Also, if you want font support in Android, you can get it with the latest beta of Ankidroid 0.7, which you can get from the Ankidroid Google group. I have no problems using YOzFont with my Nexus One and my Xoom, so it will play well with standard Android as well as Honeycomb. (And you don't need to worry about Ankidroid eating your decks or anything. It syncs just fine. I sync it with a 15,800 card deck frequently with no issues at all.)

Reply #7 - 2011 July 02, 5:22 pm
eri401
Member
From: San Diego
Registered: 2008-12-18
Posts: 16

Er, thanks everyone for the tips on Anki.  But as I originally posted, I have only used Anki on and off.  I was not intending this to be an Anki Q&A thread because there obviously are resources on those things.   Nor were my assessments definitive reviews on it because, I obviously have not started making sentence decks.  Jesus Christ.

Rather, I was curious about all of the other flashcard systems out there.  That is why my question is stated pretty clearly:  Could someone explain the pros and cons of each?  Googling the capabilities of each only reveals so much.  I'm curious about how people feel about using them on a day to day level.

Last edited by eri401 (2011 July 02, 5:29 pm)

Reply #8 - 2011 July 02, 5:28 pm
Asriel
Member
From: 東京
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 1343

They all do the same thing. You mark cards known or unknown, and they'll use some algorithm to show you them later.

Anki is the best because it's very multi-platform, extensible (plugins!), has a huge existing use base (shared decks!), and is quite customizable. The things you complained about (not being able to change the font and using tags) are both things that are supported, and used quite frequently. You must be doing something wrong.

The pros of Anki are that it does the same thing as the others, except a more, is more portable, and already has a lot going for it (support, plugins, etc...). Con: slight learning curve

The cons of everything else is that they're not Anki.

edit: i'm biased towards Anki because it's what I've started with, and nothing else has the plugins and iPhone support that I use all the time.

Last edited by Asriel (2011 July 02, 11:08 pm)

Reply #9 - 2011 July 02, 5:31 pm
eri401
Member
From: San Diego
Registered: 2008-12-18
Posts: 16

Hm...so then, are people recommending Mnemosyne/SuperMemo and others just because they were exposed to those first and haven't discovered the joys of Anki?

Reply #10 - 2011 July 02, 6:25 pm
ThomasB
Member
From: Tokyo, Japan
Registered: 2010-02-27
Posts: 139

Basically everybody in this forum uses Anki, so you'll get a lot of biased responses here. I have never used anything besides Anki so I can't comment on other system. However, if you want a wide variety of opinions I suggest you post the question in other (non-Anki-fanatic wink) forums as well. Who knows, maybe Anki really is the best one, and that's why everyone here is using it.

Personally I don't like Anki very much. The interface looks like it was made a decade ago (well, it almost was I guess), customizing is troublesome, and in general the UI sucks. Loading/Searching decks can be slow at times. Too many clicks needed for the simplest things. It's buggy as well, especially synchronization with AnkiWeb and iPhone/ipad apps. However, it DOES have a lot of functionality and is extendable, but you will need to spend some time really figuring out how everything works. I am simply too lazy to switch (or even try) other programs at this point because I already have all my stuff in Anki and I got used to it. Oh, and despite of my complaints, all the other systems I have seen (seen, not tried) looked much worse than Anki.

I'm really tempted to sit down and try to create a cross-platform spaced repetition system that takes the top spot away from Anki. That would take a lot of time and effort though... And since most people would probably be unwilling to switch (just like me) maybe it wouldn't even be worth it.

Last edited by ThomasB (2011 July 02, 6:32 pm)

Reply #11 - 2011 July 02, 6:47 pm
bladethecoder
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2009-04-10
Posts: 157

I've not seriously used any of the others, but I get the impression that Anki has more functionality and is more flexible, at the expense of being harder to learn how to use when you're first starting out with it.

Reply #12 - 2011 July 02, 11:33 pm
vosmiura
Member
From: SF Bay Area
Registered: 2006-08-24
Posts: 1085

Depends what you want to do.  If you just want to make simple flashcards, there's lots of options.

Some people recommend Mnemosyne because it's simpler than Anki and they don't need anything more, or maybe they just started with Mnemosyne and the rest is fan-boy/girl-ism. wink

SuperMemo... it's quite old, cluttered and buggy, over engineered, but it has features like incremental reading.

What's made Anki the best to me are the growing options for portable use, plus the community support.  There's a lot of shared decks and plugins for Japanese that aren't on anything else.

Reply #13 - 2011 July 02, 11:49 pm
nest0r
Member
Registered: 2007-10-19
Posts: 5236
Website

Anki's got incremental reading too: http://forum.koohii.com/viewtopic.php?p … 69#p149369 ^_^

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