Learn Anything With Flashcards - The Ultimate Guide To Anki | Ali Abdaal | Skillshare

Learn Anything With Flashcards - The Ultimate Guide To Anki

Ali Abdaal, Doctor + YouTuber

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48 Lessons (5h 18m)
    • 1. Class Trailer

      1:56
    • 2. i. Structure of the Course

      3:58
    • 3. 1.1 Theory of Flashcards

      7:22
    • 4. 1.2 What is Anki?

      3:35
    • 5. 1.3 Why Anki?

      4:48
    • 6. 1.4 Why Anki? BONUS

      3:08
    • 7. 1.5 Installing Anki

      2:04
    • 8. 1.6 The Anatomy of Anki

      8:13
    • 9. 1.7 The Basic Flashcard

      6:57
    • 10. 1.8 The Reverse Flashcard

      3:18
    • 11. 1.9 Cloze Deletions

      9:57
    • 12. 1.10 Cloze Deletions with David

      4:49
    • 13. 1.11 Editing Flashcards

      9:27
    • 14. 1.12 Image Occlusion

      9:15
    • 15. 1.13 The Best Settings For Anki

      9:01
    • 16. 1.14 Anki On Different Platforms

      4:13
    • 17. 1.15 Syncing to Anki Web

      6:34
    • 18. 2.1 Flashcards From A Lecture

      12:48
    • 19. 2.2 How to Make Flashcards From A Video

      6:26
    • 20. 2.3 How To Make Flashcards From A Paragraph

      5:07
    • 21. 2.4 Improving Your Flashcards

      5:28
    • 22. 3.1 When to use Anki?

      4:46
    • 23. 3.2 When should I start making flashcards?

      3:53
    • 24. 3.3 What should I put on flashcards?

      3:35
    • 25. 3.4 How long should a flashcard be?

      10:56
    • 26. 3.5 Should I write notes as well as making flashcards?

      5:43
    • 27. 3.6 Managing Card Overload

      6:04
    • 28. 3.7 How to stay consistent

      4:47
    • 29. 3.8 Anki vs Quizlet

      1:52
    • 30. 3.9 Anki vs Google Sheets

      1:38
    • 31. 3.10 Anki vs Notion

      3:52
    • 32. 3.11 The Importance of Playing the Long Game

      1:46
    • 33. 4.1 Optimisation

      1:11
    • 34. 4.2 Tags

      5:36
    • 35. 4.3 Advanced Tagging

      2:25
    • 36. 4.4 Premade Decks

      3:54
    • 37. 4.5 Premade Decks: Philosophy

      5:34
    • 38. 4.6 Add-Ons: Heat Map

      2:04
    • 39. 4.7 Add-Ons: Pop-Up Wiki

      1:34
    • 40. 4.8 Add-Ons: Frozen Fields

      1:58
    • 41. 4.9 Add-Ons: Focus Add On

      3:17
    • 42. Conclusion

      2:23
    • 43. BONUS INTERVIEW - Getting 99.9% with Anki (Part 1)

      19:50
    • 44. BONUS INTERVIEW - Getting 99.9% with Anki (Part 2)

      18:41
    • 45. BONUS INTERVIEW - Conversations with An Anki Expert (Part 1)

      18:36
    • 46. BONUS INTERVIEW - Conversations with An Anki Expert (Part 2)

      18:21
    • 47. BONUS INTERVIEW - "I didn't take a single note for my exams" (Part 1)

      17:32
    • 48. BONUS INTERVIEW - "I didn't take a single note for my exams" (Part 2)

      17:20
562 students are watching this class

About This Class

Learn Anything With Flashcards - The Ultimate Guide To Anki

Finding the right tools and techniques for learning is difficult. We've all spent time at some point searching the internet for the answer to questions like "How can we revise effectively", "Best methods for studying", "How to ace my exams" - but often we end up reverting back to what we know and the techniques that we've always used or simply get bored with searching and so revert back to procrastinating on Instagram.

This class provides an extensive walkthrough of the flashcard app Anki – a tool which has made studying more effective, more efficient and less stressful for thousands of students around the world. The aim of the class is to show that Anki is an immensely powerful tool and by using it, you can start to leverage the benefits of active recall and spaced repetition to improve your own work – whether that be studying for exams or learning new content of any sort. Whether you are a beginner to Anki or you've had experience using the app in the past, I hope you can draw some helpful tips, advice and value from these lessons. 

Section One

In the first section, we’ll introduce the theory and power of flashcards before guiding you through the basics of Anki – from initial installation to an explanation of the different card types as well as how you can use the app across multiple devices to make sure you keep up with your flashcard reviews. Even if you’ve used Anki in the past, you’ll hopefully still find value in these videos because it’s important to get a solid foundational understanding of the mechanics of Anki before moving further into the app.

Section Two

The second chapter is walkthrough-based and features a series of examples where I’ll share how I would make a flashcard from a lecture, a video as well as how I made flashcards for an essay-based exam during my third year at Medical School. The section finishes with a discussion about the importance of using the Extra section of your flashcards to enhance your understanding and improve your flashcards.

Section Three

Section three is structured around frequently asked questions that I’ve received in relation to Anki – not only in terms of the mechanics of the app but also questions around how to maintain motivation, discipline and consistency to avoid becoming overwhelmed with cards to review. There are also a series of videos where I’ll discuss Anki in relation to other apps that people sometimes use for similar learning techniques – including Quizlet, Notion and Google Sheets.

Section Four

The final chapter is more advanced and aimed at the optimisation of Anki through the use of tags, premade decks and a handful of recommended add-ons that will enhance your experience, efficacy and efficiency when using Anki.

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Throughout this class, there’ll be segments from interviews that I recorded with students from around the world and I’d like to thank David, Prerak, Clara, Sanjush, Carter, Kaddor and Liam for offering their time to talk through their own experiences with Anki and how they’ve used it for their own studies.

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Who am I? 

My name is Ali - I'm a doctor working in the UK, and on the side I make YouTube videos about medicine, tech and productivity. I discovered Anki in my second year at university whilst studying medicine at Cambridge and the app not only had a measurable positive impact on my studies but also helped revolutionise the way that I studied as well.

For me, Anki has probably been the most useful and valuable app that I've used over the past few years and I want others to be able to get the same benefits that I achieved by discovering it. I often get questions on my videos asking for advice on using Anki as it can be quite a daunting app for beginners, that's why I've decided to put together an extensive Skillshare class which takes you right through from setting yourself up on the app to the more advanced ways that you can optimise it to suit your own needs and get the most from your work.

Other Useful Links:

My Equipment:

Transcripts

1. Class Trailer: But whether we're trying to learn stuff for exams or just in general, flashcards are one of the most powerful techniques that we can use. Hi everyone. My name is Ali. I'm a doctor working in the UK, and on the side, I make YouTube videos about medicine tech, productivity, and education stuff aimed at students. I also teach Human Physiology at the University of Cambridge where I was a student for six years. While I was a medical student, I discovered the power of flashcards and the power of this app called Anki. I'm not going to lie, when I started using Anki properly, it completely changed my life and made studying much more effective, take much less time, and also be much less stressful overall. It's not just me who thinks this, there are hundreds of thousands of students over the years who have been using Anki to prepare for all sorts of things from medical school exams to law school exams, to even learn things like music theory, and piano chords, and the capitals of the world, and all sorts of other stuff. But because Anki is so powerful, it can have a bit of a learning curve and it can be quite daunting for people new to flashcards to get to grips with how to use Anki properly. That is why in this class, me and a few other friends are going to be teaching you everything you need to know to get started with Anki, but not just to get started, to actually use it properly. There's one thing like knowing how to actually make flashcards, and then, there's another thing, knowing how to use them effectively to maximize the bang for your buck when it comes to learning a load of stuff in the smallest amount of time possible. I'll warn you now, this class is absolutely massive. But if you're a beginner to Anki, then the first bit of the class is really all you need to get started. But for the sake of comprehensiveness and because we thought might as well, we have sort of expanded this class way beyond what a reasonable length of time is, just to put everything all in one place. This is not the sort of class that you should sit down and watch all in one sitting because that would just take way too long and be completely useless. Instead, if you're a complete beginner to Anki, you can start by watching the beginner segments of the class and then start dabbling with flashcards yourself. If you're an Anki nerd and Anki professional, then hopefully, you'll still find something in here that's helpful, especially the bonus discussions with students who have been using Anki to change their lives over the last few years. That's my rumbling done for now. I'm absolutely delighted that you've decided to take this class and I will see you on the other side. 2. i. Structure of the Course: Hello, welcome to the class. In this video, I'm going to explain the class structure. I talked about it a little bit in the trade or thingy, but we'll do it properly here. So in the first segment, we're going to be introducing the basics of Anki, like why you should use Anki and the power of flashcards. If you are familiar with the idea of space repetition and active recall and stuff, feel free to skip these videos. Actually, I think that's a general theme for this whole class. You don't really have to watch all the videos in the order that they're given. You can just pick and choose the stuff that you want. Because I know people are going to be coming into this with different levels of experience with flashcards and with Anki and just with studying in general. So the first chapter of the class is aimed at complete beginners. It's about things like how to install Anki and how to synchronize it with Anki web. But then we've also got some stuff about basic flashcards, closed deletions and image occlusions and reverse flashcard types, which even if you have been using Anki before in the past, if you're not a complete professional at using Anki, you still might find those basic videos helpful because I think it's really important to get a solid foundational understanding of how Anki works before we dive into the nitty gritty of it. So that was Chapter 1. Chapter 2 of the class is going to be walk-through based. So assuming you've got this foundational knowledge of how Anki works with all these different card types, I'll be taking you through how me and a few other people, how we would create flashcards from lectures, from classes in real life and from textbooks, and how the process works for making an effective flashcard. At that point, you should have all the information you need to just get started with Anki and then the rest of the class is fairly optional. But in part three, Chapter 3, we're going to be answering some frequently asked questions. So in preparation for this class, I posted on my Instagram asking people to send in their questions. We've tried our best to answer every single common question that people had. The most common ones were around things like motivation and consistency and discipline, like how to actually bring yourself to do your flashcards every day. So hopefully, we've got some advice for that. But there were also a lot of questions about specifics about flashcards like, how long should your Anki flashcard be? How much information should you have on it and how to avoid things like flashcard, overload? A lot of people were for some reason interested in how Anki fits into a wider study strategy. So we've got videos comparing Anki and Notion and Aki and Quizlet, Anki and Google Sheets. I'll be sharing my philosophy of how I use Anki to study for all things along the way. Then in Chapter 4, we've got the optimizations, the advanced stuff where we going to be talking about tags, a handful of add-ons that we recommend you install, and the immense power of pre-made decks, but also the potential pitfalls with pre-made decks. Because pre-made decks genuinely have the potential to change the game completely when it comes to your flashcards but you got to use them properly. Otherwise, it becomes very overwhelming and we just want to throw our laptops in the bin because pre-made decks can just be a nightmare to deal with. So hopefully, you'll find a way to navigate pre-made decks in Chapter 4. Then finally, Chapter 5 is like a bonus segment where we've got loads of interviews with students from all around the world about how they use Anki. We'll be adding to the bonus segment over time. If you have any suggestions for how this class can be improved, leave them in the discussion section down below, we'll hopefully add some stuff to the class over time. Now, there is also a project section on Skillshare wherever you're watching this. The class project for this, it would be nice if we could all share our experiences of using Anki and our tips of using Anki. For example, once you've had some experience with Anki, I would love if you can screenshot your homepage of Anki, maybe with the heatmap add-on that we will discuss later on. Maybe you can share some tips for everyone else with how you find using Anki, possibly in terms of the mechanics of how Anki works, but also be really good to have our tips on can maintaining motivation, discipline, and consistency, because really flashcards is specifically Anki are incredibly powerful. But unless we do them every day, we're hamstringing ourselves. So any advice that we can all including me, take away from the group, from the collective about how we can optimize our learning, that would be awesome. Let's consider that the class project, and I'd love for you to post that in the section down below. That was it. Thank you for watching this introductory video. I will see you in Chapter 1 where I'll have a change of clothes for the very first segment of the class. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 3. 1.1 Theory of Flashcards: What is a flashcard? A flashcard is very simply, it's a card that you have something on the front and you have something on the back. For example with this, capital of France, that would be the front of my flashcard. On the back of my flashcard is the word Paris so capital of France and Paris, this is a flashcard. The idea is that I will have a deck of flashcards so that when I come to it, I look at the front, I see capital of France. Then I think, ''Okay, cool.'' I think that's Paris, then I turned over and I'm like, "Yes, I got it right" or if I saw capital of France I think, "I think it might be London" and turn over, "Yes it's Paris, of course." This is basically what a flashcard is. This looks really simple, but flashcards are absolutely magical inventions that have the power to change your life like genuinely, I'm not overstating this enough. Flashcards and using flashcards properly, completely is 100 percent a total game changer when it comes to effective studying. Why flashcards is good? Flashcards are good because it encourages us to use active recall. If you've seen my previous class about how to study for exams, if you haven't then you should please, I talked a lot about active recall and how it's the single most powerful effective study technique. Basically, the idea is that we test ourselves and the process of testing ourselves strengthens the connections in our brain between the stuff that we have to learn. Therefore, if I were to just read in a book, the capital of France is Paris, or just write it down or highlights or whatever, it wouldn't stick in my brain as much as if I actually tested myself. If actually thought what the hell is the capital of France and turned over all "Yes, its Paris." The act of testing ourselves is what strengthens those connections. Flashcards are a very easy way to force ourselves to use active recall because we have to test us off. Now, why else are flashcards good? Well, flashcards also lend themselves very well to the second most effective study technique and that's called spaced repetition. Spaced repetitions objective is to combat the forgetting curve. This is a fantastic article from Nicky Case called How to Remember Anything Forever. It takes about 20 minutes to go through. I'll put a link in the Project and Resources section and you should definitely go through it, but there's a graph that I want to show you here. Here we go. In 1885, Hermann Ebbinghaus performed an act of scientific masochism. He memorized thousands of nonsense words, recorded how much he forgot overtime and discovered the forgetting curve. He found that you forget most of what you learned in the first 24 hours. Then if you don't practice recall, active recall flashcards, you're remaining memories decay exponentially. We've all had this thing where we study something one day and then the next day if feels it's completely gone or a week later, we don't even remember studying it in the first place. This is not because we are stupid, because this is how a brain works, it's called the forgetting curve. Over time, we exponentially forget things. This is what it looks like. There's this interactive graph, interactive graph over here and we can see that it's essentially an exponential decay over time, so our memories will decay. Now, the idea behind spaced repetition, let's start with reputation bit like once we recall the stuff. For example, if I learned that the capital of France is Paris, then I would be forgetting it according to this forgetting curve. But let's say some point later, I re-tested myself on the fact that the capital of France is Paris, at that point, my memory would go back up to a 100 percent and then it would restart the forgetting curve. You can see here, let's say I start my recall and at this point, it goes up to a 100 percent strength of memory and then it again decays exponentially. Now, the slightly interesting thing about this is that every time that we revise the thing, every time we recall that the capital of France is Paris, the decay happens less steeply. For example, if we move this interactive graph, you'll notice that the lines are getting less and less steep, right at the start, if we look at the very first one, that is very steep drop-off. This is exactly how memory works, the steep exponential curve. But if we recall it there and over there and over there, we see that actually it takes us longer to forget the same amount of information which is why you never forget that the capital of France is Paris, because you come across that fact so often that it's now memorized forever. That's the idea behind spaced repetition. Here's a nice little graph. If we hit the auto optimized button, if we want to optimize a memory to stay in this yellow sweet spot. You'll see that the intervals that we are repeating it up gradually lengthen. The idea is that because as we repeat the topics and as we repeat that factual recall we strengthen the connections and then it takes us longer to forget it. But it's the fact that we've forgotten it and then we're recalling it, that is what allows the memory to take hold. Because the brain, as I say in my previous class is like a muscle in that when it's working hard, it's growing but if it's working too easily, it's not growing. I could read capital of France's Paris over and over again in a single study session but my brain wouldn't be working because I haven't forgotten that fact whereas over time, as I allow my brain to forget some of the stuff and then I recall it, then that's the magical way to remember anything forever. This is all basically to introduce this concept of flashcards. Flashcards are amazing because of active recall. With physical flashcards, you can create a spaced repetition system around them. Back in the day what people used to do is they would have a box for stuff that I don't know, they would have a box for stuff that I know well, they will have a box for stuff I know a bit more better, they would have another box for stuff I know that better than that. You would have your flashcards in different piles. The idea would be that let's say you've got the capital of France is Paris, and you knew it very well, you'd move it up to the next pile and you'd review the second pile, maybe every three days. Then let's say, you know it really well, you would move it up to the next pile and you'd review this pile maybe every seven days and so on and so on until the final pile you are only looking at once every three months. That was the way that people used to use spaced repetition with flashcards back in the day. But the whole reason behind this class is that there is an easier way and that easier way is Anki. Anki is the single best flashcard app on the planet. In this whole class, I'm basically going to be giving you a very beginners introduction to how to use Anki to memorize, to learn absolutely anything. I started using Anki in my first year of med school and I discovered it a little bit too late. I discovered it towards the end of the year and I was thinking, "Damn, I really wish I discovered the sooner." I used Anki properly in my second, third year of med school and I got a first-class degree. In fact, in my third year of med school, I even ranked top of the year because I used Anki so much. Then I didn't really use it in my fourth year, I did average. Then in my fifth year of med school, I used Anki extensively and I did very well in the exams. Even anecdotally for me, the years in which I've used Anki had been my easily my highest performing years exam wise. I've also been a lot less stress through exam revision just because I've had the system of Anki. That's enough of a sales pitch for Anki. Let's now talk about what Anki is and exactly why you should use it. That was the basic to flashcards. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you in the next video. 4. 1.2 What is Anki?: We've talked about the theory of flashcards. Let's now talk about Anki, which is basically what this entire class is going to be about. Anki look powerful, intelligent flashcards. Remembering things just became easier, much easier in fact. This is apps.ankiweb.net. So you can just Google the word Anki and it will be the first result, apps.ankiweb.net. Remember anything. Remember anywhere. Remember efficiently. This is Anki. It's basically flashcard software, which incorporates active recall and spaced repetition and has a load of other features, some of which the beginner features we're going to break down in this class. Then in the next class, it's going to be intermediate to advanced look at Anki. We'll be deep diving into all the weird and wonderful ways that you can customize Anki. Anki is also free. It is completely free. You do have to pay a little bit of money for the iOS app if you want. I think it's 100 percent worth it. But if for some reason you have an aversion to paying for software, you can't just use Anki on the web. You can use the Windows app, you can use the Mac app, you can use the Android app for free. I think there are some third-party iOS out as well. Basically, every student in the world can benefit from using Anki or using flashcards of some sort, and I'm going to argue that Anki is the single best one. Anki is a program which makes remembering things easily. It's a lot more efficient than traditional study methods, and you can either greatly decrease your time spent studying or greatly increase the amount that you learn. You can use it to learn a language, study for medical and law exams, memorize people's names and faces [inaudible] , brushing up angiography, mastering long poems, even practicing guitar chords. I've used Anki for various aspects of that. So Anki is flashcard software that incorporates spaced repetition. Now, how does this work? Basically, when you see a flashcard in Anki, you active recall, you test yourself on what it is, and then you see the answer, and then you can rate whether you found it easy, medium or hard, basically. Based on whether you click easy, medium or hard, Anki has this special spaced repetition algorithm that's modeled after a service called SuperMemo from back in the day. It automatically figures out what the spaced repetition intervals should be for stuff that you marked easy, medium or hard. So if I found something easy, it would then ask me again in three days time. If I found it hard, it would ask me in 15 minutes time. Over time as I'm going through my flashcards repeatedly, I'm rating myself in terms of how hard I found the stuff, and then Anki is resurfacing the relevant things appropriately based on when I'm most likely to just pass that threshold of forgetting. So if we can do Anki everyday, we can basically trust the algorithm. The way that I thought of Anki in med school and the way that everyone I know who uses Anki properly thinks of it, it's that Anki functions as a second brain, and you know that if you make a flashcard at Anki, provided you are consistently looking at flashcards every day. You know that that fact or that concept is just going to get uploaded to your brain, and in a way it takes all the stress out of studying because we already struggled to remember stuff. To figure out each day what am I going to study, what I'm going to do? I don't know what my weakest topic is, all of this stuff. If we just chucked everything into Anki and did a flashcards consistently over time, it would just get uploaded to our brain. That is the way to think about it. A few caveats with that, that I'll talk about later in the optimization section. We shouldn't be chucking everything into Anki. Anki is very good for specific factoids, specific examinable facts. It's not great for understanding concepts. We'll talk a little bit more about that. That's a little bit more advanced. But basically, Anki is amazing. You should definitely download Anki. That was a quick look at what Anki actually is. In the next video, we'll talk about why you should use Anki. But if you saw it at this point, feel free to skip that and we'll just go straight onto the installation. But yeah, next video, why should you use Anki? 5. 1.3 Why Anki?: In this video we're going to be talking about why Anki rather than some other alternatives. Now, if you already sought Anki, please feel free to skip this video and just move on to the next ones in the series. But basically, Anki is, well, the best flashcard software on the planet. A big reason why that is, is because Anki is free and Anki is open source, which means other people can contribute to it and that means that there are like hundreds of people around the world who have added their own add-ons and their own customizations to Anki and who have really drilled down into the space repetition algorithm and figured out what the best intervals are, that sort of thing. The other stuff you could use, you could use something like Quizlet. I've experimented with Quizlet for a bit. It's quite nice. It's quite pretty and that's the one annoying thing about Anki. It's not very pretty. It can sometimes feel like it's not intuitive. There is a bit of a learning curve. With Quizlet there is no learning curve, but Quizlet is also a lot less powerful than Anki overall, you really can't customize it. It takes a lot of effort to make cards. You can't make cards offline in a reasonable fashion. The synchronization is a bit weird with different devices, while Quizlet is very pretty. It's like Anki with a layer of paints. It also means you can't customize it and so if you're serious about using flashcards and you know how to operate a computer proficiently, then you will have no problem with Anki. There is a slight learning curve, but that is what this class is about. It's to get you started with Anki. If for example, your grandma who doesn't know how to use a computer, wants to memorize all the capitals of the world, then fine, use Quizlet. Anki is not for your grandma, but you are not your grandma. You're watching a class wherever you're watching this, and you know how to use a computer. Therefore, you want to do this properly. You want to use Anki rather than Quizlet. A few questions that people have asked over the years is, what about Google Sheets or what about Notion? Now, I've made a video about how I used Google Sheets. I would recommend overall, use Anki when you can because Anki is designed for space repetition and active recall. My Google Sheets method, which I'll put a link in the project resources section if you want to check it out, that is designed for cramming. It's designed for when the exam is only a few weeks away and I'm thinking, "Oh, crap, I really need to focus on the stuff that I'm weakest on. I don't really have the time to do the flashcard thing properly where I make flashcards and review them every day and blah blah." I probably still could've done it with Anki if I twiddle the settings a bit, but at the time I didn't really know much about how to twiddle the settings of Anki properly and so I went with the Google Sheets method, which is still pretty good if you're cramming for an exam but if you're studying for the long-term, if your exam is more than a few weeks away, you'll benefit from Anki rather than Google Sheets. Then it comes to Notion's so let's see. Why I do use Notion for things like scooping the subject where within gastrointestinal physiology, I have created these toggles for myself. This is flashcards. It's active recall and that I am testing myself, but this is not designed for space repetition. The main reason why I use Notion is because I basically want to apply active recall to absolutely everything that I'm doing. For me right now, I don't need to memorize a lot of this information because when it comes to human physiology, I'm teaching the subject and what I'm teaching it, I can't have the notes open in front of me. It's not that I need information uploaded to my brain to prepare for an exam and the information that I need uploaded to my brain for my life as a doctor is already in my brain. I don't need to understand the basics of first-year medical school GAT physiology to understand how to be a doctor effectively. Which is why I use Notion for this stuff. It's very good at giving you a big picture understanding of the whole subject, which is something that Anki is not. Actually what I usually recommend is you combine Anki and Notion. But for those of you asking, should I use Notion as a flashcard alternative? No, you shouldn't. If you can, you should use Anki because Anki is incredible, absolutely game-changing for memorizing facts. Notion with the Toggle feature or Google Sheets or any other thing, is good for getting a big picture understanding and that is important. But as far as a subject like medicine, there is only so much a big picture understanding you can do before you run into the wall of just having to memorize a load of stuff. Anki is the absolute single best thing you can use to memorize a load stuff and bar none. That is why you should use Anki. Paper flashcards, a complete waste of time. Why would you go through the effort of having to create stacks of paper flashcards? Unless you're one of those people that feels productive by writing with colorful pens and stuff. If it works for you, then fine. But the reasoning you watching this class is because you want to learn how to memorize anything with Anki. It's a 21st century. We don't need to be using paper flashcards. If we're using these, these are sub-optimal. We should be using Anki. Anki is the one. Let us move on to the next section where we talk about the mechanics of Anki, the very basics, how to install it, how to get set up, and a lot of stuff about the basic fundamental types of flashcards that you can create. Thank you for watching. I hope I've convinced you to use Anki by this point and I'll see you in the next video. 6. 1.4 Why Anki? BONUS: That was why Anki is the best software. Why do I use Anki personally? Well, I'll use Anki to memorize specific factoids for medicine and I also used Anki extensively in my third year of med school when I was studying psychology as an extra degree, to memorize chunks in chunks of paragraphs for my essays and to memorize paper references and stuff like that. I have extensively used Anki in both a science subject fashion or memorizing individual facts. But also in arts subject like psychology where it's, instead of memorizing an individual fact that this is what's incident does, it's more about, what is the theory of short term memory versus long-term memory? What did Badly in Hitches experiments in 1972, display about short-term memory verses long-term memory? Stuff like that involves memorizing large chunks of information. I've used Anki for both of those use cases and I found it really good. I've also started recently to use Anki to help me learn music theory. I found some pre-made decks, more on that later. That bring up different nodes of the musical stave or cleft or whatever it's called, and I'm trying to learn a sight reading through that because I know if I do them consistently that anything in Anki will be uploaded to my brain and I think that would be helpful.. That's why I personally use Anki if you're convinced at this point then please move on to the next video. But if you're not, here are some interviews that I've done with other people of the last few weeks who use Anki a lot, and these are what they think about Anki and why it's amazing. Can you just tell me how you discovered Anki and how it's affected your life broadly? I discovered Anki through your YouTube videos on evidence-based revision and I start using it for my beam revision, and then I carried on for my A-levels, and I think allows me to spend a lot less time studying, but I feel like I'm studying more effectively and I'm getting better results even though I'm spending less time studying. So it's a lot less stressful because having to cram for exams I'm studying all the time, like 20 minutes every day. It adds up to lots of studying but it's less stressful and it's more spread out. That's one of the things about Anki that if you can bring yourself to do it consistently, overall, you actually probably spend less time working and overall you definitely have reduced stress levels. Yeah, 100 percent, and I totally agree with you. You save a lot of time. Like you're someone who's like the productivity King, and I'm someone who also appreciates time allocation. I can say with Anki, I was able to go through medical school, I was exercising every day, I was getting the amount out of sleep I wanted to get, I was calling my parents every day, I felt so much less stressed, and I still got just as good of outcomes and I'm still able to feel competent in the hospital. That's astounding to me because that didn't happen to me in undergrad. I was sleeping four hours night and just trying to make ends meet, and now I have this tool and I feel amazing. I have a life. Okay. That was why you should use Anki instead of other apps, why I use Anki personally and why these other people use Anki. I've done eight interviews with people who use Anki over the last couple of weeks and everyone talks about how Anki literally changed their life. If that's not enough of a sell, then I don't know what it is, but hopefully I've convinced you at this point. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video where we'll start a new section where we go over the mechanics of Anki, how it works, and how you operate it, and how to make flashcards, and how to make them amazing. Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 7. 1.5 Installing Anki: Welcome to this next section of the course, which is all about the basic mechanics of Anki. In this video, we're talking about how to install Anki. If you know how to use a computer, you probably know how to install stuff. But just for completeness, we're including this video. If you have no problems with installing software and then please by all means, skip this video and move on to the next one. But yeah, basically, we want to go on apps. Anki web app.net, and we just type Anki on Google. Find the first result, Anki powerful intelligent flashcards, and we hit the download button. Now you've got it for Windows, Mac, Linux. If you're using Linux, you really don't need me to give you a tutorial they have installed stuff, iPhone and Android and development stuff. Let's ignore that. I'm on a Mac right now, and I'm going to install Anki for Mac OS * 1010, whatever standard version. If you're on Windows, you just install the 64-bit or 32-bit Windows version, depending on which version of Windows you're on. It just basically gives you a guide here. I'm going to hit download Anki, and it's going to download, I'm going to click on that download file. It's going to verify. Then save the file to your desktop, open it and drag and key to your applications folder or desktop. There we go. Now it's come up with this sort of thing, which is how you install stuff on a Mac, you click, you drag, it goes into applications and you're done. Oh, there we go. It is copying across 350 megabytes, so might take a little bit of time to download if you're internet is slow. Anki is now officially installed. To open it up, I'm going to open up the Mac thing image bar. I wouldn't do this in real life because and I would type in Anki and I click on it and it will open up, open. This is Anki. This is not what you'll see, you'll see a more blank screen, but I've got a few decks in here, which I'll go over in a while. But let's pretend we see a completely blank screen. We have now officially installed Anki, and if you want to install it on iPhone, Android, you just check it over here. Basically, that's how you install Anki. In the next video, we're going to talk about the anatomy of Anki and exactly what everything is and what everything does so that it doesn't seem as overwhelming when you're getting started. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 8. 1.6 The Anatomy of Anki: In this video we are talking about the anatomy of Anki and what all the different buttons and stuff actually do. When you open up Anki you will see this page and it will probably be blank because it probably won't have any decks in it other than a default deck, but this is basically the home screen. This screen is your deck screen, it shows you all of your different decks of flashcards. You can see over here, I've got one that's music-based that has some stuff inside it, I've got one for MRCP which is the membership of the Royal College of Physicians which an exam, and I've got my 30 year psychology deck, I've got a PassMedicine snippets deck, I've got a USMLE preparation deck which is an exam you take to get into residency in medicine in the United States. Studied zero cads today in zero seconds, zero seconds per card, this is the default screen that you will get. In order to create a deck and I recommend you create a first deck, you hit the Create Deck button and it asks you for the name of a deck, so let's say Capital Cities. I'm going to hit OK, and now we will see capital cities is formed as a deck. But if I click on it, it says, "Congratulations you've finished the deck for now" because it doesn't have any flashcards inside it. This is the deck screen and I can create all the decks that I want. Music Notation, fine, I can create a deck for Nobel Prize Winners if that's what I wanted to memorize, I can create a deck for French Vocabulary. You can create decks for whatever you want. Probably I have fewer decks rather than too many but obviously Capital Cities and French Vocabulary are totally different subjects whereas, for all of medicine it makes sense to have them in within one deck but we'll talk more about that later. Anyway, this is the decks screen. Now, let's say you want to add a flashcard, that's the next thing along shortcut key A and it's really helpful to get familiar with the shortcuts but for now we're going to click on everything just so it's really obvious what's going on. I'm going to hit the Add button and this window will open up. This is the Add field where you can add a flashcard. You see the front and the back for example, front we can say Capital of France and in the back we can say Paris and that is my flashcard. There's a few other bits in this screen that can look a bit complicated. The type, it makes sense to start with basic. Basic is the main type that we're going to go over but there are a few other types that I'll talk about a little bit later. Deck lets you select which deck you want this to go in. You'll see a long list of stuff because for example, a lot of these decks are subdivided into other stuff, but we're going to keep things simple, we're going to chuck it into our Capital Cities deck which is what it was by default, Capital of France back Paris. The Fields button, this is complicated, basically we don't need to worry about it, it just lets you generate new fields if you want but you can ignore that. The Cards button again, lets you change the styling in the text. If I wanted to make this bigger I could say 24, or I can say 36 and it would get bigger but let's just keep it as a default. This is complicated stuff, we don't need to worry about fields and cards. Now this is just basic thing, so I can say Capital of France, I could bold it or I could use Command B to bold, italic, underline, square, probably not, let's unsquare that. You can just customize it. There is an Image button and there's a Clues Deletion button that we're going to go over in a while but let's keep things basic for now. Capital of France, Paris and then tags. Tags we can safely ignore for the time being, we'll talk about tags in a video further down the line. But essentially let's say I'll just list Europe, so I can say that Europe is a tag. The benefit of tags is that it then let's you search through your decks and find all the capitals that are in Europe or alternatively if for some reason studying for a European capitals quiz, you could create a custom study session where you're just looking at that appropriate tag, but again, tags are complicated, tags were in advanced feature. As a beginner to Anki, we don't need to worry about tags it just gets confusing. But I'm not going to tag with Europe, just because it doesn't have a point. You'll see Capital of France, Paris that's basically all we need. Now we hit the Add button and it looks like nothing happens but it says, "Waiting for editing to finish." Resume Now, everything disappears which means that our card has been officially created. Now if I close this Add screen, you'll see that in the Capital Cities there is one new card. This is another important thing about the anatomy of Anki to understand, that we have cards that are new that we haven't yet studied, and we have cards that we studied before that we are due to study again today. If I click on the Capital Cities deck and we'll see there's one new, Learning is orange and To Review is green, forget about the learning category doesn't really matter. I hit Study Now, it says Capital of France. Now this is what it looks like when you studied something and I think about it I know the capital of France is Paris so I can click the Show Answer button, or I can just press the Space Bar and I would really recommend you press the Space Bar for it, and it shows Paris. Now it's asking, do I want to see it again in three minutes? Do I want it to be marked as good which is 15 minutes? Or do I want to mark it as easy which it comes back up in four days and this is where the space repetition intervals come in. Let's say I knew that the capital of France is Paris, I'm going to say good, and it's going to come up again because it's the only card on my deck and I'm going to say good and it's going to come up in a day's time and then it's going to say, "Congratulations, you have finished this deck" which is easy because we only had one card. That was what the Add screen looks like. Let's look at the Browse screen now and this can look complicated. This is what my Browse screen looks like but there's a lot more stuff here than you're going to see in your Browse screen because basically on the Browse screen you can look at your entire collection of flashcards, or you can look at specific clash of flashcards and specific decks. Over here I've clicked on Capital Cities and you'll see I've got Capital of France over here, let's just find a basic simple one. My third year psychology, you can see over here I've got the Zellner et al 2006 and it shows you what is on the front and on the back of these flashcards. I can say what consider tile and this is what my flashcards look like, these are the ones that I was studying from in my third year of psychology, this is just a selection of them I couldn't find the deck the had all of them in it because there were lots more. But the Browse screen basically lets you browse your decks, it can look intimidating but it's not really. Stats lets you see how many flashcards you studied. There's no data on here because I've reinstalled this but we can basically ignore the stats feature, it's just there. Then the Sync button, we hit it and it synchronizes with Anki web. Now the first time you press the Sync button it's going to ask you for a username and password. You're going to need to go on Anki web and create a username and password because that's what your decks are going to be synchronized with but we'll go over that in a while. That is basically the anatomy of Anki, that is what everything does. There were these buttons here; Gets Shared and Import File. Gets Shared, opens up Anki web and lets you download someone else's deck which we'll go over in a different video and Import File lets you import a file like an Anki deck package I think it's a KPKG file extension. Those are useful if you're sharing decks with your friends or if you're downloading decks over the internet. But apart from that we now know everything about Anki, we've got these menus over here but really we don't need to worry about that for now, we'll talk more about those a little bit later. Hopefully this has given you a very brief overview and bear in mind my Anki looks a lot more complicated than yours will for now, let's start by keeping it simple for the time being because Anki does have a bit of a learning curve and the easier we can make the starting process of it, the better we'll be doing in the long run. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 9. 1.7 The Basic Flashcard: In the last video, I showed you what the anatomy of Anki. That's like in like what the Anki user interface does and what the different elements do. We created actually our first basic flashcard, which was the capital of France, it is Paris. In this video, we're just going to create a few more basic flashcards because this is the bread and butter of Anki. If we can get quick at doing these, things will improve. I'll be sharing some keyboard shortcuts as we go along. Because the reason you're watching this class is because you care about optimizing your learning. Clicking with the mouse is not very optimum in general when using a computer, we want to be using keyboard shortcuts. As I go along, I'll be explaining what keyboard shortcuts I'm using to create stuff, and we'll be able to make this whole process of creating stuff more efficient. Let's go to our capital cities deck. Currently there's nothing in it because we've only got one flashcard that we've finished. Let's add a flashcard. I'm going to use the shortcut "A" to add. To figure out what these shortcuts are, you just hover over the button. I'm hovering over the "Add" button, and I can see shortcut key A. From now on I'm going to press A to create flashcards. I'm going to create my flashcards and out. One way of doing that would be, so Afghanistan and the capital is Kabul. Because this is my capital cities deck, I don't need to waste time but typing, capital of Afghanistan. I can just really literally go Afghanistan, back of it is Kabul. I'm not going to bother tagging because it's a bit of a complicated. Afghanistan, Kabul, and then I could hit the "Add" button. But you'll see a shortcut is command and enter, or control and enter if you're on Windows. I'm going to hit "Command" "Enter", and you'll see the little thing came up, it said, added. That flashcard has now been added. Let's add a few more. Albania, the capital is Tirana. Cool. Algeria, Algiers. Andorra, Andorra La Vella. Command, Enter. Angola, Luanda. Antigua and Barbuda, Saint John's. You can see that I'm just using "Tab" to switch between the front and back or "Shift'' and "Tab" to go back. You could click, but do not click on your keyboard, well, you not a clicker. Clicking is bad, Can we get out of the clicking mindset. Anytime we clicking, we know we're being inefficient. Antigua and Barbuda, Saint John's. ''Add". Let us do one more add. Argentina, Buenos Aires. "Command", ''Enter". We have added a bunch of flashcards. We now see that there are seven new cards. If we hit "Study now", you'll see Afghanistan, under the capital of Afghanistan is Kabul. I'm going to hit "Space", Kabul. Yeah, that's pretty easy. I knew that anyway. The capital of Albania, I actually have no idea what the capital of Albania is. Toronto. I'm going to hit again. I'm going to hit the number one. If we look here, if we hover over again, shortcut key one, shortcut key two, and shortcut key three. By hitting one, I know that that is going to come up again in the next three minutes. Cool. Algeria is Algiers, and I knew that already. I'm going to hit "Easy". Andorra, no idea. Andorra La Vella. I should have known that. This is active recall and action. That's going to come up again. I usually hit "Again" if I have even a slight hesitation when going for the flashcard, and I usually hit "Good", otherwise. I'd actually don't normally hit "Easy". I think in general, when you're actually learning stuff, you should avoid hitting the easy card, unless you just know without a shadow of a doubt that you're never going to forget that. I know I'm never going to forget that the capital of Afghanistan is Kabul because I've known that for years. But I'm not really going to hit "Easy" while doing medical stuff. Plus it also feels a bit like hubris, but, well, that was easy and then you forget anything. Damn, I'm an idiot. Basically, I only ever use one and two. I only ever use again or good, and I would suggest you do the same just to simplify things. That can come up again. I'm just going to show you about clicking. But in real life I press one. Angola, no idea. Luanda. "Again'. Antigua and Barbuda, Saint John's. Cool, That was good. Argentina, Buenos Aires. "Easy" because I knew that anyway. Albania was it Tirana? Tirana. Yes. I can say that's good now. Andorra, Andorra La Vella. Yep. That's good. Angola. Tirana? No, Luanda. Damn. What was it? Algeria. Algiers. No, Albania, that was Tirana. This one definitely comes up again. Antigua and Barbuda, Saint John's. Nice and easy. I'm going to put good for that, and you'll see it's going to come up in one day's time. It's going to disappear from my current crop of reviewing. Angola, the capital of Angola is, I'm getting confused with Angola. Was it Armenia? Luanda. Yes. Got it. But that was too much hesitation. I want that to come up again, so I'm going to hit one. Albania is Tirana. Again, too much hesitation. I want that to come up again. Angola, Luanda. Good. Albania, Tirana. Good. Andorra, Luanda. No, I'm getting confused a little bit with this. Andorra La Vella obviously. Angola is Luanda. Fine. Andorra is Andorra La Vella. Fine. Albania is Tirana. Fine. Andorra is Andorra La Vella. Fine. Now going through the seven flashcards, you see how often they were coming up. Because the ones that I didn't know, I marked "Again' and therefore they were coming up again. The ones I marked as "Good" initially was coming back in 15 minutes. But because we blitz through the flashcards, because there weren't many of them, they came up earlier than that. But then the next time I clicked "Good'. They were going to come up in one day's time. That's how the space repetition algorithm works. When you mark something as good, it's slightly elongates the interval that you're going to see it next. When you market it as easy, it massively elongates the interval. There's totally YouTube videos exploring the algorithm behind this in depth. But now we finished this. That shows what a basic flashcard looks like. If we hit "Browse" and look at capital cities. Let me just adjusted this one so that it's consistent with everything else. We've got France, Argentina. It has a typo Antigua and Barbuda, Angola, Andorra, Algeria, Albania, Afghanistan. These are the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 flashcards in basic format that we've created at the moment. That is how you create basic flashcard. Let's move on to the next video where we'll talk about reversed flashcards, and then we'll talk a little bit later about how we can actually make these flashcards special. Because right now all we're doing is memorizing, memorizing words, Andorra and Andorra La Vella means nothing to me. All I'm doing is memorizing what the word is. It will be a lot more useful to actually know where on the map Andorra is and have some image associated with a country and just have an idea of what's going on in Andorra. We'll talk more about that a little bit later on. Let's now move on to the reverse flashcard type. 10. 1.8 The Reverse Flashcard: We've talked about how to do basic flashcards. Let's now talk about the second important flashcard type to know about and that is reverse flashcard. Now, some people won't use this at all depending on what you're studying, some people will use it extensively and some people might just forget about them and just use cloze deletions which we'll talk about later. To be honest, I am in the third camp, I just prefer cloze deletions. I tend not to use basic and reverse flashcards, but it's an important concept to keep in mind. Let's go back to our capital cities. Let's press A to add a flashcard, and let's change the type to basic and reversed card. Now what does that mean? Let's, insert a capital. We've got Australia and Canberra. I'm going to command "Enter" to create a new flashcard there. Now let's look at what happened. We saw that in creating that one flashcard, we've actually got two new cards in our deck to study. I'm going to click study now and it's going to ask me what's the capital of Australia? I'm going to say Canberra. Cool, let's say that was easy. But now it's asking me Canberra, because it's reversed the flashcard and because I know this is my capital city's deck, I know that I now I need to work out that Canberra is the capital of what? The answer in this case is Australia. What's the point of this? Well, the point of this is that when we create a basic flashcard, very often we are creating a one-way connection in our brains. Because the more and more flashcards you do, the more you realize that, for example, if we just use capital cities as an example that everyone can understand, I was going to do something for medicine, but let's try and keep this broad. If we just had, Luanda is the capital of Angola. I could see Angola and think Luanda. Angola, Luanda. My brain would be very good at coming up with shortcuts like maybe I'd think Angola, Luanda so it starts with an L and that sort of stuff. That connection would become strengthened because that's what I'm testing. But if for some reason I got the word Luanda, I might not necessarily be able to reverse engineer that connection or if I could, it would take a lot more effort than I would want it to take. Ideally, I would think Luanda and immediately know that it's the capital of Angola rather the other way around. That's the point of a reversed card. By just putting the information at once, a reversed card allows us to create double the number of flashcards. So that instead of just testing a one-way association, we're testing a two-way association. This might be important for you depending on what you're studying. It's important in medicine in some contexts, not in other contexts. There are some areas in which you'll want to be able to reverse this connection. For example, the classical symptoms of cholera is rice water stools. But if we had cholera, rice water stools, I'd be able to create that connection. But I should have a reverse card for that as well, because if I saw a patient with rice water stools or saw that in a question, I'd want to immediately be able to associate that with cholera. It's helpful to have the reversed card in that sense. That's what therefore, sometimes you want need them sometimes you might not. But let's now move on and talk about cloze deletions, which is one of the most powerful features of Anki. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 11. 1.9 Cloze Deletions: Welcome back. We've talked about the basic card and the reversed card. Now, I'm going to talk about cloze deletions. These will look complicated and they might sound complicated, but it is the single most powerful feature of Anki. Let's go back to our capital cities example. Let's add a card and we're going to change the type to cloze let's ignore all the stuff associated with it. Now, you'll see text and extra, that's interesting. It's not quite front and back its text and extra. The function of cloze deletions is that they act as a fill in the gap, fill in the blank flashcard. Basically, it allows us to replace bits of a sentence with a cloze deletion, which encourages us to remember that bit of the sentence. I'll show you what I mean. Let's use an example here. I'm going to write Vienna is the or rather the capital of Austria is Vienna. Now, that is just a sentence. The point of cloze deletions is that it allows us to memorize sentences. I want to memorize the phrase, the capital of Australia is Vienna. What I'm going to do is I'm going to double-click on Australia. I'm going to select it. Then I'm going to press the cloze deletion button, which is this icon over here. You can see that it's got the hotkey command Shift C, but I'm just going to click it for now. You'll see that now we've got this weird code looking thing surrounding Austria. You'll see these double curly brackets, closed double curly brackets and we've got C1::Austria. C1 means cloze deletion 1. It is the first thing that we are cloze deleting from here. I'm going to hit "Add" and I'm going to cloze this. Now, we'll see there's one new card, study now. The capital of something is Vienna. You saw what happened. We have cloze deleted that and that is the phrase that has been deleted. Now, let's say, I think the capital of London is Vienna. I would press Space Bar. The capital of Austria in Vienna. You can see that instead of acting as a front and back flashcard, it's acting as a fill in the gap flashcard. Let's try that again. Let's create a new one and this time we'll add a double cloze. I'm going to press A to add a new flashcard. We're going to make sure the type is set to cloze. By the way, Command M allows you to easily change the type and you can type it M. I'm going to type in cloze. Again, just like learning keyboard shortcuts to get quicker at using Anki. Because the more efficient we can use Anki, the more efficiently you can upload stuff to our brains. Let's look at that one. Let's say, the capital of Azerbaijan is Baku. Let's ignore the extra field for now. We'll come back to that later. Now, this time, I'm going to create two different cloze deletions. I'm going to select Azerbaijan and I'm going to go command shift C and that will turn Azerbaijan into a cloze 1. We can see it says C1. I'm also going to select Baku and go Command Shift C. You'll see C2 has now appeared by Baku. What does this mean? This means that just with a single flashcard, with a single creation on this screen, I have now generated two cloze deletions. Let's add this. I'm going to hit Command Enter to add cloze this and we'll see we've got three new flashcards added. One of them is the Australia one and two of them are the Azerbaijan one. Let's have a look. The capital of something is Vienna, okay? Australia, not bad. Let's say, easy, so it doesn't come up in the next four days, but now the capital of something is Baku and I know the answer is Azerbaijan and I'm going to hit again. Yeah, I'm going to hit Number 1, but now the capital of Azerbaijan is what? Well, it's Baku because we know that. I'm going to hit good on that one. The capital of Azerbaijan is Baku and the capital of Azerbaijan is in fact, Baku. That gives you an idea of what cloze deletions do. It's basically a way for us to create these fill-in-the-gap things very easily. Now, let's use a different example. I'm going to create a new deck and call it misc medicine for illustration purposes. I'm going to go in the misc medicine for illustration purposes deck. I'm going to hit A to add a card and I'm going to make sure the type is a cloze deletion type. For text, let's find some notes that I was taking yesterday when studying gastrointestinal physiology for one of my supervision. Here we go. Okay, so this is the sentence that I want to put into Anki, 1,200 mils per minute through the splanchnic bed. I'm referring to blood flow. Blood per minute flows through the splanchnic bed. Then of this, around 75 percent passes via the intestines to the liver in the hepatic portal vein. The rest represents the oxygenated blood reaching the liver directly by the hepatic artery. Now, the two facts that I want to upload to my brain here are this 1,200 mils of blood and the 75 percent because it's important for me to know that 1,200 mils of blood per minute goes through the splanchnic bed, which makes up about 20 percent of the cardiac output. I am going to select that. I'm going to Command Shift C and that will turn that into a single cloze. Then off this around 75 percent. I want to cloze out the 75 bits, so I still see that it's a percentage sign. There is one extra feature that you can do with cloze deletions. I'll come to in a moment. Let's hit "Add" cloze and study now. It says something of blood per minute flows through the splanchnic bed. I would think okay, 1,200 and I would say 1,200. Okay, cool that works. Now, we've got 1,200 mils of blood per minute flow through the splanchnic bed, so that's fine. Let's say, that was good. Now, all of this around 75 percent passes via the intestines to liver. You can see it's testing me on this one specific fact. Now, I know that that's 75 percent. The reason it's showing up as blues, because my starting things a little bit weird. Normally, this would be a white screens. You'd see it clearly, but if you want you can change the styling of that. In fact, let's change it. I'm going to edit the content, click on ''Cards'' and color. Let's make it red. We'll talk more about that in the advanced section, but I'm just editing the card just to show you what it looks like. Now, all of this around 75 percent passes by the intestines to the liver in the hepatic portal vein. You can see that by turning this into cloze card, I've essentially been able to make the process of creating this flashcard little bit more efficient. I was able to copy and paste information from my lecture notes, notes that I've already taken, and just shove to straight into Anki. Whereas if I was doing it as a basic card, I would say something like so let's change the type to basic. I would say something like how much blood goes through the splanchnic circulation per minute and the answer would be 1,200 mills, which I would say it's 20 percent of the cardiac output, for example. That would be how I would make this a basic card. Then I would say, ''Okay, 1,200 mils of blood goes into the splanchnic.'' I'll write that out and then I would write 75 percent so it would be a lot more effort to upload that facts to my brain with these numbers. It would be a lot more effort to create a basic flashcard for it and then a cloze relation, which is why I prefer to use cloze deletions for most things personally. But it's personal preference, you can do what you want. Okay, the final thing I want to mention about cloze deletions, which is jumping ahead a little bit to how to edit flashcards, but if we press the ''E'' button, when we're looking at a card, we come into the editing mode and we can edit our card. Now, this has a few different benefits that I'll talk specifically about in that video. But, for example, one thing to keep in mind about cloze deletions is that you can add hints. For example, if I add another double colon here and I say, ''How many mils?'' You'll see he's got cloze 1,1,200 mils::How many mils of blood? Now, if I cloze this and we look at this flashcard, This is the flashcard. It says, ''How many mils of blood per minute flow through the splanchnic bed.'' It's asking me specifically the question because one important idea that we're going to keep coming back to is the fact that you want to create these flashcards for your future self. My future self in six months time, I might not actually remember, especially just like this, this phrase, 1,200 mils per minute through the splanchnic bed. If I just cloze deletion to that, then the thing you would ask me would be something per minute through the splanchnic bed. In six months time, I wouldn't remember that I'm actually referring to a certain amount of blood flow. I might think I'm I talking about hormone concentrations? I'm I talking about drugs? I'm talking about something else? I might know until you remember that it was actually blood flow. The fact that I can create this hint for myself, how many mils of blood per minute flow through the splanchnic bed means that my future self in six months time, when I look at this flash card is not going to curse my old self. I'm going to think, "Thank you for taking the time to give me the hint because now it's obvious to me what answer I'm looking for." Rather than try and think, "Well, what was I thinking when I first made that flash card?" Which is not the fact that I'm testing. I'm testing my knowledge of how many mils per blood of mils per minute of blood goes through this splanchnic circulation. I'm not testing whether I could read my mind from six months ago. This is a great way of adding hints to our cloze deletion. Ideally, our sentence should be designed in a way that means we don't need the hint. For example, you'll notice that I actually changed it. I said of blood per minute flows through the splanchnic bed. I made it obvious because it's just a reflex at this point that we want to make it really clear for our future selves exactly what's going on, but we have got this hint feature just in case. That was cloze deletions. Cloze deletions are the single most powerful feature of Anki and I'd recommend you use them extensively. But again, in the later-on section, we'll talk more about some nuances about when you should and shouldn't use cloze deletions. That was clozed editions and introduction plus how to use the hint feature. Thank you for watching and I'll see in the next video. Bye bye. 12. 1.10 Cloze Deletions with David: We're continuing the topic of close deletions and this is a bonus video. This is about five minutes of a discussion under demonstration that me and David, who was a medical student in the US, we were having about how he prepared for the MCAT and scored like incredibly well, like 99.9 percentile in that. Here he is demonstrating how to use close deletions and a bit of a discussion that we had about it. If you want, feel free to skip this, but it's just a little bit of a bonus spice in this close view. Yeah, over to David. Can you talk a little bit about close deletion, and what does it mean? Because I know a lot of people get intimidated by the idea of close deletions, but some of the pre-made decks use close deletions extensively. I wonder if you can just give us like a beginner's introduction to close deletions and essentially what they are? Yeah, a close deletion is essentially a fill in the blank. You're presented with a short piece of information and then you're basically asked, what is the most important part of that sentence? Or you have to know what's going on in that sentence to answer it. Yeah, pretty much all of the pre-made decks that are used for like medical school training in the US at least use close deletion at this point. Here's my Step 1 deck. Close deletion, you can see there's little ellipsis right here. There's a blank and then there's a following sentence. For someone to properly answer this question, they would have to know what this is, they would have to know which step we're talking about in forming citrate and you click the answer, it's acetyl-CoA and then here's a little picture from another popular resource, first aid. Here's a little mnemonic that a lot of people can use to memorize this. Basically, it's a fill in the blank. Rather than asking a question format like what molecule does this, it just presents it to you in a sentence. If you imagine you were reading a textbook, each sentence in that textbook is probably important, but if you just read page after page of a textbook, I think the retention is pretty low. This is a way to look at each sentence individually if it were in a textbook and say, do I understand the point of this sentence? Fantastic. For these cards, can you just show us what it looks like on edit mode. If you were to create a close deletion code, what would it look like? Yeah, here's the edit form. Essentially, if you were to make a card, we can just make our own card. You can make our own card, sure. If we do, for example, the capital of France is Paris. We have a sentence right here and you were saying the capital of France is Paris. What we would do, we would type this out into the card and basically, up here, I have my card type as close. You can change this. There's many different card types. You can do a basic card type and that's your classic flip it over or you would ask a question where you say, what is the capital of France? Which is another way to do it. But this close deletion has become very popular. Again, because you can get through the cards more rapidly. I choose close deletion, I type out a sentence and then basically, if I wanted to highlight the Paris part, I would highlight it and then you hit Shift Command C, which is the hotkey shortcut. This will come up right here. So C1::Paris. Right here, we have the capital of France and we put the Paris in a close deletion. Now we can add this card to the deck and a lot of cool things you can do. You can change the colors, you can change the font, you can bold, underline, whatever. Click add. Now, we have a card right here. We go to study, and here we go. The capital of France is blank. Paris. I guess one of the powers of close deletion is that you can close deletion multiple things within the sentence. For example, with that one, we could close delete France as well, and if we were to do that, I wonder what that would look like. Yes, we can do that as well. So same thing. That's the Shift, Command, C, if you're on a MacBook, There's two ways to do this. You can either make this two different cards where one time the card will show up and Paris will be blanked out. Another time the card will show up in France will be blanked out. That's how the C1, C2. Let me show you what that looks like really quick. Here's one card. Capital of France is blank. Capital of blank is blank or is Paris. Then the other option to do is where you can change this, and we did both C1. This is basically saying like close one, close two, how many different cards you want to broken up into. If I did them both as C1, they would both be on the same card. Which is pointless for this particular card, but yeah. Yeah, exactly. 13. 1.11 Editing Flashcards: By this point, we've talked about basic cards, reversed cards, and close deletions. I now want to introduce the idea of editing a flashcard as you go along. Because editing flashcards is something that a lot of us don't think about doing the first time we start using Anki. We just make the flashcard and then we take it at face value. But actually, one of the great powerful features of Anki is that we can easily edit our flashcards overtime to make them more relevant, more useful, more comprehensive. Well, just to give ourself some more hints. I'm going to create some capital cities, because, why not? We're going to use the close feature for these. I'm going to say, the capital of the Bahamas is Nassau, and we'll close that and close that. Enter, I'm going to just copy that phrase so I don't have to continuously type it out. Bahrain is Manama. Close, close, C1, C2. Capital of Bangladesh is Dhaka, close one, close two. Just go for one more, the capital of Barbados is Bridgetown. Close one and close two. Right. We created these flashcards now let's hit "Add", let's close. Now we'll see we've got learning two, which is two in progress, and eight new ones that we've not seen before. Let's hit "Study Now". The capital of something is Baku. Was that Azerbaijan? It was Azerbaijan, wonderful. But now, as I see that, I'm going to think to myself well, that's not particularly useful. I would quite like to know where Azerbaijan is on a map. So I'm going to search Azerbaijan on Google, and I'm going to go to images, and I want it on a world map. That's not particularly helpful. I just want a nice map that tells me where Azerbaijan is. This is quite helpful. What I'm going to do, I'm going to copy this image. I'm going to right-click "Copy Image", and then on this flashcard I'm going to press E, for edit. Or I could click the "Edit" button if I'm a clicker, but I'm not, so I'm going to press E for edit. Now you'll see there's this extra domain. The other nice thing I like about close deletions is we've got this extra field, which we can add to basically reverse cards, but it's just a bit more complicated. I can just paste, paste in this image. Now, when I see this flashcard, you'll see what happens. If I hit "Close", the capital of something is Baku, I'm going to think Azerbaijan. But now I've got the answer, but I've also got this stuff that I've put in the extra column. Now this is infinitely more useful, right? It means I can see, Saudi, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, I actually had no idea that Azerbaijan was there, and oh, it looks like Azerbaijan was split up into these two different areas. It's next to Armenia and bordered by Georgia. It's right next to the Caspian Sea. I genuinely had no idea where Azerbaijan was. But now the fact that I've put it within a map means that the thing that I'm testing myself on is still that the capital of Azerbaijan is Baku, which is the point of this capital city's deck. But I've added more information to it to make it more relevant, to make it more contextual. Because the difficulty with flashcards or rather, the trap that we can fall into with flashcards is that it becomes very easy to just memorize these individual factoids of information. It's like we're trying to see a painting, but we're trying to paint by pixels. Right? We're just seeing individual pixels at a time. Whereas it's in the wider context when we zoom out, that we actually see the big picture. This is a problem in everything that we study. Anytime someone discovers flashcards for the first time, the single biggest mistake people make is that they just start shoving everything into flashcards and trying to memorize stuff without first understanding it. I'll talk about this extensively in my other Skillshare class about how to study for exams. You'll find out my profile link in the video description, whatever. But the point is this extra feature when we edit flashcards as we go along, we can just add more context to them so that we understand it. Now, even though I'm trying to memorize the capital of Azerbaijan is Baku, the fact that I've seen this image now and I know where Azerbaijan is in my head, and I've seen this Baku aspect of the image as well. My brain now has more hooks to hook onto to maintain this connection. Whereas before, Azerbaijan was just like a thing I knew it was a country somewhere in the middle east and Baku never heard of it, don't even know what it was. Before these were just words essentially, but now it's more of a concept, it's more of an understanding in my mind and that's why it's so important to edit these cards as we go along. Let's do a few more. So let's say that was good. The capital of something is Nassau. I have no idea. Bahamas is Nassau. I think vaguely the Bahamas are in North America. I want to see Bahamas on map. Let me find a decent image. Perfect, this is what I wanted to see. I'm going to right-click "Copy Image". I'm going to hit E for edit, paste it into the extra zone, and now when I close this, I see the Bahamas are over there and Nassau is one of these little island state, that's nearby, and it's between the US and Cuba. Cool. You know what? Let's add another edit tag, Bahamas flag. I wonder what the flag of the Bahamas looks like. Right-click, copy image, edit this flashcard. I've got image 1 over here, and I could paste the flag in there as well. Escape to close, space bar, and now I see the flag and I see where it is. Again, now I've got more and more elements. Now it's no longer just memorizing the capital of the Bahamas is Nassau, it's actually putting some context into it. Let's go away from this. This is like some niche medical stuff, herpes simplex encephalytis investigation. [inaudible] Are we talking about CSF? Here we go. Perfect. I'm going to edit this flashcard and you'll see what it looks like. This is like a complicated flashcard. It's got too much information on it. It's not one of my own flashcards. It's got way too much, but we'll talk more about the minimum information principal later on. But you'll see herpes simplex investigation is close one. All of this is under a closed deletion, all of this stuff. Then in the extra zone, we've added this MRI scan and we've added this information probably from Radiopedia or some other source so that when I do this flashcard, I see all of this stuff, which I would quite like to be in red, rather than blue anyway, because it's more visible, and I see this extra bit. Again, instead of just memorizing the fact, it gives me some more context. That is why editing flashcards as we go along is enormously helpful, and these one I made Meniere's disease management. This got way too much information on it. But I'm going to edit this. You'll see it's asking me for the management of Meniere's disease. When I saw that card, I was like, I don't know what you want from me because I made this card like two years ago, and so I don't know what I was getting out. I can just edit the flashcards to give myself a hint. Specialty do you refer to? Which organization do you inform? What do we do about acute attacks? What about prevention? This is about flashcards. It's got way too much information on it. Ideally, I'd actually be exploiting these out into individual flashcards. But now if I look, I've edited the flashcards so that instead of it being a case that would try and guess the answer that was in my head six months ago. Instead, it's a case of which special did you referred to? I referred to ENT. Which organization to inform? DVLA. What do we do about acute attacks? Prochromosome? What about prevention? Can't remember. Let's have a look. Betahistine and vestibular rehabilitation [inaudible]. Again, just while we're here, the reason why this is about flashcard is because there is too much information on it. Even though I knew most of that information, there was one piece of information I didn't know. But now I have to come back to the whole flashcard again. Which means, as I get hundreds and thousands of flashcards, it becomes a real pain in the bomb to review them because I'm having to do so much mental effort to re-review stuff that I already know, I know. Part of doing Anki well is doing Anki efficiently. Really I would explode this flash card into a load of smaller flashcards and then it would only be this final bit that I actually didn't know and I knew the other, so I'd be able to mark the others as easy or good, and this is the one that I would be able to mark as hot, so to come again. But basically the point of this is to illustrate the idea that as we're going through our flashcards, we definitely want to be editing them as we go along. The thing that I think about is that if there's ever anything that I actually don't understand in my flashcard, if there's a concept that doesn't quite make sense to me and I've decided it's important for it to make sense to me, then I will add extra information. Because the extra information, it doesn't take any effort to add, it takes like three seconds. But your future self will benefit so much from it when you can see all of the context, rather than having to Google or search through your textbook to find information. So that was how we edit flashcards. We really want to be editing them as we go along. Thank you for watching, I'll see you in the next video. 14. 1.12 Image Occlusion: Welcome back. We've talked about basic cards, reversed cards and closed deletion cards and we've talked about the importance of editing our cards as we go along to make our flashcards more legit. Let's now talk about a slightly more advanced feature but I think we can cope with it and that is Image Occlusion. What is Image Occlusion? Well, Image Occlusion is an add-on, which I don't have yet. We're going to install the add-on first. I'm going to go Tools and Add-ons. To install the add-on for Image Occlusion Enhance, I'm going to click "Get Add-ons" and you'll see to browse add-ons please click the browse button below when you find an add-on you like paste it's code below. I'm going to hit "Browser Add-ons". It's going to take me to this add-ons for Anki 2.1 or whatever version of Anki you're using at the time of this recording. I'm going to Control F or Command F, Image Occlusion. Here we go. This is what I want. I want Image Occlusion Enhanced for Anki 2.1 Alpha. To install the add-on basically, it'll give you a code. To download this add-on please copy and paste the following code into Anki 2.1. I'm going to copy that and then I'm going to paste it in here. I'm going to hit "Okay". Then, here we go. Download complete, please restart Anki to apply changes. You'll see we've got Image Occlusion Enhanced for Anki 2.1 Alpha over here. Let's restart Anki. I'm going to close and we're going to open up Anki again. Perfect. Now for the tools add-ons, we'll see Image Occlusion Enhanced has been installed. What does image occluding do? Basically, Image Occlusion lets you occlude aspects of an image in order to automatically generating flashcards from images. For example let's use our capital city so let's find Australia major cities and let's find them in a map. Images. Here we go. No, it's too small, I'm trying to find something. Let's go here. I'm going to copy this image. In capital cities they're going to add a new card. We don't need to do anything with this card. What we need to do is we need to open up the Image Occlusion Editor, which you can see a button over here for it, add Image Occlusion Command Shift O. Now we can add image occlusions here. Let's say I want to memorize what the different bits of Australia were. You'll see on the side is automatically selected the rectangle tool and I can select it by pressing the R, or the Ellipse tool by pressing E or you can just click on it. But it's automatically on the rectangle tool. What I can do is I can just click and drag and you'll see Western Australia gets hidden. I can click and drag Northern Territory and it disappears. I can click and drag Queensland and it disappears. Let's make it a bit bigger. South Australia and New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, any other regions of Australia? Cool. That's fine. Now we've occluded all these aspects of the image. Essentially what the Image Occlusion add-on is going to do is that it's going to generate flashcards for us for all of these. We've got the option now we can say hide all, guess one or hide one, guess one. Now, these have different use cases. In this example because we've got another example coming up, I'm going to say, hide one, guess one. Now you'll see at the bottom it says seven cards added. I'm going to click "Close". Now if I go back to my deck, you'll see these 15 new cards. The capital of Azerbaijan is Baku. Yes, wonderful. Easy. Capital of The Bahamas is Nassau. Yes, easy. In fact I should probably change that. I should change it to the capital of The Bahamas is Nassau because it gave me too much of a hint because it said the capital of the, so now the capital of something, The Bahamas is Nassau, let's say it's easy. Fine. Fine. Fine. Fine. Here we go. You'll see the one aspect of it has been occluded, it's gone red. You'll see that all the others are visible because I went for the hide one, guess one, so it's only hiding one of them. I could have gone for hide all guess one, which we'll see in example of it a bit later on. But now I think that's Western Australia. Western Australia. We see that it's appeared and we can click "Toggle Masks". Now that I know it's Western Australia I can have good on that one. But now will see that another one has been occluded, and that is Northern Territories, and another one, and another one, and another one, and another one. We're seeing them in that order because we don't have many flashcards in this deck and because I've set them to be in order, we can randomize the order if we want. Over time as certain of these are going to be easier than others it will start to reset. But you get the idea. This is a very good way to memorize a diagram or a map or a flowchart or things like that. Medical students use these a lot for anatomy. Now we've got two segments from Clara and David, talking us through how to use the Image Occlusion Enhanced feature, just to give you another example of how this stuff works in real life. But if you've got the objective then feel free to move on from the video. This is David and Clara explaining Image Occlusion. I wonder if it would be easier if you can show us how to make an image occlusion card, just using a simple image or something in the practice deck that we've created. I've gotten this image from Google and now we want to basically use it to study anatomy. I'll have to change the card type. We had it on close deletion, but now we're going to be using an Image Occlusion. Here we have the image pulled up and we can basically blank them out by just dragging this box and make several of them. Then you can either have hide them all, guess one, we'll do that. I think that's the best way to go. Now we have an image. We've blanked out what's going on with the words. Now, let's get passed this ones. Here is an example of Image Occlusion. You can see we've blanked out everything that's going on at the forum anatomy. I could sit here and think in my head, "Okay, what is this?" This is obviously a nice Snyder's picture. It's color-coded and stuff and it's always the joke that this is not what the cadavers look like on the actual exam. I think anatomy is a great subject but I think this is a good way to start learning anatomy. Learn how things should look, where they should go, and then you can get in the cadaver lab and find out. I'm like, "Okay," I think about what it is in my head and I can test myself right then and there. I can go to the next one. What is this? Think about it. Then again, at the bottom you can see if I didn't know what this was I could click again. If I didn't know what it was, it'll show up in 10 minutes. [inaudible] others are super easy there's no way I'm going to forget this. I could click "Easy" and I won't see it again for four days. Okay. I guess the reason that you're not showing the other three is because then just by process of elimination you will just know that pronator teres is the forth one. Yes. I think that for me that would be a true point but you can do it. I could choose to show the other three and just have one of them blanked out. But it depends. It's a personal preference. That's the thing about Anki. It's confusing to learn because there's so much that you can do and so many things you can change, but that's totally another option is that you could just blank out one at a time if you'd like. Can you show us your process for making Image Occlusion in things. Yes. I really love the teach me anatomy diagrams. I think they are already clicked. I showed the image, I've copied it and then gone into Anki and pressed "Add" and then put it into lower limb anatomy deck. I'll copied that. Then it comes up automatically. If you just paste it it automatically comes up with Image Occlusion mode? You need to copy the image on Google and then go on to the image occlusion thing but the image here comes up automatically. Then change it to green. I try and make the labels the same size because otherwise it's like, I know you're like, what muscle? You know that flex or to detour and profound this is going to be a little bit of a bongo word then. Exactly. You're just clicking and dragging you're occluding the image? Yes. Then I click hide or guess one because over right there, hide or guess one leaves the others. It does but often if there are only four muscles in the posterior part of the leg, process of elimination, you'll know exactly what it is which is not helpful. I'll do that. Then I've just done hide or guess 1 and then, you can just get rid of it. Those were a few different use cases for the Image Occlusion Enhanced add-on. Like I said, installing an add-on, a bit of an advanced feature but to be honest you saw how easy it was to actually install the add-on and Image Occlusion is a great way of putting image related things into a memory. Medical students use it a lot for anatomy as you've seen. Equally if we're memorizing the Krebs cycle and it's all different aspects of it, you can use Image Occlusion for that. If you want to learn the different aspects of Australia or the different states in America or something, you can image occlude the relevant bits that you want for that. I'm sure you can figure out use cases for your own studies. Thanks for watching. That was Image Occlusion Enhanced, and I'll see you in the next video. 15. 1.13 The Best Settings For Anki: All right, welcome back. In this video, we're going to talk about the best settings that you should use for Anki. Essentially, there's YouTube video by this guy called Conaanaa aka Suppy and he's got this guide to Anki intervals and learning steps. I've experimented around with loads of different Anki settings and these are the ones that I would recommend that you get started with. The default Anki settings are all right, but they can cause problems and this half an hour video has like a whole long explanation of it. If you really want to get into it. So how do you change your Anki settings? So you'll notice that next to every deck, there's little Options icon. So that's click a random one and hit "Options". In fact number, let's use my USMLE, then click "Options". Now, you'll see that we've got different option groups here and I'm going to "Manage" and create a New One and I'm going to call that group, let's say Ali Recommended Settings. Cool. Now basically, these are the numbers that we want to put in. So under the "New cards", actually there's like three categories of settings. Just to briefly explain, we weren't New Cards, Reviews and Lapses. So New Cards are cards that are still in the learning phase and Reviews are how many reviews we're doing each day. But basically cards start off in the learning phase and then once you get them right enough times they graduate. Then in theory, they are cards that you should know and if you get them wrong once they're graduated, at that point, they reset back to new cards or rather at that point it comes as a lapse and then it effectively resets back to new. It's complicated. You don't really need to know the details, basically. The new card default steps are three and 15. Which means that when a card is new, you'll have noticed in the previous examples, if you click "Again", it comes up in three minutes, and if you click "Good", it comes up in 15 minutes. Then after that time, if you click "Good", it graduates because the graduating interval is set to one day. So after just getting it right twice in a span of 15 minutes, the card counters having graduated, and then if you ever get it wrong, again, at that point, the card difficulty becomes penalized. Which means that you start seeing that card over and over again. In this video Conaanaa calls it, "He is hell" and I think that's a great description of it. Because everyone who doesn't change the default Anki settings gets into this problem where they're like, "I swear I've been seeing this cuts off and why does it keep on coming up? " It's because you haven't changed the settings. These are the settings you want to change it to. So for new cards, you want to write 15. So the first interval is 15 minutes. Three minutes is a bit pointless. Because three minutes you're not really learning anything. You're just testing your short-term retention of it. So 15 space 1440,1440 is 1440 minutes to one day. That means the first interval is 15 minutes. The next interval is one day and the third interval, 8640, which I think is six days. I think that's six days. So that's 15 minutes, one day, six days and the graduating interval is also really important to change. We want to change that to 15 days and what this means is that the first time we see a card, if it's good, it comes up in 15 minutes. If it's good, then it comes up in a day and then it comes up in six days. Then it comes up in 15 days, and after we've got it right, after 15 days of it being a new card, then that card graduates and at that point we're pretty confident that we know what's on the card. At that point, if we get it wrong, then we start penalizing ourselves, which we won't go into. It's all explained in the video. But with the default settings, you don't really get to know a card very well. You just have it in your short-term memory and for a lot of us, we have pretty good short-term memories. I've got pretty good short-term memory. It becomes very easy to just graduate a card, whereas you want to actually get more and more steps until a card becomes graduated. Because when Anki marks a card as graduated, Anki is saying that we expect you to have memorized this card by this point. Whereas, there's cards that I've got tomorrow. [inaudible] capital of Andorra that equity can remember, capital of Armenia, that account. Remember, I wouldn't want that to kind of graduated because I know I can't remember it. Like I want to have recalled it four times with at least 15 days of a gap between them. To know that I fully know the code before it becomes a graduated card. So these are one of the most important settings to do. Show New cards in the order I edit. I actually prefer show new cards in a random order. Because as you saw in the previous examples, as we were creating capitals, it becomes easy to actually memorize the order of the cards just subconsciously. So adding new cards in a random order means that you don't see one after the other. So you can figure out what the answer is based on the order the answer came in. So Add New Cards in a Random Order. Finally, for the easy interval, I have to 60 days as Conaanaa recommends. Basically, I tend not to hit "Easy". I was hitting it a few times in the example just to get us through the cards. But I usually don't mark a card is easy, because if I'm marking it as easy, then I'm really questioning why do I actually have this flash card in the first place. Something like the capital of France, as Paris would be an easy card. It would be the sort of code that I actually don't need to make. So I tend not to mark easy. But easy interval I will just pass 60 days. So these are the first settings to change. Next when it comes to the reviews, these are the settings I would recommend. So maximum reviews per day I would set to 9999. Because basically you always want to do the highest number of reviews that Anki says you should. Because if you don't, if I said maximum reviews 20 a day, like I only want to revise 20 cards a day and I've got 500 cards then I'm never going to get through them all. Because I'm only doing a maximum of 20 each day. While I set it to 9999 because then at least I see, the Anki algorithm is very good. It's very good at predicting when I'm going to forget stuff. So I want to follow the algorithm and not try. Basically, if you set your maximum reviews per day to too low a number, you are hamstringing the algorithm. You are not living algorithm work because you are not up for doing enough questions. Sometimes when you're getting into the swing of things, you can just blitz through hundreds of flashcards in a given setting. So I like to have reviews and 9999. Easy bonus is fine, until modifier is fine, and maximum interval 90 days, that's fine. That's sort of the maximum amount of time that you'll see a card coming back and basically, and then importantly for lapses, this is important. So essentially a lapse is what happens when you've got a graduated card and you get it wrong, right. So there's graduated, in Anki default settings, a card that's graduated as a card that you've known for one day. In my book that doesn't count as knowing something. That just means you remember from yesterday, it doesn't count. Whereas in on new settings, as we see over here, a card that's graduated as a card that we've been able to recall four times with a 15 day gap between those recalls. So if at that point we get it wrong, then okay, fair play. We should start seeing that card more often. The default step is 15 minutes. I think 20 minutes is better because 15 minutes is not too great. New interval. Now, I think that should be changed. So what that means is that basically, if you get a card wrong wants it's graduated, it will completely reset back to its default and you're going through your 15 minutes, one day, six days, 15 days, all over again, which becomes a real annoyance. Especially, if you made a typo or something or you actually knew it, but if you just forgot it for a moment, it's unfair on ourselves to make us then redo that card in circulation again because A, it's not a very nice feeling and B, it also comes at the expense of the other cards. So I think it's useful to have that at 70 percent as Conaanaa recommends. So 70 percent minimum interval, two days and leech Threshold eight lapses, leech action tag only. It's really important this should be tag only. Essentially, what that means is that if we get a card wrong eight times in a row, that Anki we'll tag it and tell us that, " [inaudible] You've been getting this card wrong eight times in a row." Suspend is bad because. Suspend means Anki will start hiding that card and never showed again. But if you've got something wrong eight times in a row, you probably want to show it rather than hide it. So Tag only is the way for that and now I've saved this as Ali Recommended Settings, so I'm going to hit "Okay". So now when I'm doing my USMLE deck, I click "Options" and I see that yeah, it's on Ali Recommended Settings. But for example, if I click my Ordinary Capital Cities deck options, that's currently on default. Whereas I could change it to Ali Recommended Settings or I can change to Conaanaa or I could change it to Osaid or whatever I want. Now we'll see that should be Osaid settings and if we look back on USMLE, that should still be on Ali Recommended Settings. So you can change the settings depending on what decade doing. If for example, I was learning Japanese or learning music theory, I would want these cards to come up much more frequently. Whereas for me learning stuff for the USMLE, I've got thousands of cards in this pre-made deck, which I'll talk about later. I don't want to review them every three minutes. So those are the recommended settings. I'll put a link in the Product and Resources section to this video from Conaanaa, if you want to a full half at a long explanation of exactly what these settings mean and the idea of "He is hell," which is a really important concept to understand. But basically if you change Anki to those settings, you won't really go wrong. So yeah, that's all good. Thanks for watching. I'll see you next video. 16. 1.14 Anki On Different Platforms: Welcome back. In this video, we're talking about how to install Anki on different platforms. I'm going to go in the Anki website. I'm just going to search Anki on Google. It is apps.ankiweb.net. The annoying thing about different platforms is that there are a lot of fake versions of Anki. This is the official website. This is the one you want and this is the only one that you want. You can download the Windows version, the Mac version, the Linux version, iPhone and Android. Now, if you're in an iOS device, the one you want is Anki Mobile. Let's open it up. It is Anki mobile flashcards, this is what it's called and it costs about $25 or £23. Now people are going to see that and think, "Oh my god, how the hell can I possibly paid £23 for software?" If genuinely, you can't afford to pay £23 for software and then that's absolutely fine. I get that currency exchange rates in different countries so I search that 25 pounds is a hell of a lot of money. But if you're a student in the UK, I can pretty much guarantee you spent more than 25 pounds wasted on a meal out with friends. Literally if you're really afford this, it is the single most worthwhile investment you can possibly make if you can afford an iPhone. In fact, if you can afford an Iphone period, chances are almost certainly you can afford Anki mobile flashcards and you should get Anki mobile flashcards. It is an absolute no-brainer. I cannot imagine a single circumstance in which someone realistically could afford an iPhone but can't afford to spend $25 on an incredible app. Buying this app, this is the only part of Anki that costs money. It is the thing that funds the development of the whole ecosystem. It is an absolute no-brainer. If you're going to be using Anki for any length of time at all, even if you've only going to be using it for a year, even if you're only going to be using for a few weeks, the amount of stress that Anki takes away if you can have it on your phone it's nice app is astronomical. It is totally worth the 25 quid, please, just buy the app if you have an iPhone. If you have an Android, you don't need to buy the app because it is free. You can get AnkiDroid, this is what it looks like in the Google Play Store. This is the one AnkiDroid. Because there's so many copycats, you'll always be sure to get the right one by going on it from the Anki website. There is another one. I think it's on iOS. It's called Ankiapp, and it's not the one that you want. This is a fake up. This is absolutely terrible. You do not want Ankiapp flashcards and you don't want Ankiapp. You want specifically Anki mobile flashcards, the one that has the official Anki logo with the $25 price tag. But let's say you can't afford it for whatever reason. You can just go on your mobile device. You can go on to safari and you can go on AnkiWeb.net. AnkiWeb is a free companion to the computer web of Anki. AnkiWeb can be used online to review when you don't have access to your computer. I can login. I can type in my login details. Let me find the right account. I have so many different Anki accounts. Now, you'll see, I have all of my flashcards on AnkiWeb. If I wanted to, I could review my capital cities and I could click "Study" now, the capital of Azerbaijan is Baku. Yes, good. The capital of The Bahamas is Nassau. You'll see that it hasn't quite sync from the previous video because Anki synchronizes once you closed it, but we'll talk more about that in the next video. I can literally do all of my flashcards from my phone. I don't need the app, but because I have the app installed, it just makes the whole process a lot easier. I'll explain the synchronization in the next video, but basically, there's no excuse for not having Anki on your phone. Please buy the app. It is totally worth it. If you're an iOS device, you can probably afford it. But if not, you can always use AnkiWeb.net and you can just login directly on there. So that was Anki on different platforms. It's obviously helpful to have Anki across all the platforms. I have Anki on my iPhone, on my iPad, on my Mac, and I can access Ankiweb if I'm at work. I'm just using the crappy Windows computers at work and I've got a spare half an hour, I will often go into AnkiWeb on the computer rather than to sludge on my phone. Go on AnkiWeb on the computer and just bash through some flashcards. That's a very easy way of using Anki across different platforms. But remember, the official downloads are on the official Anki website. Please don't get hoodwinked by the myriad fake Anki apps. The ones on the website or the ones that you want. That was a quick one. Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 17. 1.15 Syncing to Anki Web: It's the final video of the basic mechanics section. On this video, we're talking about how to synchronize stuff to AnkiWeb. Anki is fantastic, because they've got this free synchronization platform where you can just automatically or semi-automatically keep your decks and flashcards and all your revisions and your special competition schedule, you can keep it synchronized across your different devices. Because as we discussed in the previous video, you're going to install Anki on whatever device you have and preferably you're going to buy the iOS app, but you can always use AnkiWeb if you can't afford it for whatever reason. How do we sync? Well, we can make our flashcards, it's all well and good, but then we can hit the Sync button, shortcut key Y, and initially it's going to say a free account is required to keep your collection synchronized, please sign up for an account then enter your details bellow. I'm going to sign up for an account, I'm going to hit Sign Up. Cancel, so your email is [email protected] and let's use this series strong password because why not. I actually know that's something easy, 123456, go to sign up. Sign up. Not now, I'm going to accept some terms and condition the bloody, bloody blur. Now, I've got an e-mail confirmation. Let's open up that. You have please verify your e-mail address. Verify e-mail now. Thank you, e-mail address has been verified and your account is fully active. Wonderful. Now I can type in [email protected], 123456 and hit "Enter". Now because I've got stuff here, your decks here in Anki web differ in such a way they can't be merged together, so it's necessary to overwrite something, initially the very first time, I want to hit "Upload" to Anki web. Because at the moment in my new Anki web account, I just have a single default deck, whereas I've got an absolute ton of decks on my local computer. I want to upload all the decks on my local computer up to Anki web so that I can synchronize stuff. I'm going to hit "Upload" to Anki web. Now you're going to see, your collection was successfully uploaded to Anki web. Perfect. We can see the synchronization button is moving along. Now in theory, if I go on decks, look, this is my fake account, [email protected] and we can see I've used up 46 megabytes of which 34 megabytes is media, because a lot of my decks have images in them, so it takes some time to upload. Literally everything is now on Anki web. This is absolutely incredible. Look at this. This is sick. Everything's just been instantly uploaded. This is how it works. Now if we want to synchronize basically, whenever we want to synchronize, we can hit the synchronization button. Oh, it still synchronizing stuff because there's a lot of data to synchronize. But essentially when we hit the Close button, Anki will automatically sync all the changes up to Anki web. Now, I'm going to go on my phone and I'm going to log into my Anki account on the app. I'll be able to download the synchronized decks. Let's go on Anki. At the moment, I've just got a default deck. This is what it's going to look like when you first install it. I'm going to profiles, add a new profile, Anki test. Cool. I'm going to hit synchronized and it says please enter you enter your Anki web details. I'm going to type in [email protected], password we said was 123456. Now, this is upload to Anki web or download from Anki web. The answer is we want to download from, because you'll see on this device, I only have one single deck with nothing in it. I don't want to overwrite all my decks on Anki web by uploading that. Instead I want to download from Anki web because Anki web is the source of truth for what it should be. I'm going to hit download from Anki Web. Normally, it wouldn't take this long, it's taking this long because I've got loads of pre-made decks that have tons and tons of images in them for medical exams, but it will be practically instant if this is the first time that you're using Anki. We are done. Look. Now we will see that all of my decks have synchronized to Anki web and now they've been downloaded onto my phone. Now everything is on my phone and everything is offline. Even if I don't have Internet access, I now have all 650 megabytes worth of data of which there are tens of thousands of medical type flashcards, which I can do on an airplane, in the middle of the Himalayas, wherever I want. Capital cities, I've got my Western-Australiamso I just tap and I can see, okay, it's good. Is that Queensland? Northern Territory is fine. Queensland, whatever. Let's go back to decks. Let's look at my USMLE deck. In acute gastritis is disruption of what type of barrier occurs? Disruption of the mucosal barrier. Perfect. Let's say good. What is the most common cause of chronic gastritis? Helicobacter pylori, I think. Wonderful. How can brain injury cause acute gastritis? Well, you can get a cushing ulcer. Cushing ulcer caused by increased vagal stimulation which increases ACH and in return acid production. I didn't know all the details of that so let's go again and so on. I can go back in decks. Then when I'm done, I can hit synchronize. This is going to be much quicker because all it's done is it's uploaded the changes that I made, so it's going to recognize that I did those four flashcards and it's going to update the algorithm accordingly. Everything is synchronized on Anki web completely for free. This is absolutely incredible. I can see why Anki is the absolutely life changing app for a lot of people. That was how we synchronize to and from Anki web. Remember the first time, you want to upload to Anki web, and then the next time around, you want to download from Anki web. Then it'll figure out what's going on and then you won't need to worry about upload or download anymore. You'll just hit the synchronize button and you'll be sorted. The nice thing about Anki web while we're here, is that you can also share your decks. You can make your decks public. When I was in my second year of med school, I made loads and Anki decks and I made them public and I shared them with people in the year below and friends in my year group and stuff. That was fun. There's just loads of different ways to use Anki and you can also download other people's decks from Anki. This is just an introduction to Anki. That was how synchronization worked. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next segment of the course. 18. 2.1 Flashcards From A Lecture: All right welcome to the second section of the class, and in this bits. We're going to be going over some real-world examples of how me and a few other people that I've interviewed over the past few weeks. How we actually create Anki cards in real life based on our material, and then how we review those Anki cards. How we would do things like improve the cards over time, and stuff like that. The idea is that as we're watching these videos I'll explain what the philosophy is behind what makes a good flashcard. There's lots of other videos on YouTube that discuss this, Pre-Roger Taney has some very good ones. He was one of the guys that I interviewed for ages that some bonus segments of him in this class. But I'll put links in the product and resources section to other videos that you should watch about what makes a good flashcard. But now let's jump into it, and so we're going to start by talking about how to make Anki flashcards from a lecture. I've got my Anki app and in fact I'm going to use my lecture notes. I'm going to open a PDF experts, and I'm going to let's say, I don't have renal physiology. That's good through renal physiology. Basically what I'm looking for is that well firstly I want to understand the content obviously. Hopefully you've seen my class and how to study for exams. That talks about the importance of understanding the content first, and like for me I'm pretty sure now that have been doctor for two years and studying physiology for a while, I'm pretty sure I understand most of renal physiology, but I still need to memorize certain aspects of it. I'm going to create a new deck and I'm going to call it home because that is the subject, home for homeostasis, first-year physiology. I'm going to see which aspects of the lecture notes I can convert into flashcards. The philosophy that I've got when I'm doing this is I'm thinking what is an examiner will fact that I need to memorize, that I can't just rely on understanding for those are my three things. Examinable fact that I need to memorize that I can't just rely on understanding for something like where are the kidneys? I don't need to memorize where their kidneys are because I know the kidney where the kidneys are another of there. Something like what is the blood supply to the kidneys? I just know it's the renal arteries like it's not the sort of thing that I need to memorize because I've I have long understood that fact. It's ingrained within me as the fact that Paris is the capital of France. But as I'm going through these lectures, I'm going to look for information that I could potentially turn into a flashcard, and as we're going through, I'll explain why I am converting certain bits into different flashcards. This is an interesting one so this graph basically shows essentially in the body we have about 42 liters of water. The intracellular fluid, the water inside cells, makes up 25 liters. The interstitial fluid, the water around the cells makes up 30 liters and the plasma, blood, makes up about three liters of fluid. These are important numbers to remember, and so I'm going to create a flashcard for each of them. It's going to be a basic flashcard because it doesn't need to be special actually no, you know what, let's make it close deletion flashcard out of this. Because then I can say body compartments, intracellular fluid equals, interstitial fluid equals, and plasma equals. What a compartment? How much fluid do we have in each? So I can say interstitial fluid is about 25 liters, 13 liters and three liters, and what I'm going to do is I'm going to close all of these; Command Shift C, Command Shift C, Command Shift C. But crucially what I'm going to do is because what I'm thinking about is for example, if I do them like this, you'll see they're all c1s. That means that when I out of this card, now it's going to ask me for the answer for all of them, and it's just going to create one flashcard. Because if I go in the Edit mode, you'll see c1 just means kind of the first close, the first close, the first close, all these run one. So the thing I'm thinking of in my head is, is it important for me to be able to generate this information without knowing the others? For example, if I did a c1, c2, and c3, just to give you an example and saved that. Now, I know the answer is 25 liters, but I'm thinking in six months time, if I didn't know that that was 25 liters, I probably be able to actually work it out based on these two numbers because I just know that the overall is about 41, 42 liters. So that's why the philosophy here is that actually I'm going to convert them all into a single close because that is actually the important information I need. I should be able to as a doctor and as a someone studying physiology I should be able to just release real these numbers off of the top my head. So it is really important for me to know this as one unit of information. So when I see this flashcard, I can say okay 25 liters intracellular, 13 liters interstitial, and three liters in plasma. Boom absolutely right, and while I'm here, I'm just going to screenshots. Gosh, this keyboard is not working. Let's switch keyboards. Automatic keyword, whereas my diagram use command control shift and four, and then that turns into a selection. I can just copy that whole segment and just paste it into extra. So now if I close this and look at this flashcard again, now that I've got the answer once I've, once I've active record it once I've tested myself on the flashcard, I now see all this information. Again, this just it's so useful putting this extra information in flashcards because now I've got this visual of the 25 liters intracellular fluid, the 13 liters interstitial fluid, and the three liters of plasma. That would be one color I would make from this using close deletions. This fact here is quite important, 55 percent of the blood is actually plasma, and of that 91 percent of water is 7 percent is proteins and 2 percent is electrolytes. Now I knew that but I didn't really have these numbers off the top of my head, and I think it's helpful in terms of understanding physiology and understanding fluid bands around the body just to appreciate what these numbers are. So what I'm going to do, I'm going to say 55 percent of the blood is Plasma. How much of that is water? How much of the plasma is water by percentage? Because this is a close deletion card within the text of the card. I'm going to say it 91 percent water, and I'm going to close that with commands shift c. Now if again if we close the oops, I'm going to add this close, so this is this one. Let's say that was easy, 35 percent the blood is plasma. How much of the plasma is water by percentage? The answer is 91. This is basically a basic card in closed deletion format. Alternatively, what I could have done is I could have created a new card. I could have switched the type to basic, and I could have said, what's percentage of plasma is actually water, and the answer would be 91. Yeah, that would be one way of doing it. But because for me I tend to use close cards quite a lot. If I've got a card, that's actually just a basic question and answer, I would still just use the close deletion thing. The other interesting thing about the clothing is that it automatically comes with the extra field. So now what I can do in the extra field is I can just copy and paste. Boom, I'm going to screenshot that. Paste in there, and now that's automatically in there. Now this flashcard is a lot more useful because now when I see this in six months time, however, yeah but I see it tomorrow or later today, 91 percent water. But it also gives me the context, I've explained that actually 91 percent water, 7 percent proteins, 2 percent electrolytes, and this is a diagram just to illustrate a bit more, and it was so easy for me to just screenshot that stuff and just shove it into Anki. I might as well like this would be a lot less useful if I just memorize 91 percent water in isolation. But now I've got it in context and I understand it's with proteins and electrolytes. For example, if I were to add more cards here, I would say, lets actually copy this stuff. How much of the plasma is proteins by percentage, and then I would actually say, which proteins? Which is technically another question and it goes against the minimum information principle, which is the idea that only one fact for flashcard. But I know that actually memorizing the number seven is not directly useful in the context of my subject. It's more useful for me to be able to read off albumin, fibrinogen, globulins etc, as being the other things in this list. Which is why I'm adding more than one piece of information to this particular flashcard, and this is why creating flashcard gets complicated because it really depends on what you're trying to achieve unlike what the objective is. Actually let's just fill this out. I'm going to say 7 percent proteins. albumin, fibrinogen, globulins other etc, and I could just copy and paste that from the lecture notes. Close deletion that with command shift c, and then copy and paste all of this stuff. Now how much is the plasma is water, it's 91 percent, and I've got my illustration good. How much of the plasma is proteins? Well, it's about 7 percent in the proteins are albumen, fibrinogen, and globulins, amongst other things, mostly albumin, great. That is how I would make fairly basic flashcards just based of this. Let's make another one while a watery here. What is van't Hoff's equation? The answer is pi V equals nRT. pi V equals nRT because I come both to find the symbol for pi. I'm just going to copy and paste this whole thing in the extra tab, and I'm going to close out pi V equals nRT. Now let's add it with Command Space bar, close this. How much of the plasma percentage with proteins, that was easy. What is van't Hoff's equation? Well, it's pi V equals nRT. But alone, that fact is totally useless, which is why in the extra column I have added, I've screenshotted the information there. Again, just to reiterate it takes me zero effort to screenshot stuff, but my future self will be so glad that I did it. That was an example of three different flashcards that I've made, just this one lecture. The question I'm thinking is, is this useful for me to be able to memorize this fact? Do I need to memorize it or can I just understand van't Hoff's equation? I knew that already, but it's an important missed thing like it's named after someone. In a year's time, in two years time, I might not specifically remember like, I would know the equation pi V equals nRT, but I might not specifically remember that it was van't Hoff's Equation, which is why it's helpful to create the flashcard for that. Whereas I probably wouldn't need a flashcard for speed equals distance over time, just because it's so bored or obvious and I just know it. The point that I want to make, this whole thing is that we don't want to just be making flashcards willingly about everything. We only want to make flashcards for the things that we think we might need a flashcard to remember, and that actually is partly why I don't like making flashcards the first time I'm studying a new subject. Because the first time you are studying anything, it is all completely new to you, and the first time I'm looking at capitals of the world, the fact that Paris is the capital of France, is a completely new fact me, and so I'd make a flashcard about it. But really I don't need to make a flashcard about it because it's like as path that is a bad example. But like as you become more familiar with the topic, you can start taking different aspects of that topic for granted. There's an example I'd like to give like a few months ago, a student e-mailed me, asking me to look at his flashcards. He was starting first year of medical school, and one of his flashcards was where is the heart? The answer was in-between the lungs. Like that's a pretty ridiculous flash card to make because obviously everyone knows the heart is in between the lungs. You don't need a flashcard for that. Also it's a bad flashcard because where is the heart like, two years from now, when you look at that flashcard, hypothetically as a medical student or as a doctor, I might think well it's in the middle mediastinum. It's surrounded by the anterior and posterior mediastinum. It's got the pericardium around, I'm not really sure what the question is asking. If the flashcard was between which two organs is the heart? Then it's more obvious than okay, the lungs. But then it's a pointless flashcard to create because you don't need a flashcard to know that the hardest in-between the lungs, you can just take it for granted. That's the impression that I want to leave you with that Anki is fantastic, Anki is amazing. But you really want to avoid flashcard overload. One way to avoid flashcard overload is to only make a flashcard If you think you might need a flashcard to remember it, and if something is super easy then yeah you just mark it as easy and it ends up getting buried. But yeah, we don't want be able to do with flashcards. That was the segment of the video. Let's, in the next one will continue making some more flashcards, and I'll just share some more thoughts along the way. 19. 2.2 How to Make Flashcards From A Video: All right, welcome back. In this video we are talking about how to make flashcards from a video. Now, let me find a random lecture video on YouTube related to physiology, probably and I'll again try and go over what flashcards I would make from that particular video. Let's look at pulmonary surfactant. This looks good, double speed obviously. Welcome to 5MinuteSchool. Today's video, we're going to be talking about pulmonary surfactant. Now, in the last video, we mentioned the effects of surface tension on the alveoli of the lungs. Oh, here we go. So already we have an examinable fact here. I'm going to add to this deck ad if we look at the bottom of this video, pulmonary surfactant is secreted into the alveoli from type two alveolar cells. So the examinable fact here is, what cell type secretes surfactant? What cell secretes surfactant? I'm going to say, type II alveolar cells. Because this is a closed card, because that's how I roll, I'm going to close that out. You know what, I might as well just screenshot this from the video and shove in the extra column, just because, why not? So that's a useful factor for me to memorize. [inaudible] Oh, interesting. So I actually want to do an image inclusion here because I think it's useful for me to understand what a type I alveolar cell is and what a type II alveolar cell it. So I'm going to screenshot that, copy it to my clipboard and I'm going to use command shift O. So we've got the rectangle selected, we're going to get rid of that, we're going to get rid of that. Let's get rid of that as well, alveolar macrophage and [inaudible] That's all fairly obvious stuff. So let's do hide all, guess one. I want to hide all of them because if I do hide one guess one, it's going to show me all of them and ask me to guess one of them. But if it for example shows me alveolar type II cell, I know that the other one must be alveolar type type I cell. So in this context, is better for me to hide all and guess one and I will see three cards have been added. Great, let's continue. So [inaudible] Okay, here we go. This is interesting. What are the three things that makes up surfactant? Basically, 1, 2, 3, it is phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylglycerol and hydrophobic surfactant proteins. I probably could get a molecule diagram, so surfactant. That'll do. This is an image of phosphatidylcholine, so let's copy, shove that into the extra column. So now I can see phosphatidylcholine and be like, hydrophobic chains, polar head groups, blah, blah, blah. But these are the three things that makes up a surfactant. Again, do I want to do this as a single card or as three different? I think I want to do it as a single card. Again, this is somewhat controversial because there's more than one piece of information per card. I know that if I get asked a question in real life, it'll be what are the three bits that make a pulmonary surfactant and I want to be able to rule them off of the top my head. So yes, it would be more effort for me to recall the card when I see it. But I know that in the context that this information is important, it's important for me to know about all three components. So actually, I could have just done a basic card for us, but I'm just going to select everything, close it with a single close, rather than having to select each of them individually. Let's hit the add button and now we'll see what percentage of blood is plasma? Well, that is 91 percent, good. What is Van't Hoff's equation? pV equals nRT. What cell secretes surfactant? Alveolar type II cells, good. Now this is an alveolar type 1 cell, good. That is an alveolar type II cell, good. That is an alveolar macrophage, good. What are the three things that make up surfactant? Phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylglycerol and hydrophobic surfactant proteins. No, it's more like hydrophobic tails, whatever. Let's say good for that one and now I know what it's talking about, easy done. [inaudible] Okay, so he said that pulmonary surfactant is removed by alveolar macrophages. Now, I didn't actually know that, so I'm going to create a card for it. So surfactant is secreted by type II alveolar cells, but taken up by alveolar macrophages. Now this is actually the perfect opportunity to use a double close, so I can close that, I can close that. So that works. So now if I add this, I've added two cards. Surfactant is secreted by type II alveolar cells, yep. But it's taken up by alveolar macrophages. So now I've got these two facts that I've got from this lecture and put it into a flashcard and this is a fairly simple flashcard. Again, if I wanted to, I could copy and paste this diagram. So let's edit this extra piece of diagram and close. So now it's going to appear in all of these closed division flashcards. So hopefully you can get an idea of how I'm making the flashcards as I'm going along. Again, just to reiterate, I'm asking myself, do I really need a flashcard for this? This is not the first time going over the topics. So already if there's something that I don't immediately think, "Oh, yeah, I know that." Then I think okay, maybe I need a flashcard for it because clearly I haven't remembered it after all these eight years of being in medicine. So that's step number one. Step number two is, I'm trying to think about how I can turn it into the simplest flashcard. But also while I'm doing that, I'm thinking about how is this information actually going to be tested? Is there any point in me knowing the structure of pulmonary surfactant based on these three things in isolation or would it be better if I could just read off the three things that make up pulmonary surfactant just in a row? In that context, that would make sense. So again, just reiterating the point that design your flashcards based on the format and the method that you're going to be tested in. Remember, you want to minimize the number of flashcards ideally, so we don't want to be making flashcards on absolutely everything because then we get too many flashcards and it takes ages. We want to try and keep that process as efficient as possible. So thanks for watching and let's move on to the next video. 20. 2.3 How To Make Flashcards From A Paragraph: Welcome back. In this video, I want to show you how I memorized bunches and bunches of paragraphs and paper references and long bits of text for my psychology essays that I had to write during my third year of med school. I've actually made a YouTube video about this. It's called how I ranked first at Cambridge University, and it's done quite well since it's a good clickbait title. But this is my third year psychology deck. Actually, we will click "Study Now" and we'll see how much of this I remember. Tranel and Damasio 1985. I have absolutely no idea what I was talking about. Clearly, I knew this back in the day. Let's hit "Browse". I'm looking for my third year psychology deck. That's sorted alphabetically. The way that I was using Anki for this is that I was creating essay plans, like I was creating structures of essays that it was going to commit to memory, using spider diagrams and mind maps. For example, in my mind map I would have the phrase, abnormal basal ganglia functions in schizophrenia, functional neuroimaging evidence. This was an essay about schizophrenia. We were looking at, "What is the evidence that in people with schizophrenia, the basal ganglia, which is a part of the brain, is abnormal?" The thing that I wanted to memorize was this study from Honey et al 2005. Where they did functional MRI showing brain responses to simple target detection tasks and groups controlled schizophrenic. The caudate were overactive in schizophrenia, and the putamen was underactive in schizophrenia. So this is not the minimum information principle. But actually, it is. The minimum information principle is that we should have a single chunk of information for every flashcard. This paper is a chunk of information. I need to know what the reference is, I need to know who did the study, and I need to know what the study showed. There's no point in me knowing the name and then creating a separate flashcard for what the study showed, because that's not how I'm going to recall that information. I'm going to recall that information by seeing this on a plan, and thinking, "Okay. I'm writing this essay about schizophrenia in the exam, I need to sum evidence that shows that in schizophrenia, there is some kind of brain structural changes." I remember. From my flashcard, I know I've got that study from Honey et al 2005, where they showed that in schizophrenia the caudate is under active, and the putamen is overactive. Other way around, the caudate overactive and the putamen is underactive whatever. But the point is that I'm using flashcards to create these links equally. Amygdala overactivity and depression. Is it simply caused by medication or depressed state? Then I've got this other chunk of paragraph that I've memorized. Again here, anxiety is good for you. In lab study first conducted 100 years ago, a small degree of anxiety has been found to improve performance in lab tasks. Too much anxiety interferes with performance. This is like a whole chunk of information that I've memorized, because, "Anxiety is good for you," is the cue that I know I'm going to recall when it comes to writing my essay. Again, this is not the way that I'd recommend using Anki. If you need to Anki, then this is quite a brain processing intensive way of using Anki to memorize chunks of information. But this worked really well for me. Because of using Anki, I was able to memorize at least 10 references for every single essay that I was writing the exam, I'd memorize at least 50 essays of which like eight came up in the exam, out of the 12 that we had to write, so that was absolutely perfect. But this took me absolutely ages. Making these flashcards and reviewing them every single day without fail. Ultimately, all of this information was uploaded to my brain. But this is a difficult way to use Anki. A much easier way to use Anki by keeping your flashcards as short as possible, so that you can just like blitz through the reviews. Or as we wanted these Brim et al 2000. There's no way I can blitz through this review. Back in the day when I was studying for this exam, I would just scribble out what the paper reference was, and what they showed, and recite the story to myself in my head. That would take 30 seconds to one minute, sometimes even longer per flashcard. If I had thousands of flashcards, just wouldn't have worked. So I had fewer flashcards, but it's a lot easier to use Anki when you're just lifting through small, small snippets of information, individual factoids, rather than this method of memorizing entire chunks of information. But I just wanted to put this video in here to show you that you can use Anki to memorize chunks of information. Again, it really just depends on, in what format are you actually going to be tested. Are you going to be asked to write an essay in an exam with the book closed? Or you have to recite these references from memory? Some would argue, "It's a pointless way to be tested." I would agree. But I don't make the rules. This is just how you play the game. Or are you going to be tested in a sense that it's going to be multiple choice, where it is based on recognition, rather than generation of information. All these things dictate how you should use your flashcards. But in this class, I just want to show you that there are a few different ways of doing it. But if in doubt, stick to the minimum information principle. One fact per flashcard. One chunk of information per flashcard. Don't over complicate it like I've done here. I hope this gave you a brief look at how this stuff worked. Feel free to slow this video down if you actually want to see what I am going over. Yeah. Thanks for watching, and I'll see in the next video. 21. 2.4 Improving Your Flashcards: In this video, this is going to be a bonus segment. It's an interview that I did with Prerak Juthani who was a medical student YouTuber. He's got a YouTube channel where he breaks down so much stuff about Anki and you should definitely watch all of his videos about Anki if you're really interested in exploring this topic deeper. In this short segment, he and I are just discussing and showing on screen how we would improve flashcards by building on them and what makes a good flashcard. More on that in a video further down the line. Here's me and Prerak discussing how to improve your flashcards by adding extra information. I wonder if you can just take us through some other rest of random cards just so we can get an idea of what extra information you put and while we're there, if we can talk about what makes a good flashcard versus a bad flashcard. I know you've got videos about this that we'll put in the description section wherever people are watching this, but it will just be good to chat about it informally. Here's a good one. This is bumetanide to furosemide conversion. Both of these are just diuretics. Notice how the first question was just like two milligrams IV is how much furosemide PO. This is a very basic question. The answer was 80, which is what I put in the back. In the extra column, I included all of the contextual basis behind that. Even though this question is testing one facet of this, which is bumetanide lasix, you can see how I would need to know a lot more because you need to know bumetanide lasix PO to lasix IV, bumetanide PO to bumetanide IV. So on the extra column, I almost always have all of the prerequisite information I need to understand this question. Let's say I just wrote that that milligrams is equal to 80 PO, if I had nothing else here, this is a very useless card because then I'm like, two is 80 but one might be 40, and then what about PO to IV, all of those small things. Now I have this card here that actually answers all of those. So even though it's just one question that I'm being asked, I have a lot more knowledge here that I can absorb. This one says which one is the left gastroepiploic artery comes from and this is just relating to the stomach. Notice how I included a picture of the stomach in my extra column, and I said splenic, so I would like, "Here's the splenic artery, there's the left gastroepiploic. Got it." If I had asked right then you will all notice how I'd need to go the coeliac trunk. I would probably go to the gastro duodenale and then it comes off the gastroduodenale on the right side. Again, not just the answer but all the prerequisite information I need to understand that question. Yeah. I suppose so that one, if you didn't have the image, the danger is your that brain would just begin to associate that specific phrasing of the question with splenic artery. Just the words and you wouldn't have the idea, the actual concept in your mind. Yeah, which is really important because anatomy is so visual. So you may memorize these two things, but I would argue that having the picture makes it even easier to memorize because you're like, "Oh yes, splenic artery and it just comes off. It's on the left side, of course." So this adds a lot more context and I'd argue even makes it easier. It seems like you and I are very similar. I can't just memorize random facts. I need to have some logic behind this. Whoever made these amazing things didn't just do it out of craziness, there's logic behind each and everything. So this adds a bit more reason. This one's asking, "What is drug-induced aseptic meningitis?" Again, it's a very simple, basic question, but you'll notice how I included an abstract here. It's a picture of an abstract from a drama that talks about drug-induced aseptic meningitis. I have the actual paper here if I wanted to refer to it. Again, I summarized it in my own way. When certain drugs that you take can cause your CSF fluid to actually have the same breakdown as if you had viral meningitis. So notice how I even highlighted the part of the abstract that's important, which is, NSAIDs can cause this. Antibiotics can cause this. IVIG can cause this. Antibodies against the T3 receptor can cause this. Again, basic question, basic answer, but all the information I need to understand that answer in the context of medicine. So here's another one. This is just light's criteria thoracentesis. Let's say that you want to decide if a thoracentesis, if a pleural effusion you had was caused by heart failure as opposed to an infection, this light criteria explains it. Notice that I don't even ask any questions about it. I ask another test that's really specific for exudative pleural effusion is cholesterol. Cholesterol values greater than what are indicative of oxidative, and this is 45, right? Also notice that I included my transudative stuff here because it's not just about exudative. So transitive are usually bilateral. They're caused by heart failure, cirrhosis, nephrotic syndrome and exudative are usually infection or malignancy. Again, everything I need to understand the concept. My question is a very specific facet of that knowledge bank. I suppose at that point, if you still don't understand it, having read the information, that's when you're just looking up Google and just literally Google it. Yes. Exactly. Notice how I don't just make one card. So this is the same thing, what are three causes of exudative effusions? So I usually have so many questions about one topic. I approach it from 80 different attack angle. That if I go through all of my cards and I sleep on it, those angles come together. It's like the puzzle analogy that we were using which you fill in pieces of the puzzle, and before you know it, you've filled the whole puzzle in and your concept bank is full, you just didn't know it. 22. 3.1 When to use Anki?: Okay, welcome back. It is a new day filming. I realize I happen to be wearing the same T-shirt, but we are now on section three of the class. Now just to recap, section one we gave a mechanical overview of the basic mechanics of how Anki actually works and how to make a card and what cloze deletions are and what image occlusion is and all that stuff. Then in section two, we had walk through, putting it into practice, showing you not just how to make the flashcards, but how to make the flashcards based on information in a lecture or information from paragraphs or trying to memorize different types of information. In this section, Section 3 of the course, I'm going to be answering frequently asked questions. In this video we're talking about when should you use Anki? This gets split up into two parts. There is when should you create flashcards and secondly, when should you review flashcards. We'll tackle the second one first because it's easier. You should be reviewing the flashcards every single day because if you can do it every day, then you're letting the algorithm work in your favor. You're allowing the system to work for you and it means you don't really have to think about it you just have to get your daily reviews done every day. When I was using Anki extensively in medical school and all my friends have done this as well. When we were using an Anki properly, we'd be doing it, for example, on the toilet or on the bus or in the car. If you're in the car and someone else is driving and you're going to placement or something, someone would usually have Anki open, usually me with my friend Paul driving and then as I was doing my flashcards, I would throw the question out to the rest of the group and everyone would answer. Equally when I was in my second year, we were memorizing drugs in pharmacology and stuff using Anki and me and my friends Callum and Paul we were all living together, once or twice a week we'd get together, we'd order a city Kebab takeaway and we would just do drugs is what we call it. Just bashed through some Anki flashcards. Basically, when it comes to reviewing your flashcards, you want to be doing it at every opportunity when you have those spare moments of time and yeah, you can sit down for an hour or two every day and be like right I'm just going to bash through my Anki cards. But think about the amount of time that we all waste scrolling through Instagram and in fact, one thing I found helpful when I was at university is having Anki as the very first icon on the very first page of my iPhone home screen. I've now reduced the friction for me doing some Anki cards rather than doing something completely pointless, like scrolling through Instagram. That is when you should review your flashcards. What about when you should create them? Now, a friend of mine, his name is Angus, he ended up ranking amazingly well in all the exams in medicine in Cambridge. He started off making Anki flashcards in first year of med school, but he started off making them after the lecture. He would take notes in the lecture and then he would convert the notes into flashcards. That is one way of doing it. But very quickly he realized that actually he didn't need to take that intermediate step of taking the note first. He could just convert the lecture into Anki flashcards as he was going along. Then for the next five, six years and he ended up absolutely smashing every single exam and ended up winning loads of prizes at graduation and stuff, he was saying his method was purely based on [inaudible]. I'm just using Anki, using active recall, and using spider diagrams here in there, which we'll talk more about in a future video. But the point is he cut out the intermediate step of note-taking from his flashcard generation. When you start getting good at using Anki, what you can do is you can start making flashcards in the lecture itself. For example, if there's a diagram on the screen and maybe you've got the PowerPoint on on your laptop, you can just screenshot from the PowerPoint and put it into Anki. Alternatively, if you don't have slides, you could just take a photo with your phone and then chuck it into Anki. You can make flashcards on the fly during lectures. That would be one way of doing it. The other way of doing it is the more standard way. In the lecture, you actually pay attention and you make notes. I quite like making notes in lectures just because it helps keep me awake and then after the lecture, then I would go through and I would really ask myself, okay, do I really need a flashcard to understand slash memorize this thing? As we've talked about before, individual factoids that might come up in the exam would be reasonable to make a flash card about. Let's say it was which chromosome is the gene for cystic fibrosis on? Well, there's no real understanding involved in doing that. I know it would make sense to turn that into a flashcard. Whereas let's say it's something like in a lecture randomly they mentioned that type 2 diabetes affects 20 percent of the UK population. That's not a useful flashcard because I know that I'm never going to be asked the question, what percentage of the UK population is affected by diabetes, because that's just not the sort of question that we would have got in our exams. Our exams are much more scientific. They didn't really care about these stuff. I wouldn't make a flashcard about that. Yeah, those are the two most popular places where you can make your flashcards. Number one during the lecture itself instead of taking notes or maybe alongside. Or number two, after the lecture when you're going over your material, at that point, it becomes a lot easier to just screenshot stuff, chuck it into Anki, screenshot, chuck in, type a few things, chuck it into Anki and you become very adept at creating flash cards very quickly. That was just a few thoughts on when you should be using Anki. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 23. 3.2 When should I start making flashcards?: All right. Welcome back. In this video we're talking about when you should start making flashcards. This is a absolutely classic question that everyone asks. When should I start doing anything? I want to say as soon as possible with the caveat that if you are a first year student of any kind, and you're just getting started in your subject, I probably would wait a few months before making flashcards. The reason I say that is that when you are new to something like when I was a first-year medical student, I had no idea what the exams are going to be like. I had no idea what the experience or anything was going to be like. If I'd started creating flashcards from day one, I would have over created like an absolute ton of flashcards. A lot of them wouldn't have been useful because I was just very ignorant at the start of my first year of med school. By the time I got halfway through first-year and definitely a second-year rolled around, at that point, I knew the score. I knew what the exams were about. I knew what sort of questions they were asking. It would be much more reasonable for me to then make flashcards from day one of my second-year of med school all the way through to final year. That's what I did. From second year I was like, okay, I'm going to be doing Anki from day one and it worked absolutely amazingly, equal in third year or where I ranked first in the area of a work just worked amazingly. In first year, most of the friends that I had who started discovered Anki and started using it. They just ended up making way too many flashcards. The advice for when you should start making your flashcards is in general, the earlier the better. But keep in mind when you are embarking on something new, you are going to be an absolute does. You're going to be ignorant about everything you won't know what you don't know. Therefore, diving into flashcards might be counterproductive. I would suggest waiting until we're wasting a few months and trying to really understand everything first before you worry about the things you have to memorize. The other problem with making flashcards too early is that you end up wasting a lot of time making flashcards for things that might be trivial fats later, like further down the line. In anatomy, for example, everyone basically knows that all of the muscles in the posterior compartment of the arm are supplied by the radial nerve. That fact, you only really start to fully appreciate it so deeply ingrained a few weeks or months into med school. It's not a fact that on day one you would think, okay, yeah, I'm definitely going to remember this for the rest of my life. I haven't visited anatomy for eight years. I still know that fact because it's just so deeply ingrained because it's just such a classic fact. If I was a first-year medical student and just making flashcards for the first time,I might waste a lot making flashcards for all of the different muscles in the posterior compartment of the arm and bothering to list to the nerve supply for them. Not realizing that actually this is a fact that they're all supplied by the radial nerve. That's a fact that I can basically take for granted. Whereas if I'd waited a few weeks and months before starting to make flashcards, A, I'm doing a bit of revision because in making the flashcards, I'm doing space repetition and active recall. B, I now have more of an appreciation of what the important things are that I need to put on the flashcard. That was a very random way of saying basically, the sooner you can make the flashcards the better because you want to spread out the workload of making flashcards. Basically, the sooner you can start revising, the better. I've had a few emails from students being like, when should I start revising for my exams? The answer is, the best time to start revising for your exams was two years ago. The second best time is right now, the early you can start doing this stuff the better because then we're fully taking advantage of active recall and space repetition. We're fully taking advantage of the fact that our brain is wired to remember things over a long period of time, provided we give it a long period of time to do it. The earlier the better, but with the caveat at the very start of a new chapter of your life, maybe give it a few weeks and months until you become less ignorant about what's going on. I say this in the nicest possible way because I was an absolute ignoramuses when I was in my first-year med school. I would not have benefited from using Anki for the first few weeks or months. I would have benefited it from using it a few months into it. That's the answer to the question. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 24. 3.3 What should I put on flashcards?: Another question that we've had quite a lot of on Instagram is, what should I put on a flashcard? This is an impossible question to answer because it really depends massively on what subjects you're doing, what stage of that subject you're at, what year you are, and how old you are, what your exam is doing, and what specific things you want to be trying to memorize. Basically, I think the way to think about it is that Anki is like your second brain. It's like an extension of your brain and anything that goes into Anki will become uploaded to your brain provided you do it effectively and consistently, and all that stuff. Provided you stick to the minimum information principle in general and have not too much information each flashcard, preferably just one factoid, one examinable fact. With that mindset in mind, that dictates what you should put on a flashcard. As I said in the previous video, I wouldn't make a flashcard asking me what percentage of people in the UK have diabetes? Because I know that it's irrelevant fact, maybe it's useful to appreciate how big the number is, but it's not the thing I want to memorize as a piece of information. If I had too many of those going through my flashcards would get really, really dull and pointless because I'd be in a card this is a pointless questions this is never going to come up in an exam. Partly it also depends on what's our aim of using flashcards? Are we using flashcards purely to learn or are we using flashcards to prepare for an exam? Everyone realizes this at some point in their lives, and the sooner we can realize this, the better. Our exams are not the arena where we test how much we've learned. Our exams at the arena where we test how well we've prepared for the exam. In an ideal world, in an absolutely perfect education system, we would learn stuff and the exams will test the learning, but in the exam to be relevant to the learning and maybe when you have exams at all, but in the real world, we have to play the game of exams. It really depends what do you want to put on a flashcard depends on what do you want out of it? What information do you want uploaded to your brain? A few tips on this if you're still struggling. Firstly, the most important thing to do is to scope the subject, we talked about this extensively in the previous, go check class about how to study for exams, you should check that out. Scope the subject first, figure out the general tree of your subject and the general branches before worrying about their details on the leaves. Because Anki is very good at the details on the leaves and leaves. It's not very good at the branches and the big tree. Scope the subject understand the big tree, understand were stuff fits in. Then once you've done that, you can break your subject down into the relevant bits, and while you're doing that, you're looking through past exam papers. If you don't have past exam papers, ask someone a year older than you what they had in their exam, you will get some idea what's in the exam. There is literally zero excuse if you're sitting there thinking, "Oh, but my school don't give out exam papers." There are so many sources of information out there. There's the Internet, there's your professors, your lecturers, your teachers, students in your year, students in the year above, students two years above. There are thousands of sources of information where you can find out what's going to be on the exam, and therefore, you can build your flashcards strategy around what you know is going to come up on the exam. If you're a medical student, lots of medical students use Anki. The way that I would do it for clinical school is that I would be doing question banks online. There's is loads of question banks available. You can use post-medicine and post-test personally, but there's loads just once for the year similarly. If I got stuff wrong, I'd be looking it up in, for example, the textbook on Wikipedia, and I'd be turning that into a flashcard because I know it's something that I got wrong, and we learn best when we are learning based on the thing that we got wrong. There's no real point making flashcards on the things that we get right, because then we just end up with way too many flashcards and it becomes an exercise in futility. I know that it doesn't really answer the question, but so many people ask, "What should I put on my flashcards?" The answer is, dude, I'm so sorry, but it just massively depends on absolutely everything. Most importantly, what are you going to be examined on? What are you trying to upload to your memory? That's the main point. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 25. 3.4 How long should a flashcard be?: One of the most common questions that we get is how long should my flashcard be, and this is controversial. It's controversial because there is a spectrum. There are some people who are on the minimum information principal end of the spectrum, where they would be very staunch believers in that there should only be one single fact per flashcard. Like each flashcards, should only have one objective and that should only put one factor into your brain, and if you have to learn 10 facts, you create 10 flashcards because that's how it works. On the other end of the spectrum, you've got people like me for certain exams, who would put entire paragraphs, even, I think some of my flashcards had like four paragraphs in them, where I was just committing those four paragraphs to memory. But in that context, I was preparing for an essay exam where I wanted all those flashcards to be uploaded to my brain, and the reason I had them as paragraphs rather than just as bullet points, is because I wanted the writing style of those paragraphs to also be uploaded to my brain. It depends on what you're aiming for. I would say in general, if we're asking the question how long should the flashcard be? The answer would be the shorter, the better. In general, especially if you're a beginner at using Anki, I would stick to the minimum information principle, which is one fact per flashcard, because you can't really go wrong with that. When you start adding way too many facts to your flashcards that it becomes such a bull-like to get through, you would just stop doing it; and like they say in the fitness world, the best workout routine is the one that you follow. There's no point trying to find the perfect workout routine because chances are you won't follow it. The best one is the one that you'll follow. If you start trying to extend Anki too much, especially as a beginner in it, you will end up just giving up and not using it. It's like going to the gym and trying to bench a 100 kilograms on your very first attempt. It's not going to happen, you're going to become demoralized, and you won't be able to do it consistently. Whereas if you stick to the minimum information principal of one factoid per flashcard, you can't really go wrong with that. That's what I would recommend. That's a general advice, and over time, as you get better at using Anki and more experienced, you can then start modifying your flashcards to add little bit more information to them. If you have to, because remember, as we discussed in the previous sections, you can always modify your flashcards and it's very easy to do and certainly you absolutely should be doing. That's my take on the topic. But we're not going to include some interview footage of a discussion that I had with Prerak and Carter. Both of them use Anki very extensively to absolutely smash their exams. Carter came like 99.99 percentile in the end cat for Medical School. Prerak did like really, really well in the USMLE, again for med school. The tips that are giving are applicable to pretty much any subject. Here's the discussions between me, Prerak and Carter about this controversial issue of how much information should you have on a flashcard. I guess it is sort of a spectrum. There are some one factoid per flashcard purists who will generate 80,000 close deletions because they want to stick to that method. Then you've got people who would memorize entire essays just using a single flashcard. I wonder what your thoughts are on that about one factoid or whether there's more nuance here. Absolutely. I'm going to just take that road in the middle which is a little bit of each because for the USMLE for sure, one factoid works. Because the USMLE tests one very specific knowledge base point. But for real life medicine, one factoid does not work. I'll tell you a lot of the questions my attendees ask me would be more like this. They would never ask me, what is one cause of an exudative effusion? They'd be like, oh, this patient has a light's criteria that's greater than 0.6 in terms of LDH. What do you think is on your differential? At that point I'm not going to have to be like, oh, I don't know, I never had a flashcard that specifically talks about this scenario. I'm going to be able to need to list all of the potential causes of an exudative effusion in front of an attending. The reason why you're seeing this card in my sub i deck is because it was for my sub i. Which is sub i is a lot more open-ended. I'm going to be doing a lot more reasoning. I'm going to be needing to think open-ended. But if I were taking a test, then yeah, for sure I maybe could have been like malignancy causes what pleural effusion and the answer could have been exedative. I think when you're doing testing, I think those small, simple one close deletions definitely work. But when you're in the hospital and you have to open up your blinders and you have to consider, pretty large differentials. That's when these cards do have to happen. They got to make it into banks somehow because you can't just know like, oh, these are the causes of exudative but not be able to tell people what the causes are if they ask you could tell me all the causes. Yeah, absolutely. I completely agree. I made a video about how I use Anki to memorize entire paragraphs for essays, which I did in my third year med school when I was studying psychology. A few of the comments were talking about how, oh, actually technically this isn't the right way to use Anki because you're supposed to have one factoid per flashcard. The way that I think about it is that, yes, fine, technically, like Anki was originally designed to learn languages and when you're learning a language, it is a pretty much one-to-one mapping between the front of the flash card, and the back of the flashcard. But you can use Anki for lots of different things and you want to actually figure out what is your goal here. What are you trying to prepare for? If you're preparing for a multiple choice pharmacology exam, okay then fine, one factorial per flashcard makes perfect sense. If you're preparing for an exam where you're going to get a random question from any of these eight topics in psychology, and you want to memorize specific references that haven't descriptions of papers and stuff, it doesn't make sense to do it one line at a time because again, you're just compartmentalizing knowledge in a way that doesn't make sense. You want to put it together because that's the format you'll be tested in. Within this theory crafting on Anki, there's sort of like a spectrum. There are some people that fully purists of the minimum information principle, which is the idea that each flashcard should test one and only one factoid. Then there are people like me that would use it for things like memorizing entire essays, and just have like a whole paragraph of stuff within a flashcard that I would then force myself to recall. I wonder where on that spectrum would you slot most of your stuff? The rule that I try and stick to is I really try and say no more than four things for flashcards. One of the cards that comes to mind that's in my developmental class is that, I think I have a card asking, what our four functions of Sertoli cells. I can tell you that they phagocytize cytoplasm, they produce inhibin, they produce androgen binding protein, and they produce a medium to nourish the sperm. That's where I think I draw them limited about four things. I think it depends, there's sometimes where if you have like a clever mnemonic and once you start getting more than four, that's when I start trying to bust out some mnemonics and that's where I find that really helpful. I think it's very reasonable to have to have a cod that hasn't entirely mnemonic because that's really just one chunk of information. Once you know the mnemonic, you know the information like that. Yeah. I think the biggest cards that I've gotten towards had been about seven things especially that pathophysiology class where they're asking you to list, say seven causes of hypercalcemia. You can go all day with doing something like that. Part of it is just knowing these probably the seven most important, and then just making a mnemonic for those seven, or another really good way that I found to think about it was for something like cushing's disease. Figured it out from talk down was how I did it. I think I had like eight. Have you got flashcard for that you can show us. Yeah. Actually, we've got six manifestations of cushing's. Yes. You can see right here. I put it in italics and red, work away from the top to the bottom, then from the core to the extremities. I didn't have an organized like that on the card, but as I was recited in my head, I think, okay, the moon face, the buffalo hump, and then the purple striae that around the abdomen and then start thinking about truncal obesity and then work my way outwards to the thin lens and then that stuff. That was another way, either by sort category, I think you've mentioned in the video like categorized or [inaudible] or something like that. If I find that if I can't come up with a mnemonic or something like that, that's another really easy way to remember a whole chunk of information just try to lists, seven ways that this thing happens. Just think about like, okay, well, there's really breaks up into three main things, and then from there, sort of talking about it that way. Yeah. Great. I'd probably say if we're giving beginners general advice about Anki, tending towards minimum information makes sense because then you get into the swing of it. Then over time you start to realize that actually, if I've got a bit more information in it actually doesn't matter on it I can deal with that. But then equally and I think this is why Anki is so complicated that there's so much nuance. Like if for example, you took this card and you apply the minimum information principle to it. You would end up closed deleting six of them. Then that would just be overly excessive because each time you go through it, you'd be like, okay, which I'm missing here? Which one I'm the missing here? Eventually your brain would actually pattern match the position on the thing on the list as opposed to the actual concept, and that would just be completely counterproductive. Yeah. That's one of the things I meant to mention backgrounds talking about folding certain terms. Since that's something you got to be careful because I definitely realized especially when I was cramming for finals this last go around. I think for my [inaudible] class I think I had like 1,200 cards or something like that. I realized that I'm just blurring through all these cards that a lot of times I was just like recognizing the words in front of and behind the closed deletion. I didn't understand the concept at all. I just knew like this word, this word and what goes in the middle. That's definitely something to try to avoid. That was lots of us giving lots of advice on how much information you should have a flashcard, in general just to reiterate, the answer is as little information as possible. Then you can start getting fancy later on once you become more experienced at using Anki. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 26. 3.5 Should I write notes as well as making flashcards?: Another really common question, should I write notes or just make flashcards? Again, this is controversial. In my opinion, there is no point in making notes at all ever except for a few nuances. I talked about this a lot more in my previous class, I talked about how to study for exams. There's a load of stuff about note-taking. But basically, note taking can be useful if you're doing it in order to understand and you can't just do it in your head, because yeah, sometimes it is useful to write something down in order to understand it. Note taking is also useful if you are studying for the sorts of exams where you're being tested on information and essentially, you're having to combine lots of different information from lots of different sources. Let's say you're studying English literature and you've got an essay question in your exam that asks you to reference three different sources and you've read 500 books that year. You physically can't just return to the source material and memorize all the books. You have to make notes on the stuff that you're studying in order to synthesize and condense them into a format that makes sense, which you can then put into Anki to then upload to your brain. But note-taking becomes the first step for that. But for example, let's say you're a medical student. I don't think medical students should be taking notes at all because what's the point? It's not like medicine is particularly challenging, it's only challenging because there's just a fire hose of information that you have to learn. It's not like we're getting these arcane sources and we're putting information together in a novel way and try to reach some kind of fundamental insight, no, we're not doing that. We are preparing for standardized exams. Every medical student in the world basically learns exactly the same syllabus and so there are thousands of revision sources out there. I give the information to you, making notes as a medical student, in my opinion, and the opinion of most my friends, is a total waste of time. It should not be done unless it's required and unless you need to do it to understand your content. As a medical student, I would go for flashcards rather than notes because in a way, your flashcards do become your notes. If you're using the cloze deletion or if you're using basic flashcards, as you're adding to your flashcards and hopefully, you're making your flashcards bigger, you're testing yourself on only one concept, but you're adding lots of information to the extra information bit of the flashcard. In a way, your flashcards become your own notes. Lots of my friends used Anki quite well. If they came across a new condition or something, they wouldn't search through every note or one note or anything, they would just search through the Anki database because they knew that that information would be in there somewhere and then they would just add that piece of information to the flashcard. In a way, Anki then becomes a note taking system. Yeah. Note taking can be useful if you've got a subject that requires you to make all these inferences, to use all these different sources. Medicine is not one of them. If you're a medical student, I think you're wasting your time by taking notes. I think you can just go for flashcards and you can just go for mind maps. We're going to include a segment from Carter here, the guy who did very well in the M cat about this whole idea of notes versus flashcards and I hope he backs up what I'm saying. A couple of things that just came to mind. How much do you take your own notes relative to just using Anki? The way I think of note taking is like note taking in class, which for me personally, it's just to keep me awake and then, there's note taking off the class, which is to flesh out and try and understand stuff a bit more. Especially when I was studying for the M cat, what I've told a lot people is I did not take a single note while studying for the M cat. A lot of people don't believe me, because I scored very, very well on it. Some people asked me, "Hey, how did you get that score?" What I keep telling people is listen, I could've taken note, all I did was Anki and practice questions, and it's all I did. There's people who, I see them highlighting the book and taking all these pages of notes. I'm like listen, I told you what I did. They had these review books for each subject and I just read a review book and instead of taking notes on that book, all I did was just anything I wanted to note and remember, I just put into Anki and I knew that if I put it into Anki and just kept it with my reviews, I was going to see it often enough that if they tested me on it, I would probably be able to answer it pretty well. Fantastic. Yeah, that's my theory of note taking as well. Especially for medicine and for subjects where it's not like you're going through 18,000 English literature texts and having to create novel insights. In those circumstances, fair enough, you need to take notes to summarize the material because it's physically impossible. But when it comes to the M cat or the US MLE or medical school exams, with basically, finite discrete chunks of information that you being tested on and that everyone in the world is basically learning the same stuff. Taking notes. Yeah. I agree, it's sometimes helpful for understanding if there's a particularly tricky concept, but beyond that, if it's an Anki. Actually, there was a guy in my year at Cambridge who ranked second in the entire year group just like absolutely smashing all the exams and he also had a social life. He was Anki from Day 1. His note taking was getting screenshots from the lectures there in that and just checking in and into Anki. In the lectures, he'd be making Anki flashcards as we were going along. Whereas all of the rest of us in first year we were just making our notes and doing our highlighting and he ended up absolutely destroying everything in exam just by using Anki. Yeah. I have a friend who's in PA school right now. Do you have those over there? Not. [inaudible] is a mid-level provider. He's in school right now. He has mandatory class attendance. He'll go to class, but I mean, he's just sitting there in class and he's just taking the PowerPoint and he's doing what you just described, putting into Anki. He just goes ahead and just starts making cards right there. That was our answer to the question of should you take notes? Thank you for watching. I'll see you in the next video. 27. 3.6 Managing Card Overload: Welcome back. In this video we are tackling the question of, how do you avoid flashcard overload? This is something that we are all going to experience when we start using Anki. Even with the best of intentions, you just find that you made a lot of cards and the cards just start to pile up. Maybe there's one day where you miss your reviews and suddenly you've got 400 cards due the next day and then you think, "Oh shit, 400 cards, I can't be asked with this." Then you skip your review and then you go to 600, and now you're being overloaded by flashcards. There's a few tips that we can use to get around this. Firstly, and most importantly, if you can consistently do your flashcards every single day, then you will not be overloaded by flashcard. That's just the first thing to say. Secondly, you want to avoid making flashcards on the stuff that you know you already know. Especially at the start, especially if you're not following my advice and making flashcards from day one of med school, you're going to make loads of flashcards on things just because you like the idea of making a flashcard and it feels like a safety plan getting you think, "Oh, I can't possibly know this without a flashcard." When it comes to flash cards, we don't want to be creating that many because the more flashcards we create, let's see, we create 100 flashcards every lecture, and we've got a 100 lectures. That is way too many flashcards to handle. Instead, we should probably create maybe 10-15 flashcards per lecture, even if it's a lecture that's one hour long, because the rest of the information probably doesn't need a flashcard. It doesn't require us to memorize it. It probably requires us to understand it. As we've talked about, Anki is not great for understanding, Anki is wonderful for memorization. Number one, do it consistently number two, avoid making too many flashcards. Thirdly, even with the best of intentions and the best strategy, the flashcards can pile up, especially towards the exams when you've gotten through all your syllabus and you've got a few 100 flashcards to review each day. One way to avoid overload in upfront, is just split up the studying session. What I would do is I'll do a little bit in the morning than a bit in the afternoon than a bit in the evening than a bit before bed, while I'm lying in bed with a dark mode on Anki using an add-on that makes me swipe the flashcards and I just make sure I get all of them done by staggering them throughout the day. That would be one other way of doing it. Now, we've gotten a segment from [inaudible] , who did very well in the MCAT using Anki. About the Load Balancer Add-On. That's another tool in your arsenal for combating flashcard overload. I will handover to David now. Any tips in general on how to maintain the motivation? Because often I would find and I certainly know friends who would, we login to Anki and we'd be like, "Oh my God, 648 flashcards to do today. Then it would just seem so overwhelming that we would just end up not doing it. How would you get over that? There's two ways to go about that. I can tell you the one that I do and then there's one that's also very popular. Basically what I would do is, any block of medical school that I was in, I would make sure I did those reviews. They just needed to be done for my upcoming exams. We had weekly exams. But then in order to prepare the best I could for my board exam, it was important for me to review old material too. I had another deck of reviews. In order to not get overwhelmed, I would usually limit the reviews on that deck to maybe like 100 cards or so. I was using Pomodoro techniques for studying. That would take me about 25 minutes to get through. That just let me know that every day I would have about one Pomodoro technique of review cards and that helped me from getting overwhelmed. If I have less due that day, I could add more to that review pile. But I just knew like approximately 25 minutes I would be spending reviewing. I didn't wake up and have 2,000 cards to review, and I'm like, "Wow, I'm not going to do anything today except flashcards." Because to me that was not motivational. That was, a lot of people, you get overwhelmed with that. That's how I did. I set my review limit. Some people would argue that that makes Anki less effective. That could be argued, but to me it was like flashcards are used for certain purpose and that's for memory retention. But I had to spend some time using other resources to understand things. You're probably not going to be able to understand physiology from Anki. You need to learn that from your other resources that are provided. We use Anki to retain things in your memory going forward. That's very interesting. Let's talk about the second thing and then we'll come back to this understand versus remember thing, because I think that's really important. What was the second thing that you were saying that you didn't do but some people do in order to not get overwhelmed by flashcard overload? Yeah. A new thing that came out at some point when I was in medical school is another add-on. Basically, there's people who know how to code and they keep making these improvements for Anki. It's open source, so it's very useful, but it's called a Load Balancer Add-On. So the Load Balancer Add-On, basically, will look at how many reviews you have in upcoming days and it'll spread it out for you. Instead of one day you waking up, you open up your flashcard app and you're like, "Oh my gosh, I have 800 reviews. This is going to take hours," that Load Balancer Add-On will look at the next few days and basically make it equal. Instead of having 800 one day and 200 the next day, it'll spread out for you, so you have 500 one day, 500 the next day and it does that over a week period. You can imagine it makes it this whole, it's a little bit more consistent. You can expect approximately, how many reviews you're going to have each day. It's not a complete guess or a complete surprise when you open it up. Okay. But it sounds like you went for the method of hard limit, only 100 reviews per day so that becomes manageable. I did mostly because I didn't find out until the Load Balancer, until pretty late. Like I said, I knew 100 cards took me one Pomodoro technique to get through. I felt comfortable with that and my preparation that that was a good enough review for me that day, and if I had more time, I could add on if I wanted to. Those are some tips on how to manage flashcard overload. Just to reiterate number one, most importantly, just do them consistently. It's really hard to do, but if we can do it, we're sorted forever. Number two, avoid making too many flashcards. Number three, you can split up your study session if you want, and number four, you might want to consider the Load Balancer Add-On. So thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 28. 3.7 How to stay consistent: In this video, we're tackling the question of how do you stay consistent at doing your flashcards? We've talked so many times about how Anki is the most powerful learning tool ever invented, but it's only the most powerful learning tool ever invented, if you use it every single day and you can do it consistently. But that's a challenge for a lot of us, consistency is a huge challenge. How do you pluck up the motivation to sit down and do the flashcards? There's all sorts of ways of tackling this. I've got another Skillshare class about tips for productivity. That talks about some general principles, some power, some laws, mental models we can have in our heads for trying to be more consistent at doing stuff. I guess what it comes down to, when it comes to being consistent with Anki cards, is that at the start, you have to force yourself to do it. It's like if you want to run a marathon and you're training for a marathon, at the start, you wouldn't want to get out of the house and go running, but you have to force yourself to do it because you know that, actually, this is in service of a wider goal. When you're starting out with Anki, you have to force yourself to do it. But then, the nice thing is that once you force yourself to do it for a few days and you start getting into this positive feedback loop of, oh I actually know this and you start realizing that your mind is expanding and you're memorizing more stuff, it feels really good. The point we want to get to is the point where doing Anki becomes quite fun. It becomes like a game where you think, all right cool, it feels like a personal challenge like, all right, let's do this, let's pass through some Anki flashcards. That comes after, I'll be honest, a few weeks of forcing yourself to do Anki everyday. If you can get to it sooner, then fantastic, you're really winning at life because you are enjoying the things that we're doing rather than just forcing yourself to do it. But at the start, we do have to force ourselves. A few other ideas, for example, one thing you can do is, there's not equal to habit stacking where doing flashcards everyday, we want it to become a habit. But to make it become a habit, what we can sometimes do is we can tie it to something else that we are already doing. For example, one place where I do a lot of flashcards is on the toilet. If I'm sitting down to do a poo, I'll get my phone out and I will do Anki. I've just tied in my head the idea that when I'm doing a poo on the loo, I'm going to be doing flashcards as I go along. Another tip is that you can incorporate the idea of the five-minute rule which is when you're struggling to pluck the motivation or discipline or willpower to sit down and do your flashcards, you can tell yourself, I'm just going to do this for five minutes and everyone can do five minutes, we all have an extra five minutes in our day to do some flashcards. Usually, for me, what I find is I've tricked my brain into getting started. Now, that I'm started, I actually quite enjoyed doing the flashcards and so I ended up doing it for a lot longer and end up finishing my reviews. Another way to be more consistent at using Anki is to do it with friends. I've used lots of flashcards with friends. As a medical student, we're all learning the same stuff. It's quite nice having a group study session and everyone working through flashcards together. That's another way to be consistent. A fourth way is the Heat Map Add on which we'll talk more about in the later section of the course. Finally, I want to leave you with Prerak who did very well in the US, by using lots of Anki, and it's made loads of YouTube videos about it, which will be linked in the project and resources section. I want to leave you with Prerak and I discussing the idea of how we build a consistent schedule around doing flashcards. Cool, so you said that you do two hours of Anki everyday, how do you bring yourself to do that? Because I know a lot of people, as I'm sure you do, who done at Anki, they get this Anki deck or some random deck and they see, oh shit 8,000 cards to do today. Even if you start off with really good intentions, as everyone does, you end up missing a day or two and then the review start to pile up. How do you bring yourself to consistently do as you've been doing? That's the silver linings and also pitfalls of Anki. The good part is, you do have to do those if you want to use Anki well and the bad part is, there's no way to get around it. So you really do have to make yourself do it or else those cards will start to pile up. At that point, it's useless. That deck becomes useless because of too many cards and you'll get too far behind. It almost had to become algorithmic for me. I have to do these cards, or of course, there will be people who want to take days off and I'm definitely one of those people. Get better at knowing, okay, today, I'll take my day off but tomorrow, I'll have to put in twice as much work or I'll take three days off, and on the weekend, I'll spend eight hours just catching up. Those are all things I would do even based on medical school and just the timing we had. But you still have to get into the mindset of like, I still have to do these cards. Just because I have a lot of them, should not deter me from finishing my deck. Those were just some tips on how we can be more consistent at using flashcards. Genuinely, this is a real struggle. Everyone struggles with it. If you're struggling with being consistent in your flashcards, you are not alone. I still struggle, I still have to do my flashcards every day and I struggle to do it every day. But the more consistently we can be doing our flashcards, the easier our life is just going to be. It's just such a no-brainer. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 29. 3.8 Anki vs Quizlet: A few apps specific questions now and in this video we're talking about Anki versus Quizlet. Basically, Quizlet is pretty good. Quizlet is pretty, it looks nice. It's got nice animations. It's more of a pleasure to use than Anki is, and I think Quizlet is fine for doing things like letting the capitals or learning simple stuff. But if you're, for example, embarking on a long asked quests like a medical school, for example, or using a university degree, I would suggest the Anki is probably better. The reason Anki is better is aids more powerful like you can do a lot more things on Anki. If you've got add-ons for everything you can, there's so many customizations and the active inputting stuff into Anki is a lot quicker, like you can use keyboard shortcuts effectively. It's not a web-based interface. It's like a genuinely like desktop app that lives on your desktop, so it's a bit quicker. These minor efficiencies in using Anki rather than Quizlet really add up over a long period of time and the fact that you can customize it with add-ons and you can add images and stuff like easily. The more easily we can do stuff on any app, the more likely we are to use it, especially when it's something like Anki or flashcard app that we're going to be using for hundreds of hours through our university experience. I'm assuming you're a university student here, but this applies to school as well, especially for something like that. The more seconds we can shave off every interaction with the app, the more time we save in the long run. That in my book is the biggest reason for using Anki over Quizlet because it's just quicker, it's more efficient, it's more customizable. It's just generally more powerful. If you like using Quizlet and want to pay for Quizlet premium, the 20 [inaudible] a year for the spatial reputation, then sure go for it. Like it doesn't really matter what you use. Like it's all basically the same stuff provided you're using activity Colin space repetition. But having tried both of them, my personal recommendation would be to use Anki rather than Quizlet. Hopefully, that answered the question. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 30. 3.9 Anki vs Google Sheets: All right. Let's now talk about Anki versus Google Sheets. Now, if you don't know what I'm talking about, then feel free to skip this video. But basically, a few years ago, I made a video on YouTube where I was talking about how I use Google Sheets as a flashcard alternative, as like an alternative to Anki. The idea for that method is that you have the question on one column of the sheet, and you have the answer in the other column, and then, you hide the answer as in you make it white. Make the text white, so that you've hidden the answer, and then, you can just through. The Google Sheets method is a good way of cramming for an exam. I would only really use the Google Sheets method when cramming because it's essentially like a ghetto version of Anki. It's like a hacked version of Anki. It gives you the question and answer, like the Cornell note-taking method, which I talked about more in previous SkillShare class. But it doesn't have the space repetition algorithm. It doesn't have a facility to mock how difficult you found a question, I suppose what you could do is you could select the cells and highlight them in red and yellow and green as I used to do. But basically, my philosophy about this is Google Sheets is good for cramming. Anki is good for the long term. If you have more than, let's say two months until your exam, I wouldn't use Google Sheets because Google Sheets is effective for cramming for like really thinking, "Okay. What are the main important questions I need to know here?" And just going over them over and over again. Where in Anki, it basically does the same thing as Google Sheets, but just with a more robust space repetition algorithm. Google Sheets is for the short term. If you've got to cram for an exam, but definitely Anki, if I've got more than two months to prepare for the exam that I'm preparing for. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 31. 3.10 Anki vs Notion: Another quick one. This is a very common question. Do I use Anki or do I use Notion? Now again, if you don't know what I'm talking about, skip this video, it's not relevant. The reason why people are asking this is because for the last few months, 2019 and 2020, I've been talking about how I use Notion to take notes in med school, but I'm not in med school anymore but I teach medical students. I use Notion to take notes for my stuff and this is an example of, for example, my gastrointestinal physiology sheet on Notion. Essentially I use these toggle features. This is the structure of the lecture. Instead of just writing notes, I write notes or copy and paste stuff from the lecture but I hide them within these toggles and these toggles are usually questions. How much blood supply per minute? 1200 mils per minute through the splanchnic bed. What is functional hyperaemia in its context? Blood supply to the villi. In a way this is sort of a flashcard. But it's a flashcard in the sense that you've got some information and in that essentially you're asking yourself a question and then you're trying to answer it. The short answer to this question is that it's not really a dichotomy. It's not like Notion or Anki. If I could only choose one, I would use Anki all the time. But Notion is good for helping understand the bigger picture. The problem with Anki is that it's good at helping you memorize the individual pixels, but sometimes if you were just using Anki and just memorizing the individual pixels, you won't really get a deep understanding of the subject. You'll just see loads of pixels and you won't really appreciate the bigger picture. One thing I've started thinking a lot recently is that with Anki, if you want to use it properly, you need some system on the side that helps you to understand the bigger picture. One way of doing that is by making spider diagrams or mind maps. This is where you have your topic in the middle, like your tree and then you have your branches and then you can use Anki to learn the details on the leaves, if that kind of metaphor makes sense. The alternative to mind maps and spider diagrams is to use Notion. This is basically what I would create into a spider diagram. I would have general physiology in the middle and then I'd have structure of the gut, blood supply, epithelial blending, peristalsis, whatever. This is basically a mind map that I've created for myself. It's just that while going through the lecture I thought, I might as well make some questions about it. It's also different for me because I don't need to memorize this stuff. I'm not preparing for an exam right now. I more have these notes because I'm teaching the subject to my medical students and therefore, it's completely reasonable for me to have my laptop open with the notes in front of me while I'm talking about GI physiology to them. I don't have to have this information off the top my head. If you're a student preparing for an exam, I would suggest that you don't need to do this kind of stuff. If you're taking notes, then you might as well add a question to them just so it becomes the Cornell Note-Taking method and becomes legit because you're using Active recall. But if you're not taking notes, just put stuff straight into Anki. It's not a case of Notion versus Anki. But having said that, if I could only choose one, I would use Anki. You can basically create a Google Sheets flashcard method of Notion. But that would be fine if you're cramming for an exam, but it wouldn't be fun if you're doing it over the long term because again, Anki does the same thing, but you might as well let the Anki spaced repetition algorithm work in your favor. That's the thing that Google Sheets and Notion don't have. They don't have a space repetition algorithm built-in because that's not the objective of the software, whereas Anki is specifically designed to upload information to our brains. If you're in the business of uploading information to your brain as a student, then you want to be using Anki. Notion is the note-taking layer on top of that that helps you understand the subject, that helps you understand the bigger picture. Actually I would just probably use both if you can. Hopefully that answers the question. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 32. 3.11 The Importance of Playing the Long Game: The final video in this frequently asked questions segment of the class, isn't really a question it's more reiterating the importance of playing the longer game when it comes to Anki. In fact, it's just generally important to play the long game, i.e to try and be as consistent as possible when we're doing anything in life. There's always nothing that benefits from short intensive bursts, rather than playing the long game every time. Health is long game, exercises is long game, relationships are a long game. Basically anything worthwhile in life benefits from compound returns over time by playing the long game and studying for our exams is no different. If we play the long game, if we can be consistent on a daily basis, then we're letting Anki work in our favor. We're letting the math speak for itself and we're letting the algorithm upload stuff to our brain and it just works absolutely perfectly. The other thing is that I think is really important, especially if you've gone this far in the class. You might be feeling a bit overwhelmed, because there's like a lot of information. We could do this subject into two or three classes, but I decided against the Indian just because I think it's nice just being like this is everything you need to know about and Anki. But it is a time investment to learn. It's not one of those things where you start using it on day 1 and immediately pick it up and immediately stop breathing around with it. It's just not like that, it's like playing a piano. It feels like hard work initially but if you put the hard work in and you get the absolute joy of being able to play the piano so it's the same along Anki. If you're feeling overwhelmed at any point, really think of it as an investment in your future, an investment in getting better grades, and reducing your stress and just having generally more fun with doing the things that we have to do to study and to pass our exams. Just a quick message, public service announcement about the importance of playing the long game. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next section of the class. 33. 4.1 Optimisation: Welcome back to the class. Bit of a change of scenery now, we are now on section 4, which is all about optimizing Anki. We're going to be talking about add-ons, and we're going to be talking about how to use pre-made decks effectively. Before we launch into this section, I just want to give a word of warning. This is some advanced stuff. If you're an Anki beginner, I would suggest actually that you don't watch the rest of this course for now because it can get very overwhelming very quickly because this is now complicated stuff. If you're a beginner at Anki, the single best thing you can do right now is to turn off this class and spend a few weeks trying to do Anki everyday. As you're doing it, you'll figure out some optimizations that you can make yourself, you'll work out what the things that you find difficult are so that when you come back to this class and we talk about add-ons, and optimizations, and hierarchical tags, and pre-made decks, and all these fancy things, you'll have more of a foundational baseline for how to understand that stuff. If you're still with us, then that's absolutely fine. In this section we're going to be talking about tags, organizing tags, using pre-made decks properly, and a few different add-ons that me and others would recommend. Yeah, let's dive into it. 34. 4.2 Tags: Welcome back. Let's talk about tags. Now, when you make a flashcard, you might have noticed that you've got the option of adding a tag to it. Let's make a new capital. Add let's say front is Pakistan and back is Karachi. Fair enough? In fact, let's change that to a close. Just so we do this properly, we say the capital of Pakistan is Karachi. I can close that one and I can close that too. Perfect, pretty basic stuff that we covered in Section 1 of the class. If you don't know what I did there, then you're way too far in this course. You need to go back and look at closed lesions that we talked about in Chapter 1, and let's grab some extra information from the internet. Karachi, let's get a random image from the Google. Pick this copy image, chuck it in here for now, that'll do. You'll see that when I'm creating this flashcard, I've got the option to add a tag. I'm going to add the tag Asia. Let's pick another, so let's go. Capital of India is New Delhi. Close that, close that can't be bothered to add extra information for now, but you'll see the tag stays as being Asia. If I want, I can delete that and change it, but I'm going to keep it as Asia and let's do another one. [inaudible] Of those go, capital of Saudi Arabia that's how you spell it, don't know doesn't matter, but it's now got the Asia tag. Now, if we look at the browse thingy, this might look a bit intimidating, but don't let it. Basically, at the top of our browse, we've got a whole collection and then we've got the list of decks and list of subjects if you have subjects within your decks, more about that later on in this section. Then actually underneath the decks we have a list of all these cards types. These are all like basic card types. This is the closed deletion card type. So if we wanted to, we could have a look and see all of our different close deletions, all of the different basic cards. Your list is probably less big than mine because I've got a few pre-made decks again more on that in a little bit, but then underneath that we have all of these tags, and you'll see this little tag icon that shows that it's a tag. Again, my list is absolutely huge because I've got lots of pre-made decks, and pre-made decks tend to use a lot of tags in them. But let's find our Asia tag. We'll see when we click on our Asia tag, it filters all of the cards that have the tag Asia. So fair enough, they've got the tag ratio, why is this helpful? It's helpful because if we have an appropriate tagging system, firstly, it helps in terms of organizing our deck, and secondly it helps in terms of creating custom sessions. In terms of organizing the deck, let's say,'' It makes a bit more sense in medicine.'' Let's say, I wanted to do infectious diseases and I didn't have a specific deck for infectious diseases. I had a single deck that had all my medicine stuff in it. I could click on the infectious diseases tag or in the infectious tag and it would find me the relevant cards that are tagged with infectious diseases. So one way of actually splitting up a deck, is by having everything in one big deck and then using tags to organize it within that. There's another example here. There's the MRCP and there's the MRCP2. So MRCP's, the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians and MRCP2 is the part two of that exam and different people in pre-made decks, people have tagged these different things. So if I want to, I can search without C. So you get the idea of tags. It works similarly too, in every note-taking program you've ever used. You can just search for things by tags. But the reason why this is actually reasonably helpful is, because you can create a custom study session. If we go index and then let's go capital cities for example, just to keep things very basic. Now I can click the ''Custom'' study button at the bottom. When I've got this up, I can say study by card, state or tag. I can select a 100 cards from the deck, and I can say in a random or review cards in a random order, and then I can click choose tags, it tells me which tags are within this deck. We know Asia require one or more these tags, Asia. I'm telling Anki that I only want to study the stuff that's tied with Asia. Let's try that, that'll work. Cool. Now this has created a custom study session, which means I can cram the capitals of these Asian countries if I want. The capital of India is New Delhi, the capital Saudi Arabia's Riyadh, capital of Pakistan's, Karachi, blah, blah, blah. You know, you get the idea. This is helpful because, if you've got, for example, eight midterm exam coming up on nephrology the study of the kidneys and you have, as you've been going through, you've been tagging all your kidney related flashcards with nephrology, or renal, or kidneys, whatever, it means, you can then cram them all in one go, using a custom study session that tends to be the main use case for those. Tags are in this section because they're absolutely not required, but not a big deal and actually it's very easy to become too cute about tagging everything we like, oh, I'll only make a flashcard, If I can add eight tags to it. But all that does is, it increases the friction to creating flashcards, and as I said right at the start of the class, we want to be reducing the friction as much as possible because friction is the worst force on the planet. Really I probably wouldn't use tags if I were you, if you're just getting started out, but if you've got a reasonably solid use case for them, at that point, it might be worth doing. So that was the basics of tags. In the next video, we're going to be talking about the hierarchical tags add-on that makes tags a little bit more useful. So thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 35. 4.3 Advanced Tagging: Welcome back. In this video we're talking about the hierarchical tags add-on, and instead of me explaining it, which gets a bit boring and a bit dull, we have got David who did very well in the M-CAT, who uses the hierarchical tags add-on pretty extensively, and he is explaining and walking us through how we use it and why it's useful, so I'm going to hand you over to David. The hierarchical tags is, some of the decks are basically, there are altered in different ways, so I can show you. This deck right here with a plus sign, has a bunch of what are called sub decks, so that's one way, whoever made these set, that's how they decided to do it, they put a bunch of the subjects in this one deck, but this person, you can see they have all 9,000 their cards under one name. The only way to basically sort out those cards is look at the tags, so right here, so like the AK_Step 2, this is where all of adds are sorted out, so basically that add-on just makes this look a little bit prettier on this side, is little bit more of an advanced add-on, but definitely something that, you see also just like in a different area where the tagging system is. Yeah, because otherwise by default you just see this long list of times which is not really helpful. Exactly, otherwise if I didn't have this file, so this is basic, we don't have it, would just be like this the super long, it's unorganized, it's an headache, it's not as clean, so these are some of the older decks that I have that don't have this tagging system, but you can see that's not near as clean as something like this, where it's broken up into the different rotations, family medicine, internal medicine, neuro, OBGYN, and so I can go through on which rotation I'm on, and essentially pull out cards for that rotation and it's just much cleaner. That was a look at how we can use the hierarchical tags add-on to make our tagging a little bit more effective, but again, tags are probably not very useful. I personally don't use tags very much because when it comes to medicine stuff, there's so much content that you could just have separate decks, and I don't see a real need to tag them myself, but there are people that use tags an absolute ton, and again, we'll put more videos in the project and resources section of people like [inaudible] in their YouTube videos about how they use advanced tagging. But basically you don't really need to worry about it too much, because tags are not overly helpful anyway, at least for me. That was hierarchical tags. Thank you for watching, and I'll see you in the next video. 36. 4.4 Premade Decks: Welcome back. In this video, we're talking about the power of premade decks. Now, the first thing to say is a word of caution, premade decks are a very powerful device, but when used inappropriately, they can cause a massive degree of overwhelm, and downloading premade decks is often a big reason as to why people start using Anki and then abandon it, because they just get completely, completely frazzled and overwhelmed by the amount of cards you can sometimes get in premade decks. Basically, a premade deck is an Anki deck, or someone else has already made for you that you can just download and then you can do the flashcards. Clearly the benefit is that it saves you from having to make your own flashcards. There are some premade decks like this USMLE-Rx 1. Let's have a quick browse. Is there a way of seeing how many cards are in it? Well, I'm going to scroll and you can see that there's just an absolutely massive amount of cards in this deck. Basically, all aspects of medicine is covered in this USMLE-Rx deck. I think there are over 10,000 cards in it, and you can see why if you download 10,000 cards, the first time you use Anki, and start trying to go through them, it becomes very, very overwhelming, very, very quickly. We'll start by just quickly talking about how to actually download a premade deck, and basically, you can search on Google, Anki premade decks. You will find the shared decks on Anki Web. You can download some from there. Let's search for anatomy, for example, and it's going to give me a long list of decks that are tagged with anatomy. This is one way of finding a premade deck. You can look through the Anki directory itself. It's probably not what I'd recommend. Instead what I'd recommend is that, you find some online forum like Reddit, for example, for your specific subject. For example, if you're a medical student taking USMLE, there is a USMLE step 1 subreddit, that has loads of links to really in-depth comprehensive Anki decks, and they're filtered so that you if there are some decks that everyone uses and some decks that no one uses, and so you want to pick the ones that everyone uses because they're going to be higher quality, the flashcards are going to be more legit, they're going to be more fact checked by a large group of people. What I would suggest is whatever subject you're doing, try and find an online community. Reddit is a good place to start, where you can download these premade decks from. This is super, super popular in medicine. Loads of people in the US, preparing for the USMLE, for medical school, use premade decks, and there's all sorts of debates raging on the Internet as to is, Hoopla better than Zanki, which is better than Anki's deck, which is better than that person's deck. There's all the different people who make these different decks, but there's only a handful of them to choose from, and I've gone USMLE-Rx, I don't even know who made it, but I went on Reddit and found a premade deck. You download a premade deck. Let's download a random one. We click the Download button, and it's going to download a file with the extension akpkg or something like that. This is a really big file, let's download a smaller one. Guitar note names. Only 47 notes and that should be more doable. If I look in my downloads folder, we've got this file, guitarnotenames.apkg, and if I double-click that, here we go, it's going to automatically add it to my Anki, and now if we go on decks, we will see, where is it? guitar note names with audio Fretboard Anatomy. I can click on that. I can click Study. First string E lower. Well, it's got a sound as well. I don't know if you can hear that. I guess this is good for ear training and stuff for musicians. That is how you download a shared deck. It's super easy. You just download the apkg file, and then you double-click it, and then it automatically adds to your Anki, and if I hit the synchronize synchronized button, this deck is going to be synced across all my devices magically for free with Anki Web. Isn't Anki an absolute miracle of engineering. That is how you install a premade deck. In the next video, we're going to be hearing from [inaudible] and his advice about using premade decks and the general philosophy of using premade decks, and we'll have a little bit of a discussion. Then, we'll end by talking about pros and cons. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you in the next video. 37. 4.5 Premade Decks: Philosophy: Welcome back. In this video, we're talking about the philosophy of using premade decks. I'm going to start by including the discussion that Prerak and I had about this topic, the philosophy of premade decks, and then I will do a bit more chat at the end. This is me and Prerak coming up now. Yeah, that makes sense. What's your philosophy on premade decks versus building your own cards? This is a good one. So there's a caveat here. I think premade decks are phenomenal, and they're going to save people a lot of time if they use them properly. But premade decks are really bad if you're the type of person who thinks, this will solve all my problems, and just randomly imports cards, and is like today I'm going to learn kidney, and just looks at those cards as a way to learn kidney. That's the worst approach because one, you have no context behind where, how, and why those cards are made, and two, you didn't do anything to give yourself a background. So let's say you're learning nephrotic syndromes and you just pull in all the cards about nephrotic syndromes and try to memorize them. At that point, that's horrible because now you're just memorizing a bunch of factoids. But let's say you watched pathoma video that explains nephrotic syndromes. You get proteinuria. You have a lot of protein loss which leads to edema and all of these things, and you actually get the framework for nephrotic syndrome. Now you pull in all the cards about nephrotic syndrome, and now suddenly you can actually shape that card based on the lens of the video you just watched, and now it'll make a lot more sense like, okay, yeah, this is why this nephrotic syndrome presents in this way, and now I'm not just memorizing a random sentence, I'm memorizing the actual concept of nephrotic syndromes. So that's when premade decks can work. If you prequel them with some level of understanding, or knowledge, or you read a chapter, and then you pulled in cars that were relevant. But if you're just pulling cards without reading anything, doing anything, and expect to get all your knowledge about nephrotic syndrome from a premade deck, you're not going to get anywhere, because then you'll just memorizing a bunch of sentences. Making your own cards, I'm a big proponent of. I made a lot of my cards. I have a deck about 30,000 that I use right now, and I'd say at least 20,000 of those are either my own cards or premade cards that had modified with my own twist. The reason for that is what I just mentioned to you, the memory anchor. You'll remember things a lot more when they're personable. So I usually have inappropriate pneumonics in a lot of my cards, or an inappropriate way to remember them because that often is a good way to remember things, or sometimes I'll include a picture that I found when I was learning the concept. The reason these work a lot better is, when you make a card, you do one pass of the material. So let's say you made a card and you use a metabolic acidosis and plays a pH less than 7.4 with no with a normal PCO2. You make that card. You yourself have already gone through that first pass of saying, "this is what metabolic alkalosis is, and it has no change in pCO2". Now when you do that card, you're doing a second path automatically. When you use a premade card, you may have to do 1, 3, 5 passes even for you to even understand what the hell is this card saying, because you didn't really go through the process of creating the card from scratch. So you have to put that context in, and that can take sometimes a lot more time than just having made your own card. So overall, let's talk about pros and cons. So as Prerak said, the benefit of using premade decks, is clearly that you then don't have to make your own flashcards. But there are a few huge drawbacks. Firstly, there is the massive risk of flashcard overload. If you make the mistake of not suspending basically all of the cards and premade deck and then on suspending the ones as you study the topic, you can see that list of 20,000 cards and think, I'm never going to do this and then you just throw your laptop in the bin because you've given up on Anki. That's not what we want to do. If we're using premade decks, we want to be using them effectively and appropriately. Point number 2, is that, even, yes, it does save you time using a premade deck, but the research shows that it is probably a bit more effective to create your own cards. Overall, in my opinion, and in most people's opinion, the time you save from using a premade deck is more than made up for the fact that using a premade deck is slightly less efficient, or rather is slightly less effective than creating your own cards. I would much rather have 80 percent effectiveness and save myself time that I didn't have to make these 10,000 cards, than I have a 100 percent effectiveness, but have to spend eight years of my life actually creating these flashcards. So overall, I think the benefit of premade decks vastly outweighs the negative side of them, but it is important to understand the negative side. Third, it's really important to remember that, if you are using a premade deck, you definitely want to be customizing it as you go along. If you're purely using a premade deck and not adding anything or editing anything, you're probably doing something wrong and you probably relying on memorization rather than understanding. The way that I use these premade decks, is if there is even a single thing on a flashcard that I don't understand, that I think I'm not happy with this, I won't say to myself, I'll just memorize the fact. Unless it's something obviously that I can just purely memorize. What chromosome, is this gene honestly. I don't care. That's pure memorization. But for most things, if I don't understand something on a card, I would look it up on Wikipedia, look it up on Google, and maybe look it up in a textbook, and then I will edit the flashcard in the extra region, or just edit a flashcard completely to add that information to it so that the next time I see the flashcard, I see the extra information I've added to it. So premade decks are amazing. They're one of the most superpower features of Anki, but you do have to use them appropriately, and hopefully in this video you've gotten some advice about how to use them appropriately. So thank you for watching, and I'll see you in the next video. 38. 4.6 Add-Ons: Heat Map: All right, welcome back. For the next few videos, we're going to be talking about different add-ons that you can add to Anki and why they're useful. In this video, we're talking about the heat map add-on, which is incredibly effective and that most people who are Anki pros they have this add-on because it's really useful for motivating yourself to do Anki consistently. I'm going to hand you over to David who is going to be explaining exactly how the heat map add-on works. You've been literally going through flashcards every day for 372 days. Absolutely absurd. How on earth do you do that? Yeah. I think that like for motivation and stuff, this is add on that you can get for Anki, it's called the heat map add-on and you've heard that one. But basically it'll give you a little colored block for every day. I can go back even look at this one, this is all of last year. The last time I missed a day on Anki was basically spring break last year. Unfortunately I missed those two days. Otherwise, it can have a longer streak. Basically what the streak means is that I've logged in to Anki and done some sort of flashcard review for over a year now at this point. Ebbs and flows, so has my daily average of 319 as I was preparing for step one, that number went up obviously. Then after I took the exam, I went on a little bit of a vacation and stuff, that number went down. But nonetheless, everyday I logged in and did some amount of flashcards. Someday I would do 700, someday I would do 70. But I think the key Anki and with space repetition is that you have to be consistent. I just think medical school it's a lot of information and in my opinion, it's not necessarily about who puts in the most hours, who cuts in out of their sleep, it's about who's consistent day after day after day. That's why the streak is something that I think is very motivational for me and helpful for a lot of people. That was the heat map add-on. Hope you found that segment of the video useful. Highly recommend you install it because it does really help with motivation and consistency. Thanks for watching, I'll see you in the next one. 39. 4.7 Add-Ons: Pop-Up Wiki: The next item is actually something that I didn't know existed until Sanjush, who was one of the people that we interviewed for this class explained it to me and this makes it easier to look stuff up. Which again, it just shaves seconds off every interaction that we have with Anki and is therefore incredibly useful. I'm going to hand you over to Sanjush explaining the pop-up Wikipedia beta, at least that's what it's called at the time of recording. Maybe they're out of beta now, but yeah, pop-up Wikipedia. Here is Sanjush. Here we go. I got this Wikipedia search add-on. So if I'm looking at a card, I can highlight a word on Anki and I can press command shift W I think. I can press command shift W and mark, and it will come up with the Wikipedia preview of a thing. Incredible. What's this called? This is so useful. This is called Wikipedia something. I don't know. If you go on your add-on list, you'll be able to see. Yes, so this is pop-up Wikipedia beta. Nice. Okay. That's handy. I didn't know that existed, but that's really helpful. So it's quite useful. So if I forget something completely, if I don't know what it is, I just got an immediate. Wikipedia is really good for learning anyway, I use that if I don't understand a lecture, and I've just got that pop-up immediately instead of googling it. So that was the pop-up Wikipedia beta. Hope you found that useful. I definitely learned something from that, did not know it existed, and I wish I knew it existed before because it would have saved me having to Google stuff on Alfred or my Mac or my iPhone on safari every time I didn't understand something. So incredibly useful add-on. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 40. 4.8 Add-Ons: Frozen Fields: The next item we're going to talk about is the Anki frozen fields add-on, it makes it a lot more efficient to add cards, especially if you're in, for example, a lecture or if you're going through your lecture notes or textbook, the frozen field add-on is absolutely amazing. And here is Prereq explaining why it's useful and how to use it appropriately. The other add-on I really like, and this is really clutch to, it's called the frozen fields add-on, and I think we already hinted on it. It's these snowflakes next to the thing. What that really helps you do is let me just change this deck to something useless. It's like, let's say I'm making a topic like blah blah, and then the answer is something here. Then I press Add. It will actually preserve everything I wrote, especially when I'm trying to create multiple questions from one concept. Preserving what I wrote here helps because then I can change one or two things and then change the answer and I don't have to rewrite the whole question. Especially really useful also for this extra column because we talked about the fact that in the extra column, I put all the prerequisite info, I need to answer multiple questions. So let's say in the extra column I include everything about respiratory acidosis, then I keep that frozen. I want them to have that there, and then I just unfreeze this part and create as many questions as I want about respiratory acidosis. Now I have the frozen field add-on holding that source of knowledge constant. Then I can just keep switching out the cards that I make from that. That is ridiculously useful. That's so useful, especially when you're someone like me who makes a lot of flashcards, you want to minimize the time you spend on flashcards while making them the most useful possible. The fact that I can put whatever I want here and save it and then keep changing the top is really helpful, especially when you're going from a big thing to making multiple little flashcard questions. So that was the frozen fields add on. Thanks for watching and we'll see you in the next video. 41. 4.9 Add-Ons: Focus Add On : Next we have the speed focus mode, add-on. This is something that I knew existed that I don't personally use myself because I don't have personally the huge volume of fresh flashcards that people like Prerak do when preparing for the USMLE. I'm going to hand you over to Prerak explaining what is speed focused mode and why it's helpful. This one comes in clutch. Which one is it? Speed focused mode. Have you used this one? No, I haven't. What's is that. Speed focus mode is how I got through when I was doing them Anki for step one, I was doing 2,000 flashcards in three hours. It's an incredibly crazy fast pace. The reason I was able to do that is this add-on flashcard, which basically you tell it how, automatically after like five seconds it plays an alert, and then after seven seconds it will automatically show me the answer. The good part about this is, it really one, I'll show you why I like it. When it plays that alert it really makes you realize, "Dude, you've been staring at this for five seconds and do you know that?" Then by seven seconds it will automatically show you the answer. Here let's just practice and I'll show you what I mean. Four signs and symptoms. I think after five seconds it plays this alarm, and then it just shows me the answer right away. The reason this is good is one, it limits the time and two, if you're already dealing with a lot of cars that you know, this increases your pace much more so than you would ever think. Again, three facets of lifestyle modification like weight loss, exercise, diet. By five seconds it plays it, and then by seven seconds it shows the answer. But the good part is it forces you to be like, "Dude, I'm doing Anki right now." I am going to zone in and just focus. As opposed to I don't know about you, but when I'm doing monkey without this add-on, am like half on Instagram, I get a couple of questions. Yeah. Right. I'm feeling good. Yeah. The other part is when that beeper goes off at five seconds, it is a physical reminder to you that you have been staring at this blank sheet of paper for five seconds. If you don't know it now, you probably just don't know it well enough. So learn it and then move on. I usually use five and eight, so it'll play the alarm at five seconds and then it will show the answer and there is also the option that a you can automatically mark it to say again. But I don't usually do that. I just make them show me my answer and then I'll say, "Do I really know this, do I not?" Then I'll press what I need to press. This saved me a lot of time primarily when I was crunched for time. I was able to do a lot more cards, as you would have got through them relatively fast, keep my speed up. But I don't use that add-on now, because right now time is not a constraining issue. I find that this add-on really just has it's crunch time, go time. Those are my top three add-ons, I'd say. That was an overview of the speed focused mode add-on. Like I said, I don't personally use this myself, because I've got enough discipline to just go through it. At least for our UK medical school exams, we didn't have such a huge volume of information like the US guys do for the USMLE. If you're taking the USMLE or another exam that has such a massive amount of content, then maybe this is an add-on worth considering. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video. 42. Conclusion: You've reached the end of the official component of the class. So far, we've talked about the basics of Anki and how it actually works, how to install it, how to install it on different devices, how to create basic flashcards, close flashcards, image occlusions, how those can fit in with your study routine. Then we talked about a few demonstrations of making flashcards from lectures, making flashcards with textbooks, making flashcards to memorize essays, that stuff. Then, we talked about frequently asked questions like how to manage card overload, how long should my flashcards be, how much information should I have on each flashcard? Then, we talked about a few optimizations that you can make to Anki, such as tags, add-ons, and pre-made decks. That is it for the main component. But for the next few videos, we've got these bonus segments. These are absolutely not required watching. In fact, there's nothing in this class that's required watching except maybe the first section, maybe the second section, if you're a complete beginner. But because we ran so many of these interviews in trying to create footage for this class, there's actually a lot of really good tips that don't easily fit into the other stuff. We've got bonus interviews on how people are using Anki for medical school stuff. We've got a few bonus interviews about how people using Anki outside of medical school, and over time, as I start using Anki more for different things, I'm trying to use Anki to learn site reading and music and guitar chords, music theory. We'll add sections to this course in the bonus segments. Over time, this course might swell and become many hours longer. But hey, that's fine. The material is there if you want it. You signed up to this class anyways, so you might as well watch some of that material if you want. But I said, the single biggest thing you can do right now is turn this class off, leave your computer or other standard computer, go on Anki, and start doing it every day because it's all well and good. Reading about how to use Anki and watching a video about how to do it. But it's like me spending ages watching videos about how to work out at the gym and then not actually working out at the gym. It's not going to get me any close to my six-pack if I just watched videos of other people and how they get their six-pack, unless I do the exercises myself and unless I eat healthily myself. Thank you for watching. I hope you found something in this video useful, the class useful, rather. Do please leave a review. If you liked this class, then please leave a review and say something nice. If you didn't like the class, please still leave a review anyway. There's a feedback section. You can tell me what to improve on the classes for next time. Thank you so much for watching. All the best with your Anki journey. I hope you enjoyed the bonus footage in this course. Bye-bye. 43. BONUS INTERVIEW - Getting 99.9% with Anki (Part 1): David, welcome to this interview. How are you doing? I'm doing well. How are you? I'm very well. Thank you. I had a half day at work today, so I've got the evening free to have calls of random people around the world about that Anki setups, which is quite exciting. Where you calling in from? I'm calling from Oregon in United States, Medical School. I'm a second year student here right now. Good stuff. Shall we dive in to your Anki setup? This is my user's screen as I'm currently using it. I have the step II decks that I'm using, I have an old step I review deck. I don't usually get to that very often. Then I also have a medical Spanish. Then my final thing I call the vault. It's basically a collection of decks that I've gathered over time that I'm not currently using, that I've either used the past, or that I may or may not use going forward. Like this one right here is for anatomy. I used that a lot during first year because we learned a lot about anatomy then. As you get into second year, third year on the clinical rotations, it's less of that, so I put that deck away for now, and if I need it in the future, I'll pull it back out. That's the general layout I have. Can you just talk me through how you discovered Anki? How it fits into your life, just from the very basics? Yeah. When I was accepted into medical school and stuff, I was figuring out how I should go about studying. I was fortunate to have some friends that were already in medical school a couple of years above me. That was one way I heard about it, and then where I really learned about it was just on the Internet. Various places you can pick up various tips and tricks. Red, it's a big one. That's where a lot of pre-made decks are. But there's not really like one comprehensive place, we learn it step by step by step. It's a lot of trial and error. What's a real life advice would you have for me as a complete beginner at Anki? I think the first thing I would tell and I did tell the students that I tutored and stuff. A lot of people are hesitant to use it at first because it seems really complex. At the base of it. It's a very simple software, but a lot of the things that you do to it is based on people writing code and stuff like that. So people think, "Oh, I if I don't have the right code, I can't use the efficiently." But I think the first thing is that you have to understand there's a learning curve involved with it. It takes a little bit of time to figure out the software. But once you figure it out, the rewards you can get from it going forward, I think are far surpass whatever time it takes to startup. For anyone who's a beginner, obviously you just go to Anki on Google and you would download it. As it pertains to like medical studies and stuff, the ready community has a lot of pre-made decks, where people basically spent hours and hours making flashcards. I think those are actually a pretty good use of time, there's an argument that can be made. I know you had this listed on your talk about things for your skill share, whether or not you should make your own deck, whether or not you should use somebody else's. I think that, in medical school, the first two years were pretty much all learning the same stuff. If you're preparing for these board exams like the step exam, step 1, step 2, it's pretty much all the same stuff no matter where you are. Even in the world, if you're planning on taking it. I find that the time trade-off to make my own cards, when I would be making the exact same cards essentially is not worth it. I think the pre-made decks is useful. With that said, you have to tailor it to what your weaknesses are. Someone who made this deck, they made it for them based on what their weaknesses were. If you're going through that and you're like, "Yes, this is helpful. But hey, this person didn't put as many cards about renal physiology and I'm really poor at renal physiology," then you might have to make your own at that point. Okay, cool, that makes a little sense. Because I think one of the areas in which students often struggle is that, you think, "Okay I'll do Anki." Either you start making your own decks and you realize actually this is taking far too long and it's totally pointless, especially in something like medicine where as you said, it's literally identical content that everyone is tested on why duplicating effort. But then I often find that when my students download these pre-made decks, they suddenly see 50,00 cards and they're like, "Oh my God why do I even begin?" How do you begin to approach a pre-made deck? What's the optimal way of doing it? Yeah, it's quite overwhelming. Basically we had a medical school for 18 months and then we took our step 1 exam. That's how it's transition to at this point. It's a lot of information to learn in 18 months. What I did is that I downloaded one of the pre-made decks, or couple of them actually, and in total, as you said, it was a ridiculous amount of cards because about 30,000 cards when I started. I'm completely overwhelmed at that point trying to figure out what to do. What you can do in Anki is basically you can suspend all of those cards, as in you make them so they don't show up. As I would go through the coursework, I would unsuspend the cards that were relevant to the course that I was in. For example, we had a what we call a CPR block, a cardiopulmonary renal block. During those 2.5-3 months, I would unlock the cards that were related to that system, and so I was only doing that system. That way it helped me from getting overwhelmed. Instead of looking at 30,000 cards, I was looking at, a couple of thousand. Now it even break that down further and say, "Okay, if I need to get done 3,000 cards by the end of the term, I need to break that down, so it's about 1,000 cards a month." Then I would break that down into a day, and that's how many cards I would know how to do per day. Easy, Okay. Looking at your Anki, I wonder if you can just go into usage statistics because they are very inspirational. I've never seen someone's Anki this ridiculous. It looks like mostly this period. Let's see what this is about. Or actually if we can just go back to the home screen because, for example here, daily average, 319 cards, days learned 98 percent, longest streak, 372 days. So you've been literally going through flash cards every day for 372 days. Absolutely absurd. How on Earth do you do that? Yeah, so I think that for motivation and stuff, this is an add on you can give for Anki. It's called the heat map add on. I don't know if you've heard of that one, but basically it'll give you a little color block for every day. I can go back to even look at this one. This is all of last year. The last time I missed a day on Anki was basically Spring break last year. Unfortunately missed those two days, otherwise, I can have a longer streak. Basically what the streak means is that I've login into Anki and done some flashcard review for over a year now at this point, that's inflow. It has my daily average of 319 as I was preparing for step one, that number went up obviously, and then after I took the exam, I went a little bit about vacation and stuff, that number went down. But nonetheless, everyday I logged in and did some amount of flashcards. So someday I would do 700, and some day I would do 70. But I think the key with Anki and with space repetition is that you have to be consistent. I just think medical school, it's a lot of information and in my opinion, it's not necessarily about who puts in the most hours, who cuts in out of their sleep. It's about who's consistent day after day after day. That's why the streak is something that I think it's very motivational for me and helpful for a lot of people. Fantastic. Okay. Have you got any tips in general on how to maintain the motivation? Because often I would find, I certainly know friends who would, we'd log on Anki and we'll be like, "Oh, my God, 648 flashcards today." Then it would just seem so overwhelming that we would just end up not doing it. How would you get over that? Yeah. There's two ways to go about that. I can tell you the one that I do, and then there's one that's also a very popular. Basically what I would do is, any block of medical school that I was in, I would make sure I did those reviews. They just needed to be done for my upcoming exams. We had weekly exams. But then in order to prepare the best I could for my board exam, it was important for me to review old material too, so I had another deck of reviews. In order to not get overwhelmed, I would usually limit the reviews on that deck to maybe 100 cards or so. That would take me, I was using Pomodoro techniques for studying. That'll take me about 25 minutes to get through. That just let me know that every day I would have about one Pomodoro technique of review cards and that helped me from getting overwhelmed. If I have less to do that day, I could add more to that review pile. But I just knew like approximately 25 minutes I would be spending reviewing. I didn't wake up and have like 2,000 cards review, and I'm like, "Wow, I'm not going to do anything today except flashcards." Because to me that was not motivational. A lot of people, you get overwhelmed with that. So that's how I did. I set my review limit. Some people would argue that that makes Anki less effective. That could be argued. But to me it was, flashcards are used for certain purpose and that's for memory retention. But I had to spend some time using other resources to understand things. You're probably not going to be able to understand physiology from Anki. You need to learn that from your other resources that are provided. Use Anki to retain things in your memory going forward. That's what I did. That's interesting. Let's talk about the second thing and then we'll come back to this understand versus remember thing, because I think that's really important. What was the second thing that you were saying that you didn't do, but some people do in order to not get overwhelmed by flashcard overload? A new thing that came out, at some point, when I was in medical school, is another add-on. Basically, there's people who know how to code and they keep making these improvements for Anki. It's open source, so it's very useful, but it's called a load balancer add-on. The load balancer add-on, basically, will look at how many reviews you have in the upcoming days, and it will spread it out for you. Instead of one day, you waking up, you open up your flashcard app and you're like, oh my gosh, I have 800 reviews. This is going to take hours. That load balancer add-on will look at the next few days and basically make it's itself equal, so instead of having 800 one day and 200 the next day, it'll spread out for you, so you have 500 one day, 500 the next day. It does that over a week period. You can imagine, it makes it a little bit more consistent. You can expect, approximately, how many reviews you're going to have each day, so it's not a complete guess or a complete surprise when you open it up. It sounds like you went for the method of hard limit, only 100 views per day, so that it becomes manageable. I did, mostly because I didn't find out the load balancer until pretty late, and I just like I said, I knew 100 cards took me one Pomodoro Technique to get through, so I felt comfortable with that in my preparation, that was a good enough review for me that day, and if I had more time, I could add on if I wanted to. On that note, when you're going through the flash cards, are you doing them in your head, are you writing down the answers? How are you going about it mechanically? When I'm using it on the app? As in, have you got a pen and paper alongside, that you're writing on to down or are you just answering the questions in your head? Yeah. I can show you. This is just one I'm working through right now. So this is an example of it. This uses closed deletion. So basically, you'll read the card in your head. I don't really speak these out loud at all. Then you'll see the blank where it says "condition" in parentheses. So you'll have to think of what the answer is in your head. Then once I thought of the answer or I realize I didn't know the answer, I hit the "Space bar" and that will pop up what the answer is. So this is talking about different ways that could elevate the "ALT." Then at the bottom of the screen, you can see, if I didn't know the answer, I can click again. If I thought it was "Hard," I would click that one. If I thought it was good, it would show up in a day. If I thought it was easy, its also a day for this one. So let me do a couple. So like right here, let's say I thought this was a super hard question, so I would hit "Hard" and it would show up in two days time, as in, I will see it again in two days, versus, if I thought this was super "Easy," then it would show up in four days. Basically, Anki tailors it to how well you know the information, and then it will space it out accordingly. Cool. Do you have any custom intervals or do you go for the default ones? Here's the default. Actually, let me show you. These are default settings. It'll show them one minute versus 10 minutes. I've changed that to a three minute and 15 minute period, because I find that if you show me a card in one minute after I said I didn't know it, that's too soon, almost. Even if I didn't really internalize it, its still lingering in my head at that point, in my short-term memory. So I've actually changed that to three and 15 minute. I feel like after three minutes, I'll really be testing if I knew the card at that point, because it's been a few minutes since I've seen it. I leave the graduating interval, which is if, when you're first learning a car, so you'll see it again the next day. I leave that as is. Then you can see my reviews. I have kept right now at 999, because I'm on a little bit of a lighter month right now, with all the things that are going on. I have more time to do reviews, but when I get back into clinical rotations, such as when I'm on my internal medicine or my surgery rotation, which have long 12-hour days, I'll probably limit that review number to 200 or so, because I know I could bust through that in 90 minutes maybe. This one, as far as the leech threshold, I just put at 99. Basically, if you get a card wrong too many times, it will tag it for you, or it will suspend the card altogether. It's the default setting that will suspend the card, but that doesn't make sense to me, because if you're getting a card wrong many times and you suspend it, that means you won't see the card anymore. So you would want to unsuspend the cards you get wrong all the time. So I just put that at 99 and tag only, so it doesn't suspend any cards for me, because I want to see them. Hopefully, I don't get a card wrong 99 times, but if I do. Cool. Those are your custom settings. Do you have that for every deck or do you change settings up depending on which deck you're using? Yeah, I change depending on which one I'm using. Here's a "Deck." This is the one I basically use for my step 1 exam. It's got about 27,000 cards on it. I've moved a few of them. Cool. Can you talk a little bit about understand versus remember, because my eyes lit up as soon as you said that. This is the thing I preach to everyone a lot. I think that's where Anki is getting a lot of praise and stuff right now in the medical school community, and its definitely well-deserved. Like I said, its helped a lot of people score very well in step one, but because of the way it's presented, if we look back at these flash cards, where it's just a little factoid, this doesn't help you understand what's going on here. If I'm saying that the infa-nodal block equals these two types of things. If you don't know what these types of heart blocks were, if you haven't understood how the physiology of this works, then it's not as helpful to just remember random facts, because, well, it's useful when you definitely need to know random facts for medicine. How many times someone comes in and you have to prescribe it. You just have to know the drug dosage and whatnot. It's also super important to understand how these things work, because when you're going to take a board exam and you have to apply this information to questions, they're not going to be presented in this fill-in-the-blank category. They're going to present you with a patient and vitals, medications, and you're going to have to interweave all of this and figure out how it goes together. My general strategy during the first 18 months, as I was preparing, as I would go through online lecture resources, a very popular one is Boards and Beyond, Pathoma is another one that's super popular. Those resources would explain to me the cardiac physiology. It would explain to me the renal physiology, the pathology, why things are the way they are. Then I could go to my Anki deck and basically unlock the cards related to that topic. Once I've learned what's going on, now I can go and test my understanding. Its basically a way to quiz yourself every day. That's why I said your video about how people who take more tests remember more information, that I mean the super famous, as you know, that went around my medical school community when everyone started here. Someone posted on the YouTube page and it just blew up around here, but basically, Anki lets you test yourself daily, without having to do large question banks and whatnot. That's really the goal of it, and that's why it's so effective, is because the active recall has been proven to be super-effective. Nice. You're speaking my language. It's good stuff. What I'm hearing is, you only unsuspend cards from pre-made decks once you have understood the topic, by going through more detailed resources like Pathoma or what that board thing finals, or reading a textbook, or having a lecturer on the topic, or if you're studying it. What do you do when you come across, for example, a random factoid in an Anki card, and you actually don't know what it means? Because I think it can be very tempting to just be like, off. Screw it. I'll just remember the factoid. How do you navigate that? yeah. It depends on what the factoid is. When I'm tutoring students and stuff I say there's no bad questions, except for ones that we clearly don't know the answer to. So the classic, honky flash card question is like knowing the chromosomes of different genetic conditions. It's like, why is this on chromosome 4? That's just a random factoid. There's no understanding. That is like something you just have to put in your brain and just let it be there. So those are things that you can just use flash cards for. There's not an understanding, there's no rhyme or reason. It just is what it is, but I think a lot of other things, sometimes I'll see things in a card that someone put in there that wasn't actually covered in the resources I use. I think that is a good time to like, you can just try and remember it for what it is, but I think for long-term retention, you should try and understand why it is what it is. So then I'll just go to Google or YouTube. I think YouTube is probably one of the most underrated resources for medical students. We pay out lots of money for these online lectures and stuff, and they're very good resources, but YouTube is free. Almost everything on Youtube is free for us, and the amount of videos on there that you can learn from is quite large. So usually, I'll do that. That makes little sense. I find when I'm doing Anki flash cards, if there is ever something where I have that niggle in my mind that I don't quite understand this, and I recognize that and immediately I will just use Alfred or something to Google it, find a Wikipedia article. I say this to people and people are like, Oh my God, do you actually use Wikipedia medicine? I'm like, bro, you have no idea how many times these days I actually use Wikipedia. Wikipedia is amazing. Wikipedia is my favorite source. Its not the right answer when the attending physician asks you where you learned your information, but it's a pretty reliable source these days. 44. BONUS INTERVIEW - Getting 99.9% with Anki (Part 2): Cool. We've talked a bit about understand versus remember. Do you have any thoughts on how big should a flashcard be? Are you a fan of one factoid per flashcards? Or are you found a memory flashcards? What do you think? Yes. During my first couple years, pretty much all I did was the 1-2 factoid flashcards. That was the deck that I found to be most effective. Actually, just recently, within the last couple of months, I've been experimenting with different decks. I'll show you. Here's another one. Here is an example that contrasts with what I showed you earlier. This is a question, but you can see there's four different fill in the blanks here versus what we had earlier, which was one or two fill in the blanks. I have found that this type of format is exponentially more difficult to recall all four things and once it takes a lot longer and it talks about the motivation of doing it. It's just not as fun. There's something that we said about getting through a lot of cards quickly. I would prefer this card was actually broken up into two pieces where it was two fill in the blanks, so to smaller factoid information. This to me just takes too much mental energy to think about all of them. This one slot going on, it's four different things. I'm definitely in favor of the 1-2 facts. I think that's the benefit of Anki. You can have these small little factoids and you can get through them very quickly. If you start adding 3, 4, 5, fill in the blanks, it slows you down a lot. I find with these cards, I've more of memorizing the sentence than actually the fact, just like a full sentence here. I just remember seeing the sentence and that's where you don't want to fall in that trap where you're just memorizing the card format and you're not actually thinking about the process. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. From the evidence about active recall, there is some evidence that the harder your brain has to work to recall something, the more likely you are to retain it. But we have to weigh that up with when it's really god damn hard to recall it, you're going to get demotivated and bored of it. Whereas as you said, there is something very satisfying about just blissing through flashcards. Yeah. Maybe it's an little bit less efficient than really working hard. But if that allows you to continue, you go straight for like 600 days in a row, then I think that's a sacrifice worth making. Yeah. I think that's a super good point. Into that I would say that you're right. You definitely need to strain yourself at some point. But for me, I think the best way to do that is like the question banks where you're presented with a full patient presentation because that's how the boards will test you on exams. To me, Anki is more about getting in this automaticity, as in I see something, I think something, I see something, I think something. Then, I'll basically need to take that and later on do fill style questions and say, okay, I've reviewed the videos, I've reviewed all the factoids I remember. Can I apply this to a patient presentation? There's those three things we're studying that I think are super important. Amazing. This is absolutely golden. I'm taking copious notes on notion on my iPad in front me. Can you talk a little bit about cloze deletion and what does it mean? Because I know a lot of people get intimidated by the idea of cloze deletions. But of this year some of the decks use cloze deletions extensively. I wonder if you can just give us a beginner's introduction to cloze deletions and like essentially what they are. Yeah. I mean, a cloze deletion is essentially a fill in the blank. You're presented with a short piece of information and then you're basically asked what is the most important part of that sentence or you have to know what's going on in that sentence to answer it. Yeah. All of the pre-made decks that are used for medical school training in the US at least use cloze deletion at this point. Here's my step 1 deck. Cloze deletion, you can see there's little ellipsis right here, there's a blank, and then there's a following sentence. For someone to properly answer this question, they would have to know what this is, they would have to know which step we're talking about in forming citrate, and then you click the answer. It's acetyl-CoA. Then here's a little picture from another popular key resource, first aid and here's a little mnemonic that a lot of people can use to memorize this. Basically, it's a fill in the blank rather than asking in a question format like what molecule does this? It just presents it to you in a sentence. It's like if you imagine you were reading a textbook, each sentence in that textbook is probably important. But if you just read page after page of a text book, I think the retention is pretty low. This is a way to look at each sentence individually, if it were on a textbook and say, do I understand the point of the sentence? Yeah. I suppose cloze deletions are so popular because, if you were just copying and pasting stuff that you just want to upload to your brain, then you can just copy and paste the whole sentence, cloze out the various words in it and you just know that it'll get uploaded to your brain at some point eventually by doing Anki. Yeah, I think that the way the students are using it is really about recognizing what goes with what? Because when you get to take your board exams and stuff, there's a limited amount of time, you really have to make connections very quickly in order to answer the question. That's I think the benefit of doing that way you certainly can, like I said, run into the trap where you just recognize the card. That's why I think it's important to also do practice questions. I suppose one of the benefits of cloze deletions, as well is that if you were to just do a basic flashcard, you end up having a very one way understanding of it. Unless you then create a reverse flashcard that has the question in reverse card format. If I were to think of the top of my head, if for example, the front of the card was what is the classic symptom in cholera and the answer was rice water, stool. Then that would become uploaded to my brain. If in the exam I saw the phrase, rice, water, stool, I wouldn't necessarily be able to reverse the connection and go to cholera the other way around. I suppose one of the benefits of cloze is you automatically get that bilateral connection going on. You mentioned the heatmap add-on and the load balancer. Are there any other add-ons that you'd recommend to us, the main ones? The hierarchical tags. Some of the decks they're altered in different ways, so I can show you. Like this deck right here with a plus sign has a bunch of what are called sub-decks. That's one way. Whoever made this deck, that's how he decided to do it. They put a bunch of sub-decks in this one deck. But this person, you can see they have all 9,000 of their cards under one name. The only way to basically sort out those cards is to look at the tags. Right here, like the AK step two. This is where all of these are sorted out. Basically, that add-on just makes this look a little bit prettier on this side. It's a little bit more of an advanced add-on, but definitely something that, you see I was just like in a different area, where the tagging system is. Yeah, because I guess otherwise by default, you just see this long as a list of tags which is not overly helpful. Exactly. Otherwise, if I didn't have this, basically decks that don't have it. It'll just be just like this. It'll be like this super long. It's unorganized, it's a headache, it's not as clean. These are some of the older decks that I have that don't have this tagging system, but you can see that's not near as clean as something like this where it's broken up into the different rotations, family medicine, internal medicine, neuro, Ob. I can go through on which rotation I'm on and essentially pull out cards for that rotation and it's just much cleaner. When you say pull up cards, do you mean select them and suspend them or what? Yeah. Exactly. Let's see. What does that look like? Let's say you're on your Ob/Gyn rotation, which is what I'm doing at the moment. How would you do them? For this tag I would go through the Ob. I would say, okay, what resource am I using right now? This ome 1 is for OnlineMedEd. If I had watched all the videos on that website, it probably takes a couple of hours. Then I can go to this deck, I could click on it, and then what you need to do is you need to highlight basically. All of these ones that are in yellow are suspended, which means they will not show up. I have them in my flash card deck, but because they're suspended, they won't show up on I'm actually studying. If I want them to show up, I need to highlight. You can either go through and select which ones you want, or let's just say for simplicity's sake, I want them all. You'd go command A to select them all, and then Command J. Now they're all white, that means they will show up in the deck now. If I suspend them, they're yellow, if I unsuspend them, they're white. Now all of these cards would show up as I was studying for my Ob exam. Cool. That was your hierarchical tags add-on. Can you just talk us through the other add-ons that you think are useful? This one, I didn't make it, but the name is funny, the HoochieMama. Basically, what it does is it randomize your reviews. The problem that you can get into, particularly with a Step 1, let's look my Step 1 there. If I was to do reviews from this deck, if I did not have this add-on, the standard form of Anki is that it will take reviews from the deck in the order that it sees them. Basically, if I did 49 reviews from this master deck, I want to review all of these, but the way the formula is, is it would give it to me from this deck and then this deck, and then this deck, it would basically be in sequential order, but that's a problem because I want to be tested on all of the different topics. I don't just want to be tested on dermatology fact after fact. That's not help me with my collective understanding of medicine. I want a cardiology question and then a dermatology question, and then a blood cancer question. That's what that add-on helps with. There's also this new thing that just came out under the preferences, this experimental V2 scheduler. Anki has now built this into their system, so you don't actually need this add-on anymore. You can just use this V2 scheduler, and that will basically randomize all your review questions. Image inclusion, that's just something that you need in order to make. I don't have too many of those cards, but I think you might be familiar with that one if I looked at your script, but basically it's really helpful for anatomy where you can have an arrow pointing to something like a bone or muscle and then you can basically blank out that term. I suppose Anki is optimized for creating flash cards very quickly. All of these add-ons, the closed deletions, the image occlusion just really helps you just generate a torrent of flashcards and then you can just blitz through them as one. Yeah. I mean, essentially, I think that you have to use it a little bit and figure out what your personal preferences are, how you want to use it. If you would like to do fewer flashcards and make them multiple close deletions, multiple questions. You can do that. I think that I just got into a habit where I like to rapid fire them. I want one little piece of information, and I would rather do more cards with fewer information than fewer cards with more information. That makes sense. What about the rest of your add-ons? The Overview Stats one is basically a page I showed you earlier. I don't actually know. I think that has this stuff, I think the averages. The heat map is like this part right here where you can see how many days you've been doing it, and then the extra stats is this stuff down here, that's your daily average, what percentage of days you've learned and how long your streak is. Again, I think the streak is like super motivational. Obviously I don't want to lose my streak, and there's some pretty crazy streaks I've seen on the Internet. Get that one and then night mode is pretty cool. I think when you're studying at night, if you're screen is bright, you can basically do command N and then it'll turn it to a darker background. Obviously, you compare this with the blue light, but glasses or whatever you need to wind down at night. But I actually use this quite a bit later in the evening. It has a weird glare to it during the daytime. But at night it's like a nice subtle way to go, and I think it looks nice, with the map, the black background. That one's good. Special fields. I just got that one, it's an advanced one. It's for basically if you're re-installing a deck. Sometimes people will update a deck and after like six months, and you don't want to lose your scheduling information. If you'd been doing flashcards and you have done 50 percent of the cards already. You don't want that to be rescheduled because you've spent six months doing it. This basically allows you to update with a new Anki deck and not lose your information. Then the right-hand reviews, the hjkl, basically, the standard setting is that you use one, two, and three on your keypad. Use space bar to go to the next card, and then one, two, and three is consistent with whether it was hard, good to go or an easy card, but sometimes you'd get tired of doing with your left hand, you want to do it with your right hand, so basically this add-on lets you use the j, k, and l buttons also. You can go back and forth. If you're doing it for a couple hours at a time, you'd be surprised how helpful that is. Awesome. Those are the add-ons and I noticed that you had a learn Spanish deck. Can you talk us through them? This is something, again, I found it on Reddit. It's based off a book on Amazon, this McGraw-Hill's Complete Medical Spanish 2017. They basically just took all of the words in the book and turned it into flashcards and stuff. You'll be presented with the English version, and then it'll give you the conjugations and what not of the word. Sometimes here, talk about if it's like masculine, feminine version. This is basically tailored, It's like medical Spanish. Just, if I get some time, it's something I can't commit hours per week to but I figured if I do a little bit over the time, after years it adds up. It's something I like to do, I spent about a month in Costa Rica before medical school, and that got me exposed to the language and the culture and that's something I really enjoyed, and so I've tried to implement a little bit of that into my days as I can. Fantastic. I think we're approaching time on this call. Thank you so much for taking the time to actually go through this. I think this'll be super useful. Do you have any, just general tips for people who are like, "I'm inspired after watching this video, I want to start using Anki." What is a good place to start? Let's say for someone who's let's say like a first-year medical student? I mean, I think like I said earlier and I feel like using this app is kind of like an investment. It might take you a couple of weeks, to get comfortable with it, but it's something especially if you're in medical school or if you're in any professional school where you need to memorize a lot of things. You're going to use it for years. You're going to get better at it, and you're going to see eventually that it's worth your time. The first thing you need to do, obviously, would be to download it. I think the second thing you can do is watch some tutorial. There's ones, obviously on YouTube. If you're going to be making one on Skillshare that'd probably be great. You get a basic understanding of how it works, and then you need to figure out how you want to use it. Do you want to use it as a primary study tool? Do you just want to use it for the random facts you can't use? Because there are a fair amount of people who will say that, just doing flashcards is not helpful for them, that it's not their learning style and stuff. I think that's like totally reasonable, but with that you can look on the Internet and find that this has a proven track record. I would encourage people to give it a fair shake. If you're trying to get a competitive score, omics Step 1 or whatever it is you're doing, recognize that time and time again, this has been shown to help people do that. I think that's motivation in itself, It's like, here's where you want to go, and this has been a proven tool to help a lot of people get there over the years. Fantastic. I'd completely agree with all that stuff. It's like doing Anki properly is completely game-changing, but there is a slight learning curve. The mistake would be to fall off the learning curve before you've gotten to the point where you can be like, okay, I'm comfortable with Anki now. Almost everyone I know uses Anki, swears blindly buy it and says that there's no way they would have gone as decent scores if they hadn't used Anki. I think it's like learning any skill. I mean, you could look, I like learning the piano. For instance, you might practice, an hour a day for two weeks and you still can't play any songs, then you're frustrated, you quit, and then you're never going to be good at playing the piano. I think Anki is the same way, if you get frustrated and you quit, you're never going to be able to remember all of the information that you could have if you would have just stuck with it. 45. BONUS INTERVIEW - Conversations with An Anki Expert (Part 1): Hey, welcome to the interview. How do you doing? Good, how are you, man? I'm very well. Thanks. Can you introduce yourself to the few people who are getting into Anki but don't know who you are. I'm Prerak. I'm a third-year medical student at Yale in the US. I've been doing Anki, I'd say, for about two-and-a-half years now, not so much religiously, but pretty consistently and made some videos on that, and here we are talking about it. It seems like you're one of the foremost world experts in using Anki at least judging by YouTube search. You and Kevin Jubbal, between you, I think you've covered most of the Anki ground? I think Doctor Jubbal has definitely made a lot of those as well, but I think since then there have been so many changes to Anki and the way to approach it, and many new additions with these pre-made decks and add-ons that I felt like there was still room to add to what exactly it is and how people can use it. Absolutely, I think the videos that he made like two or three years ago set a good foundation for the theory behind Anki, but then a lot of the stuff back before image inclusion was a thing, he had his own method and stuff. There's a lot more add-on and things that we can talk about Absolutely. If you could just tell the story of how you discovered Anki and what affect it's had on your life, that would be a good starting point. Then I'd like to share your screen and we can dive into the setup. I started Anki, I'd say, my summer of my first year of medical school. The reason I started is, I don't know if you know about Quizlet. Quizlet is very much like Anki, but I was using Quizlet a lot in undergrad and it had done really well for me. I wanted to continue using it in medical school but it just didn't work because there was too much information. The interface of Quizlet was far too basic, unfortunately, for medical school and the number of things you need to know. At that point, I had already seen all these videos on Anki and I felt like that was the natural pivot for me to do. But as with everyone, it is really overwhelming. Anki's learning curve is off the charts in terms of someone who want to approach it, who doesn't know anything, will not understand it. Because almost everything about Anki you have to learn on your own and do on your own. I spent that summer really understanding it and I did cards every day and just purely based on feedback by failure, I was able to realize like, "Here's how this works. Here's what really is good. Here's what's bad," and refined things. The good part about Anki is once you learn all of those things, it's so customizable that you can literally alter anything. That's something you don't find in Quizlet or any other flashcard app. At that point, I became a pretty consistent Anki user. I started using it every day. I started using it for my clerkships, which is that year you spend in the hospital. It just worked really well. I was remembering information, I was consistently able to, if someone were to bring something up, it would just bring up my thesaurus in my head. I'd be able to pull out any facts I need, especially within the hospital where you're trying to impress attending to my resident, that was really helpful. I guess the apex really came, I'll just say like this last month when I took my USMLEs. I took step one and again, I'd studied for a relatively small time like eight weeks, and I was still blown away by the fact that I was still able to score a pretty amazing score without really feeling overwhelmed. I think that is the brilliance of Anki, which is your foundational knowledge just becomes so vast that you don't feel overwhelmed. You do a little bit every day and then before you know it, you know a lot more things than you could ever have thought of. I'd say that's been my past experience with Anki, how I've used it, and why I still continue using it. To this day, I spend at least two hours a day, even just passively, going over some of my cards and making sure I'm still hitting a lot of these big points that I don't want to make sure I forgot. Cool. You've said that you do two hours of Anki everyday. How do you bring yourself to do that? Because I know a lot of people, as I'm sure you do, who'd done an Anki, they get this Anki deck or some random back and then see or say, 8,000 cards to do today. Even if you start off with really good intentions as everyone does, you end up missing a day or two and then the reviews start to pile up. How do you bring yourself to consistently do it as you've been doing? That's one of the silver linings and also pitfalls of Anki. The good part is you do have to do those if you want to use Anki well, and the bad part is there's no way to get around it. You really do have to make yourself do it or else those cards will start to pile up, and at that point, it's useless. That deck becomes useless because of too many cards and you'll get too far behind. It almost had to become algorithmic for me. I have to do these cards or of course, there will be people who want to take days off and I'm definitely one of those people, get better at knowing, "Today, I'll take my day off, but tomorrow I'll have to put in twice as much work," or "I'll take three days off and on the weekend I'll spend eight hours just catching up." Those were all things I would do even based on medical school and just the timing we had, but you still have to get into the mindset of like, "I still have to do these card. Just because I have a lot of them should not deter me from finishing my deck." But that's one of the things about Anki that if you can bring yourself to do it consistently, overall, you actually probably spend less time working. Overall, you definitely have reduced stress levels compared to people who would work in bursts and then not work as consistently. Because of course, the principle of a, spaced repetition and the fact that Anki spaced repetition algorithm, it relies on you doing your reviews every day. If you can do that, then you can trust this software to work for you. Basically, the way that I think of Anki is that anything that goes into Anki deck will eventually get uploaded to my brain just by default. One hundred percent and I totally agree with you. You save a lot of time. You're someone who's the productivity king, and I'm someone who also appreciates time allocation. I can say with Anki, I was able to go through medical school, I was exercising every day, i was getting the amount of sleep I wanted to get, I was calling my parents every day, I felt so much less stressed, and I still got just as good of outcomes and, I'm still able to feel competent in the hospital. That's astounding to me because that didn't happen to me in undergrad. I was sleeping four hours a night and just trying to make ends meet and now I have this tool, and I feel amazing. I have a life. Fantastic. That's a good pitch for Anki, I guess. My eyes lit up when you said something in your video about how you don't have any textbooks on your desk. I wonder if you can elaborate on the utility of textbooks in the modern day. That's a good point. I actually have yet to open up a textbook. Another thing is even for first aid, so first aid is basically the know all be all of the step one. Everyone always says "You have to memorize it. You have to memorize this whole book." When I was studying for step one, I didn't open up that book even once. The reason for that is not so much I don't like textbooks or I don't read them, but my Anki cards have snippets of texts relevant to them within the card itself. I don't really end up having to open up a book, because usually when I make a card I have the question, the answer, and all the supplementary information I need to understand that question in context. I always like to give an example you can say, I don't know, that this disease is caused by mutation in this gene and make a flashcard and memorize it. But if you don't understand the underlying pathogenesis of that disease, that just ends up being a random factoid. Most often than not, I usually have a nice snippet underneath my flashcard that indicates that I have extra time or in the case I'm like,"I've just memorized this. I don't actually know what it is." I have a nice little small snippet there underneath that I can always look up. Then if I really feel curious or if I really still don't get it, I can always just do a quick Google search, and believe it or not, Wikipedia has been my foundational bank for knowledge in medicine. People say that that's bad, but I actually think it has been a really, really useful tool for information, especially when you're balancing time with energy. Sometimes opening up a textbook takes a lot of time. Absolutely, it seems like every time I mention Wikipedia in a video, there are always people in the comments that are like, "Bro, I can't believe doctors, I don't want to be treated by a doctor who uses Wikipedia." I'm like you actually have no idea how the world works because Wikipedia is so good. The amount of time I Wikipedia every single day as part of my life as a doctor is insane. You know that the information it has on it is much better than that even some doctor sites. The citations they have in amazing detail they have sometimes, and they explain it. Of course you fact check it. We're not people who will just randomly accept it, but I'm saying Wikipedia still has a pretty good first barrier knowledge level that people may not think it does. The point I usually make is that, if I'm prescribing an antibiotic or something and I need to look up a dose, I will look that up in an official resource like the British National Formulary that I've got the app for. But if it's a thing of this patient's got Gilbert's syndrome and I can't remember what Gilbert's syndrome is, I'm just going to Wikipedia it. Come on. Cool. How much do you take notes relative to just using Anki? That usually vary. It depends on my time, but I usually do take some notes. For example, I actually have this here. I was learning what is this acid-base chemistry yesterday for ABGs and what not, which is arterial blood gasses. For that I did take notes. I was watching a video and I was like, "Okay, let me just get it down." I took notes while watching the video on 1.5 speed. Once I was done with it, I pulled in relevant Anki cards, I use my notes to make Anki cards. But this is a time when I have time. I'm not in Med school right now. I don't have any particularly pressing time constraint on me that I have to take a test in eight weeks. But let's say I did have a time constraint and now it's like step one is coming up. At that point taking notes becomes a bit more difficult because now notes come at the expense of anything else. Whether that's practice questions, whether that's doing Anki and at that point, because of triaging usually notes don't end up happening as much for me as I would like. Sure, I will review a question, but when I realize I don't know something in that question, I would usually go straight to Anki and try to make a flashcard about it and include a snippet of the questions so I at least have a memory anchor like this is where this question is coming from. But notes usually happened for me when I have the time which was usually my first two years of Medical school. Maybe right now when I'm learning for the sake of learning and not so much under pressure time testing environment. I'm a big proponent and like anyone who looks into this educational theory like how we learn stuff. Step one is always understand and only after understanding does memorization or remembering come in. How do you think about the understanding of it? How do you know you understood the topic before you move on to the memorization stage? As an unrelated note, is there anything that you would just think, "Screw it. I'm not able to understand, I'm just going to memorize this fact." I totally agree with you. I think in undergrad, I was never under the philosophy of like, "I'm just going to memorize this fact." Because in undergrad, it was I hammered into me that if you don't understand the foundational concept, there will always be a way to ask the question that will screw you over. That's still true in Medicine, but the problem is in Medicine, we get thrown so much crap like so much, it's insurmountable actually sometimes when you think about the crap that we have to learn, that even someone like me who has such a strong belief in that theory and the belief that you should understand something. Sometimes even my brain's like, "Did you just memorized this shit and move on?" This is ridiculous. You have so much other stuff to do. There is that balance between, "Okay, I'll just memorize this now and if and when I have time, I definitely need to learn this. This is a knowledge gap for me." But to this very day, I still try to make sure I understand the concept first. One of the best ways to know if you understand it, which I think was the first question, is by doing questions. Whether that's practice questions, multiple choice questions, even being in the clinic and explaining a concept to a patient who may not know about their condition. All of those three things are very good measures of okay, you conceptually understand what this is. But let's say you don't have the time to do that, which again, sometimes you're under constraints where you can't. It's during those times where I find myself just being like, "Screw it. I'll memorize this right now and if and when I get time, I definitely need to go back to it." But I do still make like a little notebook or a bookmark in my head where I'm like, "Prereq, you'd need to go back to that because you don't actually understand it. You just memorized this random sentence." I was interested in your point about how Anki is like a tool for memorization, but actually to test your understanding, you want to be doing questions in some capacity. I suppose given that we're both medics were very familiar with the whole question bank landscape and how that thing works and these books that have clinical cases in them. The thing that I usually advise for non medics or even for medical students, is you can write your own questions. For example, you're going through a lecture series, whether you're studying History, Geography, English, Math, whatever. You can just write questions for yourself and then having memorized the bits you need to memorize. You can go over those questions and think, " Do I actually understand this thing?" Absolutely. You can even integrate that into Anki, which is why a lot of my Anki flashcards are question format. Because I've always noticed that when I'm taking a test, I don't ask fill in the blank like, "pH less than four is this." I always asked myself, "What happens when the pH is less than four and you have this other change. Yes." Then that brings up the card right away because that's how you formatted the card to begin with. I'm sure you also know there's a hierarchy of questions. There's the very basic, like what is, how does, and then there's the higher ups right here, which is what step and all these standardized test, which is like three or four levels of understanding that you need to get through. There's different types of questions for sure. Yes, absolutely. I wonder if we can dive into a bit of mechanic stuff. I noticed that you use Cloze deletion cards instead of basic cards for practically everything. Can you talk through why that's the case? I wonder if you can share your screen and give us an example. Is this good? I've never seen such huge numbers in Anki. Yes, sorry, this is a little overwhelming. As I've said, I take things from one deck and move them over when I'm changing my life. I'm sorry. You wanted to talk about Cloze first? Yes. A Cloze versus basic cards, just like go straight back to basics. Lets just see Cloze versus basic card. This is a Cloze deletion like, what is Corona Virus genome? It's positive single-stranded RNA. The reason I usually use Cloze, one bias because this is how I started and so I have just really not bothered. Two, I've just customized my format so I can first of all have this in the front, this in the back, and then have stuff on the extra column and a sources column. The other thing about front and back, I actually don't know why I haven't used that often. I just don't think I've gotten used to it. As opposed to Cloze, I can just make this the back and automatically add stuff on that I need to right away. It just more ease. But I've actually had a bunch of people comment who say they use front and back. If that works for them, I actually see no negative side effects of that that I've noticed anyway. I wonder if you can just take us through some other random cards just so we can get an idea of what extra information you put and while we're there, if we can talk about what makes a good flashcard versus a bad flashcard. I know you've got videos about this that we'll put in the description section wherever people are watching this, but it'll just be good to chat about it informally. This one says which one is the left gastroepiploic artery comes from and this is just relating to the stomach. Notice how I included a picture of the stomach in my extra column. You'll see that the left comes off the splenic artery and the right one comes off the gastroduodenal. Notice how I included this picture and I said splenic, I'm like "Okay, here's the splenic artery, there's the left gastroepiploic. Got it." Again, not just the answer but all the prerequisite information, I need to understand that question. Yes, because I suppose with that one, if you didn't have the image, the danger is your brain would just begin to associate that specific phrasing of the question with splenic artery, just the words and you wouldn't have the idea like the actual concept in your mind. Yes, which is really important because Anatomy is so visual. You may memorize these two things. But I would argue that having the picture makes it even easier to memorize because you're like, "Yes, splenic artery and, it just comes off. It's on the left side of course". This adds a lot more contexts and I'd argue it even makes it easier because it seems like you and I are very similar. I can't just memorize random facts. I need to have some logic behind this. Whoever made these amazing things didn't just do it out of craziness. There's logic behind each and everything and so this adds a bit more reason. This one is asking what is drug-induced aseptic meningitis? Again, it's a very simple, basic question, but you'll notice how I included an abstract here. It's a picture of an abstract from a drama that talks about drug-induced aseptic meningitis and I have the actual paper here if I wanted to refer to it. But again, I summarized it in my own way. It's when certain drugs you take can cause your CSF fluid to actually have the same breakdown as if you had viral meningitis. Notice how I even highlighted the part of the abstract that's important. But again, basic question, basic answer, but all the information I need to understand that answer in the context of Medicine. I suppose at that point, if you still don't understand it, having read the information, that's when you would just open up Google and just literally Google it. Yes, exactly. But notice how I don't just make one card. This is the same thing, what are the three causes of exudative effusions? I usually have so many questions about one topic. I approach it from 80 different attack angles that if I go through all of my cards and I sleep on it, those angles come together. It's like the puzzle analogy we were using, which you fill in pieces of the puzzle and before you know it, you filled the whole puzzle in and your concept bank is full, you just didn't know it. Yes. All right, cool. This is useful and can we just go through a few more cards. 46. BONUS INTERVIEW - Conversations with An Anki Expert (Part 2): Before you did that quick question. Why do you have so many decks? There is a school of thought that says the fewer decks the better and you can rely on categorization and tags and stuff rather than having 500 decks like you seem to have. Absolutely. The reason I made so many decks is one; I had so many cards in this deck man. It was crazy I have 16,000 cards on just this deck alone. When you get to a deck that that's big and you're doing 800 to a 1000 cards, it was so time consuming it took me almost four hours. But you now break that 1,0000 card deck into 10 decks of 100 you get through that in two hours. Of course, there's negatives and positives to that. The positive is it saves me two hours which is huge during USMLE time. If I can get to all my flashcards even if I took a shortcut which was breaking them up into smaller decks, I got two extra hours for studying whatever I wanted to study. I think that negative that people always point out it's like, it becomes predictable When you have 16,000 cards and you break them up into 1600, 10 decks nothing becomes predictable. It just becomes a little bit faster for you to get through everything. But the big negative of that is that counter argument which is things become predictable or like, you will know each of the cards because you know what deck you have them in. Which when you have this many decks is just as good for me as having one big deck. Are these blocks arbitrary or have you split them like all of cardiology and gastro is in block one and all of renal and hematology is in block two? No, these are arbitrary so these blocks are all arbitrary. I took that 16,000 deck and I just broke them up into small snippets and put them into smaller decks. These decks are organized by time. When I was studying for my step 1, each week I was doing questions and I got a lot of stuff wrong so every question I got wrong I made questions about. These are necessarily not arbitrary they're just broken up by time. I noticed you've got some decks that are also broken down by subject. Yes, and that was when I was reviewing pathoma. Sometimes when I'm reviewing pathoma, I just decided to make those separate decks because one; there were very few cards and two, sometimes it actually is really good to say, "Okay, these cards are all about the breast." Especially when you've gone through 1600 cards in the day and you're like, "Okay, I just need to get through these things." Again some people will argue, "This is stupid because you know these are all about your breasts." But yes on the USMLE they're never going to make it that difficult for you to understand it's a breast problem. There's going to be discharge, there is going to be redness. You're not going to be like, "My God I don't know what problem the system is in." It's always going to be like what within the breast is wrong. Do you have a carcinoma in-situ? Do you have a memory duct ectasia? Do you have periductal mastitis? That's where you're really get the nitty gritty. I would argue that this actually just helped me organize my brain a little bit more and made it easier for me, especially when I was doing just so many cards. As you said these are a lot of cards and back when I was studying for my USMLE each of these would hit zero everyday. If you're living up to that standard and break anything I could do to get to that end point, was a good idea just because I was doing so many. I suppose the reason that people say that you should have one big deck rather than 20 decks for each of the specialties is because Anki was originally designed to learn languages. In a way when you're speaking a language the way you being tested is not really all of the household objects in one column and all of the travel things in another column, because the amount of words that we use in languages vary so hugely. But as you said there's absolutely nothing wrong with having immolated cardiology mode. Because when you see a patient in real life, if you're on your cardiology board chances are they're going to have a cardiology problem. When you being tested in the USMLE or whatever, you'll know that it's a cardiology problem. The thing differentiating you from getting the question right or wrong, is not the fact that you thought they were referring to something in the lung when actually they were referring to something in the heart. That's not the level that the testing is up. Even if you thought it was something in the lungs you'd know you're wrong, because the answer choices would not be in the lung. They're going to make all the answer choices within the heart because if they made it lung it's way too easy you can already eliminate six things because you're like other is not a lung issue. Yes, I totally agree with you most of the time this breakdown does not actually affect me or hurt me in anyway. Okay, cool. Let's go through your USMLE decks and we'll continue a chat about what makes these flashcards good versus how we can improve them. Yes, absolutely. Aplastic anemia occurs due to damage to hematopoietic stem cells resulting in, so I don't even know the answer to this but let's just see, pancytopenia. This is one of those cards that when you look at the answer you're like, "Okay I can see why." This is the part where I included a question about all the myeloid lineage is it's a small picture. People say you don't look at textbooks I do still look at textbooks it's just that they're in this format. When I was studying for step 1, every card had the part from step 1 that's relevant in the card. Even I told people I'd never opened up step 1 which is true I'd still memorize the whole thing. Yes, because you've got a PDF of the First Aid book open on the side or online copy of it, you can just grab screenshots and check them in. actually a lot of these pre-made decks already have them attached. I actually never even did any of these they were already there. Yes, and I suppose for this card as well one way to improve it, you might be aplastic anemia occurs to damage to hematopoietic stem cells resulting in what finding not a complete blood count. That would be obviously it's pancytopenia because then you'll understand whereas results in are you talking about symptoms? Are you talking about what the patient would look like? Are you talking about pregnant? I don't really know. Exactly. I agree with you this is not a good card. I don't know if this is a pre-made card it looks like a pre-made card because of the attachment, because I usually never attached anything from USMLE on my own there were just there but I did modify it on my own. Notice how leukopenia wrote decrease white blood cells, red blood cells and lymphoblast. I added my modification to see what it is. I think that's one of the keys about using pre-made cards that you can and should modify them. Actually even for your own cards when you make the card, you'll have a mental model in your mind that you can get that. Okay, cool. Obviously in two months I'll know what I meant and then two days later when you've forgotten it because you are dumb ass then you can be like, "You know what, I'm just going to edit a card," and you know the keyboard shortcut for edit because you've been editing your card so much because you can refine them over time. Exactly. This is a simple one. How is a ganglion cyst treated? This is a card I made. You hit it with the bible. I don't actually even know. I think is this remove I'm not sure, but this I distinctly remember I got this question wrong on an NBME and so I don't remember. They spontaneously regress. This is the answer on this one but notice how I actually just found a picture online. I was like what is a ganglion cyst? I didn't know what the hell ganglion cyst was honestly. But notice how I included a picture of it of the fact that a ganglion cyst can be trans-illuminated. Because I still remember to this day, they'll always try to get you to confuse a ganglion cyst with a lipoma. A lipoma does not transilluminate and a ganglion cyst does. I included all these small tidbits where I know that they can easily ask questions from this. Separate from lipoma because lipoma does not transilluminate, it arises from herniation of dense connective tissue. Again, a very simple question, very simple answer but again I also added in all the places where I knew they could flip the question on their head and asked me completely different question, and then I would get it wrong. Like the transillumination differentiating with lipoma all those. There is actually an interesting fact to it. They used to be called a bible bumps because it was thought back in the day you would hit it with the house bible back when everyone had a house. You would hit a ganglion cyst with a house bible and it would spontaneously regress. It just a random fact that I don't know how I remember given that it's been years since I came across this. But it's one of those things that makes an interesting funny picture and the more of these interesting funny pictures we can have, the easier it is to remember stuff even eight years after I started it for the first time. I can already imagine if you saw this on flash card, you would even add that bible pneumonic into that extra column. I would have a picture of the bible or something just to really make it for me in my mind. On that note let's say you're doing questions and you get something wrong. What some people in the UK do, I don't know so this is from in the US. Is when we're doing question banks, we would think, "Okay, cool I got that question wrong. Let me just copy and paste the whole eight paragraphs of stuff about hyperthyroidism that they've given me as context and I'll just copy and paste it into Anki and hope for the best." I get the impression that you think that's not a good idea. That's horrible actually, I totally agree with you. The reason is horrible is one, when you're going for Anki one of the things is always speed. Whenever I've copied and pasted an answer I have never read it through I've never actually felt it. I've done Anki for years now and you never want to have I been like, "I have enough time today let me read this entire paragraph." Nope I'm just like "Move on I have stuff to do." The other thing is sometimes what people will even do is take a screenshot of the question itself and post that and then make the backside of the answer of the question, so that way they're like I'll never forget this question. Also a horrible plan because your mind will just memorize the image. You see the question, do you think the answer is B or whatever? Exactly your mind will just know what the answer is because you've seen it before. That's the reason why I strongly discourage against copying and pasting big chunks of texts. One you will never read them and two if anything they impede your memory a lot. Okay. What are your favorite add ons? Yeah, let's see if I can even see what add ons. I actually re-install on key, so I got rid of most of my add-ons, but the one that I did keep were the ones that are absolutely essential. The good part is you're going to get my high yield add-ons. There's this enhanced main window add-on, which I think is just this add on. Like an enhances your main window to include a lot more statistics, which I find really helpful because as I said, when I'm doing a deck right now I'm focusing on step two CK and, and my sub- I deck and I would like to know what percent of that have I matured. This tells you how many cards you have today, how many are due, but the good part is it also tells you how many you have matured. So 537 and 1674 are still young and it has like nice little breakdowns and also tells you how many are due tomorrow, you can really plan for that. Notice how tomorrow I only have 300 cards do, so if I got through all my cards today, I only have 300 tomorrow, that makes me feel a bit better, maybe I can slack off a bit today, maybe I don't have to do all of them and I'll just add on 300 tomorrow and catch up, and the same thing up here. I like this enhanced made out on vid mode, just because it gives me all the data I need to make any sort of informed decision. The other add-on I really like, and this is really clutch too, it's called the frozen fields add-on and I think we already hinted on it. It's these snowflakes next to the thing and what that really helps you do is let me just change this deck to something useless. It's like, let's have making a topic like blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then the answer is like something here and then I press add, it will actually preserve everything I wrote, especially when I'm trying to create multiple questions from one concept. Preserving what I wrote here helps because then it can change one or two things and then change the answer and I don't have to rewrite the whole question. Especially really useful also for this extra column because we talked about the fact that in the extra column, I put all the prerequisite info I need to answer multiple questions. Let's say in the extra column I include everything about respiratory acidosis, then I keep that frozen, I want them to have that there and then I just unfreeze this part and create as many questions as I want about respiratory acidosis. Now I have the frozen field out on holding that source of knowledge constant and then I can just keep switching out the cards that I make from that. That is ridiculously useful. That's so useful, especially when you're someone like me who makes a lot of flashcards, you want to minimize the time you spent on flash crash while making them the most useful possible. The fact that I can put whatever I want here and save it and then keep changing the top is really helpful, especially when you're going from a big thing to making multiple little, flashcard questions, so that's actually one of my favorites. Let's see what other ones, this one comes in clutch. Which one is it? Speed focused mode. Have you used this one? No, I haven't, what is that? Speed focus mode is how I got through, when I was doing on-key for step one, I was doing 2,000 flashcards in three hours. It's like incredibly crazy fast-paced. The reason I was able to do that is this, add-on flashcard, which automatically after five seconds it plays an alert and then after seven seconds it will automatically show me the answer. The good part about this is it really one, I'll show you why I like it. When it plays that alert in relief makes you realize like, dude, you've been staring at this for five seconds, do you know that? Then by seven seconds it will automatically show you the answer. Here let's just practice and I'll show you what I mean. Four signs and symptoms, I think after five seconds, it plays this alarm and then it just shows me the answer right away. The reason this is good is one, it limits the time and two, if you're already dealing with a lot of cards that you know, this increases your pace much more so than you would ever think and so again, three facets of lifestyle modification like weight loss, exercise, diet and so by five seconds it plays it, and then by seven seconds it shows the answer. Okay, sweet. Can I ask a little bit/ when you're in lectures, for example, or if you're watching like Pathoma videos or your YouTube video using online resource, do you sort of make flashcards as you're going through it or do you sort of make notes first and then turn them into flashcards, what does your work flow look like for that? It depends. Right now I'm doing a lot of like self-learning for corona virus, you'll see that I have corona virus here. When I'm watching like a lecture, I actually just watched the lecture and I have on- key up right next to it, just because it's like I can take screenshots directly from that lecture and post them into my flashcard, so that makes it really easy for me to do it. But there is the alternative side which we talked about earlier, which is like, I just learned acid-base yesterday and that's a much more hands-on like do you understand this? You really have to go through it [inaudible]. It's not just someone presenting information, it's also more, you'd have to pause it and really realize, do I get this, do I not? When it's something like that, I sometimes opt for paper and then I will take a picture of this paper notes and add them to my on-key cards, but if it's something that's a very designated simple PowerPoint about Corona virus or something crazy that's going on, I will just read it or watch the video and include screenshots from the video directly to my on-key cards just because it facilitates the process of making them. But it usually is pretty variable, I will say. Especially big variable time, how much time do I have today? If I have the time, maybe I'll actually write it out on paper, convert them into on-key, If I don't have time, I'll just go straight to adding them into on- key. That makes a lot sense. Final question that I've got written down is how do you keep it fun, how do you maintain your motivation while doing on-keys, especially when you've got so many flashcards? It's tough, especially when I was doing it so much for my step one, I felt so overwhelmed all the time. One way is I would play music, so music in the background, study music. I'm a big fan of Bollywood, so Bollywood music, whatever it is that gets your jam on helps me. Because once you're in your zone and especially with the add-on where time's going, you want to just get into the zone and things would work. Another way I keep it fun is I actually do on-key and this is again, when you have time. I did on-key when I was at Yale, I would just walk around the beautiful campus, it would be nice and sunny outside. The good part of on-key is on a phone or an iPad. I would be doing flashcards while just going for a walk and I'd walk almost five, six miles and finish my on- key for the day. I'd get in my exercise and I'd also get in on- key and I would not feel overwhelmed because I was like outside, the sun, vitamin D, you don't feel congested. I did that for well over six months when I was at when I was at university primarily because I just hated being inside and being outside and with the great architecture at the great weather I loved it. Even when I was studying for Step one, just two months ago when I couldn't afford to go outside and spend six hours walking every day. I was sitting on a chair downstairs where there's good sunlight. I would sometimes do on- key outside. Change up the environment a lot. Music helps and as I said, sometimes if you're not feeling it, just pause, do something else for a bit and then you can maybe come back to it or even just take a take a day off from on- key and then try to catch up the next day. Yeah. I think for me one of the things I like about on- key is that if you're using it properly, then it essentially becomes, if not the only thing you have to do, but one of the only things you actually have to do to study, and so you can just do anywhere. You can even go on vacation and take on- key with you if you want or as you said, walk around or there were times where if I was watching a TV show like The Vampire Diaries, that I new didn't really require much mental power. I'd have that one in the background and just kind of do on- key and yes, that's probably less good for my efficiency, but it just made it may be more likely to do it, especially when it's a case of trying to do it consistently everyday. I do it well, watching the office all the time, yeah, I totally feel you. All right. I think that brings us to everything. Thank you so much. This has been enormously helpful. You're a fountain of knowledge of all things on-key and study related, which is awesome. That means a lot coming from you man. 47. BONUS INTERVIEW - "I didn't take a single note for my exams" (Part 1): Hello, welcome to this interview Carter. Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do. My name is Carter Mixin. I'm a senior at Georgia Southern University right now and I've been accepted to the Medical College of Georgia in South East starting there this summer. Fantastic, and can you tell us a little bit about your Anki journey, like how did you discover it and what did you use it for? It all started with us taking BIO 2 , which is a very memorization heavy class. You're memorizing all these phylogenetic trees and there was a lot of just the evolution, and how these things evolved. I had all these Quizlet cards, I remember thinking like for each exam I had about 300 flashcards and I knew that I understood about like 250 of them really well, and that there was about 50 that I really needed to study, so I realized that what I was doing was super inefficient. I knew that there had to be some better way, more efficient way to study, so that actually led me to hop on Google and hop on YouTube and that's where I found your evidence-based and I took it. Then I found a lot of stuff on the med school insiders channel that like Kevin Jubbal runs and all of that, and that just led me down a whole rabbit hole. That's when started experimenting with Anki. Since then it's pretty much just like completely changed everything about how I study, so it's just made everything a lot easier just because I have to spend so much less time studying the stuff like I actually need to study. Okay. Awesome, so that sounds like a pretty good sales pitch for now. Can you share your screen and just talk us through. Imagine where a beginner looking at your setup for the first time, how would you talk someone looking over your shoulder be like, "Hey, what's this Anki thing that you've got? " What I tell people whenever they're first starting out, because I find that it's really not the most like user-friendly app in the world, so what I tell people when they're first starting out is that how I organize things for my classes is, so I'm taking a Bioinformatics class, a Developmental biology class and Emerging Disease class right now. How I'll organize things is by each exam, I'll have the deck for the class, the deck for each exam, then the deck for each subject within that exam. I find that once you start going below that level of organization, then it just gets too cumbersome. I find that this makes it really easy for me to share cards with classmates where they say, "Hey, do you have the cards for this exam or do you have the cards for this subject in this exam?" I find it's really easy just to share my decks with classmates doing that. But I'd say that really the hardest part I think for a lot of people to figure out early on is, learning how to make just good high-quality cards that aren't a chore to go through and so these are actually some of my cards from when I first started using Anki. Here's a perfect example of a really bad card. This is one of the very first cards that I made right here. Look at that. I have what, like nine, 10, 12 close deletions there. You can see that pretty much what I was doing was just like reading the textbook, taking notes in Anki, and then I'll just go back through and just block out the key parts of the notes. I found that if I had, so right now I'd probably go through about 300-500 cards a day. But if I had like 300 of these components. Oh God, that would take you like more than one day to get through. Yeah, that'd be awful. I remember back when I was doing this, having 80 cards in the day was just a nightmare. What I've found now is that it's a lot easier to. It requires some foresight and some thinking about what kind of questions are they going to ask me on the exam, I think that's the best way to figure out how to make really good cards. While we're on this topic of what makes a good and bad flashcard, I wonder if you can just run us through of just a few random examples of flashcards you've got, and if you can talk about your philosophy about why it's a good flashcard, bad flashcard. Yeah, sure. Here we can just open up some of the reviews that I have for today, so this is for my Developmental Biology class. Perfect, I can revise. Yeah. But let's see, I think it binds a microRNA. Yeah, so it binds microRNA and then you can see I've been using notability and I have been experimenting with good notes sound. But what I'll do is I'll annotate my notes in class, you can see this slide has been annotated. Then I'd screenshot that annotated slide and post it into the extra field down here. Once I go look at the card like there, you can see that I've made three different close deletions in this card. That's one of the things I found to be helpful was to try and test that same information from different angles. Because I would find that sometimes, I found that if I just did like a normal flashcard and asked, what does Argonaute do? I found that that was a very vague. Yeah, it's like how do you really answer that like two months from now? At the time that you're making the flashcard, It might make sense, but two months later you're like, "What the hell was I referring to? Like what does Argonaute do? It does these 100 different things. What are you asking me?" Yeah, and what was a really good example of that was when I was studying for the MCAT, so that's like the medical admissions test and when we're talking about how glycolysis is regulated. If you ask like, "What effect does cortisol have on glycolysis?" That's a very vague question that you, two months from now will have a very hard time answering, even though you right now know what that card is asking. I think that that's the important thing is, to word questions in a way that you, two months from now, will be able to answer that question. Yeah, I think that's really important. I was talking to Prerak from Yale med school, I don't know if you've seen his. I've watched a lot of his videos. Yeah, so he and I were chatting yesterday and I really liked something that he said, which is that, "When I'm making the card, I'm telling myself that I'm a dumb ass and I'm not going to remember it four days from now." I think that's a good mindset to be in so that in the moment you make a card for your future self knowing that you are dumb ass and that you're not going to remember it. Yeah. That's another great reason why to include all that. Like where you got the information from, so that you have somewhere to relearn that information from. Here's another one where it's just muscle hypertrophy. That's really vague. Yeah, well. Muscle hypertrophy can be caused by heavy lifting. Since I've had this professor before us who know exactly what he's looking for in a few questions, what he'll do is he'll do these PowerPoints where he just has a sentence at the top and it's highlighting a concept, it's like an example of a concept, but then he'll do a matching question on the exam, and you need to know that these two things go together. This one is misplaced, myostatin. Then you see there's the slide that I got this from. But yeah, that is one that if I were just going to show my friend that right now. I mean, they'd have the same reaction that you did. I think that speaks to the making your own flashcard versus using someone else's decks, such premade decks. I wonder what's your philosophy on premade decks. I saw that was one of the questions on there. I think that as long as the cards are really well made, it's okay to use someone else's deck. But the problem is, I think, like one of my friends' cards, any of my friends' decks that I've used, none of them have been well enough made that I understood what they were asking with every single card. There was always a learning curve with using other people's decks. But when I was studying for the MCAT, one of the things that I did was, there's a psychology deck that's going around on Reddit, so I downloaded that. What I did was, as I was going through those cards, any cards that didn't make sense, I would just go and edit them to add more information to make the question more clear and do that stuff. One of the things have found is that, so yesterday, I was dashing through all these passages about new relation and that stuff, one of the things that I found was baking cards as I was doing them, and then once I was going back and going through the cards, I found that a lot of cards I had made just weren't really that great. Either the questions that they ask were vague or maybe the cloze deletions lead for too many hints and that stuff. One of the things I have realized is you can always just go back and rework the card and change the cloze deletion or include more things or take things out. I sometimes get a question from people being like Google Sheets versus Anki because I made that video and then everyone's like, "Oh, but when do you use Anki? When do you use Google Sheets?" My answer is usually that, all things being equal and if I had lots of time, I would absolutely use Anki because it is a game changer. But if you're cramming for an exam and you know that there are certain high-yield things, you don't want to be worrying about your 10,000 Anki cards. You want to be focusing on the high-yield stuff, which is what Google Sheets is helpful for. Whenever I'm using that Google Sheets method, Google Sheets isn't great for like nailing in like the nuts and bolts. I'm like what does this specific receptor do and that thing. I've had a lot of success with using stuff. This would be like a flow chart where our professor would ask us to understand when ischemia happens, all of these downstream effects happen. What I would do is I would do image occlusion and it would just test me on this one thing. Leading up to the exam, I would do this. If all I did was this, I wouldn't be able to create this flowchart. Because you're learning the individual factoids. You're not really learning the whole picture. What I found though was that by doing this, it made it when I was like, "Okay. It's five days before the exam. Now, I can put together most of this flowchart." But like actually drawing it out, I realized like, "Okay. I don't know this little bit so well, or maybe I don't know just a little bit over here so well." The experience of like actually drawing out the flowchart, I think, helped a lot. All this really did was just made me vaguely familiar leading up to it. I was going ask, so within the theory crafting around Anki, there's a spectrum. There are some people that fully purists of the minimum information principle, which is the idea that each flashcard should test one and only one factoid. Then, there are people like me that would use it for things like memorizing entire essays, and just have like a whole paragraph of stuff within a flashcard that I would then force myself to recall. I wonder where on that spectrum would you slot most of your stuff? The rule that I try and stick to is, I really try and say no more than four things for flashcards. One of the cards that comes to mind, that's in my developmental class, is that I think I have a card asking, "What are four functions of Sertoli cells?" I can tell you that they phagocytize cytoplasm, they produce inhibin, they produce androgen-binding protein, and they produce a medium to nourish the sperm. That's where I think I draw and limit it about four things. I mean, sometimes, I think it depends. There's sometimes where if you have a clever mnemonic, once you start getting more than four, that's when I start trying to bust out some mnemonics. That's where I find that really helpful. I think it's very reasonable to have a card that has entire mnemonic on it. Because that's really just one chunk of information. Once you know the mnemonic, you know the information like that. I mean, I think the biggest cards that I've gotten towards have been about seven things. Like especially that pathophysiology class where they're asking you to list, say like seven causes of hypercalcemia. I mean, you can go all day with doing something like that. Part of it is just like knowing like these are probably the seven most important. Then just making a mnemonic for those seven. Or another really good way that I have come to think about was for something like Cushing's disease. Taking it out from like talk down was how I did it. I think I had like eight. Have you got a flashcard for that that you can show us? We've got six manifestations of Cushing's. How? Yes. You can see right here, I put it in italics and red, work you away from the top to the bottom, and from the core to the extremities. For me, I didn't have it organized like that on the car, but like as I was reciting in my head, I think, "Okay. The moon face, the buffalo hump, and then the purple striae that are on the abdomen, and then start thinking about like trample obesity, and then work my way outwards to the thin lens, and then that stuff." That was another way. I think you've mentioned in the video, like categorize or dye or something like that. I find that if I can't come up with a mnemonic or something like that, that's another really easy way to remember a whole chunk of information, instead of just trying to list seven ways that this thing happens. Just think about like, "Okay. Well, it is really break into something to three main things." Then from there, talking about it that way. Great. I'd probably say that if we're giving beginners general advice about Anki, tending towards minimum information makes sense. Because then you get into the swing of it. Then over time, you start to realize that actually, if I've got a bit more information, it actually doesn't matter on it. I can deal with that, I think. But then equally, I think this is why Anki is so complicated that there's so much nuance. If, for example, you took this card and you apply the minimum information principle to it, you would end up close deleting six of them. Then that would just be overly excessive because each time you go through it, you'd be like, "Which one am I missing here? Which one I'm a missing here?" Eventually, your brain would actually pattern match the position of the thing on the list as opposed to the actual concept, and that would just be completely counterproductive. That's one of the things I meant to mention back when I was talking about bolding certain terms. It's that something you got to be careful of because I definitely realized, especially when I was cramming for finals this last go around, I think for my molecular genetics class, I think I had like 1,200 cards or something like that. I realized that as I'm just blurring through all these cards that a lot of times I was just like recognizing the words in front of and behind the cloze deletion. I didn't understand the concept at all. I just knew this word, this word, and what goes in the middle. That's definitely something to try to avoid. If you were going to ask me like, "Carter, I want to get a 110 percent on this exam. I want a set the cards." I would say that the basic flashcards are the best for that because it really makes you think and have a lot less, hence in the cloze deletions. But I'm a big fan to cloze deletions just because you can make them so fast. I think that the trade-off that you're getting is like a little bit less retention, but you can make them so much faster. That in the long run, if you miss three or four points, it's really not that big of a deal. The stuff that I get back, because all that time, I'm able to spend on research or hanging out with friends or any of that other stuff. What my workflow has usually been is to just copy, paste from the PowerPoint, make a couple of cloze deletions on that, and then put the screenshot in the extra field down here. One add on that I found that's been really helpful for speeding up that workflow is actually the frozen fields add-on, which I'm sure people have mentioned already. But it just makes it so much faster because all I have to do is freeze this field right here, and then I just leave that same PowerPoint right there. Then I can just make four or five questions based on that PowerPoint and move on. Or if I'm asking some questions that are very, very similar to each other, I can just freeze this field and that saves you from having to type out a whole strand of text again. I just have to change one or two words. That's something that just really has sped up just the time it takes to make flashcards. 48. BONUS INTERVIEW - "I didn't take a single note for my exams" (Part 2): You mentioned at the start, that you share your decks with your classmates. That's very good of you. There's a lot of people that would hold their decks close to the chest. I wonder if you haven't had any thoughts on the whole sharing is caring idea. Yeah, our classes aren't graded on a bell curve. If everyone in the class gets 90, then everyone in the class gets an A. There's really not a whole lot of incentive, but there's definitely some people who are like, "I want to be the only person in this class who gets like 103 on the exam." Then they can get this amazing letter of recommendation from the professor, and that stuff. I think that if you have that attitude you're missing out everything that you can learn from all your classmates, and that stuff. Physics is not a subject that I'm super strong at. There's definitely been times that I've had to ask for help in Physics, and I've been able to learn from other people, and I've been able to get better at Physics. I think that when you have that attitude of screw everyone else like I'm just going to try, and do the best that I can. I think you're really costing yourself in long-term. My focus up until now has been getting into medical school. What I realized was that there are so many applicants applying to medical school that if I happened to help like 10 of my classmates, that is a drop in the bucket compared to how many people are. At the schools I'm applying to, there's 10,000 applicants, and if I happen to help 10 people, would be a little bit better applicants. It's really not that big of a deal. That's the good attitude to have. My theory on this has always been that we're not really competing with our friends. Overall, the improvement in life and enjoyment and satisfaction and learning that comes from helping each other out, it just far outweighs any minor marginal advantage I might get by holding my decks close to my chest. Can you talk a little bit about how you first learned how to use Anki? Was it a lot of trial and error? Was it a lot of watching YouTube videos? Yes. Well, I tell people you need to learn the very basics. You need to learn how to create a deck, you need to learn how to add cards to that deck, and then being able to find the card. It took me a month until I learned by clicking browse. That's how opened up all this. I had to Google like how do I find a card in Anki? For me there was a lot of trial, and error. I watched a couple of YouTube videos just to get started. I think that Kevin Dewalt has a few good videos, and then I think that there's some other people who have come out with some good videos, that they start talking about the best settings and that stuff. That's a whole another conversation. I tell people, don't worry about the settings, or any of that. Just learn how to make a deck, and how to add cards to that deck. Then the next thing to learn is how to make good cards. What I found was that I would encounter a problem or things like, is there a way for me to do x? I would just Google how to do x, Anki. Most of the time that led me to the med school Anki separated, or to a YouTube video or something like that. It was just a lot of trial and error earlier on. I would say that if you happen to know someone who uses Anki a lot, they're really good resource to ask, "Hey, is it possible for me to do this?" You can just learn from other people who are using Anki, and that thing, but earlier on that was so far beyond the scope of what I needed to know in order to use Anki to improve my grades. All I had to know to use Anki to do better in class was just how to make a deck, how to add cards to that deck, and then just how to review those cards. Over the semester, I got better at asking questions on those cards, and then that led to all this other stuff where you start looking at what add-ons are there, and then you come across something like, oh, that's cool that I can do this and that stuff. Yeah, I think it's really important to really start from the very basics, because if you look at anyone who's approached using Anki, anyone looking at your screen right now would think, "Oh my God, that's awful." If anyone looks at Pereq screen, they're like, what the hell is wrong with this guy? Why does he have 80,000 Anki cards, and what is all this across the page? But actually, it should be very simple when you first start out. There's like an infinite rabbit hole of Anki that you can go down, but the point is you want to start using it consistently, and then knowing what makes good flush card. Then later on, you can start adding things like tagging, and close deletion, image occlusion, and all these add-ons, and make things look pretty, but you do have to get started with the very basics. I'd say that one thing a lot of people ask a lot, is they want to know like should I change these settings and that stuff? All I just tell people earlier on is just set new cards to 999, or whatever you're comfortable with, and then spread your reviews. Max that up, because you need to be trying to do all your reviews as much as possible each day. A couple of things that came to mind. How much do you take your own notes relative to just using Anki? The way I think of note-taking is like, note-taking in class, which for me personally is just to keep me awake, and then there's no taking after class, which is to flush out and try understand the stuff a bit more. Yeah. Yeah. I take notes in class just because it's one that seems to just keep me awake and keep me engaged with material. For my emerging diseases class, I don't take any notes whatsoever. What he does is, he just uploads the PowerPoints with blanks in them, and so I'll pay attention just enough to fill in this blanks. He's very old school, so he doesn't ask anything that's not directly on the PowerPoint, and this PowerPoint is very flushed out. It's not like you have to understand. There's not like a whole lot of in-depth understanding that you need to have behind it. I find that that's actually a time that I can get other stuff done. I can just be multitasking where I'm filling in the blanks, but then working on other stuff like sending e-mails and that sort of stuff, but during a class like Development of Biology, or my Bio-informatics class, it's definitely important for me if you like too, because a lot of those professors will say, "Here's a PowerPoint, I'm going to talk about some stuff that I will test on that's not already on this PowerPoint." In that case, I'll take notes, or I'll flush out a diagram so that I understand that diagram that we worked through better, but after class that's where my note-taking ends. After class, I find that the rate-limiting step in my learning is putting things into Anki, and that once it's in Anki, I mean there's not a whole lot of purposefully take notes. The only time that I'll buzz back open the iPad and take notes again, is that there's a concept that I'm just very confused about, and I'm having a hard time differentiating between two things. Then I might make like a list to compare and contrast the two. Especially when I was studying for the M CAT, what I've told a lot of people's I did not take a single note while studying for the M CAT. A lot of people don't believe me. I scored very well on it. Some people asked me, "Hey, how did you get that score?" What I keep telling people is, "Listen, I couldn't take a note. All I did was Anki and practice questions, that is all I did." There's people who I see highlighting the book, and taking all these pages of notes. I'm like, "Listen, I told you what I did." They had these review books for each subject and I just read the review book and instead of taking notes on that book. Anything I wanted to note and remember, I just put into Anki and I knew that if I put it in the [inaudible] and just kept up with my reviews, I was going to see it often enough that if they tested me on it, I would probably be able to answer it pretty well. Fantastic. Yeah, that's my theory of note-taking as well. Especially for medicine and for subjects where it's not like you're going through 18,000 English literature texts and having to create novel insights. In those circumstances, fair enough, you need to take notes to summarize the material because it's physically impossible. But when it comes to the m count or the USMLE or medical school exams where basically finer discrete chunks of information that you're being tested on and that everyone in the world is basically learning the same stuff. Taking notes, I agree it's sometimes helpful for understanding if there's a particularly tricky concept. But beyond that, if it's an Anki. Actually there was a guy in my year at Cambridge, who ranked second in the entire year group just like absolutely smashing all the exams. He also had a social life and he was Anki from day one. His note-taking was getting screenshots from the lectures there in then and just checking it into Anki. In the lectures he'd be making Anki flashcards as we were going along whereas all of the rest of us in first year, we were just like making our notes and doing our highlights and then he ended up absolutely destroying every single exam just by using Anki I have a friend who's in PA School right now. Do you all have those over there? [inaudible] mid-level provider? He's in school right now. He has mandatory class attendance. He'll go to class, but he's just sitting there in class and he's just taking the PowerPoint and just putting it, he's doing what you just described, putting it into Anki. He just goes ahead and just starts making cards right there. Final question from me. How do you navigate the balance between understanding and then memorizing stuff? Because Anki is very much a memorization tool. How do you know that you've understood something? Versus, you know what, screw it, I'm just going to memorize it. Obviously that I'm definitely more and be like, just memorize inside. I think that one of the things I've realized is that you can chase your tail all day long and seem like I really need to understand the structure of this 30S Ribosomal sub-unit and like that kind of stuff. But at some point, I think that in order to understand something, you have to memorize a certain base level of stuff. Yeah. So usually what I err on is just memorize a bunch of stuff and then if it's been three or four days and something just still is not making sense, that's what I did with this right here, after three or four days, it just still was not making sense and then at that point, I went back to the drawing board and said, all right, I need to figure out some way to make sense of this. I think that not understandings are like the excuses, like I don't really understand it. What I hear a lot is people say like, I can't memorize, I need to understand things before I memorize. I think that that's usually an excuse to get out of doing Anki because the first time I go through my developmental biology cards, I get almost all of them wrong. I would say I'd probably get like 50 percent of them wrong, but it's because I haven't tested myself on what happens to this cell after you undergo gastrulation and that stuff. You can reread that same texts over and over again or try and understand it or you can just go into cranking through the flash cards and I found that just by doing that, usually the understanding comes along. Actually one of the things that's kind of [inaudible] , I'll find is that especially by having this extra field with relevant information, there's a lot of times when say I've been doing these reviews for a week and then I'll start to make connections because I've built this knowledge base and memorize all these disparate facts, then because I have this extra field, I'll start to realize, this virus is like this virus, or the structure of this protein is similar to the structure of this protein except for it's unique in this different way and that stuff. There's a good example, I think it was in that making things stick book that a teacher source said that let's say if you're going to talk about Romeo and Juliet, you need to memorize like who Romeo and Juliet are. At some point you have to memorize something, you can't just understand everything. I think what's it like Bloom's Taxonomy, the very first step is memorization and then from there you can build upon this or higher-order things. That's my philosophy. I would say that I probably err more on the side of just memorizing stuff that is probably ideal. But also you have to keep in mind like what you're optimizing for. Yeah, I think that that's an important point. In general, the advice is generally you understand first and then memorize. But there is the caveat that there are certain categories of facts that either don't lend themselves to understanding that is a pure memorization fact or that you just don't care about enough to bother understanding it. The more familiar you become with the subject, the more you get attuned to what you need to understand versus what you can just memorize. For example, the Latin name for fruit bats, I really don't care in the slightest. [inaudible] learn Latin and then I can understand what's meaning. Yeah, exactly. But the fact that they're reservoir hosts, it's important to understand what a reservoir host actually as rather than just memorize the phrase. That'll be just memorize the Latin if you really want to understand the concept of what a reservoir host is and how viruses get transmitted. That only comes with familiarity with a subject. Because I find that with Anki, people start to research this stuff, for example, the first day of med school, people like right I'm going to start using Anki. But on the first day of med school, you actually don't really have much of an understanding of what you need to understand, what you need to memorize and what you can take for granted. Because by the end of your first year of med school, you will take for granted that the heart is in between the lungs because you just know it is. But on day one and med school you might make a flashcard that where is the heart? I've seen someone's Anki deck; where the question was, where is the heart and the answer was in between the lungs and I was just like, oh my goodness. I think one thing that I often advise when people are just getting started with Anki is actually the first time you're going through a lecture, unless you're very familiar with the topic, maybe don't make flashcards the very first time around until you become pro at figuring out what actually needs to be put into flashcards. Because the other mistake people can make is flashcard overload. Making flashcards for things that don't need flashcards. That can be so demotivating when you see 80,000 flashcards on your review. Whereas actually you only needed to have like 300 of them because actually you could take that for granted. I think that's one of those new ones points that doesn't need to come into this conversation a bit and partly that's why Anki is so complicated because there's so much nuance with it. But as you said very rightly, you want to start with the basics, don't overthink it and then over time you can evolve your workflow. Awesome, cool. I think that was everything that we wanted to ask on our list of things. Is there any final bits of, let's say a complete beginner to Anki is watching this video and thinks I'm inspired to start Anki, do you have any final words of wisdom to share with a total beginner? Yeah. My suggestion would just be just to start. I think a lot of people get worried about doing Anki perfectly or having the right setup or doing it wrong. I think it's what they say in a lot of meditation practices, that you just need to be doing it and you're going to be doing all right. I think that just by doing Anki, I think you set yourself in a whole different tier of students. For me, I refer to as a secret weapon where it's something that not a whole lot of people in my class know about embedded submit. I feel like that really gives me a big advantage, especially when it comes to exam time because I remember the first semester that I used Anki, for each exam I was thinking, this is really helpful but what really sold me on Anki was when we had the finals. Just by keeping up with my reviews throughout the year, I found I didn't even have to study for my finals at that point. I was like paranoia, I went through and did like the custom study and went back through all my cards and I found that I knew almost all of them. I would say for anyone that's like starting out just like stick with it through one semester and see how it works for you.