The logo for Anki, the learning app that uses spaced repetition

Anki is the ultimate DIY learning app. I’ve previously written about Memrise, the free learning app which makes use of spaced repetition to help you learn languages and study for other subjects. Well, Anki is the hardcore version of Memrise.

Anki is also based on spaced repetition — the idea that you need to review knowledge over time to retain it in your memory (repetition) and that you can increase the time between those reviews as time goes on (spaced). So if you learn something on Day 1, you’ll need to review it on Day 2, Day 5, Day 10, Day 20, Day 50… or something along those lines.

Anki, like Memrise, uses flashcards — electronic versions of the small cards you might have used to memorise specific bits of information for exams. When you review a flashcard you rate how quickly you were able to recall the information it asks for, with this feedback influencing how soon you’ll see the card again.

Anki isn’t as pretty as Memrise, but it’s way more flexible. You can create your own flashcards and use it to learn almost anything — it’s an incredibly powerful (but simple) tool.

You can download the PC app for free and use the web app on your devices.