Not all of us can have great memories, which means it can be difficult trying to remember facts for exams, work or even hobbies. The best way to overcome the problem is probably to sign up for a course or two, but if you don’t have the time or money, there is a free alternative which can be pretty valuable.
Anki is a free open source flashcard system, which helps you to remember stuff by repetition. Flashcards have been around since the 1800s, and this new iteration takes the whole concept one stage further by giving you the power to use your flashcards on a multitude of devices, from computers (Mac, PC or Linux) or phones and tablets (iPhone/Android).
You can even use the cards with a web based version called Ankiweb, which will work on just about any Internet enabled device, even old feature phones. The system is simplicity itself. Just download the software, and either create your own cards, or pop along to a resource which has ready made cards and download a set for your needs. There are versions available for languages, exam subjects and more.
If you can’t find a suitable deck, you can always make your own, and the great thing is you’re not limited to text. You can add audio and other multimedia as you need, which makes them very useful for things like learning pronunciation in languages and suchlike. The one drawback to making your own, is you’ll need to learn how to do the very simple coding necessary, but it doesn’t seem to be too difficult if you’re familiar with computers.
All in all, we’ve got to applaud the developers of the system, because it really does hit the spot as far as this particular learning method is concerned. The fact that it’s open source and comes with a range of addons for people to use, is just icing on the cake. Now you’ll have to excuse us, we’ve got some Mandarin to practice.