Supercharge Your Memory using Spaced Repetition

Learning is an integral part of our lives. Whether we're students, professionals, or curious souls, we all spend a good deal of time acquiring new knowledge. From devouring books to consuming online articles, from attending lectures to participating in workshops, we are in constant pursuit of knowledge. As we stumble upon valuable pieces of information, we take notes and diligently save them in our personal knowledge base. 

But, here's a question: how often do you revisit the content you've stored away? If your answer is "not as often as I'd like," then you are not alone. This is where the Recall Review tool comes into play.

The Recall Review is a tool designed to help you review and consolidate the knowledge stored in your knowledge base. It uses a scientifically backed technique known as Spaced Repetition to resurface your saved content at optimal intervals, enhancing your long-term retention of information.

What is Spaced Repetition?

Spaced repetition is a learning technique that schedules reviews at increasing intervals, a strategy based on the principles of cognitive science. This method aids long-term information retention by aligning with our brain's natural forgetting curve.

What is The Forgetting Curve?

The forgetting curve, first conceptualized by Hermann Ebbinghaus in the 19th century, illustrates how information is lost over time when there's no attempt to retain it. According to Ebbinghaus, memory retention experiences a sharp decline after initial learning, but the rate of decline decreases over time.

However, Ebbinghaus also discovered something crucial: this forgetting curve could be flattened with a repeated review of the learned material. Every time a review occurs, the information gets more embedded in our long-term memory, reducing the rate at which we forget.

The forgetting curve with Spaced Repetition

The graph above demonstrates a typical forgetting curve and how spaced repetition counters it. The curve drops sharply after the first learning event, indicating that our memory of the new information decreases rapidly. However, when we review the information (represented by the points on the curve), the rate of memory decline lessens. Each review resets the forgetting curve, and it becomes less steep (indicating slower forgetting) and shifts to the right (indicating longer intervals before forgetting). Over time and with regular reviews, information transitions from our short-term memory to our long-term memory.

What is The Spacing Effect?

The spacing effect is another vital aspect of cognitive science that spaced repetition employs. It's the observation that our brain tends to retain information more effectively when learning is spread out over time. Instead of massed learning or "cramming," which often leads to quick forgetting, spreading learning events over time facilitates better memory encoding and recall.

What is The Testing Effect?

The testing effect, also known as retrieval practice, is a well-documented phenomenon in cognitive psychology. It suggests that the act of recalling information from our memory (like when we test ourselves) strengthens the memory trace and slows down memory decay. Regular self-testing, as facilitated by the Recall Review tool, enhances this effect, promoting deeper memory encoding and more durable storage.

Memory Consolidation

Memory consolidation is the process by which short-term memories are transformed into long-lasting ones. This process takes place during sleep and periods of rest. Spaced repetition dovetails with this natural rhythm, allowing breaks between review sessions for consolidation to occur.

How the Recall Review works

Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how the Recall Review employs spaced repetition to optimize your learning process:

  1. Collect content you want to learn from: Using The Recall Browser Extension you can create cards from any blog posts, Wikipedia pages, YouTube videos or any other webpages.
  2. Start Your Review: Once you have saved enough content you can start a review. The tool will select 10 cards from your knowledge base. These cards are chosen based on your personal spaced repetition schedule.
  3. Review Your Cards: Go through each card and try to recall the information it contains. Once you're done, the tool provides you with three options to categorize your recall ability:
    - Soon: Choose this if you struggle to recall the card's information and would like to review it soon.
    - Someday: If you remember the card's content but wish to revisit it in the future, select this.
    - Never: Opt for this when you have entirely memorized the card's content and do not wish to review it again.
  4. Test Your Knowledge: To make your revision more effective, the Recall Review tool includes a feature for reviewing questions associated with each card. You can open the questions panel by clicking on the "Questions" tab. You have the choice to create your own questions or utilize the power of GPT-4 to auto-generate them. Once you've answered all questions, click "Check Answers" to verify your responses. Depending on your performance, you can choose to retry the questions or proceed to the next card.
  5. Track Your Progress: After completing your review, you can see the total number of cards left for revision. This keeps you informed about your progress and helps you plan your future reviews.

In essence, the Recall Review tool is a powerful ally in your learning journey. It empowers you to revisit and consolidate your knowledge, helping you transform information into long-lasting wisdom. Whether you're a student preparing for exams or a professional keen to keep your knowledge fresh, embrace the Recall Review tool and make your learning more efficient, effective, and enjoyable.

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