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  • Prem Sundaram

How to Ace your Studies with Handwritten Digital Flashcards

Updated: Feb 2

Welcome back to school. How are you going to make the most of your new shiny Surface, iPad or Galaxy Tablet device and study the best you can? Put down that game controller for a start! :) Seriously, let's start using the device to create your study notes and make some of your own online flashcards with a flashcard app and start learning your foreign languages, sciences, or other memory intensive subjects!


Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Tablet
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Tablet


Flashcards are a great way to study, and students often buy packets of ‘Index Cards’ to make paper flashcards. The idea of creating an online flashcard set is to enable you to memorize new concepts, or answers to questions, through a process of active recall, with the flashcard containing information or a concept to learn, or very often a question on the front and the answer on the back of the flashcard.


People then user some advanced study techniques and incorporate a principal of time-interval repetition for learning called spaced repetition. Flashcards are extremely popular for languages (to memorize vocabulary), medical studies, physics, chemistry - all the sciences and languages require a lot of memorization!



In order to study successfully you will want to separate:

1) STUDY CLASS LESSON NOTE TAKING

2) CREATE YOUR OWN FLASHCARDS

3)FLASHCARDS FOR STUDYING AND MEMORIZATION



1) Study Class Lesson Note Taking


In our digital world, you will want to take notes on your tablet or computer. There are many tools out there but some of the best are dependent on your device. If you have a Microsoft Surface, then Microsoft OneNote is probably the best app. On iPad good apps include Apple Notes, GoodNotes and Notability. On Samsung you can use OneNote or the built-in Samsung Notes. OneNote is available on Windows, Android, Mac and iPad so you can see your notes on all your devices. With OneNote you can take lots of lecture notes, both with your keyboard and your pen, containing text, ink, hyperlinks and even videos. And it's free so that helps. You can even share your notes with friends.



Image of Microsoft OneNote
Image of Microsoft OneNote


2) Create your Own Handwritten Flashcards

When it comes to Flashcard creation, we think one of the best flashcard apps out there is our very own NoteDex for Desktop, Mobile and Web. It's the only cross-platform app that you can use your pen to write your flashcards (the process of writing will aid in your studying). And you can of course use your keyboard.

This ‘transfer’ process of reviewing your notes, and creating the cards is a valuable part of the learning process.

This has been verified many times such as in this article by L. Borelli, Medical Daily.

Why Using Pen And Paper, Not Laptops, Boosts Memory: Writing Notes Helps Recall Concepts, Ability To Understand

But in the spirit of this being a non-biased article we also want to let you know that other apps for creating flashcards include the Quizlet app (from Quizlet Inc) and Anki (various creators). These are both relatively simple apps to create simple short flashcards, and are good if you don't want to create advanced flashcards with handwriting, like you can do on NoteDex. These apps do also have a variety of study modes and give some offline access. Many people love Quizlet and Anki. Do check them out.

With the NoteDex flashcard app you can organize your flashcards into Stacks, and even in Groups within Stacks, something you can’t really do with many other note taking programs. This will help you to organize your flashcards better. And the best thing? You can make as many flash cards as you like. Unlimited flashcards (also called index cards) that look better than the real thing! Be creative, it helps learning. But keep them SIMPLE. There is a great article on the web by Thomas Frank which I highly recommend you watch ‘8 Better Ways to Make and Study Flashcards’. One thing Thomas highlights is the power of using pictures along with the word/concept you are learning. It’s a great article — do read it!

Bring up the OneNote on one side of the tablet, and the NoteDex Flashcards Index Cards app on the other. And do use your pen — while you can create them by typing, there is a different mind-meld that occurs when you use a pen to transfer your thoughts to the (digital) paper. If you don’t have the pen, get it!!! This is why I recommend our NoteDex app - the process of creating the flashcards with your keyboard is good- but using the pen is even more mentally interactive and reinforcing (Hand to Brain wiring!). NoteDex is one of the science backed study tools out there and is one of only a few that support handwriting across all device platforms.


Index Card created with NoteDex
Index Card created with NoteDex

You might also find that you like NoteDex to take lecture notes - the app enables you to take lots of text on a flashcard. A final note on flashcards: the method is very good for learning facts and use mnemonics to really supercharge your flashcards - acronyms, coined sayings, interacting images. Think more creatively when using flashcards / index cards to capture concepts — here diagrams or descriptions in your own words might be needed to ensure you are embedding the concept in your mind. Ideal for foreign languages - for example to learn Spanish and memorize vocabulary. Watch the video below by Marty Lobdell…its worth the hour, I wish I knew some of these tips when I was at school and university!


3) Flashcards for Studying and Memorization

In order to study with flashcards you want to mix things up and not study in the same sequence all the time. In our NoteDex app you can ‘shuffle’ the flashcards — this will ensure that you are not seeing the same cards in the same sequence all the time. You can also hide certain flashcards at then of a study session - NoteDex will track which ones you need to still review - so you can study more efficiently. You can also sync your flashcards on all your phones as well as login on the Web app to edit and view online flashcards on your desktop computer browser. Plus, if your best friend asks really nicely, you can even share flashcards (just one or your whole stack) to other classmates and students so they can use and edit them — by using our unique web-share feature!

Like anything, as Thomas Frank also says, flashcards are not the only method of studying. But by using NoteDex, along with your powerful Surface, iPad or Galaxy Tablet with pen stylus you will have the best chance to incorporate the best techniques into your studies and get you test day ready.


If you would like to read more about how to make flashcards with NoteDex click here.

Good luck! NoteDex References: Microsoft OneNote http://www.onenote.com NoteDex Index Cards, Flashcards, Notes https://www.notedexapp.com Thomas Frank https://collegeinfogeek.com/flash-card-study-tips/ Marty Lobdell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlU-zDU6aQ0


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