Spaced Repetition Update

Previously I’ve written about how I do spaced repetition in Roam Research using Leitner Boxes. I’m still doing spaced repetition daily, but my methods have changed a bit. So, let me give you the update.

I’m still doing spaced repetition in Roam, but I’ve moved away from the Leitner Box approach. Now instead I use Adam Krivka’s roam/sr. With this approach, each card has it’s own review schedule instead of being lumped together into a small total number of review buckets. Also, the review process is nicer looking and lower friction (especially on mobile) compared to my original Leitner Box approach.

I made the switch to roam/sr on July 5, and haven’t missed a day since. It’s been three months so far. Let’s keep it up! In that time, I’ve created 1383 cards. That’s 15 new cards a day.

The main way in which I make cards these days is with my Browserflow Note-taking Flow. With this flow, I highlight part of a sentence or paragraph and press c (for a sentence) or b (for a paragraph) to turn that sentence or paragraph into a “cloze” task. The highlighted part becomes a fill-in-the-blank and the whole sentence/paragraph becomes a card in my spaced repetition system.

I’m also using Adam Krivka’s image occlusion plugin for Roam to create visual cloze tasks. With it, I’ll mask out part of an image to create a spaced repetition card asking me to predict what’s missing in the image.

I’m mainly using spaced repetition to study Croatian. I also have plenty of cards relating to medicine, astrophysics, economics, science in the news, computer science and machine learning, math, and more. There’s a long tail of topics I dove into, taking notes with Browserflow, that now populate my cards.

A typical review session is about 50-80 cards, with a couple of days peaking over 100 cards. I add cards in clusters, so my “new cards” pile varies from having 0 cards to having about 100 cards. I limit myself to studying 25 new cards per day, occasionally allowing this to reach up to 50 or 75.

Spaced repetition has become a morning habit for me. Usually the first thing I do each morning is a review session, whereas I more often make new cards at night. Though I’ve kept the habit up for over 90 days consecutively (and have been doing SRS for over a year now off-and-on), I expect the real challenge to my habit will come the next time I travel extensively. Hopefully by being aware of this challenge now, I’ll be able to keep the habit through it in the future.