Archive for the ‘quantified self’ Category

New MemShot features – email reminders, progress reports, timed challenges and more

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

MemShot
Some handy new features have been added to MemShot.

What’s MemShot?

It’s a Spaced Repetition system built on flashcards.

Spaced Repetition is a memory system developed to help memorize things as efficiently as possible.

There are a number of flashcard systems out there, but here are a few features of MemShot that most of the others don’t have:

Email Reminders

We all need a little help with the motivation sometimes, but it only takes a few minutes each day to keep your memory sharp.

MemShot can remind you to practice daily and let you know what needs work.

MemShot practice reminder

Weekly Progress

Each week, MemShot sends you a progress report so you can bask in the glory of your path to mastery.

MemShot progress report

Daily Tracking

MemShot is now integrated with Supernifty’s goal tracker.

This tool helps you track what you are doing every day and form new habits. Learn more about goal tracker.

Timed Challenges

Having as long as you like to answer a question is not the same as the pressure of a real life situation of needing to be able to recall something immediately. For example, when you are speaking a foreign language, the other person is unlikely to have infinite patience.

Enter timed challenges.

MemShot timed challenges

Once a certain level of proficiency is reached, time limits are introduced.

MemShot timed challenge

Many people find the pressure of a time limit confronting – great practice for real life situations which typically include pressure to perform.

Shared Sets with Updates

Share your set by clicking the pencil next to “Private”.

Find public sets by clicking more learning sets.

MemShot now supports notifications – if an imported set has new items added to it you’ll get an icon next to that set to import the updates.

Want to learn more?

Import your Anki decks into MemShot

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Excellent news!

If you have existing decks in Anki and would like to try them in MemShot, you can now import your Anki decks into MemShot.

Import Anki decks into MemShot

What’s MemShot?

A free web-based learning system built on Flashcards and Spaced Repetition to make learning things like a new language fun and efficient. More about MemShot.

How to import your Anki decks into MemShot:

  1. Start up Anki. You need to be using at least version 2 of Anki;
  2. Choose File->Export. You can either export all decks or choose a specific one. Note that when you import into MemShot it will be imported as a single learning set;
  3. Visit MemShot Importer and login if required;
  4. Choose a set name for the imported deck along with any other required options;
  5. Next to the Import from Anki option, select your exported Anki file. This file should have the .apkg extension;
  6. Click Add Items; and
  7. You’re done! Start learning with MemShot!

Public Anki decks

Anki has many publicly available learning sets that can now easily be imported and used in MemShot.

Why MemShot?

There are a number of Spaced Repetition Flashcard based learning systems available.

MemShot is free, fun and easy to use. It is actively being developed with new features regularly added. In fact, if you’d like to see a feature, suggest it!

Limitations

The Anki import feature currently has some limitations:

  • Images and sounds are currently not imported. Support for media files is in progress.
  • Special formatting of text e.g. colours, fonts is currently not supported.

We hope you try out your Anki decks with MemShot. If you do, let us know how it goes!

Introducing MemShot – a Flashcard Spaced Repetition memorization system

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Supernifty is pleased to announce MemShot, a free, simple, web-based memorization system based on spaced repetition.

Memory masters like Dominic O’Brien use spaced repetition to memorize incredible amounts of information efficiently – now you can too.

Create your own set of flashcards, then MemShot tracks your progress and ensures that you work only on items that most need practice – much more efficient than traditional learning systems.

To get started, go to MemShot and start adding facts. Then click “Practice” to start learning.

Memory practice

The software includes many features to help you on your path to mastery; for instance:

Progress Reports! MemShot keeps track of your progress so you can see how well you are learning – are you progressing well or do you need to up the ante?

Memorization progress

Trouble Spots! MemShot keeps detailed records of your progress on every fact and you can easily see which items are causing you the most trouble.

Individual item status

Reminders! MemShot can keep your motivation ticking over by reminding you when it is time to practice.

Sharing! Although experts suggest that creating your own sets helps with the learning process, you can also share learning sets. If you create a set that may interest others, click the “share” button.

With just a few minutes each day with MemShot, you can look forward to memorizing an impressive amount of information.

Did you know – Jeopardy winner Roger Craig used Spaced Repetition as part of his training?

Feedback is welcome. We have many ideas for improving MemShot. If you have one, let us know.

What now?

Mastering a new skill and becoming an expert

Monday, August 20th, 2012

mastery comic

An oft-cited paper indicates that becoming the world’s greatest [insert dream skill here] is not strongly correlated with talent, lung capacity, IQ or any other innate trait.

Their study suggests that by far the most important factor in acquiring a skill is the time spent deliberately practicing the desired skill.

“Deliberate practice” simply means “no goofing around”.

The authors of the paper studied a bunch of different domains such as music, chess and the scientific endeavour. They found that roughly 10000 hours of deliberate practice is required to become the expert.

This is a lot of hours. For instance, at 20 hours a week this will take 10 years.

However, the great thing about this is that you are master of your own destiny. If you put your mind to it and put in the effort, the world is your oyster. Pursue your passion!

To help calculate your path to mastery, Supernifty has included a tool to figure out when you will be the next chess grandmaster or tennis world number one. Simply fill in the fields below:

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If you are serious about mastering a skill, consider trying the Hourly Time Tracker to see how you are really spending your time. A “mastery” column predicts which activities you are becoming an expert at.

hourly tracker with mastery column

You might be a little sad to discover that you are rapidly becoming an expert at “work” or “TV”. Think about the incredible human body that you have been blessed with. Is this truly what you want to spend your life getting good at?

How to track your daily goals and form new habits

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

For some time I have been trying to develop useful daily habits in a quest for self-improvement.

Things like:

  • exercising daily,
  • learning a new language and
  • finishing my masterpiece.

A bad way to learn a new skill or form a new habit is to have a short-lived exuberance of enthusiasm before returning to the old you. This has been my usual strategy.

This boom-bust cycle is deflating and makes the next effort even harder.

The solution!

Doing a little each day and tracking progress appears to be quite successful at maintaining motivation.

Supernifty’s habit-forming tool can help out with this.

Daily goals

Set your goals, then click in the appropriate day when you complete a goal. Simple.

If you’re like me, or Jerry Seinfeld, then you are well on your way to cementing some valuable habits.

Stars and Streaks and Jerry Seinfeld

The story goes that Jerry Seinfeld needed a way to keep himself motivated when writing, so came up with the “Don’t break the chain” method. Each day he would draw a line on his calendar to indicate that he had done a little comedy writing that day.

After a short time, the motivation became to keep the chain going.
Soon after, Jerry Seinfeld had created one of the most popular sitcoms of all time.

Supernifty’s goal tracking tool shows a “streak” statistic to emulate this idea. Keep the streak going! Be like Jerry!

Long Term Progress

One motivating factor in the habit-forming game is to try to maintain or improve my performance compared to previous weeks.

Click on “All weeks” to see how your habit-forming is progressing. It’s also easy to filter on a specific habit.

Goals analysis

Finally…

If you’ve had trouble forming new habits in the past, then this goal tracking tool could be the ticket.

This same web page includes a tool to track how you spend your time – just hide this if you are only interested in the goal tracker.

Feedback is always welcome. If you have ideas or thoughts, or it has helped you out, let us know!

What am I doing with my life? Track yourself for a week and find out

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

“We manage what we measure”… so goes the old saying. Here is a new tool to measure how you spend your time.

The problem

For months I have felt like I have been too busy to spend time on the things I really care about. A lot of ideas seem to have been permanently “on hold” – my todo lists have seemingly been continually growing, and for months I have been feeling overwhelmed and time poor.

Sound familiar?

A solution

I decided to do some real measuring and find out what was consuming my time. This came about after reading an interesting article over at Quantified Self about how shocked and surprised students were after tracking their hourly activities for a week.

The idea was to track down where all that time goes and then to decide if these various endeavours were worth that kind of commitment. This would also be an opportunity to compare the reality to how I imagined I was spending my life.

Hence, Supernifty’s Hourly Tracker was born. This online tool provides an easy way to track what you do each hour of the day for a week.

You can add any activity you want to track. As you can see from the image, you get a decent overview of where the time goes, including some interesting analysis on the right.

If you track yourself for more than a week, there is Historical Analysis.

Check out an overall picture of how you are spending your time, or focus on a particular activity:

Outcomes

It’s been an eye-opening experience – I’d recommend everyone try tracking their time for at least one full week. Some things I learnt:

Sleep

First of all, it’s clear why many people try to find ways of living with less sleep – for instance the polyphasic movement – sleep takes up a huge chunk of anyone’s life, dwarfing all other activities.

It’s also clear why I often feel tired – I don’t get enough sleep. Using this tool enabled me to confirm this suspicion.

More time conscious

As with other tracking efforts – such as taking a photo of everything you eat – the act of recording makes you more conscious of how you spend your time. If I start wasting time on the internet I am reminded that I will be recording this.

I’ve become much more aware of wasteful activities.

Busy-ness

Finally, I discovered the cause of my constant feeling of too much to do: mornings. I’d spend mornings catching up on email, reading blogs and researching random items of interest – generally procastinating – before finally getting stuck into work. This would set the scene for a stressful remaining day.

By the end of the day, I’d still feel that I needed to get more work done. I’d have a late night and then be tired in the morning, thus repeating the cycle.

Using this tool I have learnt that I need to focus on having a productive morning.

What’s next?

Ideas for improvements are welcomed – please get in touch! Some things that are in the pipeline:

  • Recommendations – for example, exercising every day or getting more sleep
  • Daily Goals – a daily goal tracker is at the bottom of the page. It’s functional but the analysis is still in development

Conclusion

Try tracking your time, just for a week. I gained significant insights and confirmed things that previously were vague suspicions.