Using Anki/SRS as a journal?

leamsi.setroc's Avatar

leamsi.setroc

10 Jan, 2015 07:49 PM

I've been thinking about this for a few days, motivated mostly by the common end-of-year retrospectives: I've always had a hard time remembering or just recalling events that happen to me during my day to day. I'm talking about funny or good or bad stuff in my life, chats I have with friends or coworkers or strangers, events that I get to witness or even be a part of, etc... There are always things happening in our lives, but I can seem to only remember a few of these. I know some people are very good at remembering stuff like that, but I just seem to suck at it.

Now, the common way to "remember" these things is to write them down in a dairy/journal, which you can then re-read. But I was thinking that it would be great if I could actually put these in Anki so as to commit them to my memory. However, I'm having some trouble coming up with what would be a good format for my cards / notes. I'm not interested in remembering exact dates when something happened, but hopefully keep some rough sense of time progression between them. I'm also not looking to write down minutae as I would in a "real" journal, but rather broad strokes that hopefully help recall richer detail if I want to.

So far I'm thinking I could write 3 like these each day:

"Discussion with GF, mid Dec 2014 before Xmas" --> "She mentioned X, I felt like Y, eventually both settled on Z"
"Painful/Funny event, start Jan 2015 during trip to A" --> "I was doing A, and B happened, doctor saw and said C"

However, I'm still not 100% convinced this is a good Front card as I can see myself confusing different events (for example, I could've had many discussions with GF before Xmas, or had multiple funny events during trip to A), however I'm not sure how to differentiate them without overloading them with details.

Has anybody tried something like this? Or anybody has any suggestions (either about cards/notes formatting or the idea in general)? Does anybody think this is a bad idea?

Cheers!

  1. 1 Posted by Aleksej on 10 Jan, 2015 08:52 PM

    Aleksej's Avatar

    Can't help with SRS cards, but non-SRS journal notes can be put into the Incremental reading deck, which is also mentioned at the SuperMemo site.

  2. 2 Posted by ZapBeeb on 11 Jan, 2015 12:31 PM

    ZapBeeb's Avatar

    I share your problem, and also i an add plenty of envy for those who seem to remember easily what happens to them, but i am not sure if this makes any sense.

    It would seem to me that this would transform my personal life experience into something more like a book, something that almost did not happen to me.
    It's the unsettling feeling of the neurological process called reconsolidation.

    I just wish someone could make something to improve memory on a "hardware level", so to say.

  3. 3 Posted by Soren Bjornstad on 11 Jan, 2015 04:21 PM

    Soren Bjornstad's Avatar

    This is an interesting idea. I'm kind of obsessed with writing down my life (see here), so I love thinking about all the possibilities.

    I'm not interested in remembering exact dates when something happened, but hopefully keep some rough sense of time progression between them.

    ...However, I'm still not 100% convinced this is a good Front card as I can see myself confusing different events...however I'm not sure how to differentiate them without overloading them with details.

    I wonder if memorizing the exact dates might actually be easier, for exactly this reason. Or they wouldn't have to be exact if you don't have a lot of events in a small amount of time, you could go by week or month or something. If you remember the dates, you can then easily work out what came first, and it gives you some context for the difference between similar events.

    In terms of the format of the cards, I'd be more inclined to go with multiple-cloze-deletion cards: ask who you had the discussion with, when it was, what it was about, and what the conclusion was, and prompt for one at a time. That way you're thinking about it in more different ways, and you can get a fair bit of detail in.

    but rather broad strokes that hopefully help recall richer detail if I want to.

    I think that is an important point – while I'm not saying you're not going to forget details (especially after years), in my experience at least there's a big part of forgetting things that's simply forgetting that you know it in the first place. Hopefully if you can keep running through the cards with Anki, you'll be regularly reminded that you know these things. I've found the same thing works extremely well with keyboard shortcuts for various programs: when I come to one that I haven't seen in a while, I usually still know it, but I may have forgotten that I could use it in the program over the last while, and seeing it again gives me a nudge to think about using it again.

  4. System closed this discussion on 22 Feb, 2016 11:51 PM.

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