# How do you incorporate memorization with the zettlekasten method.

I was thinking on using anki or remnote to use spaced repetition and memorize key things I want to remember, since the zettelkasten first helps me with understanding and learning.

What tools do you use? Any tips want to share?

• edited January 2021

I have a quite tight integration between my Zettelkasten (ZK) and my flashcards (Anki). I felt that this connection was so important that I wrote my own tool/software to handle it the way I wanted it to. The solution is also very much a "me" solution in that it caters to my needs and preferences. It can be found here: https://github.com/henrikh/files2flashcards

I've share this project on the forum previously, but I'll tell a little about my experience hence.

I use cloze deletions a lot more than previously. I think I prefer this, since it is flexible and works very well in the context of notes. However, it does take a bit of massaging of the wording to make sure that the cloze works well both in the flashcard and in the context of the note. For example, here is an example, where I show how it works within a complete note:

The 📗-emoji is used to signify a flashcard and the slanted text are the cloze deletions. I think it works quite well within the flow.

The formats I use work fine. I have templates ready for pasting into notes, whenever I need to use them. This is really helpful and important for lowering friction. I opted for an XML/HTML-based format for the flashcards -- this might seem overly cumbersome to some, but I really like the flexibility and robustness that it offers. Plus, it allows me to render it in the view of the note and hide all the metadata.

This choice of using "microformats" for the flashcards has allowed me to make custom formats for certain "classes" for flashcards. For example, I have formats for synonym lists and abbreviations, which both render nicely and generate appropriately formatted flashcards.

I should end this by noting that I am a long time user of flashcards, so I draw on some experience with regard to my choice of conventions. Combining flashcards and Zettelkasten has been a match made in heaven. The spaced repetition of the flashcards refreshes concepts in the notes and the notes provide the (often missing) context of what the flashcards are about.

• I've been using Anki for Japanese since 2009. I treat it separately from the ZK and don't really need them working together. Structure notes could help but is something I don't need

• edited January 2021

@henrikenggaard said:
I have quite tight integration between my Zettelkasten (ZK) and my flashcards (Anki). I felt that this connection was so important that I wrote my own tool/software to handle it the way I wanted it to. The solution is also very much a "me" solution in that it caters to my needs and preferences. It can be found here: https://github.com/henrikh/files2flashcards...

I should end this by noting that I am a long time user of flashcards, so I draw on some experience concerning my choice of conventions. Combining flashcards and Zettelkasten has been a match made in heaven. The spaced repetition of the flashcards refreshes concepts in the notes, and the notes provide the (often missing) context of what the flashcards are about.

I've drunk the note to Anki Koolaid! And it tastes so fine.
I've been using Anki for maybe six months learning to use Regular Expressions and can feel the progress and would like to spread this into other areas of my zettelkasten.
I've committed to making this a core 2021 project. I've had no idea how to start, but now I see I can ride the coattails of @henrikenggaard and his 'files2flashcards'. I've downloaded the repository and will explore. Hopefully, I can contribute something.

1. What command is run to activate this program?
2. How are target notes specified? One at a time, by tag, by folder, in the YAML?
3. How is the destination Anki deck specified?
4. Can this be done in two sets? The first step, extract and reformat target note snippets in the correct format storing them in a temp file. Then in step two, read the temp file into the destination Anki deck.

Will Simpson
“Read Poetry, Listen to Good Music, and Get Exercise”
kestrelcreek.com

• @Will said:
1. What command is run to activate this program?
2. How are target notes specified? One at a time, by tag, by folder, in the YAML?
3. How is the destination Anki deck specified?
4. Can this be done in two sets? The first step, extract and reformat target note snippets in the correct format storing them in a temp file. Then in step two, read the temp file into the destination Anki deck.

I'm happy that you are interested and I'll do my best to help. But, again, it is very much a "me" style project, so the corners might be sharp and weird

1. What command is run to activate this program? It is more like a library (module) than a program. So you have to write your own script/program, which you then run. The programs are not very complicated. This is the one I use:

import files2flashcards as f2f

import formats.cloze
import formats.abbreviation
import formats.syntax

f2f.AnkiConnectWrapper.deck_name = "0 Studies"

f2f.taboo_word = "<!-- NOPROCESS -->"

f2f.process_folder("./wiki/tiddlers/", regex=r'^[^$].*tid$', only_changed=True, data_file_dir=".")


2. How are target notes specified? If by "target notes" you are talking about the Zettelkasten notes, then it is the f2f.process_folder call in my script above. A folder location is given. Optionally, a regex can be supplied to filter files within that folder. For example, to only process .md files. A taboo word can also be defined (see script), if a note contains that string, then the file is not processed.

3. How is the destination Anki deck specified? The f2f.AnkiConnectWrapper.deck_name variable is used for this.

4. Can this be done in two sets? Not at the moment. files2flashcards works by using the AnkiConnect plugin for Anki. In this way, it directly makes the flashcards in Anki and handles updating. If you want to write to a file first (f.x. CSV which can be read by Anki,) then you will need to look into replacing the "backend": https://github.com/henrikh/files2flashcards/blob/master/files2flashcards/AnkiConnectWrapper.py

These functions define what happens when notes are added or updated. Instead of accessing AnkiConnect, they could just write to a CSV file.

• @henrikenggaard said:
I have a quite tight integration between my Zettelkasten (ZK) and my flashcards (Anki). I felt that this connection was so important that I wrote my own tool/software to handle it the way I wanted it to. The solution is also very much a "me" solution in that it caters to my needs and preferences. It can be found here: https://github.com/henrikh/files2flashcards

I've share this project on the forum previously, but I'll tell a little about my experience hence.

I use cloze deletions a lot more than previously. I think I prefer this, since it is flexible and works very well in the context of notes. However, it does take a bit of massaging of the wording to make sure that the cloze works well both in the flashcard and in the context of the note. For example, here is an example, where I show how it works within a complete note:

The 📗-emoji is used to signify a flashcard and the slanted text are the cloze deletions. I think it works quite well within the flow.

The formats I use work fine. I have templates ready for pasting into notes, whenever I need to use them. This is really helpful and important for lowering friction. I opted for an XML/HTML-based format for the flashcards -- this might seem overly cumbersome to some, but I really like the flexibility and robustness that it offers. Plus, it allows me to render it in the view of the note and hide all the metadata.

This choice of using "microformats" for the flashcards has allowed me to make custom formats for certain "classes" for flashcards. For example, I have formats for synonym lists and abbreviations, which both render nicely and generate appropriately formatted flashcards.

I should end this by noting that I am a long time user of flashcards, so I draw on some experience with regard to my choice of conventions. Combining flashcards and Zettelkasten has been a match made in heaven. The spaced repetition of the flashcards refreshes concepts in the notes and the notes provide the (often missing) context of what the flashcards are about.

Thanks for sharing your experience, it was really helpful. I used to have supermemo 18, but it is only available if you use windows and I prefer the Mac so I stopped using it.

• @Splattack said:
I've been using Anki for Japanese since 2009. I treat it separately from the ZK and don't really need them working together. Structure notes could help but is something I don't need

There are some things I really need to remember by memory. Like the dosing and first option to treat an ongoing seizure. In that case I think the zettlekasten isn't that helpful, however, it is useful in helping me understand what a seizure is.

• @Will said:

@henrikenggaard said:
I have quite tight integration between my Zettelkasten (ZK) and my flashcards (Anki). I felt that this connection was so important that I wrote my own tool/software to handle it the way I wanted it to. The solution is also very much a "me" solution in that it caters to my needs and preferences. It can be found here: https://github.com/henrikh/files2flashcards...

I should end this by noting that I am a long time user of flashcards, so I draw on some experience concerning my choice of conventions. Combining flashcards and Zettelkasten has been a match made in heaven. The spaced repetition of the flashcards refreshes concepts in the notes, and the notes provide the (often missing) context of what the flashcards are about.

I've drunk the note to Anki Koolaid! And it tastes so fine.
I've been using Anki for maybe six months learning to use Regular Expressions and can feel the progress and would like to spread this into other areas of my zettelkasten.
I've committed to making this a core 2021 project. I've had no idea how to start, but now I see I can ride the coattails of @henrikenggaard and his 'files2flashcards'. I've downloaded the repository and will explore. Hopefully, I can contribute something.

1. What command is run to activate this program?
2. How are target notes specified? One at a time, by tag, by folder, in the YAML?
3. How is the destination Anki deck specified?
4. Can this be done in two sets? The first step, extract and reformat target note snippets in the correct format storing them in a temp file. Then in step two, read the temp file into the destination Anki deck.

Have you seen Remnote?

• @Jvet I see, so you definitely need a SRS. I assumed wrongly that you were interested in language learning. My brother is a neurosurgeon so Anki is helpful to memorize workflows and random facts. For that, structure notes and atomic notes could be helpful in organizing a nice set of flash cards

• @Splattack said:
@Jvet I see, so you definitely need a SRS. I assumed wrongly that you were interested in language learning. My brother is a neurosurgeon so Anki is helpful to memorize workflows and random facts. For that, structure notes and atomic notes could be helpful in organizing a nice set of flash cards

Yep, atomic notes blend very well with how knowledge should be structured in a flash card to optimize knowledge retention.

• Some subset of my ZK becomes an Anki card.

It would be cool to build a script or plugin for something like Obsidian that can present notes in a spaced fashion, thereby not needing to rely on Anki. I'm sure someone is already doing that or working on it, but I haven't done a thorough search yet.

• @achamess said:
Some subset of my ZK becomes an Anki card.

It would be cool to build a script or plugin for something like Obsidian that can present notes in a spaced fashion, thereby not needing to rely on Anki. I'm sure someone is already doing that or working on it, but I haven't done a thorough search yet.

I use the archive, but for obsidian it could also be cool.

• @Jvet said:

@achamess said:
Some subset of my ZK becomes an Anki card.

It would be cool to build a script or plugin for something like Obsidian that can present notes in a spaced fashion, thereby not needing to rely on Anki. I'm sure someone is already doing that or working on it, but I haven't done a thorough search yet.

I use the archive, but for obsidian it could also be cool.

I think it could work for anything really if the inputs are plain text files. I just chose Obsidian to highlight because it has a mechanism for developing plugins.

Since Obsidian is also plain text, you could load your Archive notes into Obsidian (it's free) and try these things out, and possibly use both apps for different purposes, while still working from the same note files.

• @achamess said:

@Jvet said:

@achamess said:
Some subset of my ZK becomes an Anki card.

It would be cool to build a script or plugin for something like Obsidian that can present notes in a spaced fashion, thereby not needing to rely on Anki. I'm sure someone is already doing that or working on it, but I haven't done a thorough search yet.

I use the archive, but for obsidian it could also be cool.

I think it could work for anything really if the inputs are plain text files. I just chose Obsidian to highlight because it has a mechanism for developing plugins.

Since Obsidian is also plain text, you could load your Archive notes into Obsidian (it's free) and try these things out, and possibly use both apps for different purposes, while still working from the same note files.

I think I will in the future, when they develop that spaced repetition integration. In the meantime remnote is going to be the way to go for me.

• edited January 2021

I'm a bit jealous of the apps that have or are close to incorporating the option of spaced repetition into note creation. I guess I'll have to resort to Keyboard Maestro or learning python to get SR prompts/cards out of The Archive and into Anki. This would be helped maybe by the scriptability in The Archive (which seems next on the road map for v1). The next step for me will be to research the various ways Anki imports cards/decks.

Will Simpson
“Read Poetry, Listen to Good Music, and Get Exercise”
kestrelcreek.com

• @Will said:
I'm a bit jealous of the apps that have or are close to incorporating the option of spaced repetition into note creation. I guess I'll have to resort to Keyboard Maestro or learning python to get SR prompts/cards out of The Archive and into Anki. This would be helped maybe by the scriptability in The Archive (which seems next on the road map for v1). The next step for me will be to research the various ways Anki imports cards/decks.

I think remnote allows the import of markdown files, so you can import from the archive notes. Also if you use the archive to write or create content, you can export your notes and create a draft on remnote, there while you type you decide from your atomic notes what you want to remember and the flash card will be instantly created.

That’s what I’m planning to do to incorporate both tools.

• I beat the old drum: A better learning method than spaced repetition is increasing the depth of processing:

• Multi-round compression of knowledge and compression.
• Re-Writing in your own words (more than once)
• Connecting knowledge (not just notes)
• Integrating into bigger picture
• Practical application
• Different senses (reading, imagery, speaking, listening,...)

Unless you just want to be able to answer questions. Then spaced repetitions might be more economic.

I am a Zettler

• @sfast said:
I beat the old drum: A better learning method than spaced repetition is increasing the depth of processing:

• Multi-round compression of knowledge and compression.
• Re-Writing in your own words (more than once)
• Connecting knowledge (not just notes)
• Integrating into bigger picture
• Practical application
• Different senses (reading, imagery, speaking, listening,...)

Unless you just want to be able to answer questions. Then spaced repetitions might be more economic.

I agree with you. I remember a couple of times I was doing an internship in a clinical pathology laboratory, and I had to study what findings on blood studies were associated to what diseases, to come up with a differential diagnosis list.

It was hard for me because I had to create like 10 different flash cards for a single subject. All were correctly formulated and I had to provide them with different context, that’s why I had to create a lot of them, so that if the right context appeared in real life I could be able to recall the answer.

So in the end, it wasn’t the best tool for me but the only one I knew. Also, on the long run unless you really hammer the context and understanding of the topic, you are going to lose the “aha” feeling and when you read the question you are going to be left asking yourself “where did this topic came from?”. Even using references in your flashcards.

I also tried using incremental reading, but because you are creating questions or clozes by just reformulating what you are reading, it isn’t that helpful. At least for me.

Do you mind sharing some articles you have written about “increasing the depth of processing”? I say yours because I understand perfectly the posts you write here, like the introduction to the zettelkasten method. Like I would like to know what you mean with multi-round compression of knowledge.

Thank you!