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What is SuperMemo 2008?

September 29, 2009

Supermemo 2009 SuperMemo 2008 is a knowledge manager and builder. It helps you build knowledge trough the a mix of enhanced methods for learning and memorization.

Is an integrated environment design so you can read, view or listen any kind of information and following a series of progressive steps, gather bits of information from your fields of interests, and makes sure you remember up the limits of your capacity.

At its heart is a SRS (spaced repetition system) that although looks like other flash card systems, has its own algorithms develop over more than 20 years of research on the field of learning. Not a single other flashcard program offers protection from long delayed repetitions. If you don’t do 100 repetitions for a month you will get 300 items the next day, SuperMemo 2008 knows about human behavior and although it can’t make repetitions for you it helps you deal with delay in your daily repetitions by prioritization of your most important material.

Supermemo is a system integrated modules, so that you can take a big pile of information and processed it according to your current needs but with loosing your creativity purposes. It uses a series of other methods (priority, autopostpone, leaches, etc) developed trough many years to help you with information overflow and remembering what is most important.

Supermemo is better suited for semantic type of knowledge (the kind of knowledge that make you able to remember: What is the name of the president of your country) as opposed to procedural learning (the type that help you remember how to ride a bike). This is the kind of knowledge I more trouble remembering.

Supermemo 2008 has many new teaks over previous version: youtube incremental video has been a great help for getting trough a lot of opencourse clips from great academic colleges as well as many talk on this video platform. I wish this function is extended to other video formats in future builds of the application (it is continually updated), but truth be told I have more then enough to read, view, and listen and Supermemo 2008 is making it so much easier to deal with all this. This is one of the reasons I’ve been lost from blogging for more then 3 weeks (learning, learning, learning… and enjoying the ride).

I’ll make a complete review on SuperMemo 2008 as soon as possible. A lot of enhancements are so great they should have been included from the start… I’m always forgetting supermemo started as a solution for dealing with flashcard learning not the knowledge manager its come to be. Review will be centered in using this new enhancements an not if they are valuable or not, they are!

If this doesn’t fit supermemo’s site description of the program, its because is my personal description for of what it means to me, and probably should mean to you. SuperMemo has a somewhat high learning curve, but is great investment for long term knowledge. If you need fast cram solutions use any kind of flashcards (paper or other software).

When you decide to take the opportunity to enhance your learning with this great tool be sure to go the supermemo store from this link: SuperMemo 2008. That way you’ll contribute to this blog.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Littlefish permalink
    October 1, 2009 15:29

    I’ve been having fun with Supermemo 2008 also; (As mentioned in previous comments) I’ve been using the incremental reading feature more in the way it was intended to be used (Passively review, THEN remember later), and I think this will further increase the amount of knowledge I can process at once (Just hit 31,000 items yesterday, woo hoo!)

    The sleep tracking system is very interesting, I tried to track my sleep with the “Sleep Chart” program, and I kept up for about two or three months, but stopped once I accidentally skipped a few days. Now that it’s integrated with Supermemo, I’ve begun using it again, and interesting patterns have emerged. First, here is my ideal morning routine: I am a morning person, and my preference is to get up at 5:30am, do Supermemo until about 7:00 (Usually there are 300 or 400 items per day, plus incremental reading, which I do until 7:00). I also try to do Final Drill right at the conclusion of my study session in the morning (if possible), because if I do not complete it that morning, I usually forget about it and end up cutting my Final Drill the next day. Recently I have taken up jogging for 10 minutes or so (A quick run around the block) and then get ready for the day.

    I’ve noticed that when I go to sleep around 10:00-10:30pm, I am able to get up the next morning without any problem (At 5:30 or even a few minutes before 5:30). But when I compare how much time was spent on Supermemo on those good days (10:00-10:30pm) and compare the amount of time spent on days in which I fall asleep later (11:00-12:00), I notice that I spend LESS time completing my daily flashcards by a fairly significant amount of time (15-20 minutes).

    Conclusion: My sleep patterns impact my learning quite a bit; I am trying to adopt a better sleep schedule (No electronic media except for Incremental Reading after 9:00pm, for example). I am happy about this.

    I plan on using the Incremental Video to start watching some of those online Berkeley courses, learning without worrying about tests or cramming is my dream.
    I’m in the middle of trying to organize and simplify my life so I can devote more time to learning with less distractions and clutter (Stuff can be annoying). Once I am closer to my desired goal I Supermemo will become even more integrated into my daily life.

    Go SM08! It’s just a shame we have to wait for two more years for Supermemo 2010 (I wonder how many items I’ll have by then…?)

    • gersapa permalink*
      October 1, 2009 16:40

      Nice experience sharing, I agree that sleep patterns are very important for learning, the more lucid you are when doing SM repetitions the faster you get them finished. Its great they have included this module to SuperMemo 2008. I’m starting to test this feature to, before I’d only get for a week or so an leave it behind… I wonder is supermemo could integrate this bad sleeping habits forgetfulness into their algorithm, maybe I’m just asking to much… but any little help is always wanted to help us enjoy the pool of current knowledge. I’m starting out with some courses too, with out time constraint you get better learning as there is no test related stress, and it only matter what you want to learn. Happy supermemoing.

  2. March 24, 2010 09:57

    I tried supermemo (2006 I think) and it was very difficult to understand. Is 2008 version easier?

    I was very interested in the incremental reading aspect. But couldn’t seem to get the hang of it in the prior version. Any easier now?

    Also, you mention sleep. One thing you might want to try if you have an iPhone is one of the sleep cycle programs. I recently started using sleep cycle alarm clock. You place your iphone into “flight mode” turn on sleep cycle alarm clock and put your iphone in bed with you. It senses your movements and will wake you at the optimum time. At least that’s what they claim.

    But after about 8 weeks of using it, I’ve found a marked improvement in feeling more rested each morning. Yes, it’s sort of a hassle to set up every night. But compared to waking up feeling like I was hit by a truck sometimes, it’s been working for me. It might help with your studies too. (and no, I am not affiliated in any way with the company.)

    • gersapa permalink*
      March 25, 2010 09:53

      I’m sorry man I don’t think the Iphone is going to survive the future, perhaps I say so because I don’t own one, but seriously apple puts to much constrains to its developer and its platform. I don’t believe most of us can go with a free sleep like PW grants as ideal, but this thecnique of sensing your own movements its quite interesting, I’ll have to hack something out, with out the Iphone.

      SuperMemo 2008 being easier, and Incremental Reading has at least a better manual of the newer version?, sorry again, nop. In fact I think the program it self should be accompanied by a Book, tutorial or something. But SuperMemo UX has nice GUI, and is a lot more predictability, albeit much of functionality has being trimmed out. I don’t use SuperMemo UX though, I have to much invested in my current supermemo, and already very productive with it. Perhaps you should try out UX, and tell us what you think. SuperMemo for the Iphone looks nice, if only a nicer editor was available.

      After a couple of months on the newer version an updatd SuperMemo 2008 review is needed, even obligatory, let’s see if I find some time to blog it.

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