Flashcards unexpectedly found their way into the public discourse last week when Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News to defend Donald Trump Jr.’s emails with Russia by using giant flashcards to call the allegations an “illusion” and a “delusion” and to say that “collusion” was not the “conclusion.”
Besides breaking a cardinal rule of the internet—never go on cameraholding up a sign unless you want to become a meme—Conway’s approach to flashcards was needlessly old school. If you need a study tool and don’t feel like creating comically large flashcards to do it, below, Lifehacker’s favorite apps for the job:
StudyBlue lets you crowdsource your flashcards from others who have created flashcards on similar topics. You can find and create groups, where you can share relevant flashcards with people who are studying the same subject. The app lets you add images and audio to your flashcards, quiz yourself, and set study reminders. There’s a subscription version that gives you access to all of the flashcard decks for $7 to $19 a month, depending on how long you subscribe.
Flashcards+ by Chegg was created mostly for students. It lets users upload photos to their flashcards and download others’ flashcards from Cram.com. You can share flashcards with others, and there is no subscription required. The app is also helpful for learning new languages because it can pronounce words in 22 languages and lets you adjust the talking speed for each phrase.
Quizlet is one of the largest online flashcard sites. Their app syncs with their website, letting you study flashcards from your phone. It’s easy to navigate and has a simple, clear design. You can study your flashcards by playing games, making quizzes, or just by flipping through your flashcard set. There’s a new feature called Quizlet Learn, which creates a study plan based on a deadline you give it. It keeps track of your progress, creates checkpoints, and sends you reminders to study. Like StudyBlue, you can upgrade the app’s features by paying for Quizlet Plus, which lets you add photos to your flashcards and removes the app’s ads.
StudyShack gamifies your flashcard experience. With the app, you can learn by playing crossword puzzles, hangman, matching games, hungry bug (a game similar to snake), unscramble, and others. When you play the games, you get pieces of a pie indicating your progress. Like other apps, you can search for other flashcard sets, quiz yourself, and interact with the flashcards. But, unlike other apps, you can have more than two sides for each flashcard.
Brainscape was intended just for flashcards: there aren’t fancy features like quizzes or games, but Brainscape focuses on strategies that help you learn the information on your flashcards in the shortest amount of time. The app claims to be able to double your learning speed by adjusting the timing of each flashcard based on how well you know the topic. It also has collaborated with educators and publishers to create flashcards for different topics and suggests new information on each topic.
Studies is the perfect app for people who take notes on their laptop and want to easily turn them into flashcards. Most notably, it lets you organize your flashcards in stacks (collections of flashcards) and groups (collections of stacks or groups). This is helpful because you can customize your study sessions with different groupings of notes. For example, you can review all your flashcards at once, a group of flashcards, or a customized set. The app also lets you save flashcard sets from Quizlet, but you’re not able to preview those flashcards before saving them. On its desktop app, you can add tags to your flashcards and view statistics about your study session, including how long you’re likely to remember the information on the cards.
It can be hard finding good flashcard apps available on platforms like the Windows Store. Luckily, AnkiApp is an easy-to-navigate flashcard app. At the end of each study session, it gathers data on how well you know each flashcard and uses that data to later sort out which flashcards to quiz you on. You can use other people’s flashcards or make your own with audio, text, and photo.
You learn better by writing than typing. iStudious lets you handwrite or draw on your flashcards. You can still type on the app, but writing down your flashcards by hand can help you learn better. Plus, it’s especially helpful if you want to draw out diagrams or write out complex math equations. However, it is important to note that it’s only on iOS, and it isn’t compatible with iOS9.