Tinderbox Forum

Spaced Repetition Learning in Tinderbox?


Has anyone tried using/created/integrated a spaced learning system system with tinderbox? StarterTemplate.

Although Omnifocus works for fixed repeating spaced intervals such as a reminder set at 1d, 1w etc, but not as good for the variable times used in many programs such as Anki, superMemo etc.

I find spaced learning systems useful to me in trying to learn a new subject, preparing for a presentation etc for the longer term. I think Tinderbox would be ideal to combine with my meta notes and hasten incremental formalization. I am curious if anyone else has already done some work in this area before I dive in deeper

Example case scenario:
10 items reviewed: 7easy: assigned: color green, review in 3d, 2 medium (identified gaps in knowledge) color yellow: review 1d, 1 hard: color red review in 3 hours.
Another thought: rather than to create a system withiin Tinderbox has anyone integrated with Anki?

Thanks in advance

Not sure if I’m fully understanding your request, but as a conceptual matter: it is possible (and fairly easy) to create an agent or rule that highlights notes based on timing criteria.

The simplest illustration would be a note with a date-type attribute you create, with a name like $NextReminder (or anything similar). You could then have an agent with a query for that attribute.

For instance, an agent-query could be $NextReminder<=date(today) , or a rule based on similar logic: if($NextReminder<=date(today)) {desired action here}. And then the agent or rule could turn the notes red, or highlight them in a different way, or give them a certain badge, or display them on a dashboard.

I imagine (but don’t know for sure) that there is a way to do the same thing on a time-of-day (rather than simple calendar-date) basis. But I haven’t ever done that myself so will leave that to the actual experts.

Thanks James. Your response is helping me get started by using your query examples.

I apologize for not making myself more clear with my initial question, but my initial intent for posting the question to the forum was twofold: 1. How to get started with the concept/query for spaced learning and lastly, to explore insights with anyone else who might have already built a similar system and might have had some valuable insights of lessons learned along the way.

Thanks again.

Tom, did you ever put together a spaced repetition learning system in Tinderbox?

(I realize I’m bumping an old thread, but James’s comment was very helpful, and I didn’t want to lose it by starting a new topic.)

I’m partway through medical school, and have been relying heavily on Anki for learning the material. Problem is, Anki has no tools for diagraming connections between topics. (I guess that part is supposed to happen in my brain??)

What I’d love is to be able to sketch out, in Tinderbox outlines or maps, topics (eg, physiology, pathology, drugs, bugs, mechanisms, etc.) and the connections between them. I’d tend toward Q/A flashcard format probably. And then use date attributes and agents to assign a schedule to review these topics. With the ability to view each topic in the larger network if desired.

The big piece I seem to be missing is how to grade my confidence on each review. Upon reviewing a topic, how might I tell Tinderbox to schedule it (ie, set $NextReminder) for 1 week versus 1 day from now, depending on how well I know it? What about 1 hour from now?

I doubt that a complex implementation of spaced repetition would be possible, but maybe a basic Leitner system could be done?

Thanks for any replies! Please let me know if I should clarify my explanation!

Hi Devin

Initially I explored trying to “recreate” a simpler anki system exclusively in tinderbox. I was making some progress but chose instead to move in a slightly different direction using a combination of both tinderbox and anki. I made this decision at the time based on my needs at the time: 1. I was travelling extensively for work and wanted an anki system to use on my phone and 2. the fact that I realized not everything was worth occupying my headspace therefore I could simplify my workflow and use tinderbox instead to track my notes and be "the source of truth"as well as provide better context for my anki flashcards.

Simply speaking: I use tinderbox to track my anki notes I want to commit to long term study or deeper learning. How do I do this? It is pretty simple system with tinderbox. I created 2 boolean fields Key Attributes (KA’s): anki and archive. The $anki==true identifies the notes I send to Anki while $archive tells me if they are still being studied ($archive == “false” (then they are both being studied), $archive == “true” (then they are no longer being used and archived. I created an agent to identify newly active notes but not archived and another to identify those already archived. Those selected notes I want to study I simply export from tinderbox in csv. NB: I tend to use only text (since csv is a text only format). Here is an example of how to do this from the forum: Basic How-To Q about exporting from TB to spreadsheet

Some things I learned along the way:

  1. tinderbox is very capable of recreating a similar SRS with a little work.
  2. Decide at first which workflow will work before you spend a lot of time. tinderbox only or tinderbox + anki
  3. Simplify the design at first to the bare essentials: easy, medium, hard AND
  4. Use prototypes for each choice rather than trying to change dates and times in individual notes.

Hope this helps. Keep us posted on your progress.


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Thank you, very helpful! I too value studying on the go, so maybe a Tinderbox + Anki setup is best for me as well. I’ll report back if I set up something that I like. Thanks again for your detailed response.

Update: There has been some interesting thoughts/discussions on using SRS (spaced repetition flash cards) with Roam that I think can be borrowed/implemented in a tinderbox system. It involves using the Leitner Box system (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leitner_system). I think it is pretty clever to create a digital version of it!
Here is an excellent YT video URL explaining the system: https://youtu.be/pmv5Yrnmlgg

Here is what it looks like in Roam which is easily recreated in Tinderbox using Leitner system priniciples

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