What is iDoRecall all about?

CEO, cofounder at iDoRecall.com

Most of us—students and lifelong learners—have to deal with a troubling fact: we quickly lose the ability to access and recall a vast amount of newly-learned material. It really sucks when you consider the amount of invested time, money and energy put into studying, education, reading books, attending classes or even just reading great information on the web. What’s worse, it’s nearly impossible to build new layers of knowledge as the base of your knowledge rapidly slips away.

The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve.

Our never-ending battle against the “forgetting curve”.

You might think of memorization as a lower form of learning, but it’s essential; our ability to learn new things relies on linking the new information to mental models and knowledge we’ve already internalized. In fact, the larger the array of information that you can readily access from your memory, the more creative and functionally intelligent you can be.

There is an old joke:

The more we learn, the more we know. The more we know, the more we forget. The more we forget, the less we know. So, why study???

Obviously, studying and learning are an important part of life and self-actualization. A lot of people believe that there is a limit to how much can be stuffed in their brains. The truth is, there is no proven limit in how much we can learn. The challenge isn’t in acquiring and storing new information. The real battle lies in maintaining the ability to retrieve and recall what we’ve learned. Almost everything that you’ve ever learned is buried somewhere in your vast memory, even if you can’t recall it.

To understand memory and our ability to recall what we learn, you first have to appreciate our innate tendency to forget. Forgetting is as natural as remembering. This was well documented in the “forgetting curve” published by Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1885 (see figure 1). It’s based upon some experiments that he performed on himself. His research demonstrated how just how fast newly acquired information is lost. Every day, we all experience what Ebbinghaus described, even if we are unaware of this insidious process. Our progressive inability to recall new memories as time passes is like nuclear decay with a terribly short half-life.

There is a wealth of published scientific research that teaches us effective strategies for overcoming the forgetting curve and maintaining our recall of what we’ve learned, for as long as we desire. Foremost among these strategies are the enormous benefits of the testing effect and spaced repetition recall. Despite the solid proof that these methodologies as well as several other strategies, such as interleaving, are truly effective, few students and lifelong learners apply them to their benefit.

So, why is it that the fountain of youth for everlasting recall exists but so few have taken the plunge? We believe that there are three main reasons. First, most learners are unaware of the science of successful learning and memory training. Even for those who are aware of the science, many suffer from the illusion that the learning strategies that they currently employ are effective, when in fact that is not the case. Finally, for many who have tried the proven approaches, the process of integrating these techniques into their daily lives is simply is too painful to turn into a lifelong habit.

There are a number of software solutions that have attempted to make the best practices of learning, studying and memorization accessible to everyone. In the past, we have been lukewarm fans of some of these solutions even as we used them ourselves. Frankly, these solutions are an acquired taste, due to poor user experience and other significant flaws. They are simply not suited for mainstream adoption. Some of the most popular of these solutions are so 1999! We haven’t seen any technology solutions that are both easy to integrate into your daily life and have the kind of user experience everyone rightly expects in 2015.

iDoRecall is committed to producing a toolset that won’t interrupt you or take you out of your flow state while you’re studying, reading or consuming content. There aren’t any existing technologies that even begin to properly address this fundamental and cardinal requirement. iDoRecall’s technology will make it easy for you to read, learn and remain in the flow while easily depositing your new learnings into a trusted system. iDoRecall will train you, in a most unobtrusive manner, to develop robust long-term recall of everything that you’ve invested your time and effort in learning.

Currently, we’re feverishly working on building a solution to deliver our contemporary and elegant toolset which will allow you to most easily and effectively learn and develop powerful recall. It will deliver an awesome user experience and will easily integrate into your daily life. We are committed to eliminating the need for you to have to routinely re-read books and notes. We want to rid you of all the anti-patterns and bad study habits that make you inefficient and have kept you from being the A+ student that you truly are capable of being. The iDoRecall solution will be comprehensive yet simple to use. It will go beyond spaced repetition and include other proven, effective methodologies that work in concert to train you to be a success in school and in life. If you are a lifelong learner like us, you’ll be grateful that there’s finally an Evernote for your brain!

Epilogue

We leave you for the moment with an extra dose of reality. Serious and significant learning requires effort, persistence, self-discipline and most of all grit. The most successful students and lifelong learners aren’t particularly the ones with the best genes, highest IQ or some special talents. They are they ones with the most grit. Grit trumps good genes every time. We’re all blessed with amazing neuroplasticity and the ability to shape our brains and ourselves into exactly who we want to become.

While you’re waiting for the our launch, we highly recommend three excellent sources for learning how to become an effective learner:

We invite you to join us our mission!