How it works

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Your journey to becoming a more effective, efficient and successful student and lifelong learner begins with a 30-day, full-featured trial of iDoRecall. No credit card is needed. Sign up today! After you create your account, you’ll have full and unlimited access to iDR, a progressive web application optimized for desktops, laptops and mobile devices via any modern browser.

The iDR membership permits you to create an unlimited number of digital spaced-repetition flashcards. We call them recalls here at iDR. Each recall can contain images in the question and answer. You can upload an unlimited number of images into your account. You can upload all of your learning materials into iDR and create recalls linked to specific content within your uploaded files. File upload types include PDFs, Word files, Powerpoints and most image file types. You can upload an unlimited quantity of these files.

Only $5.99/month after 30 days trial

How it works:

IDR is a web app that empowers you to remember everything you learn by making spaced-repetition digital flashcards (we call them recalls) that are linked to any content you can imagine such as websites, study notes, Word docs, PDFs, Powerpoints, photos of a friend’s lecture notes, almost any kind of image file and so much more. You can upload all of your learning materials into iDR, and build recalls that are linked to specific locations in them, such as a specific sentence in a Word doc. Then iDR will show you the recalls when you most likely to just beginning to forget a fact or concept. You grade your practice performance on each recall. If you bomb out and forget it cold, a link on the back of the recall card will open up the associated source content at the exact location where you created the recall, such as that specific sentence just mentioned. Quickly refresh your memory and then carry on with your practice session. While there are several digital flashcard apps out there, iDR is the first one that lets you link the flashcards to your learning materials.

A recall is iDRs proprietary digital flashcard. It permits you to ask an open-ended question of yourself about any fact or concept you wish to be able to easily recall at any time in the future. iDR’s recalls have a question and its answer. The Q and A can contain images, rich-editable text and math formulae ∇ * E = 4πρ. Recalls can also have tags to help you organize them such as by topics or your courses (Physics 101). They can have multiple due dates so that the iDR spaced-repetition algorithm will make sure you study them in the days leading up to a quiz or exam. One of the most important and unique aspects of iDR recalls is that on their back, when you review the answer as you practice and quiz yourself, if you flub the recall, you’ll have a link to the exact spot in your study materials where you created the recall. That way, you can quickly refresh your memory.

Testing has been proven to be the most powerful technique for building memory and recall. When you attempt to recall something, without any outside hints, such as is present with a multiple choice question, this mental exercise reinforces synapses and pathways, even creating new neural pathways back to the answer. It’s okay to struggle and even fail to successfully recall an answer. The struggle to remember something builds future success. It’s a workout for your memory that creates a more powerful memory. Testing can be done by a teacher or study pal but self-testing with flashcards is just as effective. The key is to come up with the answer on your own or admit you’ve forgotten, before you turn over the card to see the answer. Be careful not to read the question and fool yourself by quickly turning over the card, reading the answer and telling yourself “I knew that one”. That sense of fluency is not true recall. You must go through the actual exercise of recalling or attempting and failing to recall before checking the answer. That’s what builds true recall ability.

Spaced-repetition (SR) was designed to help us overcome the Forgetting Curve. Discovered in 1885 by Hermann Ebbinghaus, this curve represents the exponential rapid decay of memory from 100% towards zero in the minutes, hours, days and months after we learn something new.

The forgetting curve

It has been proven that testing yourself at intervals over time, spacing the practice, or SR for short, stops the decay of memory and resets the recallability back to 100%. SR also has the huge benefit of helping you efficiently manage a huge database of learning. Top Jeopardy quiz show winners have used SR flashcards to manage as much as over 200,000 facts. Imagine if you had that many flashcards to review every day to maintain your knowledge! With SR, you only need to review a tiny fraction of the cards each day since SR algorithms only call for review of a card when you’re most likely to be close to forgetting based upon what psychologists have learned about the Forgetting Curve. It has been shown that a collection of nearly 18,300 flashcards can be maintained in memory by practicing less than 20 minutes per day.  That’s a 1 minute commitment a day per 1830 flashcards.

Here’s how you use iDoRecall

Create Recalls. It’s easy. Whenever you come across some new concept that you understand but you’re not certain you’ll remember, create a recall in iDR. Don’t create recalls to learn new concepts. First you must comprehend and understand, then make a recall to maintain in memory what you just learned. It’s important to understand that iDR is a system for maintaining your memory and the recallability for things that you have already learned. Using flashcards and self-testing for facts and concepts you haven’t grasped is futile. First you learn then you maintain what you’ve learned.

To create your first recall, click “RECALLS”  in the header of the app and then click “CREATE” in the left sidebar (or footer on phones). Fill in the Create Recall Form with the question, answer. Include any images relevant to the Q and A. Format the text to suit your needs.

Optionally add tags for finding the recall in search or organizing your collection of recalls to find related group members. One popular use case of tags is tagging all recalls for a course you’re taking, such as Physics 101, so that you can review them all as a group, at a time different from when the spaced-repetition algorithm assigns them for review. Another tagging use case is being able to quickly grab all the recalls that cover a particular topic.

Additional optional fields in the recall creation form are “deadline” field where you can set deadlines to force the system to show you the recall in the days leading up to an exam and the “source” field where you can paste in a URL that contains content relating to the the recall. When you create recalls from inside learning materials you’ve uploaded to iDR, the “source” field will automatically contain the link to the exact location in the content you uploaded where you created the recall.

Practice mode is like going to the gym. Click “PRACTICE” in the left sidebar of the app (on the footer on phones) and you’ll be transported into this focused mode where you’ll be shown what we call your “due recalls”, the ones which the SR algorithm has determined you are close to forgetting and its time to review. In practice mode you be shown a question. You can type in or dictate your response if you want iDR to store your answer for future review or you can simply think of the answer and then click/tap/space/enter/right arrow to see the answer and the other fields on the back of the recall. NEVER go to the answer until you force yourself to come up with the answer or admit you have forgotten it. The effortful attempt to recall is the secret to making the iDR technique work, even if you can’t successfully recall a particular answer.

When you get to the back of the recall, you’ll read the answer and also have access to all of the fields from the “create recall form”. If you see any mistakes or want to change anything, you can make a quick edit. If you forgot the answer, click the “source” link to quickly review the source material of the recall and refresh your memory. Then return to the back of the recall for the last step in the practice process. Click the 5-star rating widget at the bottom to rate how well you did with that recall.

5 stars means that you had perfect and easy recall of the answer. 1 star means that you drew a blank. iDR’s SR algorithm takes into account the time interval since you last practiced that recall and your star rating on today’s practice to determine when to next show you the recall. Be totally honest with yourself in these assessments. Don’t cheat the algorithm. Make it work for you.


Practice your due recalls every day. Don’t get behind or they’ll pile up with your latest due recalls. Trust the system and let it guide you to the most efficient use of your time as you maintain recall of everything you’ve worked to learn and wish to remember.

Upload all of your learning materials into iDR and create recalls linked to specific locations in the materials. No other spaced-repetition app before iDR empowered users to do this. It’s a magical way to organize your education and remember what you learn, forever! You can upload your class notes as Word docs or photos of handwritten notes. You can upload all kinds of Microsoft Office files such as your professor’s Powerpoints. Have a PDF handout? No worries, iDR accepts these files too. You can upload png, jpeg and many other image formats. To upload a file, click the “DOCS” mode in the header of the app and then click “UPLOAD” in the left sidebar (or footer on phones). Every file that you upload ends up in your personal iDR inbox. You can give a new title to the uploaded file and even assign tags to organize your files for easy search retrieval. To manage your studies and fight procrastination, assign a due date for each uploaded file. Read and process each uploaded file before it’s due date. We’ll send you reminder, if you choose, to nudge you to complete your work as an uploaded file gets close to its due date. Read all of your class notes and other learning materials in the app.

Process your learning materials by creating recalls as you read them and learn. Once you understand a concept or come across a fact you want to remember, create a recall from within the uploaded file that is linked to that location. You can identify the precise location of the concept or fact by selecting text, dropping a pin or using our marquee tool.

After you have completed your study and processing of the upload, move it to your “Library” to clear it from the inbox. If you find it was not a useful file, you can easily delete.

Best practices
Upload all of your learning materials to iDR and read and study them inside the app. That way, you can build recalls linked to all the important concepts and facts that you are learning as you go. STOP highlighting text when you read! While iDR permits that behaviour in the document viewer, highlighting and rereading have been shown to be an inefficient and even ineffective way to learn. Instead read your learning materials and work to achieve understanding. When you reach an aha moment, stop and make a recall so that you can be tested by iDR to recall what you’ve just learned. Remember, flashcards are for improving memory and recall of your learnings… after you have already gained comprehension. Flashcards are not for the primary step of learning. If you don’t understand a concept, find a better, more comprehensible source elsewhere (Google it) and upload that source into iDR. Make a recall or two linked to that source. If your source is a physical book or paper, take a photo of the relevant page and upload it into idr so that you can make some linked recalls. If it’s an ebook, use copy/paste or a screen grab to upload into iDR.

When you upload new content that is too long to read and process immediately, such as a 10 page PDF, set a due date for reading and processing it. iDR can send you reminders just like a project management application to help you stay on top of your work. Use this feature to fight procrastination.

Practice all of your due recalls every day. You’ll be surprised how massively powerful this small time investment will make in your scholarly life. When you test yourself with the recalls, don’t proceed to the back of a recall before you’ve come up with an answer or decided that you don’t know the answer. Looking at the question and then immediately turning over the recall, looking at the answer and then telling yourself “oh yeah, I knew that one” relies on the mirage of fluency that gives you a false sense of knowing and denies you the benefit of effortful recall to harden the memory circuits for future retrieval that concept or fact. Do it the hard way to build your mental muscles! Also, use the 5-star widget to grade your performance honestly and consistently. Use the full range of 5 stars rather than grading every performance be a 1 or 5 stars. Help the SR algorithm be super-effective in assigning the minimum necessary pack of due recalls for each day. If you game the system, you’re the only loser.

Top use cases
The all-time greatest Jeopardy contestants have used SR flashcards to master hundreds of thousand of facts. iDR can be used for any subject that can be reduced to writing. SR has be used very effectively for learning languages, whether human or computer science languages. But, iDR is an effective tool for recall of learnings in all of the social sciences and humanities as well as the natural, formal and applied sciences. Since you can upload any image, you could even use iDR to remember names that go with faces, something we all suck at! Let us know which subjects you have found most benefit from iDR being a powerful ally.