Software for Learning and Creating

Denizhan Akar · August 25, 2020

Anki + Notability = Learning

Anki primarily for learning, along with Notability to draw and solve problems and understand for learning.

For instance, to learn what “rigidity” in mathematics means I would write the question in Anki and keep the card open as I search around in Google, Wikipedia, Stack Exchange, Quora, Reddit etc. or play with the concept in Notability until I understand what it is and why we use it, possibly giving an example along with it. In this case I understood from Wikipedia and thinking on it a bit: generating a mathematical object with little information because we know that object will be unique, such as the boundaries.

To further emphasise why using Typora, Notion or whatever other note editor is not as good as Anki, I’d like to point out that as of now I’ve completely forgotten the build up of me trying to learn what an ordinal/cardinal number is; whereas if I Ankified it I would have it immediately in my head.

Here is Michael Nielsen’s amazing essay on Augumenting Long-term Memory and how it helps him in his research. He also talks about how he also juggles note taking and Ankifying in this regard.

Typora + Notability = Creating

Typora is for expressing and forming thoughts in your mind that does not necessarily exist in any other medium. In a way it qualifies as learning, but mostly expressing the thoughts you have in your mind, thus potentially leading you to new avenues of information. Insights you get and other things can be crystallised into an external medium in this manner, so you can check and observe what you’ve written, see if it’s valid, and crystallise it in your mind as well.


Both are important. Without the knowledge in your head, it is very unlikely you will form the necessary connections for original thought. Only learn, and you will only know what is already known. Creating new branches of thought allows you to go beyond that, hence research in academia (at least ideally).

Twitter, Facebook