MindThis and how I used GPT to create flashcards
Remember I mentioned a website I believe has a great potential in learning? Let me tell you a bit more about it.
It’s called MindThis now.
The old name (retaind.io)… I was never quite able to get used to it. It just didn’t sound right. So after iterating over several dozens of variants, I finally settled on MindThis.
MindThis is a blend of a knowledge manager and a flashcards engine with spaced repetition, similar to Anki. While there’s no lack of neither on the market, I believe nobody has tried to marry those yet, even those it feels like a match made in heaven.
MindThis aims to make it easy to categorize, structure information, and eventually remember more and understand better.
Notes are searchable and tag-able. I use it pretty much for anything - book reviews, tech news tracking, keeping my code snippets, etc.
You can create notes (in markdown) and then create flashcards from them. Both notes and flashcards regularly appear for review. The better you remember, the less frequently the card appears in your review list.
For example, it’s pretty easy for me to tell you from the top of my head that the distance from Earth to ISS is 408km. And that’s only because I have a corresponding card that went through several review iterations.
The exact algorithm is loosely based on SM-2. But after reading many articles on the topic, there seems to be no scientific evidence that one particular algorithm performs better than the other. The main rule - increase the interval when the card is remembered; decrease or reset it when not. Simple as this.
GPT for cards creation
So the last week I significantly revamped the look, layout, changed the color scheme, and also added an ability to generate cards using OpenAI’s GPT 3.5 . It works surprisingly well, albeit rather slowly
Behind the scenes, I ask it to generate flashcards using the selected text and output it in a specific format “Q: …; A: …;“. On the server side, I parse the response and convert it to JSON.
It’s hard to calculate precisely how much it costs me because the pricing is based on tokens ($0.002 / 1K tokens) - but so far, it’s a question of cents per month for an active user (which I am).
There’s still some work ahead.
I started working on the landing page, which is full of GIFs now, but it looks rather bleak now. The logo is missing. I spent countless of credits trying to generate anything in Midjourney, but to no avail so far.
The copy on the landing page also could be better. Somehow I find it difficult to concisely convey what the product is and why it’s so great.
I will also need to think hard about pricing. I want it to be totally useful on a free tier. At the same time, features like AI-based card creation should undoubtedly go under the paid tier, which I believe should be somewhere between $5 and $9 per month. There’s a lot to ponder.
That’s it for today, folks. Please let me know what you think about the format. Should I maybe get more technical? So you want to learn more about the tech stack behind it? Or the fantastic Web APIs I use? Let me know ✌️
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