The mnemonic medium may help scaffold prompt-writing through author-provided prompts

The mnemonic medium supplies expert-authored prompts, which helps ameliorate Writing good spaced repetition memory prompts is hard. But by including the prompts, we also help readers who want to write some prompts of their own. They get to see expert examples of prompt-writing, which they can use as templates for their own prompts.

Several Quantum Country readers have told us that they’d tried and abandoned Anki before reading Quantum Country, but that they’ve since returned to it now that they have a clearer idea of how to write prompts.

A more active variation: Embedded prompt templates may actively scaffold prompt-writing for mnemonic medium readers

User feedback regarding this effect

Giacomo Randazzo on Quantum Country’s influence / 2020-03-28:

The Quantum Country series was essential in stepping up my Anki game. The flashcards are well thought and incorporate ideas for building questions and answers that are not obvious when starting out. The authors do a great job at introducing the ideas gradually. For people with a sufficient mathematical background, that want to learn how to use any spaced repetition software effectively, I think the investment of time in going through the entire series is exceedingly valuable!” [source 1, source 2]


Matuschak, A., & Nielsen, M. (2019, October). How can we develop transformative tools for thought?

… making good cards is a difficult skill to master, and so what users lose by not making their own cards is made up by using what are likely to be much higher-quality cards than they could have made on their own. In future, it’s worth digging deeper into this issue, both to understand it beyond informal models, and to explore ways of getting the benefits of active card making.