Mental Case on the iPad : Memorising and Refreshing Information

Mental Case 3.0 on the iPad

Mental Faculty released Mental Case for the iPad and after a few hours of using it I am impressed enough to want to write about it. The one thing I can’t demonstrate to you, is the feel of the application. It’s slick and lots of user interface features show that a lot of thought has gone into it.

I have been using Mental Case on the iPhone, but it was almost too small to be really useful. The larger screen on the iPad really makes Mental Case an important study tool for me and makes the lot more practical to use Spaced Learning techniques to absorb information.

Spaced learning is a newer study concept. The idea is that you need to review a piece of data about eight times to memorise or absorb a fact or datum. But you need to see it four or five times in quick succession with a longer and longer break between subsequent revision before it remain with you for life. more info at Wikipedia

Sample Screens

This is the first screen, on the left are my collections of flash cards. You can ‘thumb’ through the cards to look for a specific one, or just press the play button to start moving through your cards.


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Mental Case Main Screen.(Click for a full size image)

Here is a sample flash card with text only:


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Typical Flash Card.(Click for a full size image)

A flash card with a screenshot of a table from a text book:


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Flash Card with Screenshot embedded.(Click for a full size image)

This is what I mean about detail, when you tap the graphic, it zooms up to a good size.


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Tap the graphic to zoom up the image.(Click for a full size image)

There is a lot more to the system, but this is good start to help you see the value.

Creating and Editing Flash Cards on the iPad

You can create new cards on your iPad. I feel that this works for the occasional card, but if you are going to create several hundred cards ( well, that what I do) then you might want to use the desktop client.

Creating a Card on Mental Case for OSX

I just wanted to walk you through creating a Flash Card on Mental Case for OSX. Having a Flash Card program isn’t much use without the card content.

My method is as follows:

  1. Buy the Cisco Press e-book that you plan to study from Safari http://safari.oreilly.com and download the PDF version of the book.
  2. Open the PDF book in one side of your screen, and put Mental Case on the other.
  3. Read and understand the text, and then pick out the “nugget” that you need to remember. Then write that into a flash card.
  4. For tables and graphics, there is a screenshot tool in the program or you can drag in images from wherever you have them.

This screenshot shows the creation fields.


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Caption Text.(Click for a full size image)

Attention to Detail

The part I like most about Mental Case is the attention to detail. The card file, the fipping and the excellent graphics. I have also found the developer very responsive to support questions and helping out.

The EtherealMind View

I like being able to review Flash Cards on my Mac, and now on my iPad. Although the iPhone version is also very good, the screen is a bit too small for networking because of the amount of text I need in a card. If I was learning a new language with less data on a card then it might work better, but the iPad makes it really workable for me.

I also know that a major version is underway for OSX so hopefully we should see that sometime soon. Flash cards are recommended by a lot of people for memorising and refreshing.

I highly recommend you get Mental Case for you Mac and your iPad and make it part of your study tools.

  • Jack

    I’ve seen a couple of posts where you say “buy the book from Safari” It’s my understanding that all you can do is individually download the chapters via their token system.

    • http://etherealmind.com Greg Ferro

      Look for a link that says “Download Book” and mentions how many toekns you need to download the entire thing.

      Not all books can be downloaded, but most networking texts can be.

  • aharen

    ive taken an interest about this spaced learning method you mentioned here. there isnt so much information about this method beside the original university content and on wikipedia.

    i was hoping that you could write an article about spaced learing and how to apply this method for a certification studying.

    if you could break down your appraoch on using the spaced learning method, that would be a great read.

    thanks, love your blog

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