Remembering Text with iOS

Published on Sunday, February 12, 2012 in , , , , , , , ,

Verbatim 2 screenshotMemorizing a piece such as a speech, poem, or music lyrics is often considered one of the biggest memory challenges, as they need to memorized word-for-word.

With most other memory techniques, you can get away with remembering the general concept. For example, when memorizing playing cards mnemonics, you simply have to remember the mnemonic itself, not an entire sentence structure.

However, for a speeches or poems, the exact wording is imperative. How exactly do you go about this? In this post, we'll look at some iOS apps that help you do just that.

The reason I'm looking at iOS apps in particular is simply because the mobile devices I regularly use use iOS. For those who do use Android or other mobile operating systems, I'll start with two text memorization apps that can be accessed with any mobile device on the web. These first two are also both free to use.

The first is Verbatim 2, my own original entry. I originally released it in 2009, and upgraded it last year. Here's the basic idea behind Verbatim:

The other online tool for remembering text is Memorize Now. The advantage of this tool is that you can keep multiple texts to memorize handy. Here's how Memorize Now works:

Before I continue with more apps, I suggest you watch one or both of the above videos, as they introduce concepts used in many memorization apps. Verbatim's approach of remembering lines in larger and larger groups is known as spiral learning. Note that both apps quiz you by removing information, and challenging you to fill it in. You can find more about spiral learning at the Memory Tools page.

The rest of the apps in this list are all iOS-specific native apps available from the App Store for various prices. They'll use the techniques I just described, and more.

Our first native app is Memorize Anything. With this app, you start by reading the piece out loud, and record it on your iOS device. It's recommended that longer pieces be broken up into separate sound files, each about 3 minutes or so. You then learn the piece simply by listening to it over and over.

When you're ready to test yourself on your chosen text, you have Memorize Anything play it back again, but this time with sound fading in and out at random spots. When you can fill in the muted portions over several plays, you know you've got the piece memorized!

Another app that uses sound, but in a different way, is Learn Anything, formerly released as Loop&Learn. In this one, you also record sound, but in smaller chunks, and you can optionally include graphics, which can be especially helpful if you design them as mnemonics. You then use a spiral learning approach, similar to Verbatim, but now with audio and video to help. Watch the video tutorial to get a better idea of how this app works:

Besides the paid version of the app, there's also a limited free trial version available.

The last three apps I'll discuss all work in a very similar manner. They all work with just the text, and allow you to progressively eliminate more and more of the text, so as to increasingly challenge your recall.

memoRISE is a free app, and will test you with just the first letters of words, or a fill-in-the-blank approach. You can think of this a simplified version of Verbatim 2 above, done as a native app.

Instead of memoRISE's either-or approach, there's Line Memory. This app allows you to use a slider to determine what percentage of the words are blanked out.

Our final app is Memorize Now. Like the Line Memory app, you can progressivly hide more and more words, but it uses a different approach. Instead of a slider, there are distinct buttons, which take you to different levels of missing text. In the earlier levels, the first letters remain, as other letters are removed. As you get to the higher levels, the first letters are replaced with black boxes.

Memorize Now, like the rest of these apps, can be used for memorizing texts like speeches, poems, and lyrics. If you have a particular use in mind, there are also dedicated versions of Memorize Now available that come pre-stocked with appropriate texts. These custom versions include Scripture Mastery Now!, Memorize Bible Verses, and Memorize Famous Poems.

Have you used any of these apps to memorize text? Perhaps you've used another app, iOS, Android, or otherwise, that I neglected to mention here. If so, I'd love to hear about the apps, and your experiences with them, in the comments!

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1 Response to Remembering Text with iOS

10:43 PM


Your post is AMAZING and very helpful!

for me the best app was Learn Anything, I say "was" because they no longer have the premium product.
Do you know of any other app who works the same?