Spaced Repetition with Todoist

Gautham Dinesh
3 min readApr 14, 2022

What is spaced repetition?

If you are one of the many students that pull all-nighters stuffing a textbook into your head, spaced repetition is what you need.

With this technique, you will be able to remember and recall content long-term as opposed to cramming and forgetting the day after. Spaced repetition involves spacing out your review sessions so that you can reduce the amount of information that you forget after learning the topic for the first time.

Research shows that you forget about half of what you learn within 3 days because our short-term memory lasts from a few hours to a few days at most. Figure 1.0 below shows how you can use spaced repetition to increase your memory retention back to 100% after each review session. Now, this may not be perfect but with repeated review sessions you can definitely improve long-term memory retention.

Forgetting Curve diagram
Figure 1.0 by Bo Ae Chun from Research Gate

How does it work?

The idea is that you review your notes or content after a given interval. How long the interval should depend on how long you want to retain the content and when you have an upcoming exam.

In general, to remember for a longer time, it is good to increase the time lag between review sessions but when prepping for an exam that is a week away, it is better to review every other day.

How does Todoist help?

Todoist is my personal choice but you can do this with any other app that allows you to schedule events easily.

  1. Whenever I learn a new topic, I make an entry in Todoist with the name of the topic.
  2. I tag it under my Spaced Rep label.
Topic creation on Todoist
Task Creation

3. I add a list of subtasks which are the days on which I will be reviewing them. I like to double the time lag after each review session.

4. Then I set a reminder for the next review session.

Review reminders and subtasks

5. Every day that I have a review session, it shows up on my Inbox in Todoist and it becomes as natural as doing any other task. I just have to take the time to review it.

To make sure that I am not slacking off, I break down topics into manageable sections and schedule them on different days. I will be posting a blog soon on how I take notes as well.

This method has helped me to track my spaced repetition and it is working great so far. I am trying out a new method using Notion and I will be writing a blog on it once I have tested it enough.

Thanks for reading and hope you have a great day!

--

--