Digital flash cards

StudyPerfect is a flashcard program that’s easy to use and easy on the eyes. It will do all the normal tasks flashcard programs do (let you create and print cards, name the cards, study on the computer, etc.). But the program also lets you record images and sound on one card. If you are an auditory learner or learning a foreign language (I am and I recently brushed up on Spanish), then having the pronunciation with the text is extremely helpful. You can also place images and text on the same card, and it has a drag-and-drop numbering system, which is really helpful for labeling.

Because you can print, you get all the positives of doing it by hand (i.e. portability), but of course you also get all the positives of going digital: you can create cards very quickly (typing speed); you can hide cards, shuffle cards, combine and separate decks with the click of a button; you won’t ever lose the cards; you can add sound and symbols to the cards (again, great for languages); you don’t need glue to add images, diagrams or tables; you can quickly flip between cards (again, the click of a button); and you can share a deck of cards with your friends and still keep your own.

I tried a lot of card programs, including MemorizeIt, Flash Reader, Virtual FlashCards, and a few others. I’ve been using StudyPerfect almost a year now and this is the one I’m sticking with. I am in law school, so I try to create a few cards every weekend, but I’ll use the program for hours every day during a “dead week.” Compared to the other programs, the interface is simple, pretty and obviously professionally done. The buttons are large, and the images can even be zoomed so that you can have really big cards to study. And unlike MemoryLifter, which was actually ok in some respects, StudyPerfect isn’t too complex for my daughter’s attention span. She has been using it for most of her 8th grade classes (history, science, math, and English) — she probably uses the program about twice a month, but prints the cards and uses them every week.

When I emailed them to praise the product, I received a very prompt reply thanking me for my interest and asking if there were other features I would be interested in seeing in the future. I suggested an export to MP3 so I can put cards on my iPod and listen to them while I work out, and the support guy said it was already on their list. I also found out there are several schools that buy StudyPerfect for all their students. The only downside is that currently it’s only available for PCs.

— Brandon Beam

Available from LuminareSoft

Or download a free trial

Related items previously reviewed in Cool Tools:

Rosetta Stone Language Learning

Where There’s a Will There’s an A

French In Action