Top 5 Flashcard Apps for 2020

Flashcards have a reputation for being one of the most popular ways of studying and retaining information. They’re also a time-tested tool. Their history dates back to the 19th century when English educator Favell Lee Mortimer used a set of phonics flashcards. Here's a nice read on the history of flashcards.

Since then, flashcards have come a long way and have been adapted for mobile platforms.

It’s quite handy to know how to write good flashcards. You can start by mixing pictures and words — imagery helps you recollect experiences a lot better. This is also known as the Picture Superiority Effect in cognitive psychology. You can also try to break complex concepts into multiple simpler questions. Making good flashcards goes a long way in learning and retaining new information.

Multiple software and mobile app solutions exist to simplify your life when creating flashcards. There’s a reason for that — flashcards significantly improve your learning experience. But with so many options, choosing the best flashcard app can be quite confusing.

To make things simpler, here’s our list of top flashcard tools for 2020.

1. Anki

Overview: Anki in Japanese stands for memorization. It's free and open source, and utilizes spaced retention to increase your memorization. Anki supports all popular platforms such as Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux.

There are quite a few handy Anki add-ons that you can download for free and use it to customize Anki as per your needs. These Anki add-ons add numerous customization options to make your learning experience more engaging.

For beginners, it might take some time to get used to Anki's interface. But if you ever feel stuck, you can check out Anki's manual which has extensive resources on using the software, making flashcards, and working around them. .

If you need a reliable app that comes with great customization, then Anki should be your go-to option.

Primary target audience: Medical students

Integration: Anki add-ons

Pricing: Free for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android; $24.99 for iOS

2. Polar

Overview: Polar is an all-in-one learning tool which supports a document manager, reader, and learning tools. If you are studying from a PDF or a website (which is becoming more common every day), it’s easy to create flashcards based on what you are reading. Polar allows you to auto-convert annotations into flashcards with one simple button.

Polar also integrates with Anki. Using Polar as an add-on to Anki enables automatic syncing between both tools. Yes, you can take your flashcards on the go with the effective learning duo of Polar and Anki.

In addition, another feature that sets Polar apart from other reading tools is its advanced reader functionality. This includes incremental reading, reading progress tracking, and various other features.

Primary target audience: students, universal

Integration: Can sync with Anki

Pricing: Free; paid plans starting at $4.99 per month.

3. TinyCards by Duolingo

Overview: TinyCards is brought to you by Duolingo, your favorite neighborhood language learning app. Wait, what happened to your last Duolingo learning streak? Are you still on? ;)

Anyway, TinyCards mobile app by Duolingo brings spaced retention at the tip of your fingers through flashcards. The best part of TinyCards is its design: it looks quite elegant and has a colorful interface which stands out . Good design is a great motivation to learn new stuff!

You can make new lessons, access lessons by other people, and look for lessons. You also have the option to set practice reminders, which is helpful if you want to get some learning done. TinyCards is a great way to fill your time by learning new things.

TinyCards is available for the web, Android, iOS, and Google Chrome.

Primary target audience: language learners, universal

Integration: Duolingo

Pricing: Free

4. Quizlet

Overview: Quizlet’s claims that over 90 percent of students who use Quizlet report getting higher grades in their tests. Well, a lot of it is possible due to their flashcard tool. With Quizlet, you can create your own flashcards, revise flashcards made by a classmate, or search the archive of millions of flashcard decks created by students.

Quizlet also gives you access to an inbuilt image library, which makes integrating images in your flashcards a walk in the park. Once you are done with creating flashcards, you can study them, go back and edit them, and even share them with your friends.

Quizlet is a great way to study with friends. It is available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. The app is free to use, but you can purchase plans such as Quizlet Plus and Quizlet Go are available, providing features such as offline access, document scanning, and more.

Primary target audience: High School and college students

Integration: Quizlet image library

Pricing: Free download and paid upgrades

5. Cram

Overview: Cram makes cramming fun — that’s what they say. It has been around since 2001 and has over 195 million flashcards that you can access any moment. You can also use Cram to create your own online flashcards, export and share them, and even collaborate with others.

Cram is available for both Android and iOS, so you can have your cards on the go. You also get to create flashcards on the web.

Primary target audience: students

Integration: Developers program

Pricing: Free


People and developers are finding new ways of using flashcard tools. Some are opposing it as well, especially in playschools, saying that early learning needs to be creative and challenging. Flashcards have nothing against extensive print learning, they’re a proven way of learning new information. Sometimes the new stuff does not have much of a creative approach to it, as in the case of the many medical terminologies.

Besides, flashcards can be fun. The add-ons for Anki have made them more engaging and interactive, where they are more than just binary. Their integrations to document managers such as Polar have also proved how they can be effectively integrated to find more applications.

Finally, flashcards are particularly powerful when coupled with other learning methods. In particular, association or absurd and ridiculous imagery can help tremendously in retaining information on flashcards.

Posted on: Feb 14, 2020
Polar Team

Written by Polar Team
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