Many of us have used flash cards to practice or learn material. You may even have done it in your theory or bridge class. I recently discovered the most helpful tool in learning briefs – sites where you can make your own digital flash cards!
Basically, you make cards with the English word or phrase on the front, and steno on the back (or any other way you want – more on making them later, it’s easy!) Then you start a session and try to write each card as it pops up! Apparently there are a few, but the one I have tried, which is amazing and has all the features (as well as a very responsive tech team who added a “Court Reporting” category when I requested it!) is
What is so much better about this site than good old-fashioned flash cards or just writing lists of briefs, you ask?
1) You can share your cards with everyone and look at other cards people have made. We can all pool our collective resources. Oh, and it's free (and easy).
2) They have a plethora of options. The most helpful are the “random” and “auto-flip” options that are perfect for CR briefs practice. With random, you don’t know what word or phrase will pop at you next, and you have to react and write it. With auto-flip, you do nothing once it starts – you just keep your hands on your machine and write! You can even choose how fast the cards flip! If you are just starting, you might put it to four or five second intervals. Then as you get better at a group of cards, three then two, maybe even one second! It is good to write the word or phrase as many times as you possibly can before the next one comes up – more muscle memory.
3) You can leave the flash cards window over your realtime and you can see your realtime and the flash cards at the same time.
4) It is very, very easy to create the cards. You can either do it from scratch, which isn’t bad for small lists, or you can simply upload a text file as long as it is tabbed. I will explain this at bottom.
5) The flashcards are always available as long as you have internet. No carrying cards around or wasted effort. You get to keep your hands on your machine and write!
One more thing before I explain how to upload your files. I have been using this site for only a few days, but I have over 50 sets of cards uploaded (it’s that easy). Most sets have between 20-40 cards. Here is a link to my page. Feel free to study them to see what in the heck I am talking about and if you like the program. If you like any of my cards, feel free to study them and use the briefs! Otherwise, create your own and you have the perfect study aid to learn new strokes! Here’s the link –
Now, to upload. If you have any lists in Excel, as I do, it’s very easy. I have lists of briefs in Excel that have the English in the first column, and the steno in the second column. You have to highlight these and copy to a text file (notepad) to be able to upload to the site. Simply copy and paste into a text file. When you do this, the steno part will be tabbed over from the English because Excel has tabs already. Your text file you upload has to have tabs so that the site will know where the front of the card ends, and where the back of the card begins.
If you don’t have Excel, but you have a wordlist in Word or somewhere else, simply paste the English word into a text file, then hit the TAB key, then paste the steno. That’s how you manually create tabs – you just hit the TAB key. If you don’t want to upload lists or don’t have any, just use the editor on the site. You’ll just type on the front of the card and on the back, then save. Pretty simple, but it is faster to upload lists if you have them, rather than typing them again.
If anyone has any questions, feel free to respond here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org