Memstash Crams Facts into your Brain

Memstash Crams Facts into your Brain

Posted by Rafe Needleman on 12 Sep 2012

Posted by Rafe Needleman on 12 Sep 2012

Evernote sponsored the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon on September 8 and 9. It was a cool event: Hundreds of developers, dozens of platform sponsors, and 24 hours to build new apps. We went to chat up the developers, get inspired by their ideas, and to give a prize to the most innovative and interesting use of the Evernote API.

We gave the prize, a trip to Le Web in Paris with us in December, to the team from Memstash. They’re building a tool to help you remember things that are important to you.  In your actual brain, the one inside your head.

They do this by using the spaced repetition technique. When you create an item to remember, like the name of someone you’ve just met, or a fact you know you’re going to be tested on, Memstash will send you a text or email alert with the fact after 10 minutes, then again after 24 hours, and again after seven days. According to theory, spacing out the memorization cues like this is the best way to get a random factoid to stick in your head.

The product is simple, but it’s a useful tool, and the hackathon implementation was slick and functional, impressive for 24 hours of work. Users can create items either through a bookmarklet or just by typing them in.

And, of course, users can save items to Evernote, for remembering much later — or forever.

In the future, according to team leader Sina Khanifar, you may be able to flag a note in Evernote item as something you want to memorize, and doing so will trigger the Memstash spaced repetition events.

Evernote was built to be an external brain for its users. It helps you remember and find and correlate items you might otherwise forget. Memstash is smart take on computer-aided memory: It helps you get more use out of your internal brain.

Read more on TechCrunch: Hackathon Project Memstash Helps You Memorize Anything.


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11 Comments RSS

  • Chris Butterworth

    Love the concept, but as of now the service has a long way to go before it’s usable.

    They use remembering names as an example of where the service helps, but there’s no way to add personalized/custom text – you can only select text from a website and click the bookmarklet. I’ve gotta be honest, it’s pretty rare that I meet somebody new and immediately find their name on a website..

    Also, the first couple of testing reminders I’ve memstashed myself haven’t worked. One didn’t come through at all, and the other sent me an email saying “here’s your reminder”, but my highlighted text wasn’t in the email.

    Let me know when the service really works, and I’ll be a big user. Until then, it’s much ado about very little.

    • Chris Butterworth

      Update – after further testing this morning, the New Memo button the memstash website seems to work. Also, highlighting existing text on webpages seems to work. But highlighting user-filled text on web pages does not.

      My apologies to the memstash guys – it works a lot better than I originally commented. It’s usable the way it is, although there are plenty of mods, apps, etc. which could make the service even better.

      • Sina K

        Thanks for following up Chris. We do have a really, really long way to go. We built this in less than 24 hours, so it’s definitely rough around the edges. For one thing, SMS doesn’t work at all right now. But we’re hoping to make a lot of improvements in the coming months. Stay tuned.

  • Karl M.

    My spidey senses foresee integrations with ITTT… at least the idea of EN integration would be killer.

    • Rafe Needleman

      Oooooh, I like that idea.

  • Dan

    What guys? There’s no contact info. on their site. I’ve got a potential revenue source for them and can’t contact them.

    • Rafe Needleman

      I’m at Send to me, I’ll forward. I’ll also tell them to put contact info on their site. Thanks.

  • Cathy

    Great App! I see great potential for it. In this age of go, go,go & data, data, data it’s a great idea to help retain important information.

  • Lars Hyland

    Great app idea and an area we at Retenda have been working on for some time, although from a different angle to support training companies, educators and conference organisers. Would welcome feedback.

  • ronaldtoledo

    If you have not yet received the bulletin about our recent Service-Wide security update, you can find that information here:

    Please follow the below steps to change your password and access your Evernote account:

    From a browser, log into with your current username and password
    You will be prompted to reset your password.
    If an update is available for any of your Evernote applications (ie, Evernote for Android), please install it.
    Enter your new password from step (1) into each of your applications when prompted. Note: Any third-party applications that you had previously authorized will need to be reauthorized by logging in to that program individually.

  • amuramoto

    Sorry to hear about the issues you have been having. Memstash is a 3rd party application. To reset your password, you will need to contact them directly.