The Learning Card


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Two Learning CardsThe learning 3 x 5 card is the not-very-clever, extremely effective practice aid to help you learn by doing.

Business is a great place to learn but it’s also a great place to forget what you learned.  For small business owners, specially, there’s plenty demanding your attention.  That’s why you only really learn  continually when you record what you learned… and practice it.  This isn’t new wisdom… Hermann Ebbinghaus pioneered the systematic study of learning and memory in the 1880’s.  Here’s what he found, in one handy graphic.

Ebbinghaus Learning Retention Diagram

So… pick one daily experience of today, and recount the experience as if you were telling what happened to someone else. Then ask yourself:

  • Why did that happen? And why again? And why again?
  • What am I learning?
  • What should I do?

Take your answer to “what should I do” and write it on something you keep handy. Like an index card in your pocket.

The other side of the card aids repetition… Hermann Ebbinghouse discovered that we forget 80% of what we learn… unless we refresh our minds with practice. That’s why the reverse side of the learning card is even more effective than the front.


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