The Power of Folders

written by Andrew on

Notecards has more powerful organizational tools than it may seem at first glance. We always strive to make the interface easy to use, but we also account for more advanced users. A perfect example of this is the way folders work.


The simplest way to organize your cards is in a simple flat list of decks. A deck can contain any number of cards. This is what we encourage you to do when you don’t have too many cards. It will allow you to choose any specific deck to start studying all of the cards.

However, life isn't normally so simple. Information is best broken down into smaller groups so that we can absorb the information more easily and then put it all together later. True, you could throw all of your cards into a single deck and use our Start Small study method to have it broken into groups for you, but there is a better way!

As we go through school or gain certifications, our education is broken up into classes, units, lessons, and more. Books we learn from are broken into chapters. Conferences we go to are organized by tracks and talks. We need to be able to study and review individual parts of our education and then study everything all at once as well. Notecards lets you do that with folders and subfolders!

Decks v.s. Folders

Just to make sure we are clear on what a folder is, let's talk about how it differs from a deck. A deck is simply a list of cards. A folder, on the other hand, is a list of decks and other subfolders. A folder cannot contain cards directly.

What Make a Folder Powerful

At first glance a folder seems like a pretty simple and obvious idea. After all, they've been around on computers since the very early days and filing cabinets existed long before that. Why on earth does there need to be an entire article on them!? The key is in one simple detail: when looking at a folder in Notecards, you not only see all of the decks and subfolders contained within it, you also see all of the cards in all of the decks and subfolders in a single list. Let's take a quick look at one such folder.

Here we can see that “German” contains two decks: “Lesson 1” and “Lesson 2”. There is also the beginning of the list of all the cards contained in either “Lesson 1” or “Lesson 2” at the bottom of the screen. If we tap on one of the lessons, we will move into that deck and see only the cards in that single lesson. However, if instead, we immediately tap on “Study All”, we will start a study session with all of the cards in both lessons.

This is also true for sharing, viewing stats, and any other action you want to peform on a group of cards. If you tap or slide up on the cards list in a folder, you can see and manipulate all of the cards in all of the subfolders and decks.

Here you can perform an action on all of the selected cards by tapping the “Actions” button.

Get Creative

We encourage you to get creative with this feature. You don't have to stop with just the organization your teacher/instructor/book gave you. Consider creating folders more personal to you and the way you like to study.