Where can I find studyblue alternatives?
May 11, 2012 1:58 PM   Subscribe

My favorite study website removed its note-taking feature. I want to find another virtual backpack service with as many options as studyblue used to have. Any recommendations?

So, basically, I used to use studyblue.com to take notes, make flashcards, practice quizzes, etc. I found it convenient to have all my notes cloud-sourced on one page, without having to upload anything unless I wanted to.

I'm starting school again this summer so I was looking forward to using their service.

Until I found out, this afternoon, that studyblue removed its note-taking feature. I thought it was an April Fool's joke at first but no, they actually removed that feature. You can sync with Evernote, which means creating yet another online account, thus making everything needlessly complicated. (Why not retain the notes and add the syncing feature, if only for paid/premium members?)

For me, notes were about 60% of the reason I used studyblue. I liked being able to take notes directly into the website, having the notes save automatically, and being able to access them on the same page as the flash cards and other files. I would have been happy to pay for the note-taking feature if need be, but since even premium members can only sync/upload notes now, I think it's time to look elsewhere.

I have a PC (Windows XP) and a Mac (OS X Leopard). Although I'd prefer to use something that works on both machines, I'd be satisfied with something that just works on one machine.

I don't need or want something that syncs up with twitter and facebook, save to avoid creating another account (e.g. "sign in with twitter."). Also, spreading out all the class notes, terms, etc. over multiple places, each with their own logins and GUIs, makes things unnecessarily complicated.

Any recommendations you can offer for virtual backpack websites/programs are greatly appreciated. I've poked around evernote and quizlet. Neither seem to be what I'm looking for, as described in the above paragraph. (I use Google Docs for other things, but I don't think you can really make flash cards through docs––about 30% of the reason I used studyblue in the past.)

Googling tips would be greatly appreciated too. I'm not really sure what search terms to use to find these kinds of programs and sites.

I should also say I'd be willing to pay up to ~$150, though before I pay, I'd like to be sure I'm not going to wake up one morning and find that a key feature has been disabled. Especially not in the middle of the semester.

TL;DR: I would like to find another website or computer program where I can both take notes and make flashcards, and keep these files organized by course in one location. The ability to create practice quizzes, like this one, would be a big plus.

posted by mekko to Education (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Unless you are REALLY anti-Evernote, I'd still recommend Evernote.

Being able to access your notes offline via their desktop application is pretty sweet. The iOS version is good. And you've said studyblue will even sync with Evernote, which means you have a one-time, painless opportunity to port your notes over so they remain in one place.

But if you are dead set against Evernote then I'll shut up :)
posted by man down under at 2:13 PM on May 11, 2012

Response by poster: man down under, I'm not dead set against it, but I'm wondering if there are any other websites, programs or other 'virtual backpacks' where I can both take notes and make flash cards, without having to sync anything. A one-stop study center, if you will.

As far as I can tell evernote doesn't have a flashcard feature, aside from some syncing with studyblue.

I'm looking for one website or program for everything, instead of having to sync/port/upload files from one place to another. That can get complicated quickly, especially if you're juggling 4-6 courses at a time.
posted by mekko at 2:32 PM on May 11, 2012

Response by poster: And, I should also add what the @#%$@#% was the company thinking?!
posted by mekko at 8:15 PM on May 11, 2012

I would also recommend Evernote. It does most of what you want, and if you have an iPad, they make an app for it called "Peek" specifically for flash cards. If you do not have an iPad, this is significantly less compelling for you. You do have to create another account, but it's only one, and if you keep all your notes in there, then they will all be in one place. You can get either a Mac or Windows client, or use the web client, or use all three if you let them sync. If you really don't want them to sync (although I don't see why as it gives your handy online backup of everything), you can create offline notebooks in the Evernote desktop apps. Also, I think creating another account is going to be hard to avoid at any new online service you might want to use. If you like the service enough, you could abandon your old studyblue account and you'd have the same total number of accounts to manage (or you could keep the account just for the flash card feature and let it sync from Evernote).

Full disclosure: I work for Evernote.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:54 PM on May 11, 2012

Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) lets you create forms which you could use to make quizzes. Just click Create > Form. Also you might be able to use the "Presentation" feature (similar to PowerPoint) to make flash cards.

posted by Lobster Garden at 4:20 PM on May 12, 2012

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