Kevin, are you familiar with SuperMemo’s incremental reading? There’s a couple ideas from there that could be great for Polar. Namely, a mode or a button that will bring up a random pdf.
I am familiar... I have a different perspective on this. My background is machine learning , search, big data, etc.
I don't think random in this situation is the best strategy.
I think it makes sense for the user to have a queue which is prioritized. Right now you can prioritize by tags, flagged, reading progress, etc.
I usually start with my flagged document and pick the one I'm most closest to finishing.
Or I have primary tags like 'mathematics' or 'textbooks' that are my key / important reading.
If you implement your own flashcard mode, I suggest the option to review one’s highlights in a spaced repetition manner (without having to turn them into questions). There’s a service called readwise that let’s you do this with Kindle and Instapaper highlights, and I can see it being useful here. I have found this to be a powerful way to return to ideas and connect them to new ideas I’ve encountered. Unlike traditional question-based spaced repetition, the goal is not necessarily to keep ideas retrievable in your memory, but to see them mixed with other ideas, making it possible to make novel connections.
Possibly.. but I I think maybe for just review to turn them back into flashcards.
I believe strongly in the active recall hypothesis:
That the process of recall is what's most important.
This is passive recall which is far less effective.
So why not just use SuperMemo? It doesn’t have support for pdf, so this would fill that whole (and be an incredible knowledge management system on its own).
Yes... SuperMemo is very very dated at this point. No offense implied to SuperMemo but there are more features/polish that are needed for an ideal system.
I still don't think Polar is ideal but we're working on it.
Thanks for the incredible work so far.