The 5 Best Online Flashcards of 2018

A young girl holding up a hand-written flash card.

Mike Kemp/Getty Images

Approaches to learning continue to advance with both the technologies behind them as well as the methods themselves, but in some cases the oldest practices are still the best. A tried-and-true study aid good for memorizing facts or picking up a new language, flashcards are still just as effective as they were in generations past. 

No longer do you need a marker and a stack of index cards to create them, however, as online flashcards are available in all shapes and sizes. Most of the options listed in alphabetical order below allow you to design and use these flashcards right on your smartphone, tablet or laptop screen. If you prefer the old-fashioned way, some provide the ability to print them as well.

Note: Each of the flashcard providers on this list support all major web browsers and also feature Android and iOS apps.

A sample screen from the Brainscape iOS app

With a sleek interface and millions of fellow learners contributing, Brainscape is one of our favorite options on this list. Their color-coded flashcards span a wide array of subjects and you can easily track your progress through Brainscape's sensible class structure. While the free version does have a lot to offer, you'll need to upgrade to a paid membership for unlimited flashcards that can be bookmarked as well as for the ability to add imagery and audio to your own cards. 

What We Like:

  • The ability to shuffle your decks along with the fact that Brainscape learns along with you, focusing on your problem areas in subsequent sessions.

What We Don't Like:

  • The daily card limit for non-paying users is not enough to take a deep dive into any subject. This holds particularly true if you're trying to learn a new language.

Download Brainscape for Android
Download Brainscape for iOS

A sample screen from the Cram iOS app

Offering an immense flashcard library with almost 200 million to choose from, Cram.com allows you to search by keywords or from hundreds of predefined subjects related to computers, education, language and the medical field among others. It also offers the ability to create your own flashcard sets, or to import existing cards from Google Drive. 

What We Like:

  • A member base of three-plus million users means that the repository of existing flashcards is constantly growing.

What We Don't Like:

  • The app controls aren't always intuitive and can cause some of your work to be erased if you aren't careful.

Download Flashcards with Cram for Android
Download Flashcards with Cram for iOS

A sample screen from the GoConqr iOS app

GoConqr is comprised of a full-fledged suite of learning tools, flashcards being one of the key components. Ideal for both students and teachers, the program encourages you to incorporate flashcards as part of a larger learning bundle that includes mind maps, quizzes, flow charts and more. As a standalone flashcard tool, GoConqr offers an easy-to-use interface that lets you format the look and feel of your cards which can even feature uploaded images. 

What We Like:

  • Searchable community-created flashcard sets are each given a star rating by other users, making it easier to narrow down which are the most helpful for your particular need.

What We Don't Like:

  • The iOS version of the GoConqr Flashcards app has not been updated in quite some time, leaving you vulnerable to defects that have been fixed on Android such as one issue where cards are sporadically deleted.

Download GoConqr for Android
Download GoConqr for iOS

A sample screen from the StudyBlue iOS app

In addition to subject-specific guides and class notes, StudyBlue provides access to over 400 million flashcards crowdsourced from 15+ million students spread out across the globe. Decks are recommended based on your profile data and user-configured filters, making it easy to jump right in.

What We Like:

  • You can refine searches all the way down to your particular school and class.

What We Don't Like:

  • This isn't really a useful service if you are studying a particular subject but aren't currently in school.

Download StudyBlue for Android
Download StudyBlue for iOS

A sample screen from the Quizlet iOS app

Quizlet's study sets contain several learning tools including basic flashcards that have both text and audio readings of each. As a student, choose from a large library of topics or create your own set from scratch. Teachers can construct their own classroom plans with custom study cards, and even collaborate with other educators to compile an ideal deck. 

What We Like:

  • Audio pronunciations are spot-on in over a dozen dialects.

What We Don't Like:

  • A monthly subscription is required for some advanced features, although you can get by just fine without it.

Download Quizlet for Android
Download Quizlet for iOS