Do you write down your lessons on paper?

Yep. That’s what I’m doing now and it helps to bring things to memory a lot more, at least for me. I do it level by level or when I’ve encountered Kanji that comes up often when I’m reading or watching something. I write everything really. My own little “辞書” lol. I’m on level 6 now but when things come up in my reviews from, let’s say level 3, I remember a little better cause I remember writing it down. So yeah it does help

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I just bought a cute notebook. I like people who like cute notebooks, that’s all I have to say about this.

I do difficult words, more or less thematically thrown together. Like ‘this week’ ‘next month’ ‘every day’ because all the nichi’s and jitsu’s just go in a blender inside my head and weird things come out.

edit: sorry for the edit mess

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I drill radicals and kanji when I level up and unlock new lessons. I have graph paper to practice writing the kanji. Writing it down doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to remember each one, but it does help me to have a physical notebook that I can take glance at for a quick review before bed or in my down time.

I don’t go as far to do that for every single vocabulary word because it is time consuming, and I usually don’t have issues remembering them if I’ve already got the meanings of the corresponding kanji. The further you progress, the harder that will be to keep up. I suggest only writing down the ones you have trouble with remembering.

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Do you take notes?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

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I never write them down and as a result I don’t really know how to write most of the kanji I learn on here (although I can recognize them). Main reason is just laziness and I usually want to get through the lessons as quick as possible. I definitely think that for more thorough learning writing is a good idea, although it will probably take more time.

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Absolutely. I’m a power-journaller, even. Paper is just the start.

I write down every lesson in a notebook going front to back and I write my review results in the same notebook going back to front. When they meet up, I start a new book. I jot down the readings in hiragana, make a note if WK wants the kanji to use a kun or on reading, if the kanji is a keisei compound, and what time I learnt it so I can optimise the SRS spacings.

As well as the physical notebook, I keep an online (private) journal which covers both grammar from Bunpro and “writables” (kanji and vocab) from here. For new kanji, I look up words which use it on WK but I also check Jisho. This helps me get a sense for whether the kanji has any extra meaning or shades of meaning, like how 脈 is introduced as vein but also means chain or thread, which explains why 山脈 means mountain range. For vocab I write down the meaning of each kanji and focus most on words which introduce new readings, or which have strange readings or non sequitur meanings. And I try look for connections between the words too - there are more than a few verbs in Japanese written with different kanji which have roughly the same meaning and same pronunciation: 表す (express) and 現す (show) for instance. Again, Jisho is helpful! :slight_smile:

I also log my failed reviews in the online journal and try to dig into the nature of the mistake, etc. If I thought something was X but it turned out to be Y, I’ll look up Y as well and make sure I’m clear on the difference.

Beyond the journal, I have a Google doc just for managing leeches - kanji and vocab reviews I seemingly fail to remember for very long. ( is one of them, ironically.) A WKer who reached level 60 not so long ago (sorry unsure who) had an excellent admonition about putting extra effort into attending to leeches once you get to the mid-20s levels so they don’t clog up your review queue. That and breaking lessons up into shorter sessions over more days was very good advice!

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For sure. I don’t write down radicals so much, but I definitely do writing practice on my kanji and words. Also, if I’m in a boring meeting I do stuff like this:


Might as well get something productive done instead of just sitting their bored out of my mind. :rofl::sweat_smile:

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I started out writing everything down, but now I just write down the kanji and both readings… I found that writing down vocabulary took way too much time :sweat_smile:

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Yeah, usually if I want to write vocab, it’s better to just write down whole sentences. Thankfully my Japanese teacher likes us to write a lot so he will double check our writing for us. Helps a lot in getting in practice and making sure to reinforce proper grammar and word usage, etc.

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Not sure how to answer, haha. I don’t take notes on WK items, so i guess no. But I do take some notes in class.

I don’t write everything down but I do take notes. If I’m having a hard time remembering a certain kanji or grammar point, physically writing (NOT typing!) it over and over helps me remember.

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Personally I don’t. Whether it helps you depends on your learning type I believe.
There are people who excel at obtaining information visually, others verbally (well with kanji they may be out of luck!) and other tactically, by wrinting it out!
You should try it and see if it helps you remember!
For me personally, I’m more of a visual guy. Writing kanji by hand is beautiful, but not my goal, which is reading, understanding and speaking Japanese. That said, maybe i should do a little more, can’t even handwrite Hiragana neatly haha

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I write down my mistakes. So when I miss, I write down the kanji, the meaning, the pronunciation, then write down the kanji a couple more times, just to help drive home the ones I’m struggling with. I use graph paper that I treat as throwaway, since the goal is just to use the writing as a way to help remember.

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Yep. I write about a page a day in notes in a spiral notebook-- kanji/vocab lessons from WK in the morning and vocab/grammar from my textbooks in the evening. Not sure how much it helps me remember BUT it does keep me accountable to learning something every single day (even if it’s just a little some days).

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I also keep a binder with my Kanji, vocabulary, and readings. It really helps me remember. But i really like BreatheTheFREQ’s idea of putting kanji in categories. I would love to do that when I have time. Great idea.

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I use this too (from your thread… came across it whilst snooping around WK) it’s a really great method. Thanks for sharing that.

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I have a sheet of graph paper next to me when I do my KANI-WANI (not WaniKani) exercises. If you don’t know about KaniWani, check it out. It’s linked to WaniKani (but not developed by Tofugu) and prompts you with English to help you work on recall. I will type out my response in Hiragana and before pressing enter write down the Kanji as best as I can. (The kanji appears when you press enter). I highly recommend using regular graph paper. When you start out, or find a particularly complex Kanji, you can use 4 squares, but then when you become more comfortable with it, you can start writing in 1 square (which is about how small you’d normally be writing).

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Yes, I write EVERYTHING! If I just read it during the lessons, it’ll just flit right out of my brain immediately. Writing it all helps me to remember. I’ve also gone back and organized sections of my notebook by kanji and wrote down all related vocab in those sections. It’s double work (sometimes triple, if it is a multi-kanji vocab item), but that’s just another part of drilling it into my brain.

I also let myself check my notes the first, maybe second time I see the item in reviews. I’ll say out loud what I think it is, and then go check, like an open book test. After two reviews, though, I’m off book.

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I was actually going to make a post about this, but I guess it makes sense to post here.

You’ll often see people talking about how learning to hand-write is a waste of time, “because [sic] computers exist.” Your time is better spent learning to speak and listen, and time spent writing is a huge opportunity cost that would have benefited you more elsewhere. That may be true in a sense, but I think there’s a lot of value in the mechanical motion, even if no paper is involved.

My motor memory is much stronger than my visual memory, probably from years of playing video games, instruments, typing, learning various skills like shuffling cards, etc. I have needy hands, and I’m usually occupying them with some task or trick or skill-dependent input test.

So started using the Kanji Study app. I grinded out all my WK kanji in groups of 10 or so at a time until I was caught up, and now I just use the sort functionality to review my bottom 10% twice a day. It takes just a few minutes, but it’s been devastating to my leeches. My “visually similar kanji”-based leeches plummeted after a week or two of this.

So, for my case and method in particular, at least, the cost/benefit analysis works out to where “learning to write” actually saves me time, even though I’m never really using a pen and paper.

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