Finding time for Wanikani? (、._. )、📚

みんあさん、こんにちは・おはようございます・こんばんは! I’ll try to keep this brief.

I’ve been having a hard time fitting WaniKani into my schedule. It might be because of the way I study: I write down every radical, kanji, and vocab that I come across on WK, unless I already know it well. That means finding the meaning of the word, finding it’s onyomi/kunyomi reading, looking up the stroke order for kanji, etc. This ideally shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes for every 10 words I learn, but sometimes it can stretch out to 30 or 45 minutes.

It may be easier to just do WaniKani without writing down EVERYTHING, but I’ve noticed that I don’t remember the words as well. I had a really hard time on level 5 trying to remember kanji because I wouldn’t write them down until days or weeks after I first encountered them.

TL;DR: What’s an effective way to retain WK vocab while not spending too much time writing down entries? Is this something that you all do as well? たすけてをください! :pray:


Without writing down lessons and reviews that I get wrong, I can’t remember anything.
I’ll only write down the word and meaning. I’ll also think of a mnemonic if I can for the pronunciation.
Everything else about the word I’m hoping to learn through context. For stroke order I only learned 1st grade and 2nd grade kanji. I plan to go back through the joyo kanji writing after wanikani.

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Self-Study Quiz. :muscle: I think of my reviews as the test, and Self-Study helps me prepare. I use it to pre-study when I learn new kanji so I don’t fail half of them on the first (or 4th) review. I use it to fix leeches when I have have the time and energy. I use it to review only verbs when I can’t remember that other reading.

If you’re into learning stroke order and how to write by hand, you may just have to go slow. I make a spreadsheet as I do lessons for everything except radicals, which helps me slow down enough to pay attention. Also, I sometimes come up with better mnemonics that are more personal.


As you said, it’s a trade off between time spent for first time learning and subsequent reviews. I don’t think you can have both.

From what I’ve read here people usually choose the latter, don’t fret about the retention too much and let it improves after fail reviews by repeated exposure. If it still got stuck, deal with these nasty word aka leeches in a different way than usual.

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I’m seconding the recommendation of the self-study quiz. I do that after every lesson session, and it helps my retention immensely.

I’m one of the few people here who is also learning to write kanji by hand as I go, and I’ve found that it helps me remember them, too. But I don’t write down all of the vocab, just the kanji, and that saves me a lot of time (I do write down any new vocab words that I learn with unfamiliar kanji, though, such as lesson vocabulary for Minna no Nihongo).

Like @Neoseeker said, it’s really a trade off. Either you spend more time up front and learn the items more thoroughly, or you just let them go and let the SRS take care of it for you by repeatedly getting them wrong. Choosing the second option will also take a fair amount of time for you to learn each item, but that time will get spread out over months instead of up front.

I’ve gone for sort of a middle ground between the two where I spend a little longer on learning the items (self-study quiz after the lessons, and learning to write the kanji), but I don’t really go out of my way to memorize them beyond that. I put a little more effort into the WK words that show up in my textbook because that means that they’re more common and regularly used. Though generally, those ones end up not causing me problems because I get exposed to them a lot more regularly.

How many lessons are you doing a day? I do generally 3-4 kanji lessons a day (on top of 10 vocab lessons), and it’s not too bad to learn how to write just three or four kanji in a day. If you’re trying to go close to full speed and are doing 20-23 lessons a day, I could see how writing would take up a lot of your time!


@fallynleaf I haven’t done WK in a while but I averaged 5-10 lessons a day. Anything more and it felt like I was cramming

@HamAndYam The funny thing is I have that extension installed but haven’t really been using it. And yea, personal mnemonics make more sense than WK’s sometimes. Thank you so much for the suggestion!

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I write down kanji and vocab but I use a script that provides the stroke order within the wanikani kanji lesson. This might save you a little time.

I never write them down because I don’t need to write them.
Try focusing on the radical and their placement instead. Then, you will retain a lot more when you read a lot.

Gonna tag @trunklayer here because I know he’s been doing that for a long time and might have useful info


Well, I write info about items into my own App I made for taking notes; you can use any sticky notes app for that; MS OneNote, for example…

Handwriting kanji helps a lot, but it takes a lot of time, so I stopped doing it; maybe, I shouldn’t have… :sweat_smile:


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