Guys, I just.... I think I hate ANKI. Help me like it?

Seriously, am I using it wrong? I downloaded the Genki deck and I have tried to use it a handful of times, but I just don’t find ANKI as easy to use as WK is. I guess it’s the automatic thing WK has going for it. Also, I have always hated rating things in gradients. I’m pretty all or nothin’. So, I find it hard to decide how well I know something, I guess.

So, maybe you could tell me why you like ANKI and how do you use it? How do you fit it into your life? How much do you study at a time, etc.

Thank you so much :slight_smile:


No, you’re right. Can’t help you.


I tried Anki for a bit, the problem for me is not the program itself but the decks. It is easy to dump some free Japanese dictionary data into ugly templates, but when you learn you want some confidence that some effort was done to keep the information correct. This “fan-made” stuff might be done with great passion, but when you pay someone they will go for the extra 5–10% of polishing to make great content.

Do you mean you don’t like ANKI either?

The deck I found seems very well polished, it has graphics that mimic WK and even audio, I just… idk. Maybe I need to stick to regular hand written flashcards like I used to make in college.

Yes, can’t stand it.


WaniKani is an iPhone. It works out of the box and even your grandma can use it.

Anki is simple yet very powerful. It will let you do anything, it is completely customisable. However, it does have a learning curve. The free decks available are of varying quality, of course, and nothing beats building your own.


I rarely use it… but sometimes rush through cards in 5-10 minute installments on the subway.

Mostly I ignore it and only use it when I feel like it. *shrugs*

Even though that is a really sweet, and nicely polished deck. (My 6k kana deck, is not.)

EDIT: For a while, I was spending up to 15 minutes a day on it, and did begin to pick up a lot of the (Lesson 1) vocab very well. So, it’s useful, but just think of them as flashcards and don’t really worry about testing yourself with them, I’d say?

1 Like

Not sure what Genki deck you are using, but I made my own Genki deck a while back set up to emulate WaniKani.

Maybe it will be a better fit for you.

[Genki Complete - WK mod]


I have that deck linked in the Genki Study thread… from his earlier description that’s my best guess of the one he’s using.


Ah, well I’m sorry it didn’t work out. Anki still has a learning curve.

Nah, it works for me… I just tend to forget about it a lot. ^^;

I also have problems with Anki… and honestly? I’ve just been postponing to write a post about how to make the perfect deck and what stuff a newbie needs to to be able to do on Anki. I have some questions that are pretty simple and that I’m sure will facilitate a lot for us Anki haters. I’m a little tired and have reviews to do, so I’ll do it tomorrow if you guys don’t mind.

By the way, my system will heavily rely on @hinekidori Core 10k WK breakdown deck because I think it fixes a lot of problems that people have with Anki.


I love Anki and have used it a lot. I like it so much, I’ve even used it for things other than Japanese.

Sure, it’s not quite up to spec with WaniKani, but it’s free (except for iPhone), you can make your own custom deck (recommended), and in addition download a bunch of other decks of varying quality.

I think there are a few different ways to use it. I think the default setting are too conservative usually. Most decks have you review things too often. Therefore, I often click the highest button, or the one that will wait the longest for retesting me, unless I really don’t know the item.

The making your own deck thing is really nice, too, because if you’re reading, you’ll be adding words that you’ve learned in content. So, you really know what the word means, and how it is used. What a great thing to be reviewed on!

My recommendation for new user of Anki is to download a bunch of decks - more than you’ll likely ever use. Play around with them and find the ones you like and delete the rest. One of the great things about downloading all of those decks is that you’re also downloading the templates. Find a good template to use fo your own personal deck.


I just don’t get Anki. I found it tedious to use, it didn’t help my learning at all, and worst of all (as Koichi and co have touched upon on the podcast) the whole self-evaluation thing is totally bunk.


I’m really interested to see what you have come up with! I have no skill in coding, so it will be great to see a built deck by somebody who knows what they are doing. :+1:

1 Like

Some people actually do well with self-evaluation… It’s a matter of self control, really, much like the override scripts on WK.

1 Like

Wait… what?! You don’t have coding skills?! XD Your stuff is already miles away from anything I would ever be able to create! I have 0 coding skills! :sweat_smile: What I meant by my post is that I don’t know how to work with Anki nor I like it, but I know the reason(s) why and I think I can see how this whole anki hate situation can be fixed relatively easy.


I also prefer WaniKani but I wouldn’t want to miss Anki (the premade decks, often with native speaker Audio; subs2srs; importing cards from various sources; huge amount of customization options; bulk import from csv files => I just love it). But Anki out of the box isn’t all that great, you have to think about how you use it to get the best experience out of it.
Some of the things that most improved my Anki experience:

1.) Most important, I believe: Optimize your Anki – You’re Overtesting Yourself on too few cards. (New Simplified Method 8.14.18) – vladsperspective

I use just Pass or Fail now and just ignore the Easy and Hard buttons (unless something is really super easy because I know it already but for some reason don’t feel like suspending it). That does make my reviews easier and more relaxing.
You don’t have to install any plugins to do this if you don’t want to: just ignore the other buttons. If you are reviewing on your phone, set your app up so that clicking on the right side of the screen is “correct” and the left side is “incorrect” and that is all you ever do. Significantly increases the review experience in my opinion.

2.) I just tag my leeches automatically, not suspend them. Suspending leeches made me click “I know this” too often because I was afraid that I would “lose” my card.

3.) Another thing that helped me enjoy Anki was reading about Cloze cards and that each card should have exactly one piece of information that you can get either right or wrong. Not much thinking when there is just one word, particle, kanji… that you have to fill into a blank instead of translating a whole example sentence (which is what the Genki deck that I had downloaded was set up to do initially).

4.) I focus on Recognition (JP => EN) instead of Production (EN=>JP) cards to get more input. But the Genki deck is an exception because this is still beginner stuff and I should be able to produce these items. This gets more frustrating as you go on because there are just too many ways to say things (unless you are using good example sentence and cloze cards)

5.) You also have to get used to flashcards in general. Really think of the solution, preferably say it out loud before showing the answer. When you say it out loud (at least in the beginning), it’s less easy to cheat. There is nothing to think about (did I get this one right or not?) and this again makes it easier. I’m also doing my WaniKani reviews this way with the Anki script (modified for mobile so that it has buttons, there’s a thread for it somewhere when you look for Android scripts).

6.) About the core deck: The way I use the core deck (an Anki classic) btw is that I only have sentence listening cards set up. I listen to the sentence, try to translate it and as long as I get the main vocabulary item right that is being asked for on that card (not the whole sentence because some are still too difficult for me), I pass that card. This way I also practice listening at the same time.
Also, I imported all WaniKani items with their level infomrmation (there is an exporter somewhere on the internet) as tags. That makes it possible for me to e.g. only unsupsend core cards for items that have a certain WaniKani level.

And when you say “Genki deck”, I hope you have the version with native speaker audio recordings? There are so many decks out there but in my opinion, that is the best one. I find everything so much more memorable with good audio.