Has anyone tried using separate SRS decks based on difficulty?

I have had an idea for awhile, and with the new and improved koohi.cafe lists I think it might be time to give it a try, but I was wondering if anyone here has tried it and could inform me of any unforeseen problems.

The idea is to essentially split words I learn into one of two decks based on their difficulty to learn them. For example, take 3 words 放熱、刎ねる、憂い顔、

From the perspective of someone with a foundation in kanji and vocab:

放熱 is quite easy to know what it means and how to read it and doesn’t necessarily need to be added to any deck to be remembered.

刎ねる uses a kanji thats pretty uncommon and unless you know 刎死 or that 刎ねる is another form of 撥ねる, you probably wouldn’t be able to guess the reading or meaning of “to decapitate”.

憂い顔 is pretty easy to guess the meaning, but the reading might trip you up since you might initially read it as うれいかお. So really learning the word just means that you have to learn to rendaku kao.

My plan was to take words like 憂い顔 that are easy but not total freebies and add them to an anki deck without a daily cap. As is, I add 20 words a day and I hate for one of those words to count as one because it seems like a waste. This way, I can reserve my 20 words for words like 刎ねる that have more learning to offer. Then I can kind of speed through the anki deck of easy words on the side and remind myself of each of their little tricks that makes them not total freebies (usually rendaku).

Anyone done something similar and had issues?


Even knowing that, I wouldn’t have guessed because for me 撥ねる means “to reject”. I didn’t know that usage :sweat_smile:

I haven’t done anything like that, but I know the dilemma of having a daily word cap and finding words that are easy but not free.
I never thought about it, but anki (or anki mode in other apps) seems indeed like the perfect way to deal with those.
I feel like that would still grow to quite a large pile eventually though, but maybe not?


It seems like it could work, but thinking about how I might do it, I’m not sure I’d split the decks. For one thing, when studying the easier deck, knowing which deck it was would be a hint in itself, to me. Like if I saw 憂い顔, I would know that it’s not totally unexpected in terms of reading or meaning, or else it would be in the hard deck, but also that it has some sort of little trick to it, or it wouldn’t be in any deck at all… and I feel like that, plus having seen it before, would be enough to get me to the answer without it necessarily being wholly reinforced for if I see it in a book or something. But maybe your brain is better about stuff like that!

If I were to try to do something like that without the multiple decks, I would utilize (and have utilized) suspending cards and/or marking cards. If you want all your 20 new cards a day to be meaty ones, then you could suspend all the ones that aren’t when you make them. Then whenever you want to do a batch of them, suspend them at the end of the day after you’ve already learned your 20 harder ones. That way they don’t count against your total but do get added to the same deck. The other way would be to mark them when you make them and then rebuild your marked deck and do them separately from the main deck, so that they don’t count against your 20 but do get added to the same deck, again. Or both! Make them, mark them, suspend them, then at the end of the day (or however often you want to do them), unsuspend and study the marked deck. Or you could use tags? I don’t do that as much, but I’m sure there’s a way.

All this to say, it would probably work for you if you think it would, and there are other things that would also probably work. :grin:


This was the main issue I had in mind. Realistically, I could add quite a bit of these words in a single day, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the pile got real big.

Part of the advantage of anki doe, would be quick review times and it has bigger intervals which would hopefully make the total review time still pretty small. In practice, I have never really gotten any individual anki deck bigger than 1500 so I don’t actually know all too well how it would go in the long run, but I guess ill find out?

The biggest reason I wanted to split the decks was purely for time purposes like I mentioned in my reply to nath. Thats a good point though about the possible hint, but I think for words like that I know what the tricky part will be. Regardless of what deck its in, ill know that kao/gao is the tricky part, but the plan is to have it be presented and repeated to me so many times that gao just sounds right. Likewise for words like 黄色い声 where I would have to know that its koe rather than goe. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if you’re right and it ends up not being reinforced for when I see it, but its hard to say. In the case of 憂い顔 I would have to reliably know it was がお rather than かお or else the card would never mature right? even if I knew that that was the “trick”, that will still only give me a 50/50 chance at a guess and I cant imagine guessing would ever get the card to mature.

I would like to do something like this honestly, but I don’t know of an easy way to do this with koohi which is my main srs platform. Ideally I would have everything in one deck so I don’t have to go through the pain of making two decks, but I’m not sure if I have any way to do something like that.


Ah, I misread your post then, apologies! I thought you were using the koohi lists to make a deck (or decks) on anki.