How to Use Anki (With Other People's Decks)

I’ve downloaded Anki. I realise there are a kajillion decks already made, some of which (say, Genki vocabulary) are probably exactly what I need. But when I look for helpful resources about how to use Anki, most of the instructions are about making my own deck. I don’t need to do that … I just need to know how to use it with an existing deck.

Are there any resources/web pages/youtube videos that describe this? For instance, there’s a Genki 1 and 2 deck that has 4,000 notes. I’d like to just be tested on, say, Chapter 1 and 2 of the first book … but don’t know how to use the program.

Fingers crossed,



inb4 @jprspereira tells you to use Kitsun instead


Presumably the author of the deck ordered it, so you should just have to open it up and start a session. If it is ordered it will give you new cards in order of chapter. If there are subdecks for each chapter then you can open up the deck you want to study from and start a session for only that deck.

Anki may be a bit intimidating at first, but it’s amazing.


One has nothing to fear when it’s recommending good stuff :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

@ashleylm, if Anki eventually doesn’t end up working for you, have you checked Kitsun? It’s subscription based (you get 14 days for free upon signing up), but it made the whole struggle of starting SRS disappear to me. It’s a website developed by a level 60 WK user, so you will be able to find yourself learning with the same ease as you do on Wanikani.

Kitsun has a Genki deck made by @hinekidori. It looks like this:

Vocabulary is ordered and tagged by chapters, so you can definitely follow along with the books.

Here’s the thread on the forums.


Nice! I tried it immediately and it works. It’s basically what I’m looking for (something to teach me all the non-Wanikani bits, although if there’s overlap it’s fine, I just feel temporarily smart for already knowing something). I’ve been using memrise and drops and duolingo as well, but my need to be able to say things like “I could tell because of how stylish you are” is pretty low, when I’m not sure how to say things like “I would like one please” yet :wink:


Hey, glad it works! The creator of the deck is pretty active as well, so if you find anything that doesn’t follow along with the books or a card that lacks information, you can click in actions and then “send suggestions” (see screenshot above). The creator will receive a notification for that specific card and take care of it asap :slight_smile:

The founder will eventually implement the WK API system, so one will be able to decide whether to study or skip the vocabulary that’s on Wanikani.

Let me know if there’s anything else I can help with :v:


Anki seems to get a bad rap, often for being ugly/clunky and having a steep learning curve depending on how far you want to go with it (you don’t have to learn every single thing to get good use out of it though). But it’s a pretty amazing tool - it might take a little getting used to, but it’s super flexible, there are a lot of amazing plugins available (the Japanese support one is a must), and any deck can be made as beautiful as most competitors (the templates use basic web languages HTML/CSS/JavaScript and I have spent way too much time just making stuff beautiful, can’t help myself).

If you do ever decide to use Anki for premade decks, like @Kumirei already said, they’re usually ordered already.

If you want to progressively unlock cards with a certain tag, you can suspend all or some in the note browser to “pause” them. Most vocab decks based on books will have tags for chapters etc that you can use to filter with (you can temporarily cram a whole chapter for example, with a filtered deck).

Kitsune is probably great too :blush: But Anki isn’t as bad as the internet makes it sound, and it’s also free and open source (any developer can contribute improvements to the software, and we can all spend our money on more books :wink:).

From the posts I’ve seen around here, the creator of that Kitsune deck used to be a heavy user of Anki. He made some wanikani-styled decks (with text input):
He also made some (still) helpful tutorials: [Anki] Tutorials. Here’s one he made for suspending cards:


EDIT: sorry, I emoji too much (blame Slack)


One person recommends my new stuff. Another recommends my old stuff. Love it! :laughing:

I’m glad people find any of it useful.

Though I agree with @skymaiden that Anki is capable of much more than people give it credit for, I feel has made the process much more approachable.

The site also supports more web language tools such as CSS Grid and SVG images which are already being taken advantage of.

Take a look at the Prefecture deck for example. That can’t be done on Anki currently.

So there is a trade off depending on which tool a person chooses. But both are robust in their own way and will get the job done.

For me though, my Anki days are over. has spoiled me. :laughing:


In Anki I just move my mouse to the prefecture before I flip the card :sweat_smile:

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:laughing: what can I say? You make (and made) great stuff :blush:


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