Is Anki overrated?

I can’t seem to understand why people like using softwares like Anki for flashcards. In my opinion, I think that Anki is quite dull in terms of colour schemes and presentation and on top of that it is difficult or too time consuming to get audio recordings of the vocabulary. I think using software like Memrise and Quizlet are better presented and it saves you having to make several flashcards by yourself and they also include audio recordings of the vocab. Why is it so popular then?


You can basically create any presentation/layout/colour scheme yourself, or use ones others have made. Besides that, it’s popular because it offers a lot of options and it’s free.

Maybe a simple way to compare it is:

  • Memrise etc --> Apple: Works well out of the box, looks nice, but expensive.
  • Anki --> Windows: Takes some time to set up and/or customise, but more options overal.

that comparison is gold :joy:

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what about the audio issue?

Gold fanboism.

Both OS’s cost money and are fully usable out of the box with a polished professional look.

Anki is free and fully customizable. Mostly people use it because its free.

There’s a plugin to auto generate audio…, pretty sure there are others.


I believe there are decks which have audio included :slight_smile:

anki == linux :wink:


I keep seeing Anki mentioned all over the forums. So… it’s basically flashcards? Similar to quizlet?

Anki is an SRS-based flashcard program. Unlike wanikani, you have to rate yourself, rather than type in an answer. Also unlike wanikani, you have to create your own decks (or install someone else’s).

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It is Powerful. I can’t think of a comparison…

But not user-friendly. I don’t even like the default setting.


Nothing stopping you from typing in your answers, or even having it look exactly like Wanikani.


I found myself spending a disproportionate amount of time maintaining Anki compared to studying with it. Once in a while, I’d end up trying to sync the decks and ending up with unusable cruft in the database forcing me to start over and wipe all SRS history. #$%&!!!

Maybe things are better now, but my goal is to be a user of the system and have the system maintenance mostly invisible to me. Anki didn’t provide that for me, so I abandoned all use of it. This was right around the time I started using WK so the bar got raised in a big way. You get what you pay for, except in the iOS version of Anki - where you pay too much for a shit product.

Yes, Anki is overrated.


Now this is exactly what I was looking for in terms of Anki.

I didn’t like having to rate myself because I felt as if it would boil down to ("oh yeah I knew that.)
But I enjoy the way Wanikani’s system works.

Thanks so much for sharing that

The strong point of Anki is that everything is customizable.
You can set your own Intervalls, how you want to deal with leeches, you can set-up “pre-studying” and so much more. Especially having a “Hard”-Button is a gods blessing. In those regards it’s so much better than WaniKani.

I saw someone say that you dont get to type in stuff like you do in WaniKani, but that’s not true either. You can set it up to work almost like WaniKani (Typing in answers, including an IME and so)

Attaching Audio is actually quite simple, just have to find it in your file browser. Sites like are great for downloading audio and there are plenty more out there. If you get a Textbook like Genki, theres almost always audio files coming with it too.

So many people are using Anki, there are basically pre made decks for every popular textbook out there too.

Having said that:
I agree on that fact that creating 2.000 Cards is a drag. But that’s why you use pre-made decks that go along with your study material (There are plenty Anki Decks for begginer books like Genki and minna no nihongo).

I still like WaniKani better for sutdying Kanji (Especially since it motivates you to stay on track), but I’d never again want to give away Anki. It’s a bit hard to get used to, but boy once you do, it makes studying so much easier.

I’m only using Anki on one device, so I don’t know how well AnkiWeb works. I’m not much of a fan of studying on my smartphone because i always end up getting distracted by other stuff. Gotta carry my tablet everywhere anyways, might as well study on that :stuck_out_tongue:


I was hoping someone would say this. :smile:

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Default Anki is a shit show. And let’s be honest, that’s what most people are going to be using.

Power users can spend time making their flash cards fancy, but I want to spend my time learning, not designing a study tool.


I don’t think it is overrated for what it is - a solid SRS program with lots of decks already available. I used it a lot before I found WK, but now I rarely use it. I just ended up spending way too much time building and fiddling with decks compared to the amount of time spent learning.


By the way,

Does anyone know of any anki decks that complement wanikani well? Basically I’m looking for decks that contain hiragana/katakana only vocab that I may not see or review as often as WK terms (such as grammar terms or katakana loan words) as well as vocab words that include kanji taught by WK but aren’t taught on WK. And for when I beat all 60 levels, hopefully in a year or so, decks with kanji that WK does not teach, though I’m not at all worried about that yet.

Wasn’t @polv making a deck that was basically the core 10k minus words already included in WK?

Anki is great if you are even half-way serious about language learning. You can put in pictures instead of words, you can add whole collocations and phrases, create cloze deletion cards, test both recall and production, etc.

Also, if you add something to the deck yourself, you will know (and can add) in what context it was used. Not to mention adding items is like a small learning session in and of itself.

No, Anki is not overrated, it is severely underrated.