Just can't keep up

He meant: Look at the number :smiley:

But it can always happen that you stumble upon a Kanji right before reviewing.
The reviews are always influenced by other factors anyway, for example you might get the Kanji wrong, but in the same session you get the same Kanji as vocabulary item right. It happens.


Oooooh…now I,m so happy.


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Not really adding much to the conversation that hasn’t been said but I did want to chime in.

You can do it.

I would consider really scaling back to 5 lessons a day as long as apprentice items are not over 80. You might have some days where you don’t do any lessons and that’s okay. If you find you can handle more then of course you can bump up your lessons to 10 a day, etc. but just keep it slow so you feel like you still have time to get the little breaks that parents need after a busy day.

I think you’ll be able to find a sweet spot for enjoying Japanese and having a good work-life balance. Keep the Japanese going while keeping in mind that your sanity and rest take precedence.


Someone else replied, but I updated my original comment. I meant look at the number of apprentice or guru items, not actually look at them and review them. You should follow the SRS process. You want to look at the number of items before you start taking on more lessons. This wasn’t a problem for me until I hit 12 or 13 (seems similar to OP), so if you’re not struggling with the amount of reviews then keep it up. Once the amount of reviews start to become a challenge for you then it’s best to slow down on the lessons.


A lot of people have written about number of lessons, etc., but what might also help is to look at tools that can help you.

For example: The Famling Durtles app gives you fantastic control over your reviews. Among other things, you can choose the number of items you want to review at a time. If you find that you have small chunks of time available to you throughout the day, you can set it to a number that fits into that short time. While this is not really compatible with review timing for top level speed, for me this is a really nice way to still make steady progress while not being overwhelmed.

Also, if you haven’t already, have a look at userscripts!

Good luck!

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Hey @fastriver , I’ve quit twice before and this is my third go round on WK :sweat_smile:

I’ve also got work/toddler/life going on so I strictly limit my Apprentice items to 90 at any time. Since I did this, over time my daily reviews have reduced and I generally have 120 a day now. I also do it in small batches throughout the day as it’s impossible to carve out a solid chunk of time!! :slight_smile:

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Thank you to everyone. I took the advice, and I’ve worked the apprentice number down to 89 so far, and I think I’ll even go down to 60 before I start doing lessons again. I’ve found that when I have less than 40 reviews, I get a higher percentage correct, just because I’m not so stressed. I’ve also taken advantage of the “wrap-up” button.

I very much appreciate all the functional advice - but also just the comments that started with “I have two kids too” or “work/life”… it’s helpful just knowing other people are doing this too.


I do about 15 lessons a day for radicals/kanji, and 15-20 for vocabulary. Generally, this gives me about 100 reviews over the course of the day, but I use Tsurukame with notifications on so that I’m doing around 15 reviews within the hour. Usually, that takes about 5 minutes for each separate review session, totaling around 30 minutes a day. It seems to be working just fine. If I had stuck with the website only, I’d probably be really put off of it by now.

I guess I will throw my 2 cents in here.

In going through the lessons, I am noticing that kanji (since you need to learn a meaning and a reading) are tougher than vocabulary (where you may need to learn a reading or a meaning or both (or basically neither since you can infer the meaning easily from the kanji and the reading may be what you already know)) which are tougher than radicals (only need to learn the meaning). What you could do is depending on which types of lessons you are getting you can do different amounts of them to not feel overwhelmed. I have no issue with doing 20+ radical reviews, but I try to keep new kanji reviews under 10 a day just since I will struggle remembering them.

I have also struggled for a while but eventually found my sustainable pace. The magical number for me is 100 reviews per day.

If I start the day with the number of pending reviews close to 100, then I don’t do any lessons or do only very few lessons on that day. If my pending reviews are much less than 100 then I take more lessons. with that approach, each level takes 13-14 days to complete and I don’t get overwhelmed.

Also note that not all levels are equals in terms of the total number of radical, kanji, and vocabulary to learn. For some levels, there are around 200 radical+kanji+vocabulary while for others, those numbers could be as low as 150. Knowing that helps me to set expectations for each level and prevents me from getting frustrated if one level takes a few days longer to complete. Levels 4-6, 11-12, and 17 have a higher number of items compared to other levels.

Using the IOS app (Tsurukume) for reviews made it easier for me as it first asks for the meaning of the item and then the reading afterward. In Web UI, the order is random and confuses me all the time.

However, for lessons, I use Web UI as I almost always add my out-of-world mnemonics + add notes by referring to Jisho which helps me to remember them better.

Lastly, I have stoped reordering lessons. The default order works well with the strategy I have explained above. So, sometimes it takes a few days to start learning new radicals for unlocked level as i have to complete all vocabulary lessons from the previous level.

Summary: Follow a strategy that works for you.

I went fast until the teens, then burned out.

Now, I do 10 lessons a day - but only if all my reviews are done. If I’m too busy/unmotivated on a day, no new lessons. If I see the three-digit number of reviews staring at me and don’t feel like slaying that dragon, no new lessons - eventually I’ll have a block of free time where I’ll knock them out. So there are are quite a few days where I don’t do lessons. It’s taken a while, but WK has kind of slowed down to a pace I can handle again - usually about 50-100 reviews a day. I rarely hit that coveted 0/0, but you know what? That’s not the object of this game.

I’m level 25 now, for far-future visitors reading this.

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So… just to check in. I didn’t give up. But I can’t get myself out of this hole.

My “average level-up” was 10 days until lesson 15. I’ve been on lesson 15 for 28 days, I get at least a hundred new reviews everyday, and I can’t even get to the new lessons, because the reviews number never gets manageable.

I promised not to do new lessons until I can get the reviews back to 0, but I don’t think it’s ever going to happen.



I think it’s awesome you haven’t given up. Way to go!
Reviews at 0 before doing lessons sounds like an overly ambitious plan - getting all current reviews out of the way takes months. Best to keep an eye on your number of Apprentice items. Sounds like you should be aiming for about 50 of those and simply do lessons if it drops below that number.


I took 3 months away from lessons and never managed to get my apprentice items to below 13, let alone my reviews down to 0. However, having had that time to clear through most of my Guru and master queue, and quash a lot of my leeches, means that things are a lot more sustainable for me. For the next 7 days ahead I have between 30-60 reviews per day if I don’t learn anything new, which is pretty sustainable for me.

Rather than focusing on how many days you’re on a level for (34 days on level 32 for me currently), just focus on the slow, incremental progress. Only do lessons when you feel ready and don’t compare yourself to other people.

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Don’t worry, it might take time but your reviews will decrease in time. Just don’t stress it and take your time. It’s better to do a small amount every day and keep up with that pace than trying to do more and burning out.

How do you do your reviews ? I find it harder do them in a long sitting than to a little of them at a time throughout the day. Also I use the Flaming Durtle app to do them as it’s quicker than having to seat at your computer. That way I can do some reviews on the go, when i have a couple of minutes free (while waiting in the queue of the supermarket, while walking my dog, while cooking, even on the toilet :sweat_smile: ) Also I use the Anki mode of the app, no need to type the answer that way.

You have to find your right pace and way to do your reviews confortably.
Don’t think about the lessons for now, when you’re confortable with the number of reviews, you will be able to add some new ones.

And if really you feel overwhelmed, it could be worth it to see into resetting a few levels ?

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Thank you rwesterhof, fustian and naevyah,

I don’t know about Flaming Durtles or the Anki mode.
Maybe I need to do some research! :slight_smile:

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same… i had to seriously slow down. 8 - 12 lessons a day on good days, sometimes none and i try to make it to friday with 100 reviews or less so i can catch up over the WE.

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Here is the link to Flaming Durtles but I realized it’s only on Android so if you have an iPhone, you can check Jakeipuu and Tsurukame. I don’t know if these ones have an Anki mode though.

In Anki mode, you don’t have to write the answer, you just answer it aloud or in your head, click on Show answer, then on Correct or Incorrect. There is also a userscript to have Anki mode directly on the website but I have not tested it yet.

I support the idea to use anki mode at least throughout the day if you are at work and some break. Usually I check flaming durtles and there are ate least 50 reviews, If I would type them, I would take a long time.

Only checking mentally, I am honest with myself, If I say しゅう instead of しゅ I set incorrect.

otherwise, just doing all the pile at the evening would be overwhelming and after some days I couldn’t for sure to keep up as well.

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