Note Taking Methods

So, what do you include when you take notes on kanji? I’m new and want to hear what you guys do that works well.

I don’t personally take notes on kanji, but I know quite a few people here find Leebo’s suggested approach to practising writing helpful:


I spend most of my lesson time on kanji. Most of that time is spent trying to find one or two words that use the kanji reading they want you to learn (and hopefully the words also have a related meaning).

I also make note if there’s another kanji that has the same reading due to a phonetic component. Over time those get fairly easy to recognize and then I use the Keisei script to help me notice the more complicated or rarer ones.

1 Like

I don’t take notes on wanikani. Unless your goal is to be able to write every kanji, I think it’s actually counterproductive, as it encourages studying those notes.

Until you’ve got enough down to begin reading native material, the spaced repetition system of wanikani is really meant to be used in a vacuum. Allowing the kanji to sink into the back of your mind before reviewing it again is what helps to cement it into your long term memory. If you review it too soon before the review, you’re calling it from your short term memory. Rather than taking notes, the best thing you can do to increase wk’s effectiveness is to try to return to it as often as you reasonably can in a day to do reviews close to when they arrive.

If you are hell bent on learning to write the kanji along with wk, and have the time, I’d still recommend other options over taking notes. There’s a great anki deck that gives you a word in English and asks you to write the kanji (and it’s arranged to coincide with wanikani), or you could use kaniwani and write the kanji on paper. Kaniwani quizzes you in reverse, so just don’t put in the right answer if you can’t draw the kanji.


I use Google Keep to make a note of patterns and mistakes I constantly make. I only really do this after making the mistake many times. Sometimes it’s good just to go through it and think again. Sometimes it exposes a common misconception I’ve somehow built into my thinking or allows me to get a better overview of kanji with the same/similar radicals/meanings etc. At some point I’ll print them all off and make a revision guide or something.

I’ve recently started adding the KKLC mnemonics to kanji I get wrong constantly and have reviewed using my Google Keep notes method. This is just so I can refer to the mnemonic more easily than looking it up in the book.

I am fairly uninterested in writing the kanji for now.

Like many said I dont take notes on Kanji itself. But I do take notes studying. I use to use Google Keep like Steford and it was good, just lacked formatting. I was thinking about Evernote but I didnt want to subscribe and two devices seemed limited.

In the end I went with WordPress. I made it completely private and it does pretty much everything I want and has Tags and Catagories (which OneNote was missing). It’s the best solution I found for myself.

Thanks for reminding me that this existed!

Anything for you, goja-san :purple_heart:

I assume you mean “meaning note” section. Not every mnemonic provided is helpful so you can create whatever works for you. Sometimes the stories get too long and elaborate so I’ll create something I can connect with. Eventually, the mnemonic gets lost and you just remember the onyomi/kuyomi with definition.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.