Okay to use more than one SRS?

Hi everyone. I’ve read a few posts on the forum about how using more than one SRS can short-circuit the efficacy of WaniKani.

For instance, I’ve read that even reviewing your critical items outside of review messes with the timing, assuming that the SRS intends to remind you right before you forget it to strengthen your memory. If you remind yourself before the right time, it could mess with the timing and hinder you in the long run.

So on that note, I’ve looked into other SRS like using Anki to learn Japanese sentences, https://www.bunpro.jp/, or https://koohi.cafe/. Most troubling of all that might mess up the WaniKani timing would be using a site like https://www.kamesame.com/, though the premise of the site sounds great.

I like the idea of working on several areas of Japanese at the same time, but I’ve been hesitant to do so based on what I’ve heard.

TL;DR: I’ve read that using more than one SRS at a time makes each of them less effective. Is that true? I appreciate your advice.


I think it’s completely fine!

The concern with “short-circuiting” the SRS is more a warning that you shouldn’t specifically study WaniKani’s cards right before you review them, since that removes the point of the timing in the first place.

Studying them right after the review, or reinforcing them with other study on the other hand, is A-OK, because the benefit of reinforcing the item through multiple contexts and sources more than makes up for any small harm to WaniKani’s curated timing.

That said, another, more tangible concern would just be that WaniKani’s time demands ramp up quickly, so your appetite for other SRS might decrease rapidly once WaniKani picks up!
For that reason, SRS-wise, personally I did Bunpro some starting out, but ended up mostly doing only WaniKani (and non-SRS resources of course) while I was in the thick of it (and then transitioned to Anki later on).

But I know other people find kamesame useful, for example, and there’s definitely nothing stopping you from experimenting with a pace and toolset that works for you!


This is a helpful and thoughtful reply, thank you!


I use KameSame, and it’s been great. I would recommend only doing anything above Guru to study along side WK as, @rodan said, you don’t want to study anything outside of WK right before their reviews. Guru and above have pretty long srs intervals, so studying those in KameSame should keep you from doing any WK items right before their reviews.

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I’ve been using KameSame for all my guru+ WK items up to this point. I rarely feel like I’ve cheated the WK SRS doing so. So go ahead and try. It helps getting used to japanese keyboard. Although it is quite hard to keep up later on with all the stuff and all those synonyms are annoying when they come for the burn review.

This is incorrect. @MegaZeroX has researched the scientific literature on this topic. They have found that the more often you see an item the better the retention. You just have to avoid studying just before the next review.


I think it’s perfectly fine, and at some point in your studies you are definitely going to need to supplement Wanikani with other sources (for grammar, which WK doesn’t teach, as well as additional vocabulary), so if the SRS system works for you and you have time, go for it!

I wouldn’t worry too much about messing up the SRS by seeing the same item from multiple sources. That will work itself out in time (if you don’t know it, eventually you will get it wrong and keep seeing it until you do learn it).

That said, I will offer one point of caution from my own experience. Don’t overdo it! Try to to set up a pattern of review you can keep up with long-term.

I started out with WK and 3 Anki decks:

  • one with full-sentence cards + audio clips, testing audio-to-text comprehension
  • one with vocabulary taken from the Core 6000 series
  • one with vocabulary words I came across in reading

Doing 25 new cards in each of these a day, then reviews, plus WK, was taking 4+ hours each day and I burned out in a week and had to stop everything, including WK, and take a break to recover.

Now I only use WK and one Anki deck (and occasionally koohi.cafe to pre-learn vocabulary for a book or manga I want to read).

So, I would suggest starting slow, picking maybe one other SRS for now and getting in a habit of doing reviews (when possible) at the same times each day so that the workload stays predictable and manageable.

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I’ve seen this come up multiple times now and I seriously want to know where this is coming from.
From what I have read and understand, an item popping up right before you forget it doesn’t strength your memory of that item more, it’s just more efficient than seeing them more often.

I doubt anyone would say your memory is better if you see a couple items once and then four hours later, compared to reviewing them over and over again for all of the four hours.
That’s not even considering that the review intervals are somewhat arbitrary. They’re certainly not ideal for each person individually.

Ebbinghaus’ original paper said this: “with any considerable number of repetitions a suitable distribution of them over a space of time is decidedly more advantageous than the massing of them at a single time.”
It’s always been about efficiency. If you do the same amount of study but space it out, it is more beneficial than doing it all in one session.

TL;DR: More study will certainly not “harm” your learning. At worst it could be less efficient, but you’d still be learning more compared to not doing additional study.

I think it depends. I did Kaniwani for a couple of months and I don’t think it helped me at all, and I felt like I was wasting time I could spend just reading and finding the same words. Possibly interfered with the SRS memory process Wanikani talks about, but I don’t really believe in that. But that’s just for me. Almost everyone else seems to like it, so I would say if you want to, try it out !

Personally, I use Kamesame for words that I find while reading/listening that use kanji I have already learned but never had a vocab lesson for on here. There is actually quite a few when you start to really look for them so try not to overfill your reviews.

Either way, I think it’s best that you have one SRS be your main one, just so things don’t get chaotic. :slightly_smiling_face:

I would advise you to pick things that complement your Japanese studies best, and if that’s another SRS that is fine. Early on for me that was grammar textbooks, japanesepod101 and a single anki deck. I emphasise single because it’s easy to get overwhelmed with SRS. Be aware Wanikani is going to seriously ramp up once you get into it.

The anki decks I worked through were based around Genki vocabulary, JLPT N5 and then N4 vocab. I set them up to display the word in kana and I would give the answer in English.

As you progress you’ll get to a point where you are ready to start reading and then that becomes a great complement to Wanikani. Nothing better than coming across a word in a book that you just learned on Wanikani! Joining the book clubs on Wanikani is a great way to get into reading when you are ready.

Wow everyone, thank you for your replies! They really free me up to try some of the other services out there. Thanks for all of the advice and warnings too, I truly appreciate them, especially early in this journey.

I’m currently using 3 SRS systems: Wanikani, Anki (for core vocab), and Bunpro (for grammar).

Does my accuracy suffer a bit because because I am managing three systems? yeah, but my goal is to get better at Japanese overall, not to have 100% accuracy and finish Wanikani as fast as possible. I wouldn’t say there is anything wrong with picking up another system if you think it will help you toward your goal.

I personally prioritize which i get done first, because doing 3 SRS systems is a lot of work.
I usually do:

Anki - once a day
Bunpro - twice/tree times a day
Wanikani - as often as possible
(I only prioritize Wanikani because because it helps me stay grounded in my studies better than the other ones, not for any special reason). How often you do them would be up to you, this is just what I found works for myself.

The SRS stages are set to help maximize your retention with the least amount of time spent studying from what I understand, so you can still progress with them even if your don’t meet all of the review stages as they happen, you just will be a bit slower.

Like I said earlier, it can be a lot of work to do multiple. If you decide you want to do multiple SRS, be sure to pace yourself because it can be easy to burn out under too high of a workload.


I think the “you shouldn’t specifically study WaniKani’s cards right before you review them, since that removes the point of the timing in the first place.” is quite the important part here. If you do reviews, it’s important that you can actually remember the reviewed items.

If you look up the meanings/readings right before the review because you forgot already, you might remember it for the review 10 minutes later, but probably not 1 hour later. Therefore, if you really forgot the meaning - just deal with it and learn it again in the review. A new review will come up shortly afterwards to make sure it sticks.

I do WK. I do BunPro.

I focus on WK as I think it it better to get the basics (kanji/vocab) before hopping into the grammar fire. My thinking is, I would like to be able to at least know the kanji I am looking at when I go to read a sentence so I feel less demotivated.

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