Taking notes with wanikani

Hey people,
I’m currently starting out with Wani kani and wanted to gain some insight from more experienced members if and how you take notes for Wanikani. Can you give me some tips? Thanks in advance

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I think a lot of people don’t necessarily take a ton of notes, and let the SRS do its thing. If you forget an item, it’ll come back and you’ll fail that review and you’ll see it more often. It does a pretty decent job of keeping you in check. And not directly relevant to your question, but if you find yourself forgetting things, feel free to just stop or slow your lessons until you get your number of Apprentice items down (since those are the ones you haven’t nailed yet).

That being said, I write down each lesson I have - kanji, meaning, reading. It helps some with memory retention. I might look over those “notes” once or twice during the first day after the initial lesson, but not usually after that - I either remember them or am willing to let WK tell me what I know. Even then, that’s barely “notes” in the traditional sense. I trust the Crabigator.


Hello hello, welcome!

Personally, I don’t take any WK notes. I trust the SRS - if I don’t know, I fail an item and read through the mnemonics again.

Some of the user scripts, like the self-study quiz combined with the Extra Filters can be a great addition to learning.

These two together mean you can quiz yourself on leeches (words that you just keep getting wrong) or quiz yourself on the items you got wrong in your most recent review. Very useful.

Not saying you shouldn’t take notes, and I know a fair number of people do, but I’d say: consider the beginning of WK as a time to tweak what works for you. Don’t get too hung up on doing it one, certain way.

Taking notes on thousands of kanji and vocab is hugely labour intensive. If that works for you: perfect. :+1: But if you find that you’re burning out and avoiding WK because you’re overwhelmed at the amount of work: try to do things a different way.

Hope to see you around more, and good luck on your kanji journey!


There is a section where you can type your own notes in the details about the word. I use this to make my own mnemonic most of the time.

As for improving recall I use KaniWani. You think you know a word well until you don’t have a symbol in front of you. Most of the mnemonics you learn are very good but they don’t add in the hiragana that are attached the the kanji. That sometimes causes a recall problem for me. Either way KaniWani is a great additional resource!


Hello @Fraspanti

I usually let the SRS take care of itself, but if I keep getting a specific kanji or vocab wrong, then I’ll take notes like this:

What get’s me sometimes it’s the multiple verbs that use the same kanji, and sometimes visually similar kanji that have very minor differences.


I’ve written down every single item, nearly 4000 at this point, just like this. I like doing it. It’s satisfying to watch my notepad fill up, see how much neater my handwriting has gotten (I write a lot on trains too). I think writing helps me really focus on what radicals make up a kanji as I’m learning it, so it helps with similar kanji with different radicals imo (say 待 and 持) or similar looking kanji (矢 and 失 for example) because you have to clarify the distinction by writing it, replicating it.

It also helps me pace myself so that I don’t get overconfident and blast through too many lessons in one sitting, because then you get all your reviews in one huge chunk instead of spread evenly over the course of a week (or however long). It’s helped keep my accuracy high and works as a big motivator for me to keep it up.

Doesn’t work for everyone, really works for me, you can always stop if it’s not working, I’d say it’s worth a shot.


I’ve never taken physical notes with wanikani. There are note boxes on Wanikani itself where you can write stuff in, if you like. I use stuff like the visually similar kanji add-in to compare kanji which I get confused with others though. And a while back I was practising writing out the kanji from the early levels of wanikani using the stroke order from jisho.org.

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Thank you for your reply, I’ll take it into consideration.
See you around! :slight_smile:

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Thanks for letting me know, I’ll be using it to deepen my understanding and knowledge!
See you around!

Impressive, thank you. Since I’m Japanese bachelor’s Programm AND Korean Bachelors programm it would make the most sense to write them all down since I’m required to do so anyways!
Thanks and see you around!

Thanks! Since I’m required to know how to write perfectly for my bachelor’s programme in univeristy I decided to accompany my wanikani studys with note-taking!
Thanks again and see you around!

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Thank you!
Since im required to write characters perfectly for my bachelor’s programme in univeristy I have decided to accompany my studies with note-taking!
Thanks again and see you around!

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