Tips for Running a WaniKani Book Club

Hmm, very weird how that works. Maybe some of the other formatting is in conflict somehow? Compare when I broke the close details tag.

Details closed, poll broken:

Details broken, poll seemingly fixed:


I wonder what is causing the discrepancy. Is there something different about the way the “Home Thread” details dropdown is formatted? :thinking:
Edit: Aha, yes, there was. I copied how the details dropdown was done with the Home Thread section, and now all seems to be working as intended… Except I need to check the other dropdowns now because they got collapsed inside that one.


Nice! There’s a lot going on in that post, a bit hard to keep track :sweat_smile:


Yeah, there certainly is. :laughing:

Learning how to hide polls behind a collapsible details section is a nice trick, though, so I’ll have to keep that one in the back pocket!

Everything looks to be playing nice again, and I’m going to hope I don’t have to play around with any more of the formatting from here. :rofl:


This is just me, but some things I like doing are:

  1. Eliminating unnecessary columns. (And rows, as typically 1,000 rows aren’t needed.)

  2. Recently I’m trying out 14pt text for the Japanese word columns (mostly so the kanji will be a little larger).

  3. I set the header row as frozen, so even if you scroll down the header is always visible.

  4. If the chapters have titles, I like to include the chapter number and title in a row above the header. (Sometimes I get a bit fancy with this, other times simple.)

    • This works best if each chapter has its own sheet, even if two chapters are read across one week.
  5. Some book club vocabulary sheets use Google Sheets’s ability to do alternating stripes for rows.

    • I avoided this for Mitsuboshi Colors as I wanted to try having different colors on the page number field based on the page number entered (visually grouping consecutive words from one page), and I’d mostly copy and pasted that template for other book clubs I’ve run since. But this isn’t a method I’d recommend using always (it has various shortcomings). The stripes design works well.
  6. Recently I’ve also set a Japanese font for the Japanese columns.

    • I’m not certain if this will have any impact for viewers who don’t have the specific font installed and don’t have their browser properly set to show Japanese (versus Chinese) variations. I still need to experiment with it a little.
  7. I also like to set the rows to have Vertical Align as Center and Text Wrapping to Wrap. This way text doesn’t get cut off, and everything still looks nice (to me at least!) when there is wrapping.

You can see some of this in action here.


1, 2, 3, and 4 can all be implemented fairly quickly, and I agree that they are all good ideas; I’ll add those in. I just did the very basic Takagi-san one to start with, but I probably should have pulled from my 夜カフェ sheet, in retrospect, as it had a bunch of little tweaks that I made to be a little better and would have already had some of these changes. :laughing:

Item 5 is already included; it’s just because there are no words in it right now that the alternating stripes aren’t showing up. It will automatically add stripes in as words are added, however. I prefer the alternating stripes (it’s easier on my eyes than having a bunch of same-colored rows on top of each other).

And as for number 6, I went in thinking, “I wanted to try putting this in,” and promptly forgot. :laughing:

Give me a bit to make those changes, and I’ll also open it up for editing afterwards, so that if I misinterpreted what you meant, you can just fix it. Let me know once you’ve done so, though, so I can close the editing back up afterwards!~


Then there’s item 7 that I snuck in there after you started replying :wink:

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Re: Item 7, I thought it was a general rule that if you were forced to have a wrap, then the definition is too long, and you should be trimming it to meet context. :thinking:

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True, but sometimes it may be unavoidable.

I don’t have any good example offhand, but I still like to be prepared for the potential, as it seems like it can come up eventually.

Edit: Here’s one example:

(Note that this screenshot doesn’t have all the settings I personally currently use.)


Alrighty, I think I implemented everything you suggested (including item 7), but I’ve opened it up for editing for the time being, so let me know when it’s safe to close it back up again!


My changes (in case you disagree and want to reverse):

  1. Title row from 66 to 50 height.

  2. Unhid extra columns and deleted.

  3. Unhid extra rows and deleted.

    • Added one extra row because having it going to up 99 was messing with my need for a rounded 100.
    • If a chapter has more than 100 words being added, it’s super-easy to add more rows. Or if it seems like often more than 100 is needed, the template can have more. I typically start with 300, but I don’t think that’s ever needed unless someone is adding every single word on its first appearance.
  4. Removed extra rows and columns from Guidelines. There’s no reason to be able to accidentally scroll down (below the content) on this page.

Things I didn’t edit:

  1. “Chapter page” and “Volume page” are a bit wide, but I don’t have a better suggestion for naming them.

  2. Guidelines page has some formatting oddities and I personally don’t think it needs everything underlined. (I realize that’s something that made its way into the book clubs at one point and got copied since.) The “how to contribute” also has gone missing from some vocabulary sheets (maybe on purpose?)

  3. Typically I lock the Guideline so no one accidentally edits it. (Doesn’t help if you’re having me make minor changes at the moment, of course. I don’t recall if you had it locked before, so mentioning it just in case.)

That should be it for editing for me!

Edit: Might help if I at least show the formatting oddity I noticed:



I agree with all your edits.

Yeah, I just tried doing Volume Pg and Chapter Pg, but it looked bad. :joy: So I think we are stuck with that for the time being, though I agree that they are unnecessarily wide.

Hmm, I don’t ever recall seeing a How to Contribute section. Do you mind either adding that in or showing a screenshot of it or something? If it’s useful, we just as well leave it in.

I agree with the underlining. I removed the unnecessary underlines, leaving it only for the “section headings” (such as they are). If there’s any other formatting things that you think need changed, let me know, or feel free to make it look pretty to your heart’s content. :laughing: I trust you implicitly. :stuck_out_tongue:

At some point, I always had it locked, but I’m not sure when that changed. :thinking: I’ll leave it unlocked until we are done making edits for sure, but I’ll lock it back up (and ensure it’s that way on all my other sheets) after we finish up.

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I don’t recall where I first saw it, but some sheets have this above the “When to add an entry” section:

How to contribute to this vocab sheet

The more people contribute to the vocab sheet, the more helpful it is for everyone, so please don’t feel shy about adding to it!

Please read these guidelines carefully before you get stuck in so that the vocab sheet remains easy for everyone to read and use.

Edit: Flying Witch volume 1 is an example.

I’ve now bolded the “Double-click” in the last section as that’s how it originally was on older sheets, and looks about right to me.


I went ahead and added that back in, though I changed the wording a bit (“get stuck in” reads strangely to me), as well as slightly adjusted the bolding/added an underline to the word before. :stuck_out_tongue:



That wording has bugged me for some time now as well. I couldn’t come up with something better, but I like yours, so I’ll be adopting it.

(Sorry for the chat room going on, for everyone with this thread on notification!)


Apology not accepted. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(Just kidding. Shame WaniKani doesn’t allow PMs though!)


Yeah, I understand the reasoning behind it, but it sure does make some things a little bit 面倒くさい. :joy:

I have turned off the editing on the vocabulary sheet for now, but I’m open to re-opening it if anybody else has other things they want to add, or if @ChristopherFritz has more suggestions. :grin:


Excellent job with the the template! I appreciate the help. I have a few changes that I want to make but most of them are just for the sake of uniformity with the home page template. Hopefully I’ll have some time tomorrow to knock that out and get your thoughts.

I like the vocab sheet, too. Since you’ve already been working with Christopher on that I’ll throw in a suggestion. Here’s what I prefer for the “when to add an entry” section of the instructions. It helps get inexperienced club members comfortable with adding to a vocab sheet and also helps alleviate confusion if a word’s correct definition is unclear.

When to add an entry

If you are reasonably confident of the word itself and the appropriate translation for the context, go for it!

If you are unsure of a word’s meaning, feel free to add it to the vocab sheet, but highlight the row in yellow so that other readers can confirm it or fix it. If you’ve tried hard but still cannot find the meaning of a word, feel free to add it without a definition, but highlight the row in red.

Try not to add the same word more than once in a given week’s reading.


I’ve updated the wording to reflect that and look forward to seeing your changes to the Weekly Template! :grin:


Consideration for thoughts and feedback:

Some users may not know how to highlight a row. (They may also be uncertain whether they’re changing the font color or the background color.)

I wonder if it would be better to put a specific word into the note (such as “unsure” or “unknown”; just throwing out random ideas here) and have conditional formatting that will highlight the row based on that.

Conditional formatting does make the vocabulary sheet a bit more complex in its design, but if it’s part of the template then it shouldn’t need any managing.

You can see this in action here.

Warning: If the club doesn’t need both page columns and the runner deletes one, the conditional formatting breaks. This isn’t considered a complete and proper implementation. Rather, just putting the concept out for thoughts.

Note: Adding uncertain words goes against earlier vocabulary sheets saying to ask in the discussion thread if you’re uncertain of a word before adding. I don’t mind either way.

@MrGeneric, another thought: For the header text background color, use one of these colors:


Then we can note in this thread (under its own extra [detail] section for those who want more control over their club’s vocabulary sheet) on editing the theme to change colors.

The only advantage is if the person maintaining the sheet adds multiple tabs for each week/chapter, then wants to go back and change the header color for all of them. Change the color in the theme, and all cells using that color change at the same time.

(I might only be saying this because I’ve gone back and changed a lot of header colors on a couple of vocabulary sheets I was prepping in advance of a club, as I didn’t think to use themes.)