I wrote something a little similar to what you’re looking for some time ago. Take into consideration that it’s not 100% perfect, as I’ve found new tricks and new scripts since the time of writing this. Also, pay extra attention to the “Let’s talk about reviews” section.
Scripts that I use (and recommend):
WaniKani Ultimate Timeline this one shows you a graph of when you have reviews. Knowing when you have reviews at the beginning of the day vs 1h before is much more organized, saves you time and avoids unecessary worries. This means more energy to focus on important stuff
Wanikani Override: This one allows you ignore wrong answers. Use it exclusively for when you make typos or for when WK lacks your synonym. Getting a Kanji wrong because of a typo and postponing your leveling up because of it can be quite annoying. This script solves it.
WaniKani Pitch Info: This one shows you a small graph about the pronunciation of every vocab on WK. Not sure what your native language is, but the further your native language pronunciation is from Japanese, the more you’ll need this. Getting used to Japanese tones is important in my opinion and it definitely helps with memorization
WaniKani Real Numbers: This one shows you the actual number of lessons/reviews that you have (and not just the 42+). Instead of having to check the actual number, you’ll have it right there. This helps you organize your work because you can better make the distribution of your reviews inside your head instead of just worrying about contantly checking the real numbers. WK should be a stress-free tool.
Wanikani Reorder Ultimate 2: This allows you to reorder what you see first on your lessons and reviews. I mostly use this for my lessons. Why? If you think about WK and its leveling’s system, you’ll quickly understand that radicals and kanji have priority over vocabulary, since the later doesn’t influence how fast you level up. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to do the vocabulary lessons in time. However, instead of having to deal with tons of vocab before getting the radicals, you can choose to get them right away
WaniKani Show Specific SRS Level: This one is very simple. Instead of getting “Apprentice”/“Guru” every time you get an item right during reviews, you get the specific level that it leveled up. For example, “Guru 2” and “Apprentice 3”.
WaniKani SRS Level Progress: This allows you to have access to the number of items in each subdivision of both the Apprentice and the Guru categories. For example, you’ll get “10/0/37/63” instead of just “110” items on Apprentice. [Explanation: 10 in App 1, 0 in App 2, 37 in App 3 and 63 in App 4]
WaniKani Dashboard Progress Plus: This one allows you to see the progress of your current level’s items. Are they Apprentice 2 or are they 3 already? You’ll know in 1 sec.
Wanikani Self-Study Quiz Edition: I find Kanji to be the hardest to learn. If I get to a point where I feel the need to review my current level’s kanji, I’ll use this script. The better to learn the Kanji, the easiest the vocab will be.
In terms of learning how to use WaniKani:
First, you need to define how many days you want to spend in each level. How do I do it? I make sure to know how long it will take me to do all the vocab of that specific level. I don’t care about leveling up faster, just so that I’ll end up leaving vocabulary unlocked from the previous level to do. If you want to level up every 8 days, you need to make sure you can do not only the lessons of radicals and kanji but also those of vocabulary successfully. WK has on average around 120 vocab per level (higher levels have less). This means that if you want to level up every 8 days: 120/8=15 vocab lessons that must be done every day. Leveling up every 10 days means you do 12 lessons of vocab every single day. 7 days/level and you’ll do 17 vocab lessons. Choose a number that works for you. Doing WK the fastest way is about learning efficiency, not about how fast your level increases
If you intend to level up as fast and as effectively as you possibly can, there’s 4 things to worry about related to items:
- Doing the radicals as soon as you level up. The sooner you guru the radicals, the sooner the 2nd half of Kanji will appear.
- Doing the 1st half of Kanji in the days between the unlock of radicals and the unlock of the 2nd half of Kanji. This establishes that most if not all of your 1st half of Kanji will be already Guru before you leveling up.
- Doing the 2nd half of Kanji as soon as you guru the radicals.
- Doing the vocabulary available during the time you spend on that level (use the “total vocab/number of days” formula to know how many words you should learn per day to achieve this).
Now, let’s talk about reviews. I assume you already know the subdivisions of the Apprentice category, right?
Apprentice 1 => Guru 1 (3d10h, considering 4 correct answers in a row)
Apprentice 1 (lesson)
Apprentice 2 (+4h)
Apprentice 3 (+8h)
Apprentice 4 (+23h => consider this as 24h or 2x12h)
Guru 1 (+47h => consider this as 48h or 4x12h)
This helps you answer the question: How frequently should I do the reviews?
If you pay attention, you’ll notice that WK is divided by periods of 12h. Apprentice 1 (4h) + Apprentice 2 (8h) = 12h. This means that you need 12h after the lesson to put an item in the Apprentice 3. After that, it takes +2x12h for Apprentice 4 and +4x12h for Guru. Why should you care? It’s simple. This allows you to build your own schedule for WK.
For example, imagine that you do a lesson at 9am. This means that you’ll get the 1st review at 1pm (+4h) and the 2nd review at 9pm (+8h, considering you got it right both times). Did you notice the pattern? That’s right, 9 am and 9pm. It’s the WK’s pattern working. Now, think about the time it will take for the next Apprentice levels. That’s right, Apprentice 4 at 9pm of the following day and Guru 1 two days later also at 9pm. See the magic happening?
In order to use WK to its full potential, it’s better to do the Apprentice reviews using the intervals of WK. Why? If you read the FAQ/Guide, you’ll see that WK shows you an item right before you forget it. By being loyal to their intervals, you’ll be able to be more successful in your reviews. Does this give you extra work? Not at all. Just notice the pattern again.
For an item which lesson was done at 9am, you’ll need to:
- review it at 1pm.
- review it at 9pm.
You basically only need to use WK three times per day. Forget about trying to be here every single waking hour. You don’t need to. Waking up at the middle of the night is also completely nonsense. Your sleep is way more important than WK and the cool thing is that you can do both right.
Now, I believe you already noticed that choosing the time you do the lesson also determines your schedule for the rest of your day. I’ll tell you more, it determines your schedule for the rest of your WK usage. Use this to your advantage.
Imagine that you know that tomorrow you’ll be able to use WK at 8am and 8pm (12h interval). Then, 8am is the right time for the lessons. If you do the lessons at 2pm, it means that the 2nd review will only be available at 2am. Little bit late, don’t you think? By creating your own schedule for the day, you allow yourself to use WK in a healthy way. No need to wake up at the middle of night, no need for more guesses. You’re fully in control.
- Define a number of days per level that doesn’t interfere with your learning of radicals, kanji and vocab.
- Taking point 1 into consideration, think about the 4 rules related to items that I mentioned above.
- Then, define a 12h schedule (0h, +4h, +8h) based on your routine that allows you to use WK.
- Protect your learning: while doing the lessons, make sure to only focus on it. No TV, no people talking to you. Those 5 to 10 minutes should only be yours to use. The better your lessons go, the better your reviews will too.
- Sleep well, eat healthy and exercise.
Enjoy your journey of learning Japanese