Wanikani improving and Living a LIFE!

Hi everyone,

I’m sure all of you do, have lots of things to do on the daily!

Personally I prioritise my mental health, with exercise, yoga and meditation, Yes this takes a lot of my day up!

Then working for myself on various projects means that I have stopped making time for wanikani. I also use Japanese daily, I have a good level of speaking. So I get lazy on the kanji side, hence why I’m in my current situation.

My aim is to go up the levels, to learn more and more kanji. So I can read more while living in Japan, doing daily things!

Reviews are up to 600 and I just wonder how did you fit it into a busy day?

Does it have to be done for an hour daily?

Or even 30 mins a day works?

Or just fitting in a longer session over the week a few times a week??

Please let me know your wise ways!

Thank you


Oof, sounds like you may have some leeches there or something, 600 is a lot :see_no_evil:

The first step in managing your review load is taking a look at your apprentice count, this is usually somewhere in the 100-150 range for efficient leveling while still having manageable daily workloads (for me this resulted in about 30-60 min of commitment to WK per day on average) — this can vary of course, so it’s good to keep an eye on number of apprentice items because those are the lowest SRS and thus you’ll see them more often in reviews

If you have a high apprentice count, I’d recommend whittling away the best you can and keeping an eye out for leeches that you can’t seem to guru, practicing them a bit more to help them stick could be an important step (i.e. reading the item’s mnemonic again, using something like the self study script for extra review, that sort of thing). Also, I wouldn’t do more lessons (if you have any) until you get that apprentice count down to a more manageable level

Not everyone focuses on apprentice counts, but when the daily workloads start becoming overwhelming and hard to keep up with, it may be good to figure out what range works best for you so that you can start moving forward again (and avoid burning out!)

頑張ってね :crabigator:


make time. if you don’t prioritize it, you’ll be one more name on the long list of early quitters.

actually, that’s what i’d expect everyone to be who isn’t already pretty far and active here.


I’m bad at prioritizing, I’m a slobby sloth, and my focus has it’s own idea of what needs to get done. That’s how I was able to finish WaniKani :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

I recommend getting your reviews down to zero every day, it will just get worse otherwise


In addition to the wise words of others (paying attention to that apprentice count), I have two suggestions:

  • Be mindful of how you do your lessons. I use the Ultimate Reorder script and set it to show me the new radicals and kanji first. I do 7-10 of those a day until they are done, but then I don’t touch the vocab until I’ve gotten the kanji and radicals up to at least 1/2 way through the apprentice level. Yes, this definitely takes more time to level up, but it keeps my reviews pretty manageable and I’m not overwhelmed with like 50 new kanji and vocab to learn “at once” (meaning they pop up for reviews at the same time because they were all unlocked at the same time - make sense?). Managing your lesson queue helps prevent huge chunks of reviews from hitting all at once and makes it more manageable, though you do sacrifice leveling up speed.

  • Which brings me to advice #2, adjust your expectations. Maybe this isn’t your problem, but as someone who also juggles WK alongside a lot of other life things, it was a problem for me recently so I’m just going to throw this out there as well.

I used to get really frustrated that I wasn’t making enough progress with WK. Then I realized that as a homeschool mom to two kids, who also volunteers a lot, reads a lot, does crafts, and spends time with my husband watching dumb stuff to unwind, it’s unrealistic to expect that I’ll be able to blaze through Wanikani. ESPECIALLY true after I plowed through my intial knowledge bubble of kanji I had already learned/picked up and now I’m hitting brand new things I’ve got to learn from scratch.

What helped is that I stopped expecting myself to be able to study like a college kid without a mortgage or kids or other hobbies.

That perspective shift helped me relax and take a “slow and steady” approach. I chip away at WK a little bit every day, even if it takes me weeks or months to level up. I do try to get my reviews down to zero every day, but I don’t sweat it if I can’t, if I get backlogged, whatever. I just keep doing however much I can every day and it’s enough – it’s a small part of my bigger, rich life, not my sole occupation.


I guess many people face this problem. For me it is juggling work, gym and meeting friends while trying to keep my review count as low as possible and leveling at a decent rate.

I also use the Reorder script to make sure I do my radicals and kanji first. For this I make time every day.
Sometimes I have some extra time (while queuing, commuting, …) and I just open the app on my phone to do some extra reviews.

This approach sometimes means my review count gets high too (all vocabulary :sweat_smile:) even though my apprentice number is usually in between 100-150.

When this happens I just decide to dedicate a full day on the weekend to getting my review count to 0!
However I’d like to change my ways and spend a little more time every day consistently because those high review counts are a huge pain in my **s :stuck_out_tongue:

@Noid936 I used to do that, too, using reorder to just prioritize radicals and kanji to guru then let the higher level stuff accumulate. It worked well for a while, but then I hit this really hard block where I felt like I was just failing the same things over and over and over.

Then my husband pointed out that this method that means you’re hitting the stuff that’s hardest (the stuff you don’t know at all yet) most often, not letting the SRS do its thing with your brain, AND missing out on the awesome endorphin rushof high level items. Now I look forward to the enlightened/master level items because it feels so good to race through things I really know without much effort and get them burned.

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During the work week I’d say I allocate 1-2 hours a day toward Japanese, whether that be WaniKani or other areas of study. A couple thoughts…

My aim is to go up the levels, to learn more and more kanji.

First, as someone else said, 600 reviews a day seems excessive. With any SRS system (be it WK or Anki or whatever) if you find yourself in this situation, I’d say stop doing new lessons until you can get your review count down to a manageable level. Focusing too much on getting to the next level ASAP can wind up digging yourself in a hole of more and more review material until its unmanageable.

Beyond that I think it’s helpful to find little blocks of time through the day to whittle away at it. During a bus or train ride, a break at work or during lunch, whatever it might be. Makes it more manageable than sitting down at the end of a long day and having a mountain of review material to do in one sitting.

I work full time but take it slow, always keeping my apprentice items between 50-100. I got 4 15 minute breaks a day at work and a 30 minute lunch, which gives me plenty of time during breaks and lunch to keep on top of reviews. I also do some in the mornings and evenings before and after work.
Oddly enough my days off work cause a bigger problem, there’s less structure and if I lose track of time my reviews can build up and my accuracy suffers. Especially if I’m doing something else, for example I recently went to see some live music and that made it harder to keep on top of things, especially with my phone running dry on battery at one point.

I guess, though, it’s also important to give yourself a bit of a rest for your brain to take stock and let things sink in. Whenever I need this I just stop doing lessons and only do reviews. Might be years til I reach level 60 but I don’t care, this isn’t a race for me.


I myself had some free time when I started WK so I went quickly to 50. At that level, I had learned almost all of the most useful words for daily communication.

Unfortunately, the review pile was getting unmanageable (several times it hit 1500+ reviews). So I installed the reorder script and from that point on did mostly only kanji reviews (so I would still level-up).

After I hit 60, and guru’ed all level-60 kanji, I reset back to 1. Now I’m much happier because I don’t have any time pressure. Taking my precious time and doing KameSame at the side.


no one says you have to rush. you don’t. i’m not rushing either, even though my levelups are pretty fast at ~8 days. it’s just not too fast for me. i get my reviews and do them, then i get lessons, do them… i just stick to it and check in the morning and evening, and whether 50 reviews await me, or 150, i just sit down and work them to zero.


Have you seen the ultimate guide by @jprspereira? If you follow his plan closely, you can pretty much reach 8 days/ level. And it won’t take that much time either. I have been doing like 45 mins morning session, 20 mins during lunch hour at work place, and another 30 mins in the evening. So that’s about 1h30m everyday. And my record are solid (except for this level because I went out drinking and blacked out for two days :cry: )

There are people who optimize the hell out of the plan above, and actually finish level 60 with under 7 days xx hours/level. But then again there are of course too many people who learn everything whenever they get new lesson and get overwhelmed by the amount of reviews and give up. I guess my point here is to stick with something that sounds reasonable, and figure out what works for you. :smile:

Last important tips that has been echoed around here: keep Apprentice under 150 so that you don’t have a huge review list that burns you out.


Thank you for the mentioning :heart:

I just want to add that a common misunderstanding is people thinking that just because I reached level 60 in 368 days, my guide is only for people that wanna go fast. Wrong. Like @DerpiesDerp said, it’s a optimised program: achieve the most results in the less possible time. Everything one needs to know is there. The goal is to not only to teach you what to do, but also how to make decisions by yourself. So even if one wants to go for a level every 2 weeks, the guide suits them. I recommend to just check the general titles and read what seems interesting :v: (because the guide has 70k characters lol)


I already speak Japanese fine, so that’s my main problem, if I didn’t it motivate me a lot more! Plus technology does make it much easier to work out those pesky admin type letters.
I’m glad that you use this platform to elevate your own ego and to try and crush mine.

Thank you

Thank you! I just needed to see if this was also the case for other people.
Yes I didn’t think about that expectation. I don’t have 3 years to study all this full time!

Reoder script? this is in settings?


Yes I just wanted to see a less long timeline of completion. Breaking up 1 hour or more into chunks seems very reasonable. To allow your brain to rest and yet feel excited to learn again! This is great thanks

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a day has 24 hours, some of which you spend sleeping, some of which at work. those can’t be switched to something else, but what you do in your free time is in your hand. you can do whatever, or you can do wk, that’s in your hands. that’s what i meant when i said you have to prioritize, because that’s all there is to it.
i lead a busy life myself, but my priorities are such that i do my reviews when they are due.


Hi! Thank you super helpful! Just need to look into this apprentice thing, its definitely an issue for me! I just didn’t know that was a thing or how to review that

Super helpful! Thank youuuuu!

How can I check my apprentice count?

I see that theres 360 in there, that is 100% my problem!

I know this is the issue for sure, you’re right!
Just seems like I just keep getting the same ones wrong, again and again, like I’ve learnt them but wrong haha!


Yeah it’s the number you see on the homepage, that’s a pretty high amount and means those items are coming back over and over again

Those items that don’t seem to stick are called leeches, it may be necessary to go back and reread the mnemonics to make sure you learn it correctly (or come up with your own if WK’s isn’t working for you), and some extra practice can help too! Maybe try getting the Self Study Quiz script and then also getting the additional add on filters which includes leech training, the extra reinforcement may make a difference in helping you bring your apprentice count down

Give yourself some time to do that and then start slowly adding lessons back in once your reviews become manageable again, once you find your ideal balance you’ll start feeling like you’re progressing again ^^ even just a little bit every day is the key to making it to the end

You’ve got this, I’ll see you at 60!