What is your Anki strategy? / How do you use Anki?

Mainly, I want to ask are:

  • Subdeck and filtered deck, also, tags
  • Card types
  • Sorting into decks
  • Reordering the card
  • Number of lessons and reviews per day
  • Custom steps
  • Audio - autoplay, or turn the autoplay off (manual play)
  • Other deck options
  • Do you draw in Anki?
  • Other things, like: burying related cards until the next day, do you use picture?

What I do is:
  • I created roughly 3 card types for note, then separate different card types into separate decks – I don’t know if this will be a problem if I export the deck, though. Never tested. Export successful, but I don’t know if it will work?
    • In the past, I don’t know how card types work, so this wasn’t a problem. Now, this is a problem to exporting.
  • I created a lot of sub decks, which Anki warned me against.
  • I also use filtered decks and tags, but not very smoothly
    • The settings are:
      • 0 new cards/day
      • Reschedule based on answers from this deck
  • Custom steps
    • 1 240 for JP–>EN (more particularly, Kanji–>EN)
    • 1 10 for EN–>JP, both for typing mode and handwriting mode
  • No more than 50 reviews per day
  • Either 20 or 0 new cards/day
  • Custom study to add more new cards, or more reviews
  • I used to turn off Autoplay audio, but now it is on
    • No audio in the front of the cards. They are in the back only
  • JP–>EN, no burying the cards. EN–>JP, yes I bury the cards.
  • Suspend the cards I don’t want to learn, sometimes based on tags
  • Never add pictures
  • Basically, I copy everything from the dictionary to Anki (Jisho, Tangorin, goo)
  • I type a lot of mnemonics in Anki
  • I draw in Anki – practice writing in AnkiDroid
  • Currently, like 1614 cards due, but I don’t care.

By the way, Anki has always warned me: You have a lot of decks, please see this page.

I don’t know what to do the day the Anki app or the Anki server is broken down…

Mine is to make as many excuses as I can to avoid using it.


I have a hardcore regimen of 24 hours of not using Anki per day.


Last time, my decks were mostly separated based on sources.

Notable examples:

Game x, Game y, etc.
Manga x, manga y, etc.
Sentence construction practices

I sort of withdrew from some of this tradition because I realised that I didn’t always want to finish the games that I’ve played. I kinda abandoned the vocabs from those decks because they didn’t feel as rewarding as if I was playing the game/reading the manga.

Currently, I start with Compiled Game Vocabularies for example and use tags to differentiate the sources. This way, I’m not actually really abandoning those vocabs which are actually quite important. If I’m committed to a particular game/manga, then I’ll create a new deck for it and when I’m finished, I’ll just move all the cards into the compiled game vocabularies deck.

I still use a Conversation deck because these are sometimes full phrases and sentences. It’s a bit awkward to be placed elsewhere.

I no longer care much about JLPT-based vocabulary, so this practice is obsolete (ever since I’m through with JLPT4).

There were words or grammar practices that I wanted to be drilled, to be focused on and I put them into a very particular deck with more thorough practices. This is where I use audio to test my pace, spoken in both Japanese and English, where I’ll try to both speak and write at a more natural pace. These are dedicated for things that I’m really keen to know how to use, usually. I remember one time I learned the word 指揮 and I wanted to know how it was used. I wasn’t comfortable with hearing it being spoken quickly so I added examples like 医者の指揮に従った or 上司の指揮を逆らうな!Of course it made me become more comfortable with all the other words being used in that sentence.

Also, in the beginning, I often focused on meanings. Later on, I’m often not satisfied with the meaning (because maybe the usage seems too broad, so I check further on example phrases, etc.) and appended the definition a little bit by providing examples. When I provide examples, I usually use […] to replace the word I’m meant to learn. (e.g. I went today […]行きました。for when the word I want to learn is 今日)

I rarely add pictures. Sometimes I do. Sometimes it’s to differentiate the context better, sometimes they are just nouns that help clarify what I ought to be envisioning when I see the word. Example: 防波堤. Breakwater? Mole? I’m not even sure what to think when I see those words in English. So I add pictures (now maybe I know those things better in English too). Another example: 羽織 (Japanese formal coat? Haori? What is it?) pictorial form is so much more helpful.

Mostly no audio except in the focus deck.

Number of reviews every day: standard.
Number of new items every day: standard.

I used to have too many decks, now I only have 2, but comfortable with adding maybe at least a few more (e.g. the deck to focus on specific words/grammar, vocabs drawn from other sources, current game/manga focus).

So, number of reviews are easily around: 100+ a day. Back then, I could be reviewing easily 300-400+ a day.

I don’t draw in Anki. I practice a lot of writing on paper with a pen.

I don’t copy every single definition. I copy the relevant definition on the one that I’m reading and then maybe 1 or 2 more if they are the more commonly used definitions.

Sometimes I also add the usu. in kana in a different colour (light grey). I usually learn the kana-version of the word if it’s kana-only, but when I’ve encountered it in its kanji form, I’ll learn the kanji as well. Usually, it also means that I would delete the old kana-only card and replace it with a brand new kanji version. A bit annoying, but I’d rather do this than to learn rare kanjis excessively.

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I use anki, but mainly for memorization with Japanese books. I create my own decks rather than using other decks since it is much more directed towards what I want or need to know (Mainly vocabulary).
For writing, I started off using the app kanji study and then transferred over to kanji notebooks.

I use Anki a little bit but only with premade decks. Creating my own deck might as well be rocket science. All the different options/things you can do with each card is overwhelming to me.

I have started but never got far with pre-made decks in Anki. I would also make my own decks, and then spend more time coding the design and script functionality than I would studying them. My latest and largest project was a deck of sentences with audio taken from an N2 book. The audio would autoplay with no text, then the answer side had the sentence and a replay button to practice shadowing. It also showed the vocab word that was introduced in the sentence, with a Japanese definition from Sanseido. More buttons toggled furigana and English. I tried doing 10 new cards and 90 reviews. But I got fed up with how Anki increases the intervals based on the time last seen. So if I saw a sentence only 2 or 3 times, then take a break for a few weeks, the next interval becomes like a month. I known this algorithm is based on how we forget, but  I’m not trying to memorize the sentences. There’s no option that I could find to make it stop doing this, so I lost the motivation to study with Anki.

I dropped Anki when I discovered WaniKani. :slight_smile:

EskimoJo said... Mine is to make as many excuses as I can to avoid using it.
 Heh!  Mine was to delete the app off my Kindle and to not purchase it for my iPhone, because garbage software should not cost $25.  Kill it with fire from my Windows box and re-capture the 1GB of valuable hard drive space it was still using even after uninstalling.

Leebo said...I have a hardcore regimen of 24 hours of not using Anki per day.

i dont use anki, i use memrise when i study kanji outside of WK

anyways, almost level 10 w00t

The main reason I utilize anki is because I take the time to take down vocab and notes when I read and I don’t want that to go to waste. 
I keep it simple though, because if its a hassle I just won’t do it. My settings are similar to wanikani in terms of steps and I use text input. I only use desktop because I am a fast typer and like the efficiency. I don’t use tags, reordering, audio, etc, I keep it pretty strictly kanji -> kana and kana -> english
I pretty much only make my own decks through importing from vocab lists I’ve made primarily from reading books / manga. 
I organize my decks by where the vocab list came from (i.e. mangaA, mangaB, etc.) because retention is easier for me by associating where I learned the word.
I do about 15 new words a day and thats it.

1 Like
Leebo said... I have a hardcore regimen of 24 hours of not using Anki per day.
 Same here