What's Your Daily Routine? ☀️

Hey guys, I just maxed out the level 3 lessons and decided to make the plunge to level 4 and beyond. Excited to be here! For the last few months Wanikani has been great for helping make my Japanese learning fun and easy to do daily, but naturally Kanji study alone isn’t enough to really understand the language the way I want to sometime soon.

So here’s my question: What’s YOUR daily routine?
I’d love it if people shared their study habits/routines and experience with them so we can compare notes (and so I can blatantly steal the good ideas).

Personally I’ve been using Wanikani as my main focus and “reminder” to study each day. I’ve been reading bits of my Tai Kim grammar guide and tinkering with Anki decks like the Yotsuba Read-along cards from the Itazuraneko Guide, but I haven’t fallen into a very good rhythm yet. Would love to hear from everybody on how you handle yours (and any tips you might have for how to get started with them).

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I wrote up a very long post about my current routine here, haha. I definitely don’t claim to be doing this the best or most efficient way, but in terms of figuring out a routine that I can sustain for a long period of time, and which allows me to make constant, consistent progress, I’ve managed to succeed. So I’ll try to give advice that is more general and applicable regardless of your individual study plan.

One of my biggest tips is to add new resources slowly. My routine probably looks super intense to a beginner, because I’m juggling three SRS (WaniKani, KaniWani, Anki), as well as a textbook and then other side reading projects, but it’s really important to note that I settled into this routine over a period of almost a year of consistent, daily study. I didn’t start out with the full thing in place. I started with just WK, discovered KW a few levels in, added Anki when I started using my textbook (purely using it to SRS textbook vocab only), and then only started mining words from other media at the end of 2021, many months after I started WK.

If you do add new resources, make sure your current routine has stabilized, first. Especially with SRS. You’ll probably feel a bit of a strain whenever you try incorporating a new habit, so you’ll want to give that time to settle, and if the feeling persists, maybe consider dropping that resource or scaling back on other stuff. Basically keep an eye out for signs of burnout, and when in doubt, reduce your daily workload.

I’ve had a fair amount of success tying my progress to my WK level, in that I try to complete at least one textbook chapter before I level up. This helps encourage me to keep pushing myself and progressing without a SRS forcing me to do the exercises. It’s also nice to have different things to work on besides SRS.

If you do go heavy on SRS, be very, very careful about not overloading yourself. I’d recommend against going full speed on WK unless you truly have an ungodly amount of free time and a huge stamina for studying a lot of hours each day. Your WK workload will gradually increase over time, so make sure that you plan for this and accommodate for it with your other study plans. Doing two or three SRS at once can be very punishing and can add a lot of strain, so you have to be careful not to burn yourself out by adding too much new material each day. Missing just one day can be enough to knock you out of the habit completely if your reviews pile up too much.

Because of that, you’ll want to plan your daily workload for what you can get done on a bad day, not an ideal one. With SRS in particular, you’ll want to be able to get at least your reviews done every single day, no matter what. This means even if you’re sick, if you’re super busy, if you’re on vacation, etc. Because you’re going to have days where studying is the absolute last thing you want to do, so you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for your future self to keep going on those days.

I think it’s a good idea to have a minimum daily workload (basic SRS maintenance), and then if you have more time/energy on top of that on any given day, it’s best to do types of studying that won’t add to your future workload, like instead of doing SRS, spend time on reading or watching media, learning to write kanji, studying grammar, etc. On low energy days, you can just complete your SRS reviews and call it good.

Learning Japanese is a multiple years long process, so you’ll almost certainly have things come up in your life that occasionally make it difficult to study. From what I’ve seen, usually it’s unexpected real life stuff that causes people to burn out, so it’s best just to plan for that possibility when considering your daily routine, and make sure that your daily workload isn’t wearing on you too much. Everyone has their own limit here, and it’s okay if yours is less than others’.

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I usually wake up and do 50 reviews and 5 lessons of the Core 2000 deck on Anki. Later on, I earn a crown on Duolingo and spend the largest chunk of my time using WaniKani. If I have time during the day, I try to cover one grammar point and worksheet in Genki. At the very end of the day, I use HelloTalk to practice using what I’ve learned during the day in real situations. I’m hoping to add reading practice with books/manga once I finish WaniKani.

I always do Anki, Duolingo, and Anki every day without fail, even if I’m especially busy one day and can’t do the full amount (usually due to college work). I’m trying to get better at doing Genki and HelloTalk every day too. I also have trouble making the best use of HelloTalk, sometimes worrying about responding to people rather than trying out new grammar or vocab.

While I’m sure there are methods better than mine, I hope this helps somebody! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi, and welcome to the forums!

You’ve correctly identified the most important thing: a routine. What, how fast, and how well are all secondary concerns: what most correlates to success is making it a habit and doing it consistently every single day if at all possible.

We all have different interests and energy levels, so the trick is figuring out what works for you.

My routine is daily reviews with my morning coffee, trying to read something in Satori reader or online at least a few times per week, and speaking with or emailing friends and family in Japanese as often as possible.

If you’re just starting to learn Japanese, you’re doing it right. The most important thing, IMHO, is to memorize kanji first so you can start to read and understand the language. Everything gets easier once you start to clear this hurdle. I did it the hard way and built up vocabulary phonetically over decades, often confusing myself unnecessarily. Trust me: learning kanji first is much better.

That said, it’s never too early to augment your WK reviews with grammar studies, real reading, and production practice (speaking and writing). I’d just caution against burnout and overload. Especially in the beginning: allocate 90+% of your effort just toward memorizing kanji.

Please realize that the pace on WK is fairly slow and relatively easy until you start seeing enlightened items after about 6 months or so. Up through the first ten levels or so, you may find yourself with plenty of time and energy for outside studies. Once you start doing over 100 or so somewhat difficult reviews per day, though, you may find you have less energy for anything BUT Wanikani.

If you need something to help you sleep, I’ve posted fairly often about motivation tricks with Wanikani.

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Thanks for the feedback, you and everybody. I’m reading closely and taking notes! :grin: Already I’m seeing some suggestions I should have known already, but that’s why we make threads like these! :innocent: I’ll get started on drilling a routine myself outside of just WK ASAP.

You make an interesting point, Rex, about starting by learning Kanji, then moving onward to vocab, grammer, etc. which a lot of the basic guides I used to see typically don’t promote. However, I’m starting to think that is clearly the way to go if you’re serious about learning the language! I studied Japanese for years in college but we took that other approach (Genki was our guide) of prioritizing the quick and easy common words and phrases in Hiragana, but looking back I don’t think it was such a great method, as it didn’t form the kind of linguistic foundation you need to build on. Honestly I think the courses were way too easy on us students, so we retained way too little!

Conversely, here on WK now that I’m self-motivating, I am seeing the Kanji-first approach as a much more holistic way to learn. Since I’ve been at it a few months, I’m seeing all these patterns in the Kanji and their combinations and can even guess meanings from new combinations! Altogether it just feels like a MUCH more complete vision of the language than I’ve seen previously which has made quizzing addictive and, of course, extremely helpful in retaining the information. You can tell this was Wanikani’s goal, so I sure am glad I stumbled across it.

Hope to hear more good tips and insights from everybody, ありがとうございます!! :jp:

Oh, and I’ll keep in mind the difficulty ramping as I get up toward level 10. がんばります! :muscle:

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Mine’s not 100% consistent, but I do have a core that is. I do one session on Drops and one lesson on Duo in the morning (I do those during my break when I have work; when I don’t, I might do more on Duo depending on how I’m feeling), then generally in the evening I do another session on Drops and more lessons on Duo, using my Early Bird EXP Boost. I do reviews on BunPro when I have time plus lessons if I’m feeling up to it (never more than 10 vocab and 3 grammar items, since that’s a good amount for me), and I do reviews on WK in bursts throughout the day, mostly on my phone since I p much always have it on me and using it takes less energy than using my laptop. For lessons I generally do 10-20 per day early enough that I can at least hit the first review, but it could be more or less depending on how I’m feeling. Those, though, I usually do on my laptop since they seem to stick better with the multi-page setup on native WK than the one-page setup on Tsurukame.

My other resources (mostly KaniWani, Katsu, and an app that teaches how to write kanji, plus the occasional YT video I stumble across) I cycle through, since I definitely don’t have the energy to do everything—especially on workdays—and some days (many days, recently…) I don’t do any of them. I do, however, try to read at least a little bit every day, even if it’s just a single page of a novel or one chapter of a manga. Or a chapter or few of a Satori Reader story, though so far I haven’t ever done just that lol

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I studied in Japan for two years and returned back to the US at the beginning of this year. I’m trying not to forget too much because I plan to return back soon to marry my fiance, so while I’m waiting for the boarders to open back up I’ve been focusing all my energy on Kanji (because even after being immersed for 2 years I still feel like 何か読んだら知らない漢字が後を絶たなく感じてる ). SO, I’m attempting to get to level 60 by the end of this year! (or early next year haha)

I’m doing my best to go as fast as I can, while not getting too overwhelmed. Generally that means two Wanikani sessions a day, morning and evening. I make sure that when a new batch of kanji lessons come out, I will learn them all, but only the kanji lessons, none of the new vocab lessons. I save those for the next day. Even when I feel like I can take on more, I won’t because I’ve found that my accuracy stays way up when I only need to focus on the kanji. I don’t want my mind to get all bogged down by vocab. (don’t get me wrong, the vocab is also very important, but because I’m trying to go fast, the less distractions and mistakes the better when it comes to the kanji lessons). I’m expecting things to get more difficult in the higher levels, but as of now, It’s a pretty decent routine.

Besides wanikani, I’ve been reading (right now I’m reading twilight… even as an adult I can’t seem to get over my teenage obsessions… we don’t need to talk about it…haha). But I do find that reading books that I’m already familiar with helps. Like, I’ll listen to the Harry Potter audio in japanese, and every though it’s fast and I can’t catch everything, I know the books so well that I can still tell where in the story I am. I’m also trying to get more into listening to music and looking up the words I don’t know. It’s helped when it comes to recognizing new words especially when I’m not actively studying and just listening passively.

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In the morning, I get up. Without looking at my pending reviews, I go straight to the POLL thread on the WaniKani community

Throughout the day, I may even write a post or two

In the evening, I look back at another day where I neglected my durtles. I’m sorry, Koichi. One day, I will make you proud, papa :angrykoichi:

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On a more serious note: When I was still actively using WK, I used to do my first batch of reviews at 8AM and also do some lessons then, then second round of reviews at noon and another round at 8PM. It’s a good schedule for doing 7 day level ups, though you really don’t need to feel any pressure around that, you can go at your own pace

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Hello, new learner here!

I usually do my reviews as soon as I wake up, then later on I will earn a crown or 2 in Duolingo, and then I might practise with Anki or Quizlet. I will see a new word/kanji then get the meaning and make a flashcard out of it so I can learn it. :smiley: I will practise reading in my textbook and then do my Japanesepod lesson. Then I will spend about 45 mins doing Wani Kani again. I think it’s a good system, but if I burn out, ill give myself an afternoon off and go watch some youtube or listen to japanese music in JAPANESE so I give myself immersion.
Hope this helps!
Oliver

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I use Wanikani, Kaniwani, Jalup and occasionally I create some Anki cards for myself. My daily routine:
In the morning I do 5 lessons in Jalup and all my reviews in Jalup. I also do WK reviews if I have time.
During lunch break I do 5 Kaniwani lessons and my WK reviews.
During a tea break in the afternoon I do 10 WK lessons.
In the evening I do my KW reviews and I finish with a last WK review session.
I never have that many Anki reviews so I just do those whenever I have some free time.

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What you’re saying here is literally the same for sport, more precisely I can say that after 12 years of training experience and research this is exactly how I’d program and periodize my training sessions. Avoiding burnouts is crucial too

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My routine

Main work:
• Grammar (Genki textbook supplemented by ‘Cure Dolly’ youtube channel lessons and Tokini Andy’s yt vids after every chapter). With this I don’t follow a precise rythm. I just do what I’m able to do on the day but I prioritize kanji and vocab memorization since learning grammar is easier (at least for me).
• Kanji and vocab memorization on wanikani. I try to do 10 lessons every day (5 and 5 in two sessions because I putt everything down on paper with details and it takes some time - 30+ mins each session, otherwise things wont stick to memory)

Complementary work:
Kitsun.io ‘reverse wanikani’ deck. 5-10 lesson every day, I do them at least 3-5 days after having studied those same elements on WK to improve recall and general memorization (not basing on science here, I just feel it’s best)
kitsun.io ‘genki deck’. It’s good, I try to learn 5-10 items from the vocabulary on the next chapter every evening. This is easier and quicker but without mnemonics it sticks less and had to reduce SRS timings as for the WK level 1-2.
Kitsun.io custom deck where I add words that I think are important and somehow don’t appear on vocab section.
(By the way, I only use kitsun.io for all the SRS that is outside of WK. it’s so complete, it’s so well made and easily customizable that I don’t get why people go with anki or else. It even has a ‘wanikani expansion deck’)

Others:
Will start to read as soon as possible. Will begin with graded readers grade 0-3 then just proceed with satori reader till I won’t be ready/confident for some easy manga jump (no assistance)

Important note: I want to emphasize how useful are being the ‘Cure Dolly japanese from scratch’ video lesson on youtube. It explains every grammar concept brilliantly and it can make the difference on the grammar aspect

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I’m horrible at having a precise routine, but everyday I try to:

  • do all of my WaniKani reviews and lessons (although this is doable mostly because I’m only lvl 2 and also know everything I’m learning already)
  • practice translation for hopefully an hour or so (seeing the percent go up is a happy thing but at the same time ticking down towards when I have to edit whatever mess I probably made)
  • learn/review some kanji + vocab (I might pick some random ones from the crosswords I like doing and make Anki cards or do some writing practice or try to learn the ones on a print-out)

I also try to bake it into things I do randomly like so:

  • YouTube videos in Japanese (I like ツッコミ系)
  • Reading things in Japanese (physical books or sometimes Kindle)
  • Playing this fun crossword game I found (漢字クロス)
  • playing lots of random free Japanese games (like mobile apps or ゲームアツマール)
  • Searching all of my problems in Japanese (which, as long as they’re not like homework problems, usually solves them about as much as searching them in English does. AKA not at all)

But I also don’t really have to worry about grammar on an everyday basis anymore, so it might be more helpful if I talked about my old routines. Unfortunately, I don’t remember them and maybe never had them. I’m really just not very good with routines. They’re good to have, I think. I’m just somewhat incompatible with them? Given that I’ve never been able to keep one going. I’ve kind of been going with the flow and doing things here and there

Edit:

Unfortunately, I don’t remember them

Although if I had to guess, it would maybe be like:

  • class (1 hour per week, Genki) + any hw we had
  • WaniKani (with poor consistency)
  • forcing myself through random Japanese media (I liked ちゃお, ds games, probably other stuff?)
  • visiting those sites with easy reading materials
  • scrolling through grammar blogs
  • Anki (not that I didn’t forget about it most of the time)
  • that Genki conjugation practice website (really recommend)

Uhhh I don’t think I went much of anywhere quickly though so this probably isn’t super useful

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Mine has constantly changed over the years, but right now I’ve been doing the following daily;

I start off with the ‘recent lessons’, followed by recent mistakes, then I tackle on my review pile for the first time for the day (I’ll probably do about two more, based on the schedule). After that I do my reviews in my custom Anki deck that I’ve been building with different grammar and vocab I find from native media. Then I’ll crack through some of the WK lessons, usually about 15 per day, if I have kanji available I either get them all done in the day or over the course of a couple days. I keep a .txt file with the aforementioned Anki items, so I’ll go ahead and add 5 or 10 cards when I can handle them (for some reason trying to learn the stuff on your own and build your own mnemonics for stuff can get tricky and quite taxing). After that’s all done I’ll do my ‘challenge reading’. For awhile now that’s been the 3 volume series 日本人の知らない日本語. I’m on the last book and I could not recommend it enough to you if you’re interested in some great native reading material. When that’s all done I call it a day for my ‘official’ studying. Throughout the day I like to read Japanese articles or play Japanese video games for more immersion. Speaking of which, I also have all my devices, etc set to Japanese, so that gives me immersion 24/7.

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every morning I have at least 25 reviews waiting. So I do them at work while I wait for reports to be generated on company system.

Then, later around noon, If I have free time after lunch, I do some more reviews, there are around 50.

When I get back home from work, around 6pm I have another pile of 70 at least.

So I do reviews for bunpro as well (N3, around 55 items) and I watch every day one anime episode with japanese subtitles (shingeki no kyoujin s01 at the moment).

then I watch one episode of usa tv show and if I am not sleepy (this is around 10pm already) I play some nintendo switch.

That’s it. And the next day all over again.

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I’m pretty lame myself as I just have been focusing mainly on Wanikani this year. I try and keep my reviews down and I do at least 10 lessons a day. I also will practice writing the kanji and their readings in my Rocketbook, and upload them to the cloud. I feel like writing them down as well as studying them helps me remember a bit better. The Rocketbook wipes down when the pages are full so I don’t worry about filling endless pages with unnecessary amounts of Japanese. Maybe once or twice a week I will do some lessons in LingoDeer. I have been studying consistently for about 5 years now, and even though I’m no where near where I would like to be, I take my time to avoid burn out.

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I do reviews in the morning, after lunch, and one more time in the evening.
Depending on my mood, I do 5-15 lessons a day.

Outside of that, I’m working through Quartet 1 for new content, and Renshuu for refreshing older stuff I may have forgotten. I do that throughout the day, either on the way to work or at work.

I live in Japan and I’m studying two languages (intermediate with both). Here’s my very specific breakdown :laughing:

Morning Commute (45+ minutes)

  • Read in French with accompanying audio on my phone/Kindle for 30+ minutes
  • Do the same thing in Japanese (usually Satori Reader) for the remaining time. If I don’t do this, my brain is stuck in French mode and I can’t understand my coworkers lmao

At Work (60+ minutes)

  • WK reviews with morning tea
  • WK and Anki during the gaps at work
  • 10-20 WK lessons, but sometimes I do it in bed before sleeping
  • After lunch, read a novel or manga on my PC or Kindle for ~20 minutes
  • I try to have a conversation with a coworker in Japanese at least once per week, but it’s usually more than that thankfully

Afternoon Commute (45+ minutes)

  • Social media check…
  • Watch a cartoon in Japanese or French. I download it over Netflix because I work in inaka and sometimes there’s no reception

After Work

  • This is where my routine falls apart because I like to follow my whims to contrast this highly structured work day lmao
  • Sometimes play a game on Switch/Vita (Japanese)
  • Sometimes play a word game with a my Japanese spouse while in the bath lol
  • Sometimes read novels/manga (Japanese or French but usually Japanese)
  • Maybe more WK while watching TV/Youtube

Weekend

  • All structure flies out the window
  • If I go on the train or bus, I always do reviews or read
  • I have a Studygram so sometimes I’ll write a post in Jp/Fr
  • Listening to music, especially while cleaning
  • If I’m feeling extra frisky, I’ll study Korean in Japanese on Lingodeer :flushed:
  • I’m starting a language exchange with a Japanese friend later this month
  • Try to keep up with reviews and everything but I really fail at this on the weekend! Because I like doing so many other things, like gardening, art, training, and rolling on the floor with my cat
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I love that you think I have a daily routine!!

Seriously, back when I was doing Wani Kani quickishly (leveled up every 8 days), I studied (while pacing, because it is boring, and makes me feel antsy) every morning after breakfast, after lunch, and before bed. Also, in every weird crack of time possible. Toilet time is plenty for a set of 10. Long lines, boiling water, and bus rides are also golden.

Eventually, I lost patience, and slowed way down on lessons.

I also sometimes skipped it for a few days, and had to stop doing lessons while I chipped away at the heap of reviews.

I also used vacation mode sometimes just to give myself a break for a day…or a week.

As you can tell, I’m not particularly consistent, but I managed to reach level 60 (I’m still doing reviews, but way fewer per day).

Most importantly, I can read.

I say: do what works for you at the moment, and keep reminding yourself why you are doing it. As long as you don’t give up, you’ll reach the finish line.

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