I use Anki as a notebook to review from instead of a flashcard app. Am I wasting time?

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Re: I use Anki as a notebook to review from instead of a flashcard app. Am I wasting time?

Postby coldrainwater » Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:30 am

I feel like I am in accord with what both 白田龍 and lusan have said thus far even if my personal use case likely varies. As much as I love it: 1) Anki doesn't live in a bubble. 2) it is critical for my goals, but not priority 1.

So in answer to, 'do I mess with the algorithm'...absolutely and insidiously. I carefully manage the volume of cards processed and time dedicated to each card and structure my Anki usage to allow up to about 500 reviews per day. To move through that kind of volume, I build cards with plenty of cheat information, each including photo illustration and a context sentence to make sure I am not banging my head against a wall trying to recall card contents (doing so does not produce better results and only manages to limit the number of cards I can process). I seek passive recognition for thousands of uncommon words and spending too much time/card/day religiously would prevent me from reaching that goal. I also seek slow, steady and stable acquisition and would rather see a card many times and gradually acquire it over a few months rather than do too much work up front but potentially miss or skip later reviews (just my take).

For me, the most essential rule that lets me fiddle with and bypass the algorithm to my heart's content is to not let a card mature much beyond a month without knowing it well. If I have any doubt, I dial it back rather than wasting precious time and on the opposite spectrum, I am willing to push it toward a month's maturity to make room for more volume even if my recollection of it is [still] poor. I think of pushing a card a month+ forward as giving myself more time and exposure with the language generally and that a future-me will be in a better state to know that term. Daily is often overrated and overkill. Variety is at least as important if not much more so (the more words I know, the easier it is to add a new one and the more likely I am to see the etymology links between them).

Secondly, I use the card management (Kartenverwaltung) to review entire decks as wordlists inside Anki. This saves a tremendous amount of time since I am able to do both extra and mass reviews super quickly. By using that section for catch-up/pre-learn, I can balance how well I know any given card compared to all others since I see them all in a glance. My own personal judgement of how well I know a card and how important it is in relation to others then trumps and extends whatever cute algorithm settings I might have in place. It is also an over-the-top look that ensures I didn't miss anything or send a card too far into the future by accident. When I am in that sort of list-mode, I can also reflect on how important those moments I spend are in relation to, say, listening or reading and can back into how useful my Anki time is. This also allows me to structure my reviews where I am not required to do them every day (especially good for mature but nagging decks). Another way of saying it is that list-mode is very similar to binge-watching but applied to Anki, a notion which has known benefits. Overall, I can also and frequently ask, am I down in the weeds learning some useless words or, as a whole, is this deck really helping me to read better? In short, I manage Anki, but I don't get totally lost in it.

After some time in reflective list-mangagement mode, I can judge the entire deck as a set. When the entire deck feels like it has reached maturity, I make a new one and recognize that I simply know the bulk of the words as well as I need and it is high-time to move on. I rely on reading/listening/writing for the extreme and nuanced depth of knowledge around each word and keep in mind not to expect too much from SRS/Anki. I am also using additional reference materials including dictionary work to ensure that I have exposure to reinforce Anki. Those reviews can offer a change of pace and can certainly supplement or replace daily Anki review, offering significant and additional richness around vocabulary.
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Re: I use Anki as a notebook to review from instead of a flashcard app. Am I wasting time?

Postby Sayonaroo » Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:38 am

I say yes. Just change the anki settings to meet your needs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XaJjbC ... uppy%2CM.D.
you'll probably have to read the manual or ask people to change the settings to your heart's desire.

I use lax settings
https://choronghi.wordpress.com/2020/02 ... or-korean/
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