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Is there a "bare minimum" amount of Anki you would recommend to people who hate Anki?

December 03, 2022 — Tatsumoto

There are more people out there who hate Anki than those who like it. I somewhat dislike Anki too. So you're definitely not alone. Since around 2020 Anki has undergone significant changes that outraged the users. Many existing add-ons break with each new release. Maybe Anki needs to be completely replaced by another SRS.

I still use Anki because the benefits outweigh the costs. The way I think about it is that some amount of Anki is better than no Anki at all, provided you do daily immersion. Without mass immersion Anki is not very effective. When using Anki as a supplement to immersion, it helps you learn more efficiently than you would be doing otherwise. If you power through and do just 20 reviews a day, that's 20 words that you won't forget for quite some time.

If you hate Anki because you dread your reviews, you should just change the settings. It is very easy to make Anki unusable by applying the wrong settings. Try to find something that works for you. On this site you can find my recommended settings.

Some tips on Anki settings:

  • Reduce the penalty for failing cards. By default, if you fail a card, its interval gets reset after you relearn it. If you set New Interval to 50% instead, failing a card won't be that big of a deal.
  • Change Starting ease and Interval modifier in order to fix Ease factors and prevent them from reducing after a lapse.
  • Don't do too many new cards a day. Often people learn a gorillion cards a day, get overwhelmed by the reviews, burn out and start hating Anki.

The bare minimum amount of time you need to spend SRSing is highly individual. Usually we calculate it as 1/3 of total study time but no more than 1 hour a day. As long as you can finish your daily reviews, learn new cards and add several new cards from your immersion, you should be fine.

Tags: faq