A third attempt at Anki

Aug 22, 2014

I first found out about Anki ages ago. Probably about four years ago on LessWrong. It's a flashcard program which makes remembering things easier.

A lot of smart people had said a lot of good things about Anki. That made me want to try it. However, I have yet to stick with it successfully.

My first attempt

About three years ago, I decided to give it a try. At the time, I wanted to learn the Java standard library better. I remember installing it and looking for shared decks. There were quite a lot but most were not very good. It felt like most were created by students taking "Introduction to Java" classes. Despite that, I downloaded them anyway. I tried to use them but I lost interest pretty quickly.

Shortly after, I abandoned Anki for the first time. I feel the mistakes I made here are pretty obvious:

My second attempt

About a year and a half ago, I wanted to try it again. I had learned from my previous attempt. I knew that I had to make my own cards instead of using existing ones.

I got into the habit of finding a tutorial on a subject I wanted to learn about and writing notes on the important points. I would then go through my notes and make Anki cards.

This worked better than before but it didn't last. Although I stuck with it for a good few months, the approach still had many problems:

This time will be different

I'm determined to get Anki to work for me. I have read many good things about it and I believe it could be great if only I could start using it better.

I recently found this article by someone who has created 10,000 Anki cards. I recommend reading it but here is the advice I took from it:

Some guidelines for myself

Specifically, here is what I plan to do:

I could write more about this but I think I just need to start. I will create another post in a month or so with my progress.