2-Minute Anki — 21 Comments

  1. During breaks at work.

    Depending on people’s jobs, this may not work for everyone, but it could apply in the following cases:
    -If you have 10- or 15- minute breaks at certain times of day
    -If you are in an office setting where you have the ability to take breaks at your discretion
    -If you are self-employed or work from home and can take breaks at your discretion

    Lunch at work can also be used for Anki; even people who usually eat together with a group of friends will probably be able to find or make 2 minutes when you are 1) waiting for the other person(s) to arrive, 2) still sitting at the lunch table after the other person(s) left, or 3) waiting for them to warm up their lunch in the microwave or something.

    Totally unrelated, but I love the way the last two photos in this post dovetail with the content of what is being said. They just fit perfectly (and are very nice photos besides).

    • Great additions. And maybe you can convince an employer that you need an Anki break (similar to a smoke break)

      The photos somehow miraculously synced perfectly with the article :)

  2. How do you set Anki to only demand 2 minutes of time per day? I have hundreds of Anki reviews waiting daily which take forever. It is really something I dread. Is there a setting to reduce this that I’m missing?

    • The Trick here is to split the hours of reviews into little chunks throughout the day.. 2 minutes at the Busstation, 2 minutes in that shoppingline (I love that idea btw) and so on.
      This way you can chip your reviews away without the terrible 2 hour face-off versus your reviews

    • As Dominik says above, it’s just about doing 2 minutes at a time, which when done several times over a day, will chip away at your hundreds of reviews due.

    • On Ankidroid at least, under Reviewing Settings, there is an option to set a “time box limit”. This will flash a message after however many minutes you set it to. Though I think the idea of this article is just to fit Anki in wherever you can, filling in what would otherwise be unused time.

    • As soon as you start hating something, any motivation to do it is drastically reduced. I’m of the opinion that you should only review in a manner that you don’t hate. It’s not worth spending 2 hours straight on reviews if you are going to dread it and get burned out and maybe start to dislike learning Japanese. 2 minute intervals throughout the day can alleviate this.

  3. I use 2 tricks to make Anki manageable. This and morning cram study (I think there is another article on that somewhere on the site :).

    Just to add a few additional places where I find time for some studying:

    * Riding the elevator at work
    * Going down or up the escator to the subway
    * Waiting in line at the store
    * Waiting for matchmaking in online games (3-4 minutes to find a game? No longer a problem!)
    * Waiting for a pot to boil while cooking

    Basically the theme for me is that most of the wasted time in my life has been replaced with Anki. I would estimate that 25-30% of my Anki time comes from these small sessions and the rest from my morning Anki routine.

    • Ah, how could I forget about the elevator. It almost makes you hope people get off on every single floor before you!

  4. I find this works really well for sentence reviews!

    However I personally have a hard time doing it for kanji reviews. When it comes to kanji, it feels like I need a relatively quiet space and a good block of time to concentrate or I don’t make much progress. I wonder if it’s just me who has that issue >_>

    • Kanji reviews actually work for these as well for me, but since I write out the kanji by hand, I only do them in my office at home – so basically I only do them during waits for online gaming matches.

      I have a general rule rough rule that if I can’t recall something after 5-10 seconds, and it doesn’t look like I am close, then I assume that I don’t know the card, flip it, write it once, fail it, and move on. Perhaps this is something you could try if you are not doing something similar?

    • I like Jesper’s suggestion. As with sentence reviews, if you are spending a lot of one time on kanji, you probably don’t remember.

      I also found that I needed to accept that I am going to mark kanji reviews incorrect, more than I would like, despite having some kanji on multi-year (even decade intervals). It’s just because that producing written kanji is one of the least used skills (at least for me).

      • Accepting that failing cards in Anki is a good thing was one of the most difficult things during my first year of studying. I have since realized that if I accept failures on a card I don’t really remember, I am missing out on the reinforcement opportunity that a fail leads to. This means that I am quite likely to fail the next time as well, which might be far in the future – in reality I am postponing learning the card. Failing cards will lead to more reviews in the short term, but they also lead to faster learning of the cards that you need to. In short, SRS works! :)

  5. This is a good idea. Sometimes I get obsessed with finishing all my reviews at once, just to get them over with. Then I start rushing and making mistakes lol. I don’t have the Anki app, so I can really only do reviews on my desktop afterschool, but I can still spread them out if I feel burnt out >u<

  6. This is working so perfectly for me, I can now handle way higher thresholds of due reviews than I could before.

    The most well-used times now for me are times spend in buses and time spent between sets of my workouts. The time between sets usually adds a good amount of 15 to 30 minutes of review to otherwise wasted time

    • Great! And that’s a clever idea to do Anki in between workout sets. It’s the perfect amount of time too.

  7. When playing games or other tasks, I do 5 – 10 reviews:
    1) Every time I go into a battle on a jrpg.
    2) Every time I walk through a door in resident evil or change scenes in a game.
    3) Between tutorial videos on youtube (if they are 5 – 10 minutes).

  8. This is an old article, but recently I been reading up on micro habits and it made me think of this. A lot of people procrastinate and avoid doing things, because in their mind it seems like ‘too much work’. Micro habits work around that by setting tasks so insanely simple that you are guaranteed to be able to do it. So for example, opening anki. You set a goal and everyday, no matter what you open anki. If you open anki your goal is considered successful and you can quit after that, or you can continue. Either way you are successful in your goal.

    The idea is that the goal is so simple you can do it everyday, and if you do it every single day for a couple of months then it will become a habit. Once it becomes a habit you will keep doing it forever, and never get distracted with other stuff, or forget to do it or anything. Also the hardest part of doing stuff is often starting, so if you actually open anki then you are probably going to do a few cards. Though there is no pressure to do extra. Since there is no pressure you wont avoid it. Then of course you can add difficulty as you go, doing one card everyday, no matter what, then a few cards and so on.

    The effect is like the 2 minute anki, except we are going even easier. Everyone is different, but the idea is just to go as easy as needed so that you can always do it no matter what. If you fail even once, then reduce the goal to something even easier. Keep reducing it until you can do it everyday without fail.

    A lot of people start studying foreign languages but drop off after time. If you open anki with your Japanese deck in it every single day for a year, then at the very least you will not have quit, and you will likely have learned a bunch. You can actually learn a lot with even minimal effort if extended over a long period. For a lot of people it really is better to do something short and easy related to Japanese everyday, than to do something for an hour everyday but then you end up quitting after a few weeks when your motivation dies.

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