Should you Reset your Deck and Start from Scratch? — 24 Comments

  1. I have an alternative solution: mark every card as “hard.” Don’t even look at them, just mash 2 until the reviews stop. It doesn’t increase the interval very much and stops you from seeing half your cards the next day. It does make your SRS less efficient, at least until the cards are due again, but if you’re behind on reviews you have that problem already.

    • I too have found the “hard” option to be invaluable. If I don’t quite get a card from the beginning, I always mark it hard until it says about 2 months(unless I suddenly understand and know the reading). Then at 2 months I hit wrong and do it over again. It prevented mega review buildups. I learned this from one of the articles on here; from a power leveler. I cant remember who’s. Either way, thank you :) anyways, what I did when I left for a while and had to do a massive amount of reviews…I considered it a challenge and did all of them.

    • That’s an interesting tactic. The only thing to be careful about is that depending on what the original intervals are, hard can still increase the intervals a lot (months or even years)

  2. I wish jalup next had vacation mode :/ I thought freeze would do it but it just hides the reviews until you come back.

  3. I ended up with 500 reviews and I just couldn’t get the number down. The more I tried, the more it built up. Finally, after hiding from it for weeks, I reset my deck. It was freeing and glorious! I thought I’d forgotten everything in the weeks I had quit, but I soon found myself breezing through the first 600 cards again. Now it is so easy. I let the cards trickle in all day, review for 5 minutes at a time, and only add 5 cards when reviews are at zero. Maybe another 5 later in the day. The app vacation mode will be pure bliss when I take my next vacation.

  4. I have done this with Intermediate-Expert. 3 times. And a few times with RTK.

    For me, it was incredibly helpful because I usually fell behind on reviews because of burnout, mid-level blues, or just going too fast. Yes, I could go through all my backlog of reviews but I couldn’t even understand the definition. Resetting the deck allowed me to see everything in order again.

    Also, each time I reset the deck it got easier. You already had exposure to a lot of the cards and definitions so it makes it a lot easier to stick.

    If you would become more motivated if you just restarted – do it. I have no regrets and I would have been miserable if I pushed through thousands of reviews for words I barely knew. You can do it!

    My story had a happy ending – I finished Expert a few weeks ago and I will never need to reset the deck again. It feels amazing.

    PS: The time you spend “wasting” relearning new cards is easy to avoid, just make them easy. Because the JALUP decks are N+1, if you reset your deck it’s easier to learn those cards you forgot if you have them in order. And there were many cards I though I knew that, when relearning, found I had misinterprated.

  5. I just try to decrease my review count every day by something like 25 cards. Eventually I’ll have zero reviews. It also helps to review them in order.

    • I’m assuming you mean setting the daily max to 25? This can help, but if you have 1,000 due cards, 25 a day may take a long time to get back down to 0.

      Then again, if you are only looking at the number 25, it feels much better than looking at the number 1,000. So this can work.

    • This is what I did.
      I woke up to over 1000 due at one point but I just set a goal to decrease the amount due every day.
      At the last study session of the day I wrote down the amount due, and the goal for the next day was to have at least 1 less due than that. Some days I ended up just decreasing by 1, but on most days I decreased far more that that effortlessly.
      I also changed the review order to youngest cards first but I don’t know if that’s important.

  6. My avalanche was only almost 400 and I ripped through them with the black button on anki – didn’t waste too much time admitting defeat nor thinking as hard as learning anew.

  7. That’s the thing, isn’t it. If you reset your deck, the cards you know will quickly go to long intervals (provided your starting ease is high). You can up the number of new cards and be back to where you were in no time. Better than having a huge backlog and then the dreaded “interval” day, where all those cards you got wrong when you were trying to catch up come back to haunt. You can even hit “easy” on the cards you know and it will make the interval even longer.

  8. I think the third option, which is also buried somewhere in the Anki docs, is actually better than both. Create two filtered decks for each of your main decks.

    The Daily filter looks like:

    Search: deck:”JALUP” is:due prop:due>-7 -is:new
    Limit to: 1000 Cards Selected by: Order Due
    [X] Reschedule cards based on answers in my deck
    [ ] Custom steps

    The Overdue filter looks like:

    Search: deck:”JALUP” is:due prop:due<=-7 -is:new
    Limit to: 1000 Cards selected by: Decreasing intervals
    [X] Reschedule cards based on answers in my deck
    [ ] Custom steps

    First you do the daily deck, then you click rebuild and do it again. Then if you still have some reps left in you can attack the Overdue deck.

    The daily deck is cards that you've repped recently so there is nothing stale in that deck. This means it should be easy to clear out. The Overdue deck is everything else but its ordered by the cards you know the best. This makes it easy to clear out and since they are high interval you won't see them for a while too so it keeps your daily deck small as well.

    Now go forth and conquer your backlog!

    • That’s a clever way of doing things. A bit more complex than the reset button, but could produce some nice results.

  9. I’ve done it both ways, but I have definitely powered through the backlog more often than reset. For me, it depends on the situation. I only reset if it’s been a LONG time and I don’t remember anything. For J-J cards that build on each other this can be especially true. My most recent times have incidentally been JALUP related – twice for the Kanji decks, and once for JALUP Intermediate Stage 1.

    But – resetting the deck seems to also restart my brain, for lack of a better word. Suddenly everything that seemed so difficult just clicked. I was able to fill in the gaps and finish Stage 1 within 3 days – even cards I didn’t know.

    I like the other strategies posted on here – maybe something to look into if I ever feel a reset is needed again.

  10. I’ve reset my decks… And ended up dealing with the bad habits of the anki avalanche again lol. My solution now is to just cut my max number of studies each day, don’t learn any new cards and just tackle my limit daily. If a card is completely hopeless where I can’t in good conscious mark something as “Hard,” it’s more tolerable for me to relearn it.

    My stats on my cards are probably traaaash, but changing the angle to make it manageable each day is key. I’ve accepted that I don’t want to spend an hour everyday with anki: 30 minutes is solid, so I have to work with that to stay consistent.

  11. Just a note about one potential danger of reseting your deck which is not given here (which has happened to me a few times). When you restart, your “new” cards will often be things you mostly already know. It makes you want to do a ton a new cards faster to get to interesting things. A week or two later, you suddenly have a ridiculous number of reviews again. If you do reset, be careful about rushing past cards.

  12. Hi! Thank you for this post. To me refreshing the deck was the better option. I was really dizzy trying to study 700+ kanjis when I cannot remember some of the easiest. So, yes, is less efficient but I’m reinforcing my knowledge about kanji.

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