Tips for beginners using Anki: the best software

Mon, Jan 16, 2023

Anki is my software of the year 2022. If you don’t know Anki, I highly recommend checking it out.

My Journey to Anki: Mind Palace

When I started my journey of using mnemonics to learn better, I first put everything into mind palaces. For a while this went great, but over time I found it very difficult to remember all the loci’s and as my palace grow, it would take me hours to go through the whole thing. it wasn’t practical. This is when I first found out about Anki and spaced repetition. It would help me tremendously remembering Loci’s. If you haven’t tried out Mind Palace, give it a try. It’s a perfect tool for remembering passwords and sequential data. It is not a great tool for random information Or remembering and learning something for a lifetime: that’s what Anki is for.

What is Anki?

Anki is a flashcard software. It’s that simple, the main difference to real flashcards are the immense time savings, every flashcard has it’s own interval when it is shown to you again. This means you don’t have to go through all your flashcards everytime (this adds up if you have decks with 5000 cards in it. Trust me this happens fast.)

Understanding Notes vs Cards

At first, I didn’t even know that notes or cards existed. I just wrote everything into the basic note type and didn’t care about anything else. Because if you use the basic note type, there is essentially no difference between a Note and a card. But you can do so much more with Anki. The thing you write your data in is the Note, but a note doesn’t have to create only one card. A note can create multiple cards and that’s insane.

Example: You want to learn vocabulary. The note you create has three fields: foreign word, native word and an audio example. If you edit the note type, you can add three cards for each of these notes: native word to foreign word + audio, audio to transcription, audio to translation. You don’t have to create these manually, they are created automatically based on one single note.

Using Deck Statistics

There are times when you get overwhelmed by Anki and think you didn’t make any progress. Taking a look in the deck statistics helps you a lot in these cases (see where you have come and how much you have learned).

Using Subdecks

I have only three main decks: mind palace, languages and studying. Somehow creating too many main decks leads to me not doing Anki daily. So I recommend to use subdecks. Just use a ‘:m’ when creating a deck and you can create a subdeck.

Using Study Options

Sometimes you can get overwhelmed by the wave of new cards, or maybe you want to learn less on some specific deck. This is where the study options help you: You can define a limit of new cards for each deck and many things.

Appendix: A Good Looking Default Card Style


<div class="value value--top">{{Front}}</div>
<div class="type">Back</div>
<div class="value">?</div>


<div class="value value--top">{{Front}}</div>

<hr id=answer>

<div class="type">Back</div>
<div class="value">{{Back}}</div>
{{#Mnemonic}}<div class="info">{{Mnemonic}}</div>{{/Mnemonic}}


.card {
  padding: 1em 0;
  background-color: white;
  color: black;
  font-family: Verdana;
  font-size: 16px;
  text-align: center;

.type {
  margin-bottom: 0.25em;
  color: #333;
  font-size: 70%;
  font-weight: bold;
  text-transform: uppercase;

.info {
  max-width: 30em;
  margin: 0.75em auto;
  color: #333;
  font-size: 90%;
  font-style: italic;

.value {
  font-size: 150%;

.value--top {
  margin-top: 1em;

.night_mode .info,
.night_mode .type,
.night_mode .placeholder,
.nightMode .info,
.nightMode .type,
.nightMode .placeholder {
  color: #ccc;

hr {
  margin: 1.5em 0;

This is inspired by Ultimate Geography, which is an amazing deck for learning geography. I recommend to check it out.

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