App Review: Anki – universal studyhack for diligent students

Don’t you sometimes wish there was an app that could help you review something you’re studying by omitting what you already know while reviewing what doesn’t quite stick into your head? Enter Anki, an app which does exactly that.

Anki is extremely customisable, cross-platform and free to use (except on iOS). Once you master its extensive functionalities, this highly customisabile app offers a very, if not the most efficient way to study almost anything. In my case that’s mostly Japanese and Korean vocab and I highly recommend it to fellow Japanology students.

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Reviewing my Korean vocab in Anki

I can’t tell you how much I owe to this app. Thanks to its clever reviewing algorithms and the ScratchPad feature, which offers you an area on the screen where you can scribble and practice, before being shown the correct solution, I managed to memorise hundreds of words, ranging from grammatical particles to original anime titles, including that of the first real anime, Astro Boy (鉄腕アトム). Which is of course absolutely essential to know.

Other great features include full font customisability, flash card lay-out that can be customised using CSS and html. The only caveat is that its effectiveness depends on your discipline: if used on a more or less daily basis, the study workload will remain low and you will be able to remember what you studied for much longer. If not, you might as well not use the app and study from your books or printed vocab lists instead.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll have to add a deck and cards. Anki’s official manual is very helpful and translated to many languages. Anki is updated regularly on all platforms, so it should work with no issue.

Download (Mac, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux)

(Since this is something some of my fellow students struggle most with, I’m also planning to make a tutorial post about using CSS and html to create an ‘ideal’ template for studying Japanese words, but also applicable to Korean and other languages.)

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