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2009-07-05, 9:09 am #1
blackmacros Joined: Apr 2009
Senior Member Posts: 723
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mafried Wrote:

blackmacros Wrote:

And I veried that my new way of SRS'ing is sustainable (and way more ecient).

Care to elaborate on that (perhaps in a new thread)? I'm interested in anything that can help keep up the pace you're doing.

jreaves Wrote:

Congratulations! What did you do to to allow you to add so much material so quickly?
.

A few of you wanted to know a bit more about how I maintain such a high pace adding sentences, so I thought
I would elaborate on some changes I've made recently.

Note: Any and all of the following may be completely obvious and common sense to you. If it is, well good for
you! But a small change in the way I did things allowed me to triple how many new cards I added per day
(from 60 sentences to just under 200).

Note 2: I'm a Uni student on holiday. I have a *lot* of spare time, which is a part of why I'm able to add so
much. But I think the mechanisms I've developed for coping with maintaining such a high workload can be
useful to anyone; not just a freak like me

The past few weeks I have been working my way through KO2001. I maintained a consistent pace of 20 kanji
per day (~60 sentences) for 2 weeks. During this time I used what I assume is probably the typical review
pattern for most people on this forum. That is: review all due cards rst. Afterwards, use any remaining time
available to add new cards.

With this way of reviewing I would eventually get worn out and lose focus, simply because I had so many
reviews to do. Sitting down and doing 200 or 300 reviews rst thing in the morning is a daunting, and time
consuming task. I would have to take a break quite often or my pace would slow down and I wouldn't get
anywhere.

Recently I jumped from adding 20 kanji/day to adding upwards of 50 kanji/day (~190 sentences). At the same
time, despite adding more sentences, and facing a proportionately larger review load, SRS'ing actually got a lot
easier for me. This increase in eciency is largely a result of changes to the way I've been SRS'ing.

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My new method: Review 30 due cards. Add 15 sentences/1 section from KO. Review 30 cards. Add 15
sentences. Review 30. Add 15. And so on.

Instead of focusing on one task to completion, this way I am constantly alternating focus between reviewing
and adding.

The benets of this change was twofold.

First: The act of changing focus was enough of a refresh to let me keep working. Instead of having to take a
break (and lose time) I switched tasks instead. This is the essential reason why it made me so much more
ecient. Huge eciency boost right there.

Second: Since I'm breaking the process down into small chunks I ew threw reviews/adding much faster
because they were psychologically less daunting. Reviewing 30 cards is a lot easier than sitting down and
reviewing 200 or 300! Even though I reviewed those 200 in blocks of 30 anyway, doing it this way made it seem
much easier. It helps that each block of 30 is separated by a dierent task; it breaks the monotony. The same
reasoning applies to adding cards too.

Now this change might sound completely obvious to you, or it might sound like an inconsequential change.
But I jumped from adding 20 kanji a day to adding 60 kanji a day- *and* it made SRS'ing easier.I jumped from
300 reviews per day to 600. And its easier to do.

To provide a concrete example of the impact its had:

Old Method-
9:30- Wake up, start monster review load
12:00- Finish all reviews. Completely burnt out.
12:00-4 or 5:00- It takes me all this time to add 20 kanji because I keep getting burnt out, need to take breaks
etc.
6:00-9:00- Review all these newly added kanji. Add another 5 or 10 kanji if I was super lucky, had no family
interruptions, etc. This almost never happened. Plus, by the end of the day a whole bunch of due cards had
built up again and I would slave away knocking them back.

Summary: 20 new kanji. Reviews are hell.

New Method:
9:30- Wake, review my rst 30 cards. Add 15 sentences. Continue repeating this pattern.
12:00- By 12:00 I have nished all reviews as well as added my rst 20 kanji
12:00-onwards: Since all old due cards are done, I start reviewing my newly added cards. Then I add 15 more
sentences. Then I review 30 of my new cards. And so on.
6:00- By 6:00 I've added 60 kanji. Not only that, but all of my reviews are done and I've reviewed all of the new
kanji already.

Summary: 60 new kanji. Reviews are easier.

Hopefully this was interesting or helpful to somebody :-)

Edited: 2009-07-05, 9:16 am Reply

2009-07-05, 9:17 am #2
FutureBlues Joined: Jun 2008
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This is a lot like what I do, actually. 20-30 minutes of reviews, add some cards, go back to reviews. Sometimes I
nish, sometimes I don't. Your brain adjusts to the new workload over time and you get far more ecient at it.

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2009-07-05, 9:40 am #3
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blackmacros Joined: Apr 2009


Senior Member Posts: 723
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FutureBlues Wrote:

This is a lot like what I do, actually. 20-30 minutes of reviews, add some cards, go back to reviews. Sometimes I nish,
sometimes I don't. Your brain adjusts to the new workload over time and you get far more ecient at it.

I was amazed at how more ecient this way is. Made me 2 to 3x more ecient. And yeah, you get used to the
workload too.

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2009-07-05, 10:05 am #4
Hashiriya Joined: Apr 2008
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Sounds like a great study plan to me... i may try this method at some point myself when i start to use Anki
more... i'm doing KO2001 via iKnow right now though and i've completed 720 kanji so far... it sounds like you
have a lot more time on your hands than me at the moment though.. i work and go to college so a lot of my
time is preoccupied...

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2009-07-05, 11:19 am #5
Hinode Joined: Aug 2008
Member Posts: 68
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So when you add new sentences you review them right away? Do you mark them as hard the rst time you
see them, so that they pop up in the evening again? I'm not sure I could recall all the new vocabulary if I just
saw it once on the rst day. Normally I browse through the sentences I want to add and memorize the new
vocab, let the cards sit for an hour or so and then review them for the rst time. Maybe I should try without
the articial "extra" review that results from that. The way you do it seems much more time ecient.

ETA: How long is your starting interval?

Edited: 2009-07-05, 11:21 am Reply

2009-07-05, 11:20 am #6
cloudstrife543 Joined: Oct 2008
Member Posts: 82
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Do you suspend all yoru new ones while you are adding them and just reviewing old ones? Because mine is
set up as while you do the old ones the new ones lter in so you kind of nish them both to 0 at the same
time. And if you were reviewing 30 and then adding 15 every time, it'd take you a while probably cuz itd be for
example, starting at 100, it would go to 70, to 85, to 55, to 70, to 40, to 55, to 25, to 40, to 10, to 25, then done
at 175 reviews total.

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Is that how you do it? And that'd seem like a lot if you had started out with 300 reviews due in the beginning,
instead of just 100.

Edited: 2009-07-05, 11:22 am Reply

2009-07-05, 11:51 am #7
rich_f Joined: Jul 2007
Yeah, Baby, I'm a Freak... of Posting. Posts: 1,896
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Yeah, the 30 card chunks makes mind-bogglingly large numbers of due cards manageable. I've tried powering
through hundreds at a time before, and it's just a non-starter. I get burned out, tired, whatever-- after 100 or
so, I'm just worn out from reviewing. Instead, by breaking it down into chunks of 25-30 or so, it makes it much
less soul-crushing. I don't add sentences between gaps of 25-30 sentences, though, I usually go do something
else for a few minutes, just to give my brain a rest from it all.

I also don't force myself to do 25-30 every time I pick up my iPhone or activate my Anki window. If I have a few
minutes, I'll bang out a few cards, but I don't have some crazy expectation that I have to knock out 25-30 cards
just because I'm using Anki. Down that path lies madness as well. If I can knock out 10 cards, that's great. 5 is
nifty, too. Even 2 or 3 are 2 or 3 less I have to review later.

I like the idea of adding sentences between reviews, though. I think I'll try that. I've got a bunch of grammar
I've been putting o adding to my deck. Might as well get it over with.

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2009-07-05, 11:53 am #8
blackmacros Joined: Apr 2009
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@Hinode- No I don't review them right away. By the time I've reviewed all my old due cards I've usually got
around 60 new cards added. Then I start reviewing those new cards in random order while I continue adding
more new cards. That way most of my new cards sit for an hour or two before I review them. I nd this is
actually very helpful. Previously I was waiting too long (until the end of the night- 6 hours later) to review my
newly added cards and I would forget a lot. The timing I've got going now seems almost perfect because I'm
forgetting a lot less in the initial review and- even better!- I'm remembering them just as well in subsequent
reviews.

@cloudstrife543 I have new cards set to show last in Anki, to give them a little time to settle before I test them.
You've got the idea of it though. The review pile is "stepped", but falling faster than it rises. Its psychologically
reassuring, because you are adding new cards, but you're review pile is actually shrinking. It almost feels like
cheating.

EDIT:

rich_f Wrote:

I like the idea of adding sentences between reviews, though. I think I'll try that. I've got a bunch of grammar I've been putting
o adding to my deck. Might as well get it over with.

Adding sentences between reviews is, I think, the key to why this is so much more eective. Instead of having
a break you can just switch focuses, and keep working, by adding sentences. I've found that its almost as
refreshing as actually having a break. It breaks up the monotony.

The numbers are variable. You can adjust them to suit your needs-although I think its important to ensure
that you always review more than you add, so the pile is diminishing instead of growing.

Edited: 2009-07-05, 11:56 am Reply

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2009-07-05, 12:13 pm #9
Zorlee Joined: Apr 2009
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blackmacros, youre my hero! =)

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2009-07-05, 12:20 pm #10


bombpersons Joined: Oct 2008
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Website

Whoa, thats a lot of cards! I'm going to try this =D

Quick question, do you use production cards as well?

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2009-07-05, 12:38 pm #11


Hashiriya Joined: Apr 2008
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i doubt anyone uses production cards..

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2009-07-05, 12:46 pm #12


Ryuujin27 Joined: Dec 2006
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Hashiriya Wrote:

i doubt anyone uses production cards..

Wait... why wouldn't anyone use production cards?

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2009-07-05, 1:31 pm #13


nac_est Joined: Dec 2006
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All right, I may be the only person who doesn't know this, but what is Kanji Odyssey 2001 exactly for? Is it a
replacement of RTK to learn the Jouyou? Or is it something you do in the sentence phase (after RTK)?
In the latter case spending all day doing reviews/adding sentences instead of getting actual input seems
pointless. In the former case, it's an interesting idea

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2009-07-05, 1:44 pm #14


Dustin_Calgary Joined: Nov 2008
Senior Member Posts: 423
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Interesting, this seems similar to how I do things, and I was able to get through RTK the rst time in about 6
weeks, with lots of little breaks, and kids, I might not be a 22 day monster but I know if I wanted to I could

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have achived it :p

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2009-07-05, 2:03 pm #15


vosmiura Joined: Aug 2006
Posting Freak Posts: 1,022
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nac_est Wrote:

All right, I may be the only person who doesn't know this, but what is Kanji Odyssey 2001 exactly for? Is it a replacement of
RTK to learn the Jouyou? Or is it something you do in the sentence phase (after RTK)?
In the latter case spending all day doing reviews/adding sentences instead of getting actual input seems pointless. In the
former case, it's an interesting idea

It's something to do in the sentence phase to learn the readings & common vocab.

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2009-07-05, 2:08 pm #16


vosmiura Joined: Aug 2006
Posting Freak Posts: 1,022
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200 new cards per day :O. You'll be having 800+ reviews per day in no time. Not for me .

I agree with splitting reviews into smaller chunks. I usually do some reviews when going to work & back, going
to lunch & back, etc. and in this way I usually nish all my reviews without noticing - but I only have about
100/day.

Edited: 2009-07-05, 2:12 pm Reply

2009-07-05, 2:21 pm #17


Tobberoth Joined: Aug 2008
Posting Freak Posts: 3,289
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This is why Anki had timeboxing added. You're not supposed to sit down and do 300 reviews in a row, that's
boring and ineective. You're supposed to review for all you're worth for 10 minutes, then rest. Then take
another 10 minutes. If you feel ipping between adding and reviewing is a good idea, do that (remember
though, you will have over 1000 reviews a day in a while). Personally, I think it's enough to just add what I want
each day, then timebox the reviews. No matter how good your techniques are, you aren't going to have
enough time to add 200 sentences each day in the long run anyway.

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2009-07-05, 2:30 pm #18


rich_f Joined: Jul 2007
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Hashiriya Wrote:

i doubt anyone uses production cards..

Half of my deck is production. I nd it quite eective. (But I don't want to get into another argument over
production.)

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2009-07-05, 3:56 pm #19


Hinode Joined: Aug 2008
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What kind of production are we talking about?


Dictation -> Japanese or English -> Japanese?

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2009-07-05, 3:59 pm #20


Tobberoth Joined: Aug 2008
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Hinode Wrote:

What kind of production are we talking about?


Dictation -> Japanese or English -> Japanese?

Does it really matter? Both take an inappropriate amount of time and the second one is really hard to properly
rate the reviews on. Most problems with production applies to both, same with the benets.

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2009-07-05, 5:34 pm #21


mafried Joined: Jun 2006
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People here typically mean dictation when they say production. It's "producing" kanji from just kana or audio
prompt. Lots of people (including Khatz) do production, but we've had debates about this before and this
thread shouldn't be hijacked.

blackmacros, thanks for sharing. You're right, it is common sense.. or rather, it should be. After reading your
post I my rst thought was "Well that's obvious. Of course I could do 200 sentences a day if I reviewed like
that!" But naturally it never occurred to me to structure my reviews that way. My method more resembles
your old method, and is very inecient. I've got some changes to make...

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2009-07-05, 5:35 pm #22


lagwagon555 Joined: Apr 2009
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Again, another awesome post from blackmacros, cheers man! Since I'm starting my 100 kanji per day in a
couple of days, I'm glad this came along right before I started. I was planning on just chugging all the reviews
out the way rst, but this denitely seems like a better idea.

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2009-07-05, 5:36 pm #23


Yonosa Joined: May 2009
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Dustin_Calgary Wrote:

Interesting, this seems similar to how I do things, and I was able to get through RTK the rst time in about 6 weeks, with lots
of little breaks, and kids, I might not be a 22 day monster but I know if I wanted to I could have achived it :p

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haha I was exactly a 22 day monster!

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2009-07-05, 5:38 pm #24


mafried Joined: Jun 2006
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lagwagon555, KanjiMood had an interesting post in the 100-a-day thread that might help you out. In short, he
broke each day's load into chunks of 25 new kanji and spread them throughout the day. Similar to what
blackmacros is doing here.

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2009-07-05, 5:57 pm #25


RobotsAnger Joined: Nov 2008
Junior Member Posts: 42
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It seems to me that reviews would reach 600 a day if i did this method lol. I'm currently adding about 5 kanji a
day (KO, prod and rec), but I'm gonna try this method of alternating and see if I can get up to 15 kanji a day. I
do have work so I've only got 6 hours a day and don't want to spend all my free time studying so i'll see how it
turns out.

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