Anki is a program that helps you memorize and remember things. Using an algorithm known as spaced repetition, it shows you flashcards for review right before you are about to forget them. If you study regularly, it is easy to remember 90% or more of all information stored in the program using a minimum of time. The system scales beautifully: I have 18,000 cards and don’t have to spend any more time studying than I did when I only had 2,000. (It takes me about 25 minutes a day; the major factor in the amount of time you’ll spend studying is how many new cards you’re adding, not how many total you have in your collection. You can certainly make Anki useful for you in only 5 minutes a day — just limit your additions to three or so facts you’d like to learn every day.)
Anki is useful to anyone who wants to learn and remember things. You will find it helpful whether you’re a student, a language learner, a memory geek, or an ordinary person who just wants to remember a few locker combinations, card numbers, or trivia.
Anki is free and open source software released under the GNU General Public License, and you can download it here in a couple of minutes. Try it—you’ll probably be glad you did!
Anki Links & Information (External)
- A Wired article describing spaced repetition. If you have not heard of spaced repetition before, you should check this out.
- The Anki manual, on the Anki website. The manual requires a bit of concentrated reading for new users, but can tell you how to do almost anything you need to know how to do.
- The Anki help forum. If you are having trouble doing something in Anki, feel free to drop us a line and ask for help. I’m paid to answer questions over there for you. :-)
- Die digitale Lernkartei Anki. This EB Zürich site has a lot of useful links, as well as some short walkthroughs such as how to change Anki’s startup options. The page is partially in German, but most of the links have English translations, so it’s worth visiting whether or not you know any German.
Anki 1.2 Resources
- Valparaiso University Anki Documentation. This was written by me and my mother Jennifer Bjornstad. I do not expect to update it for Anki 2.0, but if you’re a teacher and know enough about Anki to transfer the knowledge, this extensive guide may be useful.
My Anki Tools, Articles, and Software
- Anki Lyrics / Poetry Cloze Generator (LPCG) – a way to memorize poetry and song lyrics with Anki
- AnkiBackup – software for quickly backing up your Anki data
- Edit LaTeX and dvipng calls – a plugin that allows you to change the path or options used when generating LaTeX in Anki
- A Student’s Guide to Preventing Cheating on Anki Graphs (LaTeX source). This is a short article written by me, which identifies some ways students might be able to cheat when they’re using Anki as part of a class, then explains how teachers can solve the problem.