I don’t know about you, but when it comes time to do Anki, I get phantom pain in my spacebar-pressing fingers.
Not only is it hard to get myself to sit down and do it, but also it takes me decades to get through my cards for the day.
In an effort to battle the inner demons that cause my card level to unremittingly accumulate, I’ve gone through every avenue that I could think of. So, here are some hacks I’ve gathered in the process. There are three main ways you can make your Anki experience more enjoyable: Increasing the appeal of the app itself, increasing your motivation, and increasing the speed that you can make your way through the cards. I’ve divided these add-ons into those categories.
The newer versions of Anki have the night mode option pre-installed, so you can quickly turn it on or off in the ‘preferences’ tab.
Older versions however, require an add-on to do this. Download to (Legacy) Night Mode add-on with this code: 1496166067
Large and colorful buttons
Download the Large and Colorful Buttons add-on with this code: 1829090218
MOTIVATION: Visual Reinforcement
Puppy or kitty picture reinforcement
If you struggle with getting yourself to get through all of your cards for the day, this add-on may be the answer for you. It uses intermittent reinforcement with cute puppies/ kittens to encourage card review streaks.
Download Puppy Reinforcement add-on with this code: 1722658993
Download Kitten Rewards (Gamification) add-on with this code: 1627107763
GIF/Meme Answer Reinforcement
This add-on provides visual confirmation for your answers as you review your flashcards by displaying animated GIFs which makes the doing cards thousands of cards a little more fun.
Copy and paste this code for the add-on: 1208806023
Color feedback for reviews
This add-on provides visual feedback for your reviews by flashing either a green or grey circular icon based on your answer choice. It is a nice and simple way to make your reviews more visual and give you a sense of achievement as you see this green central circle when you answer correctly. Additionally, it is very central to your review so you don’t have to repeatedly look over to the bottom left of your screen. Very simple and effective.
Copy and paste this code for the add-on: 1749604199 (credit @Sebastian Fuhr, @Shorouk Abdelaziz)
MOTIVATION: See Your Progress
‘Hide your remaining card count’
There’s no worse feeling than when you find yourself checking your remaining card count every few seconds, and shocker… it has barely changed. Luckily there is an easy solution. On the home page, go to Anki and then preferences. Under the “basic tab” uncheck the box that says “show next review time” and/ or “show remaining card count during review.” Now you can stop worrying and continuously checking how much you still have left to do and just focus on powering through it!
If that’s not enough to cut it for you though, or if this change ends up having the opposite effect on you and ignorance is not in fact bliss, you can try using the Progress Bar add-on. It’s a great way to visually track your progress without getting bogged down in the specific numbers. It’s also encouraging to see the bar creep closer and closer to the end of your reviews!
Copy and paste this code for the add-on: 2091361802 (credit @Glutaminate)
MOTIVATION: Timing is everything
Pomodoro 15-min timer
Download the Pomodore (Tomato Clock Port) with this code: 811976365
Download the Life Drain add-on with this code: 715575551
MOTIVATION: Game-ify it
If you can’t get yourself to do Anki until you look around you and see others all doing it and get this weird kind of FOMO, try this add-on. For all of you that crave a little healthy competition, this add-on ranks all of its users by the number of cards reviewed today, time spent studying, etc. You can invite your friends, join a country leaderboard or compete in leagues!
Download the the Leaderboard add-on with this code: 41708974
With this add-on you will be able to create a remote to control Anki from your phone. If you want to feel like you are playing a game on your TV or computer, or just need a break from staring at your phone, try this add-on. Once you download the add-on, just click on the Ankimote in the top bar (from your computer) and scan the QR code with your phone. Now you can push your computer screen a few feet away and kick your feet up! Pro tip: if you really want the gaming experience or just an even bigger screen, you can connect your laptop to your TV (Airplay or HDMI) or install a gaming remote in place of your phone! (Check out/ stay tuned for our next article detailing the steps on how to do that).
Download the Ankimote add-on with this code: 149004221
SPEED: Defeat your indecisiveness
Space bar automatic ease scoring
If you are like me, and are taking excessively long to decide whether to choose “easy,” “medium,” or “hard,” or second guess the buttons you choose making you revert to robotic spacebar clicking, this hack will help. Those seconds add up~ if you spend 3 seconds per card deciding what rating button to choose and do 300 cards per day on average, that comes out to 7 hours a month that you are spending needlessly agonizing over whether you should rate the card “easy” or “medium.” And then once the number of rating buttons increases and you have to decide when you want to see the card next…? Forget it. That’s where the decades start to accumulate… .
With the spacebar automatic easy scoring add-on, you never have to think about any of that again. All you need to do to score the card is hit the spacebar and the algorithm decides the rating for you based on how long you took to answer the question. This has saved me time by not having to decide which option to choose, AND it keeps me focused on the cards and answering them in a timely manner.
Copy and paste this code for the add-on: 490202012 (credit @Simcha)
Speed focus mode
If you would like to even further optimize your attention and speed, you can download the Speed Focus Mode add-on. If you take too long to answer a card, it will automatically either show the answer, fail the card or simply play an alert (you can choose which one you prefer for your deck in settings). Go to ‘options’ within your selected deck, and click ‘general.’
Copy and paste this code for the add-on: 1046608507 (credit @glutanimate)
SPEED: Have the information at your fingertips
If you have an Amboss account, this add-on allows you to pair and access Amboss from Anki. Your cards will have pop-up explanations and related images in your flashcards that connect directly to Amboss. No more needing to look up more information or explanations that relate to your card–everything you have ever wanted to know is now at your fingertips!
Download the Amboss anki add-on by going to: https://www.amboss.com/us/anki-amboss
With this add-on, you are instantly able to access related facts from your card collection by double clicking on the specific word. This is great for unifying concepts and drawing connections between cards that may seem like isolated facts.
Download the Pop-up Dictionary (beta) with this code: 153625306
SPEED: batch editing
Download the Copy Notes add-on with this code: 1566928056
Customize keyboard shortcuts
If the spacebar on your computer gets to be too far from the “1”, “2” or “3” for your fingers during an Anki marathon, this add-on is for you. Now you can adjust the keyboard short-cut for “easy,” “medium,” or “hard,” to your liking. For example, you can now set “hard” to be the button right next to the spacebar!
Download the Customize Keyboard Shortcuts add-on with this code: 24411424 and click ‘Config’ once you download the add-on.
In the end, Anki has been shown to work best when you stay on top of it. Hopefully these hacks will help you do just that.
Now, back to Anki…