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What, Why & When

Anki Logo.png

Anki is a flashcard app for your computer or smartphone. When you want to learn facts or simple concepts in an effective manner, Anki might be your tool to go. For further insights regarding learning, also check our article: Learning for exams!


  • Learn effectively with Flashcards
  • Incorporate learning into your daily life
  • Use spaced repetition with ease (spaced repetition is just a fancy way of saying that the app will estimate when the optimal point in time for you to repeat a flashcard would be)

Getting started

Anki Example.png
Anki Example Picture.png

As this is well documented elsewhere (check the "Links" section below), here's only a very brief overview:

  • Download the app here: Download Anki
  • Create an AnkiWeb account here: Register AnkiWeb Account (this is not mandatory but allows you to backup your flashcards and synchronize them across multiple devices)
  • Login on your smartphone and computer
  • Create your decks and flashcards!

Here's just a few things you can add:

  • Pictures
  • Audio
  • Videos
  • Formulas (via LateX)

As mentioned, do check out the official "Getting Started" documentation here: Getting started with Anki

Tips & Tricks

While using Anki to learn is quite straightforward and intuitive, here's some tips that might be useful to you.

Make it a habit to Anki your notes after the lecture
It is not only useful to recap new knowledge directly after you learned it, but will also save you time and ensure that you don't lose anything on the way. You can also combine this with note-taking methods that emphasize the use of keywords such as the Cornell Note Taking System.

Establish a habit to use Anki
Try to embed using Anki as a daily or otherwise regular habit. It will increase the accuracy of the spaced-repetition algorithm and also - obviously - make you learn more consistently. It might be a good idea to either set yourself a personal goal of doing Anki once a day, or try to use cues for when you want to study with Anki. You can, for example, try to commit checking Anki everytime you wait for a bus or train, or everytime you brush your teeth, or whatever works best for you.

Share decks with your fellow students
Some people might not know this, but Anki gives you the possibility to export your own decks and share them with others. While not strictly and directly useful for yourself, you might want to share those with fellow students because sharing is caring. They might return the favor some time you didn't have the time to create one yourself.

Links & Further reading



The author of this entry is Matteo Ramin.