A free flashcard program for learning
Anki is a free flashcard memory learning program you can use to help boost your long-term memorization. In Japanese, Anki means memorization, and the program uses an algorithm known as SM-2. This algorithm employs spaced repetition to help you memorize information by prioritizing which flashcards to show based on your need to see it again, so you don't forget the information.
Anki can show cards using various formats like text, videos, images, sounds, and scientific markup like LaTeX equations. With Anki, you can learn a language, memorize information like people's names, study for important exams, brush up on general knowledge, master long-forms of content like poetry, and many more uses. If your goal is to learn a language, there are already dedicated programs like Duolingo.
How Anki helps you learn
Anki is a flashcard program that speeds up your learning and raises your efficiency. Unlike topic-specific learning programs and apps, you can tailor Anki to learn anything you want, from medicine and law to artwork and geography. By utilizing the SM-2 algorithm, it's designed to optimize your learning for you behind the scenes.
Scientific research into learning has shown that the best time to review a piece of information is just before we're about to forget it. When learning, we cannot self-prioritize the information we need to learn when we most need it. The result is sub-optimal learning which takes more time and energy.
Anki works by presenting you a card, and then after tapping the ‘spacebar’, it shows the answer. If you didn't know the answer, you would press the ‘again’ button. This causes Anki to show you the card again in a minute or less. If you guessed the answer correctly but struggled to remember it quickly, click the ‘hard’ button. Anki will remember how many times you answered this card correctly previously, which means you may not see the card again for a long time or sooner than expected because you constantly struggle with it.
If it was easy for you to answer the question, click the ‘good’ button. This means you didn't need to use much brainpower, and you won't see the card again for a long time as you're able to answer the question easily and need to focus on other cards.
You can create decks of cards and customize them as much as you want. You can also view your deck's stats to monitor your progress and make any changes as needed.
How to use Anki
After opening Anki on your computer, you'll find a clean interface and several options to choose from. Click on ‘Add’ to create a deck, followed by ‘Cards’ to add new cards. You can include audio clips, embed images and videos, text, and scientific markup to your cards. You can also customize how the card is shown with styling options using HTML and CSS.
You can create multiple decks and customize them as you want. Using the ‘tags’ feature will help you search for cards related to specific topics, and you can include the same card in more than one deck simultaneously. You can also tweak the algorithm to alter how often and when cards will appear.
Anki community and extensions
Anki has a large community and lets you import decks created by other people. This is extremely handy if someone has already made a deck of cards for an exam you need to study for. You can also download extensions that further increase Anki's functionality.
Installing Anki on your Windows computer
To install Anki, first, download the installation file by clicking on the download button, then click or double click the file to launch the setup wizard. You'll need at least 376.6 MB of free space to install it.
Once installed, you can launch Anki on your computer. Before launching for the first time, a popup box will appear asking you to choose a language for the interface. The interface is available in a wide range of languages such as German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and many more.
Anki is a self-guided learning tool that uses the SM-2 algorithm to help you learn by repeatedly showing you the cards you struggle with most.
Should you download it
If you enjoy learning using flashcards but need help prioritizing your cards to boost your learning, download Anki.
- Free program
- Easy to set up and use
- Large community
- Import decks created by other users
- It can take time to make decks
- Be wary of errors in user-generated decks