2 years of intensive learning : my experience with flashcards and the method of loci


Yes, I’ve been using Anki for the last 83 days (since 2017-12-11), mostly with new knowledge. The number of reviews per day doesn’t increase that fast, but consistency is critical (not reviewing one particular day is a bad idea). If it became overwhelming, you would have to prioritize. Someone who has a much longer experience than me is Gwern: see the workload section of his article Spaced repetition. And since you’re a medical student: Piotr Wozniak has written that “the demands of a medical school go well beyond the human capacity to learn. That’s a norm for most schools. Even SuperMemo is powerless here” (here). So perhaps Anki is unfortunately not yet good for you, except for extracurricular knowledge.
Since we’re speaking about Anki, I’d like to quote Robb Seaton in Anki Tips: What I Learned Making 10,000 Flashcards:

here’s a common hangup people have, and that I had, when starting with spaced repetition. It’s the question, “What ought I memorize?” and people think, well, maybe the presidents or something, because that’s what they’ve associated memorization with.

It’s the wrong question. Ask “What’s interesting?” and start ankifying that.

(this last sentence is in my Anki collection)

I didn’t use spaced repetition because that was not possible, but I would have liked to. I reviewed the vast majority of my questions 3 to 5 times, rarely 6 (plus the first review when I wrote down the questions). The typical schedule would be the following:



I had to look up “rhizome”. The definitions weren’t working for me, then I tried searching for ‘rhizome eli5’ and found this:

Nice word.