Browser: Show Card created before (a particular one)

For instance, I want to see all cards with the flag ‘Red’; PLUS, the card that was created before the card with the flag ‘Red’ (and NO other cards apart from that).

Use case:

For each new vocabulary item, I add TWO cards; a recognition card and a production card, they are created immediately one after the other. They are similar, but NOT identical.

All prod cards go into a ‘parking’ deck for later use; first, only the recog cards are learned/repped.

Once the recog cards reach an interval of 3 months, they are suspended/archived, and get a ‘red flag’. Now I’d like to activate the according prod card(s) … but how to find them in one fell swoop?

I’d have to list all cards with red flags, + the one card(s) created before, that is still in the parking deck …

My collection has 1000s of cards, NO WAY I could pick these new prod cards manually each day :wink:

To ‘illustrate’ what I mean:

Within that collection of thousands of cards, I search for all cards with a flag ‘Green’ that are immediately above (NOT below) a card with a flag ‘Red’ …

If think this is a case of XY problem, but since you also included your usecase, we can skip straight ahead to a working solution. But here is a little explanation on why this is an XY problem: you want to be able to look up for a specific card given a recognition card, so you though about what was linking these. Then, you though about the time of creation: since in your current workflow, you create these two cards one after an other, a relation between these two cards is “the recognition one was created just before/after the production one”. Finally, seeing there was no way to query for this particular relationship in Anki, you asked for it.

  • Most of the query Anki allows you to do are “semantic” query (or “content” query), in the sense that they allow you to search based on criteria that are relevant to Anki. The “due” state of a card is something that matters for Anki, and therefore it allows you to query about that. The number of cards created before a given card is not something that matters for Anki, and therefore it won’t allow you to query about that. You get the idea. This means that, if you are trying to query for something but Anki doesn’t have it as an option, it probably means it’s not relevant to Anki. This should be an indicator (ie. a big warning sign) for what comes next.
  • Your relation between the two cards is too indirect (meaning that you rely too much on a side effect rather than the primary purpose of what you do), because it’s absolutely not clear that the card just before a recognition card is its production counterpart. It is right now, as a side effect of your workflow, but that leads to a very fragile workflow, because you rely on you not changing your current workflow, but also never forgetting to actually add these two cards in that order, but also never delete and / or add a card.

This is why I see this as an XY problem: the way you have though to solve your issue (and about which you have asked on this thread) is probably the wrong way to solve your issue. I’m saying this because, that’s what you should worry about when you try to query by details that are not provided by Anki: Anki probably already has a way to deal with your problem, but if does not provide a way to query the information you are looking for, it’s that this is not that way.

That being said, let’s proceed without further ado to how Anki deals with this kind of situation.

  1. Merge content-related cards into a single note. If you have troubles understanding this sentence, a quick brush up might help. The idea is simply that if the two generated cards are very similar, but not quite identical, they must share a lot of information, so it makes sense to store that common information only once. Also, a note type is a powerful way to expression a relationship between several cards.
  2. You can now query for recognition cards that reach an interval of 3 months, and find right away their associated note, and therefore their associated production card! Note how more resilient this is, compared to looking for the card created just before an other card.

Also note that two cards that were generated by the same note are called siblings. You can tweak Anki to automatically bury the siblings that are in the New state of a given card when you review it.

1 Like

Thanks very much for your very in-depth reply … :wink:

I thought about several cards for a single note …

I absolutely need the option for recog/prod cards being more or less different, or even have completely different note types, so that’s no solution.

Would there really be no way to somehow get to the variable for creation date/time ?

I guess that’ll be a case for an add-on, rather than a simple search in the card browser … :frowning:

For now, I will simply ‘activate’ cards that are older than 3 months; not as accurate but, hopefully, still good enough …