Importing progress from Memrise (and some other questions)

As you may know, Memrise is discontinuing their app, and so I’m moving my decks to Anki as that seems like the best choice.
No auto-generated multiple choice (i.e. with different options each time) but otherwise almost all the features I could ever want :slight_smile:

It’s been ages since I’ve last used Anki, though, so I could need some input on how to set things up.
I have my vocabulary in a spreadsheet, as that’s from where I built the Memrise cards, and I’ve looked into how to design the cards in Anki and how to import from csv.

I’m especially unsure about the following:

  • I would like to retain my progress in some way. I have around 4000 words in my main deck, most of them not new, and I would like to add them not as new. I was able to take from Memrise the information when each of the words is due next, which isn’t perfect but the best approximation I likely have to how well I know them. How do I get this into Anki? Editing for each card the due date (front and back individually, so, around 8000 times)?

  • Since I relied on multiple choice, I didn’t really have that problem before, but, I have some cards with the same meaning, or different cards for different meanings of the same word where I have reason to keep them separate (like with different forms of a verb that are identical in some inflections). It’s not that many cases, and I’ll likely solve it with “not this word”-hints for the synonyms and 3-sided cards for the different meanings (meaning 1 → word, meaning 2 → word, word → meaning1&2). Does that approach make sense?

  • More general question: Is there a way to delete one side of a card if it belongs to a template with 2 sides and I only want to use 1 or do I have to make/use a different template for these cases?

Thanks for any input!

There are ways to “retain your progress” (sort of like, moving the starting line to the right place), but progress really has 2 components – one is due date, the other is interval (the time between the last review and the current due date). If you only have due date, it’s probably still worthwhile to try, even if you have to use messy appoximations for the interval. If a card is due 60d from now, you know that the interval is at least 60d, so that will always be a safe place to set it (even if it really could be longer).

The action you’ll use in Anki is called “Set Due Date” – Browsing - Anki Manual – but you will want to manipulate your data a bit before importing it. I’m sure there are other methods to do these manipulations, but I’m comfortable with spreadsheets, so my example will be based on what I know you can do in with one. As long as you’re careful, you can import your data to a spreadsheet program, do these manipulations, and then export it in a format Anki can still handle. Text Files - Anki Manual

In broad strokes (and then you can say what parts you’d like more detail on) –

  1. Add a new column/field to hold a “due days from now” value, and convert your due dates into that (e.g. instead of a card being due on 17 Feb, it will be due 7 days from now).
  2. Add a new column/field to hold a “current interval” value, and “floor” the due-days-from-now to break your collection into “chunks” of intervals (e.g. instead of having cards with intervals of 6, 7, and 9, floor all of those to 5). What size/range of chunks you want to make will depend on your collection.
  3. After you import to Anki, search for an interval-chunk. [You can use do text searches of the numbers Searching - Anki Manual, or use regex searches Searching - Anki Manual, or set “current interval” to be your sort field (for now) Adding/Editing - Anki Manual, sort by it, and select the ones you want.]
  4. Use “Set Due Date” with ! – to set the Interval for that chunk (e.g. 60! gives them a 2m Interval, but they’re all due on the same date).
  5. Then use “Set Due Date” with a range – to spread that chunk out randomly over a range of due dates without changing the interval (e.g. 60-90).
  6. Repeat for the other interval-chunks.
  7. When you’re done, you can clean up by deleting these fields that were only useful for the importing.

It should go without saying that you don’t have to do any of this, or as much as this! I just wanted to give you a sense of the possibilities. :sweat_smile:

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If you are wanting to make cards “3 sided cards,” or cards that are related in some ways – fronts/backs, meaning 1/meaning 2 – think about whether it makes sense to have them be independent cards that duplicate a lot of information or be sibling cards of the same note, which then use card templates to create the correct cards with that information. That probably will mean creating a note type that will handle that, and importing those separately. Getting Started - Anki Manual

You can’t delete the other card, but you have options. [I’m going to re-word this as “forward” and “reverse” cards, as opposed to “sides” of the card.]

  • Use the same type/template for them – modelled on a “Basic (optional reversed card)” type, Getting Started - Anki Manual – so you’ll only create reverse cards for the ones you want.
  • Use the same type/template for them – modelled on a “Basic (and reversed card)” type – but then suspend the reverse cards that you don’t want to study.
  • Use separate types/templates for those different kinds of cards.

That sounds great, thanks!
I particularly like the idea of using chunks - editing the due date for several cards simultaneously is certainly more feasible.
The due dates in my spreadsheet are already in days rather than as dates, so that’s gonna be a very straightforward task.

Since they are new cards, I think the ! isn’t even needed? Not like that makes much of a difference.

Sibling cards means that if I get tested on one side, I won’t get tested on any of the other sides the same day?
That would be good for these cases.

I was considering using the suspending, but as I want to share the decks, I should probably avoid that as then every user would have to suspend the respective cards themself, I think?
(One of the decks is for a Duolingo course, so it’s useful for the general public, and the other deck I’m making for a textbook which I’m working through with a friend, and I’m adding new cards whenever we reach a new chapter).

I mainly was thinking of using this for multisided cards - for having a template for all the inflected forms of a word that I want to learn, and each pair of sides asking for specific forms. Some words lack certain inflected forms, so then I’d have to get rid of the respective sides for those words.
But I think that kinda approach isn’t good anyway for other reasons and I will go for normal 2-sided cards there anyway.

What it might be useful for is for 3-sided cards, like when learning Japanese, and having some words that don’t have kanji. But that’s not applicable to the languages I’m currently learning.

If you skip the ! step (4), you’ll bet setting the card to a due date (and skipping the learning phase) like you want, but in 30 or 90 days when it shows up as due, it will start with a 1d interval and be as though you just introduced it the day before. Step 4 is there specifcially because your cards are otherwise new.

Another option would be to combine steps 4 and 5 – setting the interval and due date for each card at the same time (e.g. 60-90!). The only reason I didn’t lead with that is that I tend to be more cautious about setting a too-long-for-this-card interval than setting a too-far-for-this-card due date.


Yes, if you turn on “burying” in your Deck Options, Studying - Anki Manual (which I strongly endorse for language learning).

Yes, I think that’s correct.

I think this is where the conditional replacement and selective card generation rules will come in handy for you – Card Generation - Anki Manual. So if you only want to create that card (or display that information on a card) under certain conditions, you can setup your templates to enforce that rule. For instance, my main note type will create up to 7 cards, depending on which fields of the note have information in them – if it has a sentence, create cards 3 and 4 – if it has 1 synonym, create card 5 and add more fields to card 1, etc.

If you are doing very different things with different sorts of words – like lots of inflections for verbs, but none for nouns – it’s also fine to use different note types for those. The downside of having a lot of note types is that for things you want to be consistent across all cards, if you want to make a change, you have to change it in every note type.

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Ah, I see.

The explanation in the Wiki sounded like the opposite:

Entering a range like 60-90 will make the selected cards due between 60 and 90 days from now. New cards will have their interval set to the same delay, but reviews will be rescheduled without changing their current interval, unless ‘!’ is included at the end of the range.

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Sounds interesting!

Just, I don’t want these cards to then bury each other - just because I was asked for the past tense of a verb, doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be asked for the future tense of the same verb on the same day. So I better just have 2-sided cards each.

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Oops, I’m wrong. You seem 100% correct! I’ve actually never used it on a New card, so I was assuming it works the same as a Review card.

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