It is nearly impossible to recommend this app

For context, I live in Japan.

  1. When I tell people to use Anki, they think I am talking about the Japanese word “remember.”
    A: “How can learn English?”
    B: "You should use the app: “Anki.”
    A: “Ah, yes. Anki is important.” (They think I told them to memorize.)

  2. When I tell them the website, there is no Japanese option. They can’t understand what it is or how to use it.

  3. The URL is not simple. leads users to the web version of Anki with no description of what Anki is, rather than the landing page. is not easy to remember.

  4. There are no official Japanese tutorials.

  5. Everyone in Japan uses an iPhone, and when they see the 3,500 yen price tag, they laugh.

A simple website URL with language options would solve half of these problems. An explanation of the different versions and why the iOS version costs 3,500 yen would help as well. I’ve recommended this app to so many people over the years, and I’m sure 0 have tried to use it.


Your points are valid. Unfortunately, there are not enough hours in the day, and currently work on the apps tends to take priority over marketing/on-boarding.


They have no problem forking over 3,000 yen for a textbook they will use for a couple months, but 3,500 yen for an app that they could use for years is too much.

1 Like

let it be,
otherwise japanese will be too competitive,
a refrigerator from japan is used for 30+ years in my home.
i have to emphasize no need warranty, no need repair.
it just stood there and plug-ed into the mains.
i am a college grad, and i still cannot believe it.

also a gas heater for shower… around same time.

1 Like

Japanese products last a long time, therefore do not recommend Anki to Japanese people. I see your point; I will cease my efforts.


Hi, I’m Japanese and I also recommend Anki. The biggest problem is that most people never like to study. Introducing Anki to them makes no sense at all.
If I introduce Anki to a dedicated learner, price and language is not an issue, they will study English and AnkiMobile is priced similarly to dictionaries and reference books, etc.
Perhaps to introduce Anki, we need a excellent share deck. In the U.S. medical students, introducing share decks to their juniors is how Anki is spreading.


I have recommended Anki to family, friends and colleagues over the years and while most find the approach „interesting“, hardly anyone is using it (other priorities, lacking discipline, underestimating the long-term potential, no interest in lifelong learning, …).

Outside of areas for which prefabricated decks are available for study, Anki appeals primarily to nerds. This is not necessarily a bad thing, after all, Anki has been around longer than many other platforms and is by far the most flexible and sophisticated solution.

I am not in Japan, btw.


I don’t think it necessarily appeals primarily to nerds at all.

Anki appeals to people who understand — or are willing to learn to understand — how memory and retention work.

Anyone keen to learn something and willing to put in an effort, will find Anki enormously rewarding.

Those, however, who wish to find a magic quick-fix will not appreciate it. There is no magic way to pick up knowledge without effort.


I think many of these points are valid. Especially the points referring to the website, I remember being confused about this as well when I first looked up Anki.

Some things I would prioritize are working on the website, improve the quality of shared decks, improve the default settings, and offer some card templates out of the box that look nice.

I understand a lot of work goes into this app, which is honestly why it’s a bit of a shame that the marketing aspect of it is overlooked.

1 Like

Apps like Anki would ideally, from a pure business sense, adopt a marketing strategy like gym memberships. The ads would paint the picture of the hyper-knowledgeable user killing interviews and winning promotions over and over, for the relatively minute sum of just $100 a month.

The feeling of spending the money makes the user feel like they’re doing something about their stagnant career, and then whether they really are at that point is not something Anki (the business) has to care about. It can instead focus on using that money to further improve the app, e.g. with some additional hiring.

Don’t take me seriously, it’s just a funny idea I had while waiting for a train. :slight_smile:

Improve the quality of shared decks

These are user contributed, so everyone could create a high-quality deck and upload it

I understand a lot of work goes into this app, which is honestly why it’s a bit of a shame that the marketing aspect of it is overlooked

I am not sure if e.g. the formula “more marketing - more users - more growth - advancing the product” works here like e.g. in a startup. This could for example instead lead to more pressure on support channels.

1 Like

Anki is a versatile flash card system, however it is complex and somewhat confusing. I have spent more time learning HOW to create the decks I need than to actually study with them! Mitigation would be one or more simple “Walk through” documents, including how to access and use a shared deck. Also more specific instructions and examples in the Help document, instead of only explaining how something works, include examples of how to make that thing work.

1 Like

Shared decks are not a complete solution as they do not include other aspects required, eg. addons.

I’ve too tried to promote Anki to non-technical potential users and found that most people find it too hard to create and configure their own deck. I’ve come to the view that Anki is good for technically minded people, but for others it’s too confusing.

I also found it time consuming and painful to alter my note types to reflect increases in my understanding about the domain I was trying to learn.

For uses such as learning languages it may be better for users to select their own list of words to learn than use a pre-selected one, in which case all shared decks achieve is to define note types and decks.
Rather than shared decks I think that it would be better to have more (semi) official addons like that for Japanese rather than shared decks, as the addons can install and configure other addons and thus give a simpler overall user experience. They can obviously add any domain specific specialized functionality, such as importing data from external sources.

1 Like