Postponing Algorithm

I was wondering if there is any way of just delaying the fsrs algorithm completely? For example if I am having a long day and just want to take the day off anki without having to do extra work the next day is there any way to just delay the whole algorithm by a day or so? My problem is I want to take holidays and days off but I don’t want to come back with the huge extra work that you get from the weekends and holidays addon and the easy days on FSRS.

I know this would not be optimal but it would be more beneficial for me when going on holidays and being able to relax without thinking about the huge increased workload afterwards.

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No, there isn’t. But there also wasn’t under the SM-2 algorithm. The logic is the same – your brain doesn’t take weekends and holidays off. As long as your memory keeps decaying (an unhaltable process), your cards will keep needing to be reviewed.

True, there are add-ons that will offer to push your whole collection by X days – but I would say they harm more than they help. While longer-interval cards might be fine showing up delayed by a few days, even just a day or 2 or 3 can make a big difference for a shorter-interval card. And if that results in more lapses, that actually increases your workload, instead of just shifting it.

I think the FSRS Helper add-on is the only one that takes an intelligent approach: cards are only moved if it can be done with minimal damage. It uses that logic for easy days, but it also uses it for load-balancing and advance/postpone – which you might want to take a look at, because it seems like they would help you plan ahead for taking a day or 2 off when you need to. Advance some cards before, postpone some cards after, use load-balancing to smooth things out.

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You have to understand that even if you could stop “forgetting” inside Anki (freeze the number of due cards), you cannot stop forgetting inside your head. That being said, you can use the “Postpone” feature of the FSRS Helper add-on to let future you deal with those reviews.


As already explained it is not recommended, however it is possible to do it with Add-ons.

[ Add-ons for reduce learning workload ]

These add-ons features reduce learning efficiency, but help prevent burnout and quitting on Anki. If you do use them, please refer to the add-ons comments.

[ Postpone add-ons ] Postpone the review and pretend the absence didn’t happen.

[ Weekend add-ons ] Shift reviews and create a weekly holiday.

[ Anki Options ] You can also address the delay without using Add-ons.

  • Review ahead
    The least damaging way is to pre-review your cards before you go to vacation.
    This feature is available in Anki’s Custom Study.

Other, the workload can be reduced in the settings.

  1. To set New cards/day to 0
  2. Limit Maximum Reviews to ~100, etc.
  3. Reduce the desired retention rate
  4. Restore the Maximum Interval to the default of 100 years
  5. Filtered decks : Catching Up

If you just want to cheat yourself, you can set a low review limit. The huge backlog will not be displayed in the main screen.


Here’s my perspective on backlog: Currently as it stands, imagine you had 700 Kanji/Hanji writing cards like me. Now these complicated symbols take a lot of time to write and they are easy to forget. What happens in such situations is that you want to focus on stuff that are relatively more overdue. But doing that also mean the review cards that lapsed and passed relearning steps are at the end of the queue. You would also want to prioritise those cards lest you forget what you just learned but to get to them you have to go through the 700 cards long queue of other characters.

My solution was suspending all of them and going through a few in a day (by manually unsuspending) but I wish a better solution existed. (ofc a few days of vacation wouldn’t create such a problem though.)

Edit: wait could I just have used review limit? lol why I didn’t realise this.

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I have a different take on this with the same conclusion:

I 100 % recommend everyone to find a sustainable review limit for themselves and stick to it (almost) every day.

What’s the biggest risk in Anki? It’s not having a backlog. It’s stopping Anki. I have been doing Anki for 13 years now, and in the first couple of years I had periods of >6 months when I stopped because the workload was overwhelming. I then figured out I can just decide how much time I can dedicate to Anki and stick to it and never get overwhelmed. Since I introduced personally sustainable review limits, I have been consistent for ten years. Review limits change over time and between decks, just find what works for you. One important thing I noticed is: You might have a backlog on any given day, but with this method, in the long run, I don’t really have a backlog. You’ll get days when you can spend a lot of time on Anki (e.g., long train travel) and get any kind of backlog done with. Usually, on these days I want to study more, but I don’t actually have any backlog to work with.


In fact, Maximum Reviews is so good, according to the Anki manual, that it can even prevent heart attacks.

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Would it be beneficial to set a maximum review per day and then put the review order on relative overdueness then if I take a week off?

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It would also be good to set the number of new ones to 0 or “New/review order” to “show after reviews”.
For these manipulations, you can clone a preset so that you can easily return everything back.

You can also create a filtered deck to make future reviews before your vacation. The most profitable cards will be with the minimum “R” and the maximum interval.

It will look something like this:
prop:due<=2 prop:r<0.95 prop:ivl>=10

Choose the parameters for yourself. A lot will depend on the length of the vacation and the excessive effort that you are willing to put in.

Or is it better to use stability instead of interval, I do not know.


If you’re going to hide a backlog with a review limit – yes, I think you absolutely need to change your Review sort order to an option that will prevent your backlog from crowding out your short-interval cards. Deck Options - Anki Manual


What option would that be? The show in relative overdueness?

Also i know that reducing the retention rate is meant to reduce workload however do you think that 80% is diminishing rewards compared to 85%. As in what would be the lowest acceptable retention rate? Just trying to figure out ways to be most efficient and stop burnout!

You can use “Compute optimal retention” in Anki 24.04

If you want to reduce retention temporarily in order to clear up debt after your vacation, then you should not worry.

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Oh really?! Do you mind explaining how to do it if possible?

If the exam is in 79 days should I use the days to simulate: 79 days?

It is saying this, which seems quite low:

This number can be used as a reference when deciding what to set your desired retention to. You may wish to choose a higher desired retention, if you’re willing to trade more study time for a greater recall rate. Setting your desired retention lower than the optimum is not recommended, as it will lead to more work without benefit.

I recommend reading this, if you don’t mind reading technical stuff: The Optimal Retention · open-spaced-repetition/fsrs4anki Wiki · GitHub
As for the choice of the number of days, it’s somewhat arbitrary. But yes, using the number of days before a deadline is reasonable.
This will likely be renamed to “Minimum recommended retention” in a future release. The important part is that setting your desired retention higher than this is ok if you want to study more to remember more, but you shouldn’t set your desired retention below this value because you will have to study more to remember less.

I think that a more reasonable choice would be the duration for which the user would have studied the deck at the time of the exam.

For example, if the user is studying the deck for 6 months now and the exam is in 3 months from now. A reasonable choice for “Days to stimulate” would be 270 days (= 9 months).

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