Anki Forums

Reminder for adjusting Anki parameters

Hi,

users’ goals and brains are different. Not all are aware of the fact that the default parameters have to be adjusted after a while.

Would be nice to have a hint after a while or a certain number of mature cards (pop-up or something when starting the programme).

With kind regards
Rolfi56

That’s controversial. You can use Anki very effectively with the default settings. On the other hand, messed-up settings are a common reason why people ask for help on this forum.

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Yes, also start with default parameters and only tweak few at a time with the understanding – reading the manual – what the change does.

No, I disagree. A short reminder would be nice to prevent people who use Anki as it is from reading the manual intensively only when they realise that the algorithm doesn’t work for them. That can take a very long time. That is too late, annoying and demotivating.

I use Anki with default settings. Only tweak is max cards per day. Works fine. This is like a car engine, it’s OK to tinker with it if you know how it works with all the parameters.

You were just lucky that the default values suited you. Blindly trusting Anki, it took a disaster and a while for me to even get the idea that the Anki algorithm needs to be adjusted after a while. A single little hint would have saved me from frustration.

There could be some cool UI work with using the stats as a hint for changing the settings. I look at those every day to pace and make sure I don’t go over 200 reviews a day, so far just looking at those and not adding new cards have worked fine. But we all are different.

Still, tweaking the settings without knowing the outcome is not optimal.

I was just thinking of a simple reminder that the Anki defaults should be adjusted after a while, not how. This is just to save people like me from trusting the Anki defaults.

It depends, there’s only a need to change the defaults if you know what you want to achieve, it’s not a necessary step. If it is, there’s a bug with something that needs a fix.

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Relying on Anki’s defaults and warnings (“defaults will work”), I have accumulated more than 8500 overdue cards. A single reminder after a certain time/number of mature cards would have saved me from a big disappointment.

That’s a lot. Which setting adjustments would have prevented that in your opinion?

Just a single hint that the defaults have to be checked and should be thought about. As an inexperienced user, I trusted the default settings for too long.

In my case (to many overdue cards), the maximum reviews per day should have been increased (maybe the ease factor lowered too), but that’s not the point. The point is not to blindly trust Anki’s default settings, as many advisers recommend. It didn’t even occur to me that the algorithm could do nonsense with the default values.

That’s why I suggest introducing a hint (just that the defaults have to be checked, not a solution) after a certain time.

You mean something like this?

“Today’s review limit has been reached, but there are still cards waiting to be reviewed. For optimum memory, consider increasing the daily limit in the options.”

Well, that might save from the special problem of overdue-ness.

But I was thinking of a more general reminder that the specifications could be adjusted after a certain time. Something like (just once):

"Congratulations, you have reached 100 mature cards. Time to check whether Anki’s specifications still suit you. Please take a look at your statistics. If you are satisfied, continue. If there are anomalies, consider changing one default value. Please only change one at a time, as changing more than one can have side effects. "

Yes but what would then be changed? It really depends on each individual and it’s easy to change the settings without knowing how they work so it gets even worse.

I’m curious to know how you got to the point with 8500 overdue cards and the daily updates didn’t tell you of cards to be reviewed.

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Anki has to provide default settings that work reasonable well for all reasonable use cases because, while improving your personal learning experience with custom settings is perfectly possible, that cannot be expected from the average user who is used to software working out of the box and robustly under his own actions.
So I would prefer to have a discussion about which default settings don’t work good enough for all users, yet.

I take from your experience that the default review cap has failed you. Even though a warning does exist as Damien has pointed out allusively, I don’t see any reason for it to be there (or that low) in the first place: Most users won’t be affected by it at all, but some users like you are harmed by it and only a fraction will benefit from it. It’s just too individual of a setting to prescribe for all users.

If the maximum number of reviews per day is too low to reduce the pile of overdue cards, Anki’s algorithm runs into a trap. I didn’t dare because of the warnings and blamed the poor results on my age (I’m retired).

Sounds like a bug or maybe something the new scheduler fixed, could you provide mode info of your deck settings concerning number of new cards and total reviews, that’s separate from the default algorithm per deck?

You are right. That is better, because my proposal could create unnecessary uncertainty for the majority of users.

From Jan 2018 to Aug 2020, the maximum number of reviews per day was about 20-100 and the number of new cards was mostly 20 per day. It was my fault not to check the number of overdue cards.