Use Flags for Leech Cards

Currently a note is tagged as leech when it reaches the leech threshold. This is as absurd as suspending all cards of the same note.
I suggest using a special flag (like the star shaped mark feature) for leech cards as using the normal flag would mean you can’t put a flag on that card on your own.

To reiterate my point, if every card of a note need not be suspended why they need to be tagged as leech then?

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Counterpoint –
If you need to update a card to stop it from being a leech – where do you go? You have to edit it at the note-level. So whatever you change will also be changed on any sibling cards.

What is the point in continuing to study those siblings for now with bad/wrong/misleading/confusing information on them? To a certain extent, issues with a card will tend to propagate across siblings – regardless of note type – so it’s better not to be studying those other cards when they still need some work.

To be clear, I don’t auto-suspend my leeches (because I think it’s silly to make them disappear from view when they really need my attention), but when I’m looking at a card on its own – for instance in another deck – I do want to know that it’s attached to a leech card. The only way to do that is with an indicator on the note.

Not if you have cards like I do. I’ll show you an example.

Notice here I put similar info together. Being bad at one doesn’t mean I’m bad at the others.

I also don’t understand why would you need every card to be tagged with leech. If you know which card is a leech you already know which note is a leech.

But if you don’t know which card is a leech, then you don’t know which note is a leech. In the situation I described, there would be no indication that some (sibling) card in another deck had a flag (leech or any other sort).

I don’t understand why do you want to know that. If you’re editing the cards then you don’t really need a tag on note. Do you want to take any specific action when you see the sibling card?

I think most people would agree that auto-suspend suspending every card of a note would be unwanted. In that case, why would we want tags on the note level? The problem is with that specific card.

This also solves some other problems, apart from manually suspending/unsuspending the cards, you can also simply do the equivalent search of tag:"leech" then select all to move them out of the deck or study them in a filtered deck.

Please note that the benefits are outweighing any potential downsides.

Yes – as I said above – not study it until I’ve taken care of the problem.

How will you know it’s note has a leech tag? It’s tag wouldn’t show up in review screen right?

Special Fields

The note’s tags: {{Tags}}

The type of note: {{Type}}

The card’s deck: {{Deck}}

The card’s subdeck: {{Subdeck}}

The card’s flag: {{CardFlag}}

The type of card (“Forward”, etc): {{Card}}

The content of the front template
(only valid in back template): {{FrontSide}}


Actually I later realised the marked tag tags the note but the card is highlighted too. Something like that would solve all of our problems and wouldn’t require a compromise.

Only issue that would still remain is how are you going to search for the highlighted marked cards.

It seems to me that the current state of affairs is the result of a compromise when cards with different information are created from a note and when cards with the same information are created.

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Sure another “specialty” tag like marked that automatically displays during review and in the browser would be great – but I don’t have any problem doing it with the current functionality.

You can search for them by whatever you’re looking for – even if it also causes them to be highlighted – like tag:marked or tag:leech.

I believe many use cases would benefit from a “leech flag” or “card-specific leech tag” approach.

While suggesting to edit a note as soon as possible after a card becomes a leech is a good idea, it may not be practical for those with tight schedules or large daily review loads. Additionally, bad formulation is not the only cause for leeching; other factors such as interference might also be at play.

The “flag” approach would be particularly useful when different kinds of loosely related information are stored within the same note. For example, in an Ultimate Geography note, I might easily remember that the capital of France is Paris but struggle to recall that its flag is blue, white, and red. In such cases, the issue is more card-specific than note-specific, making a flag more appropriate than a tag.

This would also simplify searching for “leeched cards” in the Browser. Currently, you can approximate this with a query like tag:leech, prop:lapses>8 (or your specific leech threshold), but this method is a workaround. For example, it does not exclude previously leeched cards that have been dealt with but still have the leech tag due to a sibling.

This would be very beneficial for those who utilize the “automatic suspension” feature. Using a flag would allow a query like flag:leech is:suspended and provide a more reliable method than a tag-based approach. A tag may be prematurely removed when editing another “leeched” sibling, leading to incomplete search results when using tag:leech is:suspended.

Additionally, implementing a leech flag would simplify creating Filtered Decks of only “leech” cards for targeted practice.


The Add-on Leech Toolkit has an option to auto set the flag.



Thanks, that’s useful! Just one thing: the add-on does not seem to apply the flag when studying filtered decks (with rescheduling enabled).