Using a shared deck as a beginner


I am very new at using Anki, just installed it to go along with my Chinese lessons that I just started.
A friend gave me a deck of card very complete with a lot of word and sentences, from HSK1 (beginner) to HSK6 (fluent).
I imagined using Anki as the following :

  • I created a filtered deck based on the full big deck, only the one with a specific new tag I defined “chinese_lessons”
  • after my Chinese lesson (once a week), I search in the notes/cards for all the new words I learnt, and tag the notes with the tag “chinese_lessons”

I did it a few days ago, and started learning the cards, that was exactly try what I was expecting, perfect. But today my filtered deck is empty. The cards are in the original deck though.

2 questions :

  • why is my filtered deck empty ? How to make the cards I learned (and clicked “easy”) not disappear ?
  • is it a good way, for a beginner, to use a pre made deck ? In the original deck, there are way too many words I still don’t know, that’s why I want to filter them. Is there any better way to use a pre made deck ?

Thank you,


What search query are you using for your filtered deck?

If you are searching for a particular tag, then each time you do a Rebuild of the filtered deck, it will find cards with that tag (though it might not be the same ones, if you use Random for selection).

On the other hand, if you search for is:new, then cards will not be found again when you Rebuild because they won’t be new anymore.

So perhaps you can describe in more detail what you are trying to do and how you are defining your filtered deck.

Thanks for your answer.

My deck is defined a follow : “deck:Mandarin: Vocabulary” tag: chinese_lessons

  • “Mandarin: Vocabulary” is the name of the shared deck I have
  • “chinese_lessons” is the name of my tag

I am not sure about what os the rebuild function.

I was expecting that the day after I learn the deck, I again have some words to train agin, not an empty deck.

Cards in a filtered deck retain a link to the original deck, so they return to the original deck when learning ends. If the original deck has N learning steps (this is defined in the deck options for New Cards, you might have two or three), then they return to the original deck after Good is selected N times, or after Easy is selected once.

But when the filtered deck is empty (“Congratulations! You have finished this deck for now.”), the Rebuild button at the bottom of the window will repopulate it. You will get another set of cards that are tagged “chinese_lessons”, which might include the old cards or might not, depending on how you defined the selection (for instance, “Random”).

I see now how it work, thank you.
I understand that filtered deck might not be good way to practice my Chinese, as the GOOD and EASY will disappear forever, or if I click “Rebuilt” then I will start again from scratch.

I still think useful to use this pre made deck that is very convenient (cards are well designed), and I think it would take me too much time to create the cards myself (with sound, ideograms…)
How would you recommend to use a pre made deck to train my Chinese, only with the word I tagged (because learnt it during Chinese class) ?

I guess you have a large number of words tagged chinese_lessons, and you want to select maybe 10 or 20 new ones per day and start learning/reviewing them?

In the options for the original “Mandarin: Vocabulary” deck, you could just set “New cards/day” to 0. So you never see cards unless you choose to see them.

Then you could still use a filtered deck to start learning new cards, with the Search being:
is:new "deck:Mandarin: Vocabulary" tag:chinese_lessons
“Limit to __ cards selected by Random”

Then once a day, you would Rebuild the filtered deck and go through it (to do new cards), and then go through the original non-filtered deck (to do reviews of non-new cards).


Sounds great, let me try that for a few days.

Another option, maybe simpler. You could select all cards in your big Mandarin deck and suspend them. This way they will not appear for studying.

Then, after your lesson, just look for the cards you want to activate and unsuspend them, so they will apear on the deck for studying. This way you wouldn’t need to rebuild anything, just keep adding (unsuspending) new cards when you study them.



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