Why does Anki display study time in months?

It says I studied 2.31 months. But a month has between 28 and 31 days. Why not minutes and hours? Or even days.

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The rationale is that a period like “8.2 months” is easier to understand as “8 and a bit months” than “245 days” or “5903 hours” is.


2.31 months ranges from 1552.32 hours to 1718.64 hours


70.33 days is always 1687.92 hours

days is easier to understand

Maybe something like XX days (~YY months) could work?

I see no reason why the user would need to consider that when answering the card. The times shown on the buttons are there to give you a quick idea of the approximate timeframe. They do not need such precision.


Oh, it’s for the buttons. I agree then. In fact, I would prefer if it’d be hidden by default. People tend to worry about time more than necessary, and I think if the user wants to know the time between reviewsz they can find the setting to show it.

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Re-reading the original post, it looks like I was incorrectly assuming this was about the buttons, and not the message shown at the bottom of the deck list / top of the stats. I’m still not sure the precision is needed in such cases (what would you use it for?), but it’s perhaps not as clear-cut as the buttons case.

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Oh, I was referring to the stats. Yeah, for buttons It doesn’t matter.

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I agree when you first start out. But I think Anki’s algorithm starts to break down after several years of use. A difference of a month or a week is not so big. But when the difference of hitting either 2 or 3 means either seeing the card 1 year in the future or 3 years, that’s when seeing the button time matters.

For the stats could make sense to see the total time in hours, even in the thousands. Steam and other gaming sites display the time played in hours regardless of how high it goes. At least for me 2.8months is not that intuitive to compare as 2052h, as you have the days studied in days metric, which goes into the thousands anyways.

Here is an example from my secondary profile:

I acually made a simple add-on that displays the time in hours. https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/1238121460

I don’t think this needs to be changed, as few users reach that amount of time.

I didn’t mind so much since AnkiDroid displayed the time properly, but now it uses the same stats as Anki.

What is the actual point. Why go through the trouble of providing a statistic that is vaguely accurate, despite having access to accurate data?

I’m still not sure the precision is needed in such cases

I’m not sure why such deliberate vagueness is needed in any case. I just want to know how long I have studied, total. 2.63 months for total study time is unnecessarily vague and inaccurate.

It says I studied 1.32 hours today. Why not say 0.055 days? It is equally vague and absurd. Actually, it is not equally vague, because a day is always 24 hours.

The average man lives 579036 hours.
I hope this example has shown you that the representation of time in clocks is not always convenient.

As of now, ANKI represents time more conveniently for me than what you are offering.

From my point of view, displaying the study time in days or months is misleading.

If you say that someone has studied for 24 hours, I deduce that he has studied for 24 hours (over x days). But, if you say that someone has studied for 1 day, I deduce that he has studied for one day, which can be just a few hours (if you consider that no one can study for 24 hours in one go).

Similar argument goes for study time in months.

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I agree, reason number 2 why it doesn’t make sense.

I did not study 2 months, I studied a couple thousand hours over 3 years.

Actually, I have no way to tell how long I have studied since 2.31 months ranges from 1552.32 hours to 1718.64 hours.

I guess since we are all offering our opinion, I’ll jump in to say that I am on the side of preferring display in months. And I’m sure it is not some nebulous 28-31 days in this calculation, but a fixed amount, likely equivalent to 30 x 24 hours.


On average, there are more than 30 days in a month.

I agree with the last speaker that most likely a fixed number of hours is used for a month. But even if it was as you write, then such a run-up is impossible. There are no three consecutive months in a year that have 28 days or 31 days.

I’m not sure everyone would agree that those are obvious implications of expressing that in hours vs. days.

But don’t forget that this total is directly below a days-out-of-days figure – which clearly expresses a tally of how many days you have studied “on” and not how many days you have studied “for.” The graph is also labeled with what time period it covers overall. In that circumstance, isn’t it clear that the Total is an accumulation of total study time?

[For the sake of argument, I’m setting aside that those outlier calculations are not remotely realistic based on the lengths of actual consecutive months on an actual calendar (as @Keks pointed out).]

I find it really hard to believe that very many people are walking around with an independent idea of how long 1550h is compared to 1700h. Whereas everyone would have an idea of about how long the passage of two-and-a-third (2.3) months is. That’s what the figure is meant to express [to the rarefied few who reach it].

Yes, based on the context, it is clear that it represents an “accumulation” of the total study time.

But, I actually wanted to say something like this. Because the time mentioned there represents an accumulation of the time spent studying and not the time over which the user has studied the cards, any idea of the amount of time that would come to the user’s mind would be quite different from the reality.

Most people won’t understand how they should perceive an accumulated time, especially when it is expressed in days or months.

That’s very possibly true – but I don’t think that changes much based on what units it is measured in. :sweat_smile: For people who do understand accumulated time, and the (quite small, I’d think) subset of those who are presented with a total time this long in Anki – they are more likely to understand it at a glance as 2m, than as 1500h.