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This entry is part 8 of 14 in the series Best of AJATT+ Forum

Time for another installment of the best of the AJATT+ forum!

TripleJ started a topic about deleting cards.

So let’s talk about deleting cards.

I know we’ve said it a bunch of times, but it bears repeating. When your SRS deck starts to become more of a chore than a game, bad cards are most likely your problem.


Drewskie sums it up nicely:


As soon as I get that “uh…ew” feeling, it’s gone so fast I don’t even get time to second-guess. I have never been tempted to undo a deletion. If it’s iffy, it should be out.


  •   that “uh…ew” feeling

We all know this feeling. It’s that card that we “should” do. It’s that word that we “should” learn. But it’s not fun. Every time it comes up, you sigh to yourself. You force yourself through it.




Don’t learn a card because you “should.” Learn it because you want to! Learn it because you just can’t stop yourself from putting it in your SRS. Learn it because whenever it comes up, you’re going to smile to yourself because you like that card so much.

Clean up that deck!

Is this your SRS deck?


But just because a card is fun doesn’t mean it’s not a candidate for deletion. Some cards start out fun and interesting, but we forget the context or we just don’t care about them anymore. Then they start to get that “uh… ew” feeling. Don’t be shy about deleting those. Just because you liked it at one time doesn’t mean you need to saddle yourself with it forever.


  • I have never been tempted to undo a deletion.


Same here. Sometimes I’ve been on the fence about deleting a card. But when I choose to delete it, I’ve never regretted it. I’ve never said to myself, Gee, I wish I could have that card back with the kanji compound I kept reading wrong again and again. Those were the good ole days! … Hahahahaha no. Every time I’ve deleted a card, I’ve felt free and invigorated, like I’ve finally thrown off a heavy burden. Like Drewskie, I’ve never looked back.


  • If it’s iffy, it should be out.


Indeed. When you find yourself unsure about whether a card is a candidate for deletion, just go ahead and delete it. You know which cards are good cards and which are iffy cards. Trust your judgment and wipe out those iffy ones as you come across them.


These three tips from Drewskie are the key to keeping your SRS fun. It shouldn’t feel like studying. It should feel like a video game.


Original post here.

Series Navigation<< Are you learning Japanese the wrong way?Improving Your Life Through Japanese >>

  10 comments for “Deletions

  1. December 9, 2011 at 16:05

    Awesome post! Yeah, I am deleting more often, and I think deleting has really allowed me to keep the flow of my SRS journey, instead of me periodically sighing at a sentence I hate, which really disrupts my motivation in the SRS process. Thanks!

  2. ライトニング
    December 9, 2011 at 18:00

    Very true about the ew feeling, I usually don’t go a day without at least some deletions. The SRS needs to stay fun, or else you will avoid it until it’s days, weeks, months before you dare to touch it again. You will dread it.
    Also, when something is fun, you are so much more motivated to do it, and when something is not, well, you won’t! I have an example.
    I started AJATTing last year in 8th grade around the start of the year. Next year(right now), according to district reqs. I have to take atleast 3 years of foreign language. First off, none of the choices appealed to me. German, French, Spanish, Chinese (Sorry If you get offended 😛 )
    I chose german because my dad wanted me to, and I really didn’t care which one I did.
    It’s terrible. My class is full of airheads, and it’s not fun at all. Today we took a listening test which counts towards our semester exam grade, and we’d have to speak back into a voice recorder. Everybody, including me, understood about 20%, and with that comprehension, how are you supposed to know what to say back?
    They speak too fast for people in a beginner German 1 class, and guaranteed, no lies, we didn’t know 75% of the words, because we never learned them.
    How fun.

    • danny
      December 10, 2011 at 18:46

      I would’ve picked chinese(mandarin or canton?) just to get my eyes accustomed to seeing kanji. 😛

    • Harry
      December 13, 2011 at 08:06

      I had the same problem in school. I did both French and German (for five and four years), and hated every minute. Classes were boring, the teacher unpleasant, and I ended up determined that languages “weren’t my thing” and resolved to never study them again. A few years later I got a German girlfriend, and decided to learn german for her. Things went so much better the second time… I learnt what I wanted to learn, I had fun, I did it all on my own terms. And I’ve been rather successful without lessons.

  3. Anonymous
    December 10, 2011 at 06:00

    Another way I’ve seen to do this, is set the leech threshold for your SRS very low, and it’ll take care of problem cards itself– and you know which ones you really like, because you want it back when it suspends the card.

  4. December 10, 2011 at 09:37

    Awesome!  You know what, I had kinda dismissed SRS for me personally for language learning for that exact reason: I’d used it for a few months and had 400-some-odd cards and it just got to be too much of a hassle.  You’ve made me think I should maybe give it another shot, this time deleting cards after they’ve been done to death (I never deleted a card before, ever).

  5. December 16, 2011 at 13:08

    I deleted 10 cards alone yesterday hahaha…those cards were making my life a misery, so i just felt they had to go 😀

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