I have used Anki seriously in the past, read just about everything at supermemo.com (although… evidently it’s been updated since then), and for years I’ve been interested in the potential of spaced repetition to improve my life in numerous ways. But I’ve never managed to sustain a daily habit of using Anki for more than 2 months, which entirely defeats the purpose. It is best used daily, indefinitely.
This is a perfect job for Beeminder! My problem is akrasia, pure and simple.
The only questions are what and how to track Anki study behaviors, and how to optimize my use of Beeminder to maximize results (habit reinforcement, memory retention) and minimize friction (spending time entering and managing data, avoiding Beeminder fees).
I’m beginning with this goal:
The fine print describes my intention and plans for how this will goal will work:
As of 2018-04-07, when I created this goal:
- I have 4 decks (each for a separate knowledge realm).
- I’m setting Beeminder to only require 2 points per week. This should be incredibly easy to accomplish
- My intention is for this to be a trial goal. I will decide in two weeks (on 2018-04-21) whether to continue it. If I do, then I will trim safety buffer and increase the commitment to push for improvement.
- I think that a good habit to build over a few weeks would be to clear at least 1 deck every day, and clear all decks at least 5 days/week. That would mean 22 points required each week.
For each deck, I must keep the “new cards per day” setting to at least 5. (That setting is currently at 10.)
I skimmed this forum thread on the Anki integration, and I’ve decided to put off any auto integrations for now. There are at least two kinds of value in manual data entry during a new goal experiment: Helping to reinforce the new habit, and having a more complete sense of my data to inform tuning my expectations, behaviors, and Beeminder goal settings.
Later, I may add one more more additional Beeminder goals for adding information to study into Anki. I’m not starting here, as this isn’t where I need help to get started. Adding notes to Anki is similar to making lists of todos for myself — something I’m great at. It’s the execution where I need help.
However, I think I may come to need the help of a Beeminder goal to add information to Anki. I imagine that as I successfully build the sustained habit of studying Anki cards, the novely of adding cards could wear off. Novelty is among my greatest motivators, so perhaps I’ll tend to neglect it. My intention with Anki is not to simply review information I’ve already added to date, but rather to continually add new information to my memory while retaining the old, on an ongoing basis. It would be possible for me to satisfy requirements of the goal I’m adding today, without fulfilling this intention. An additional goal requiring I add information for study should backstop my actual intention.
If you’ve done something similar, I’d love to hear your stories and insights!
Constructive, helpful, direct feedback appreciated! I’m operating by Crocker’s Rules.