Michiel Nuyts

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Anki for Programmers

October 19, 2020

Should I convert this piece of information to an Anki card or not? Is a question often arises when I’m studying software development. For theory, Anki is always the default choice. But when there is code involved for me it usually doesn’t make sense to convert it into an Anki card.


One rule for Anki cards I abide by, is that they should be atomic. They ask me a simple question with a short answer to mark them as successfully answered. Another habit I have is to practice my Anki cards every single day, to keep that habit going I need to make sure the cards are as simple as possible and I can answer them anywhere I am. 90% of the time I am practicing my Anki cards on my phone. I try to do them just when I wake up. My phone is next to me, and instead of starting to browse Twitter in the morning as my default behavior. I practice my Anki cards.


That’s the main reason I don’t want to write pieces of code in my Anki cards for me to have a successful answer. Instead, when I feel like a new piece of information I want to learn needs to be encoded in code, I’ll use Notion. I have made a database in Notion where I keep my coding based exercises. I have buckets of 1 day, 7 days, 16 days, 35 days and 120 days. Which is based on the SuperMemo spaced repetition algorithm. Each successfully completed exercise moves into the next bucket. And with formulas in Notion you can automate and see what the next date of practice will be automatically. With a column showing exercises which are overdue and need to be completed as soon as possible.

My Golden Rule for Learning

“Anki + Practice + Learn by doing + Multiple resources” is my golden rule of tackling a new topic quickly. Learning should be hard, otherwise you aren’t really doing anything. I’ll explore these topics more in future posts.