AnkiReview feature: QuickTags

LucW
3 min readMar 23, 2019

AnkiReview is a flashcard app/plugin which works in conjunction with AnkiDroid and focuses on a smooth reviewing experience. I realized early on when reviewing Chinese flashcards that I frequently need to mark or annotate a card if the definition or usage is unclear.

Support my work on AnkiReview

In my case, this need would come up in under the following circumstances:

  • I am not sure how to use this word that I’m being asked to learn.
  • I don’t understand the English definition.
  • The definition seems incorrect or needlessly long (particularly if copied from the dictionary).
  • I need an example sentence to really memorize this word.

The way the Anki ecosystem addresses this need is through tagging. both AnkiMobile (iOS) and AnkiDroid (Android) support “marking” a card, which adds the “marked” tag and lets you locate that card later. I say later, because frequently, modifying the card to my satisfaction requires asking my teacher, and I can only do that during our scheduled lessons. So I want to tag/mark while reviewing in my daily review sessions, and fix the card later.

Having the “marked” tag is useful, however it’s not immediately clear what I thought was wrong with the card a few days earlier. For this reason, I use more specific tags such as “definition” when I think the definition could be improved, or “clarify” when I want my teacher to explain again how to use this word.

AnkiDroid does support custom tags, however applying them requires a couple of taps (Menu, Edit Note, Tags, checking a tag, OK and Save Note. 6 taps!) I sought to make this process quicker in AnkiReview, hence the QuickTags feature:

AnkiReview QuickTag menu entry

Selecting Add QuickTag pops up the following dialog. I type in the “example” tag, which didn’t previously exist. I use this tag when I want my teacher to give me an example sentence which uses the word.

AnkiReview: add a new QuickTag

After tapping OK, the card is immediately tagged, and the “example” tag is available immediately for future use:

AnkiReview: the example tag is available for immediate use

If the card was already tagged, you will see that particular tag as greyed out:

AnkiReview: if a tag is already applied, it will be greyed out

Once you’ve defined a QuickTag, it only takes 2 taps to apply it. It’s very fast and lets me keep my flashcard collection neat and tidy !

In the future, I want to add support for Suspending and Burying in AnkiReview. Do you know what those features do ? I only learned that recently:

  • Burying prevents Anki from showing you the card again today. You would use this if you don’t want to answer the card today, for example if you know for a fact the card is wrong somehow, and you expect to fix the issue in the evening. This allows you to skip the card without having to answer a score (which would falsify stats)
  • Suspending indefinitely hides the card until you unsuspend it. If you know the card is wrong, you can suspend it until you get a chance to fix it.

However for these features to work, I have to wait for the release of AnkiDroid 2.9 (AnkiReview uses the AnkiDroid API, which will get updated in 2.9).

I hope that article was useful to you, feel free to share your flashcard reviewing habits in the comments ! Are you an AnkiDroid user ? Please try AnkiReview !

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