A little over two years ago I hit a streak of 1,000 days in a row of reviewing some flashcards in Anki. Most days I studied a few hundred cards, but all you need to review is one card to continue the streak and there were a few days with low numbers.
I first started using Anki near the end of 2015, but I was a little hit-or-miss for a few years. I probably hit 90% of the days in 2016 and 2017, but never built up any good streaks. On June 5, 2018 I didn’t study any cards, and the 173 that I studied the next day started a streak that is still going strong.
As I’ve said before, I admittedly go a little overboard and that’s helped lead to the streak. It’s a decent amount of work each day, but if I miss any cards it adds even more to the next day and leads to a few longer days. I try to be nice to “future Mickey” by keeping up every day.
As I get decks under control (thanks to the spaced repetition algorithm, you study fewer cards the better you know them) I add new ones from time to time.
Recent additions include:
- A list of all US pro sports teams, including cities, name, and mascot. I knew almost all of these anyhow, but it’s been a good way to solidify new names like the Cleveland Guardians and the Washington Commanders.
- Similarly, a list of all major college mascots in the US (352 of them). It’s easy for me to remember that Georgia is the “Bulldogs”, but less easy to remember that Alabama A&M is also the “Bulldogs” (much less than Campbell is the “Fighting Camels”). I’m still working through this one, as there are a lot of small schools that I’m still struggling with.
- Lastly, I’ve added a Spanish deck with the 1,000 most common words in Spanish. I do a bit of Duolingo every day, and this is a nice complement to it.
As I’ve said before, I tend to go a bit overboard with this and you could find huge value in it with far fewer cards. I just enjoy the magic of the system. I can think “it’d be kind of neat to know all the names of the college mascots“, so I toss a deck in there and a year later I magically know them all. Even better, it’s not me that has to learn them; similar to helping my future self, in this case I just let the “other” Mickey deal with those. 🙂
I’ve done the same over the years with geography, the periodic table, the NATO phonetic alphabet and a variety of other things.
It’s just what I do
Once this became a consistent daily habit, things got much easier. It was no longer “will I review Anki cards today?”, but just a matter of doing it. Obviously adding a deck with 352 college mascots (one new card per day) adds a bit to my workload, it doesn’t seem like it. I’m going to be reviewing cards every day anyhow, so I might as well learn other stuff too.
If any of these decks sound interesting to you, most can be found in the official Anki deck repository, but just reach out if you can’t find something and I’ll be happy to share what I have.
Now, will I make it to 10 years of this? I hope to reference this post again in 2028…