Here are a few extra add-ons that you can research in your own time.
You probably don’t need this add-on as much as you used to because of a new update which contains essentially the same thing but in the statistics menu.
While some would say this is an essential add-on, I don’t necessarily agree. Yes, you can use the Anki simulator to help get your settings the way you want, but you don’t have to.
You can still get good settings by spending 10 minutes looking at articles and YouTube videos.
However, I am sure there are loads of you out there who would love to play around and tinker with this add-on, and that is why I am mentioning it here.
Download it here.
Custom Background Image and Gear Icon
We all know that Anki has a pretty boring background.
So why spice it up and give it a new lease of life with this great add-on. It can transform your Anki from looking like a Windows 1998 application to a modern and aesthetically pleasing work of art.
As you can see, the options are almost limitless!
Download it here.
This is an extremely simple add-on that turns the button colours at the bottom of the page into green and red colours.
If you are on the quest to make Anki as aesthetically pleasing as possible, you cannot miss out on this add-on.
Download it here.
Progress Graphs and Stats for Learned and Matured Cards
This is a great addition to the other statistics add-on that I mentioned before.
Download it here.
This add-on is slightly controversial. Some people love it while others say it messes with the whole point of Anki.
That is because it changes the days that you see the cards based on when you have more or fewer cards.
For example, if you have a lot of cards due on Monday, it will shift some of the cards to Tuesday ore Wednesday so save you doing too many cards that one day. It is therefore similar to the ReMemorise add-on that I mentioned above.
Download it here.
Here are some other resources that will help you find great add-ons in the future:
If you enjoyed this article, then please share it with your friends and colleagues. It takes a lot of effort to make these and as a busy medical student, I can use all the help I can get to make this venture worthwhile.
You can have a look at this article I wrote on the 22 Best Anki Decks of All Time.
How to Use Tags in Anki to Organise Your Cards
There is no set way to structure your tags, but I am going to show you a way that will work well for most people.
Adding Tags in Anki
When you add a card, you will see a box at the bottom which says “tags”. As you can probably imagine, this is where your tags go.
What Do You Write in the Tag Box?
The way you write tags is in the following syntax:
It might look almost code-like, but don’t worry, it’s not that complicated.
The double-colon “::” tell Anki where you want your hierarchy to be. So the image below shows you the tags which have been created.
Creating Multiple Tags
It’s really easy if you want to add multiple tags. All you do is have a space.
Anatomy::Muscles::Upper_Limb Deltoid Step_1::UWorld_Anatomy
In the above example, there are three tags:
The only thing that separates them is a space.
Tags Can’t Have Spaces Between Them
When you create a tag, you need to use the underscore “_” character between your words for it to count as a tag.
This is because leaving a space between words results in a new tag being created.
Therefore, the below example does not work as intended.
Step 1 Anatomy of the Upper Limb
This will create 7 different flashcards
Instead, you want to have an underscore between each word.
This will create a single flashcard:
Tags Don’t Move Once You Put Them in the Tag Box
Once you have created a set of cards, they will stay there regardless of the number of cards you add.
As long as you don’t exit out of the “add” window, ever card you add will contain those cards. You can of course change the tags if you wish, but the idea is that all cards in that sitting will likely be of a similar grouping; Anki knows this so keeps the tags there.
After You Have Created a Tag
After you have created a tag, you will see it in the drop-down when you want to create that same tag.
This helps you not make spelling mistakes when making the same card while also saving you time.
Structuring the Tags
There are several ways you can approach making your tag structure, but I stick to a basic principle: the more tags you can add to a card, the better.
There is no downside to adding too many tags. You can always delete tags later if you feel. However, adding too few cards could mean you don’t have the organisation that you want.
Start General, Then Be Specific
Let’s say you are making cards from a questions bank, it’s probably a good idea to have that at the highest tag level. Then, you can be more specific with your tag; if it’s cardiology related then have that be the next level down and so on.
You may end up with a tag structure like this:
You may also want to create tangential tags. This could be just reminders to yourself for the future. Remember, you can always change these in the future.
UWorld::Cardiology:Myocardial_Infarction Cardiac Step_1::Cardiology::Chest_Pain
You’ll therefore end up with these tags:
And that’s all there is to structuring your tags! You can go as specific as you like.
However, try not to spend too much time making tags. They won’t help you remember things better! It’s just to help make things more organised.
Top 10 Anki Add-ons to Increase Productivity
If you didn’t use Anki before starting medical school, chances are a classmate convinced you to download it by the end of the first week. And with good reason: spaced repetition is one of the best ways to make sure you have your high-yield facts down. Still, even the most devoted Anki user knows that on some days, staring at your laptop screen while smashing your spacebar for hours is the last thing you feel like doing.
Unfortunately, the science behind spaced repetition means that skipping days will catch up with you quickly. The last thing you want is to blank on a test question that you know you made a flashcard for, all because you chose social or extracurricular activities over keeping up with reviews a few times too many. Read on to learn about ten Anki add-ons that will make your flashcard use easier and more productive — and will help you leave time for the activities you care about.
- Review Heatmap
- Anki Simulator
- Clickable Tags
- Custom Background Image and Gear Icon
- Frozen Fields
- Pop-up Dictionary
- More Overview Stats
- Advanced Browser
- The Anki app
This add-on is one of my personal favorites because it helps me see patterns in my reviews over the past few weeks or months. Each square represents one day, so if I miss a day, it will show up as a blank spot in a sea of colors. When I first started using Review Heatmap, I noticed that I often skipped Thursdays — my busiest day of classes. With that information, I started shifting half of my Thursday reviews to Wednesday or Friday, and I got much better at planning my reviews around my school and work schedule.
I also like this add-on because the streak feature motivates me to keep up with my reviews. When I first installed it, I was shocked to see that I only used Anki on 68% of days. I knew I wasn’t great at keeping up with my reviews, but I didn’t know I was that bad. After I started using Review Heatmap and got better at disciplining myself, it was satisfying to see my “days learned” percentage start creeping upwards.
This add-on is great for when you have an exam coming up and want to know how many new cards you should plan on doing every day. Just plug in the deck, a suggested daily number of new cards and a timeframe. Anki Simulator will tell you when you’ll finish going through a deck and how many reviews you’ll have to do every day on top of your new cards.
For example, this picture shows a simulation of the whole Zanki deck with 40 new cards per day over the next 700 days (in red). Since this person has already started the deck, Anki Simulator takes their existing review load into account, meaning that they’ll have a fairly consistent daily load of around 500-600 cards for the first year or so. The steep dropoff in October 2021 shows when this person will have seen every card in the deck and their reviews begin to decrease. The orange line represents an alternative simulation with 60 new cards per day. As you can see, the dropoff point occurs several months earlier, but it comes at the cost of more daily reviews.
This is a large-scale example, but of course you can use Anki Simulator for much smaller decks and timeframes, like an anatomy deck for an exam that’s only two weeks away.
Clickable Tags is especially handy if you’re using large premade decks like Zanki or Lightyear. The AnKing Overhaul deck makes particularly good use of tags, with separate categories not only for various topics, but also for different study resources like B&B and Physeo.
This add-on works by making each card’s tags interactive. When you look at the reverse of a card, you’ll also see the tags listed at the bottom. Let’s say you had trouble answering the question on the card below — or maybe you got it right, but realized you weren’t familiar with the other characteristics of orotic aciduria and wanted to refresh your knowledge. Clicking on the yellow tag would take you straight to the Ammonia section of the Metabolism chapter associated with Physeo, all within the AnKing Overhaul’s Step 1 deck.
As you can see below, the Browse window will open immediately and show you all the other cards with this tag. You can then scroll through them to remind yourself of the context of orotic aciduria within ammonia metabolism more broadly.
Custom Background Image and Gear Icon
At first glance, it might seem strange to include a purely aesthetic add-on in this list, but you may be surprised at how helpful a custom background image can be. The default Anki app comes with a plain gray background — not distracting, but not exactly inspiring either. Switching to one of the background pictures included with this add-on, or choosing one of your own, can make it just that much more pleasant to sit down to Anki at 7 am. As an added bonus, you can choose from a range of icons to replace the default gear, including a dragon, a flower, and even the AnKing logo.
Here’s an example with one of the nature shots included in the add-on, along with the fire icon, but the add-on’s configuration makes it easy to add your own photos if you prefer. See this AnKing video for a runthrough of how to get the most out of the custom background image add-on.
Custom Background Image and Gear Icon
Finishing your daily reviews is the most time-consuming aspect of Anki, but you shouldn’t neglect all the smaller tasks that are involved in organizing and getting through a deck. If you frequently need to unsuspend, mark, or move cards, Fastbar can save you valuable time. Essentially, this add-on takes several of Anki’s most useful features and puts them in one handy and easily accessible toolbar.
If you’re like most casual Anki users, you’re probably not familiar with some of the app’s less prominent features, like “clear unused tags,” “change note type,” or even “reschedule.” After I installed Fastbar, I learned about many of these helpful tools for the first time. Even features I already knew about and used frequently, like “mark” and “suspend,” became much easier to use after downloading this add-on. With all the options laid out in front of me, I never have to waste time searching through the menu bar again.
This add–on is a must-have for people who make their own cards, especially if you need to make several related cards about the same topic. Copying and pasting the top field from one card to the next is tedious and can lead to careless mistakes. Frozen Fields allows you to freeze the top field in place as you go from one new card to the next, letting you make as many cards as you want before you unfreeze it and move on to the next topic.
Take this example from my Medical Chinese deck. Here, I’ve put both the Pinyin romanization and the Chinese characters on the reverse of this card, but let’s say I wanted to make two separate cards for each of them. I still want to keep “yellow fever” on the front of the card, so I simply click the snowflake to freeze the top field in place. Now I can create one new card with the romanization and another with the characters, all without having to type the English translation twice.
In this example, Frozen Fields wouldn’t have saved me a ton of time, but you can imagine how quickly this adds up when you’re making cards with a lot of complicated information.
Similarly to Clickable Tags, Pop-up Dictionary is another great add-on from Glutaminate that can help you draw connections among different but related topics. Just double-click on a term you’re unfamiliar with, and a list of cards containing that term will pop up instantly.
In the example below, let’s say you got the question right but want to remind yourself of what purines do in the body. Double-clicking on “purines” will bring up the list you see in the second picture. You can scroll through to refresh your knowledge on everything related to this topic, from purine structure and synthesis to diseases like Lesch-Nyhan syndrome that occur when purine metabolism fails to function normally.
As an added bonus, all the information in the extra card fields will be visible as well, so you can take a look at any visual mnemonics that you’ve added from Sketchy, Physeo, or Pixorize to help jog your memory.
More Overview Stats
If you want to get the most out of Anki, you’ll need as much data as you can get about your decks. As the name suggests, More Overview Stats gives you additional information about the status of each card in your collection. Not only is it helpful to see how many of your cards in each deck are in the mature or young phase, but it also feels satisfying to see the percentage of suspended and unseen cards diminish as you move through your curriculum.
Here’s an example from my Medical Chinese deck. As you can see, I’ve learned 87 percent of the deck so far, but only 9 percent is mature. Rather than suspending any cards, I simply set the new card limit to 10 per day, so More Overview Stats tells me that it will take another 7 days to finish the remaining 13 percent of this deck at the rate I’m going. If I change the new card limit in the options menu, More Overview Stats will update right away to show me a new prediction.
More Overview Stats
The Advanced Browser add-on makes it much easier to maintain and organize your decks. As you probably know, the default Browse window shows you the contents (under “sort field”), card type, due date, and deck for each card. Advanced Browser lets you add several categories to the default menu according to your specific needs.
For example, I like to see the number of lapses for each card (how many times I’ve hit “Again” on a card that I had previously learned), so I added this category from Advanced Browser. As you can see below, I’m now able to sort my cards according to the highest or lowest number of lapses (although I could also sort by any of the other columns if I preferred). For some reason, I can never remember that pyruvate kinase is inhibited by alanine, so I’ve missed this card six times. That’s not high enough for Anki to mark the card as a leech, so I wouldn’t have known that I missed it so often if it weren’t for Advanced Browser. By seeing which cards have the most lapses, I can do additional practice on those topics before they hit the leech threshold.
I personally find “lapses” to be the most helpful category that comes with this add-on, but Advanced Browser has several other options as well. Some useful ones include “note” and “tags,” which give you information that you’d otherwise have to scroll down to find, as well as “ease” and “percent correct,” which I haven’t been able to find elsewhere in the app. There are also fun options like “fastest review” and “total time.”
The Anki app
This may not technically count as an add-on, but the Anki app is the single best way to increase your productivity and make sure you finish your reviews every day. If you have an Android phone, good news — it’s free to download. If you’re an iPhone user, the $25 price tag may be a deterrent, but the investment will be well worth it over your time in med school.
Many of the add-ons listed here haven’t yet been configured for the app, so you won’t be able to install a flashy review heatmap or personalized background picture, but the Anki phone app has all of the key features included with the desktop version. If you make sure to sync your desktop and phone before heading out in the morning, you’ll be able to get the most out the minutes you spend commuting, waiting for a lecture to start, or even unwinding on the treadmill after a day of class. By the time you get back home in the evening, you’ll be surprised at how low your remaining review count is.
If you’re feeling inspired by the add-ons mentioned here, or if you haven’t found exactly what you’re looking for, it’s easier than you may think to design an add-on of your own. Anki is open-source, meaning that anyone can get access to the code behind the app. If you have even a minimal coding background, you can start experimenting with tweaks to existing add-ons right away or even develop your own. It’s always a good idea to check r/medicalschoolanki for the latest updates or to share your work — if you see a need for a new or improved add-on, chances are someone else has had the same idea.
Above all, remember that Anki doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all, and in fact, the platform works best when you take the time to personalize it. Over your time in medical school and even beyond, you can install or create as many add-ons as you need to make Anki the most effective tool for you.
Anki better tags
Echelon - Improved Hierarchical Tags for Anki 2.1 - Unsupported
<10kB. Updated 2019-11-18. Only supports Anki 2.1.x.
The author has shared 3 other item(s).
- `default_depth` - Default depth expanded to on opening the Browser. Set to 0 for a completely closed tree
- `full_tag` - Defaults to false. Means that the tag `Apple::Braeburn::Juicy` will be displayed as `Juicy` under the tags `Apple` and `Braeburn`
- `separator` - Defaults to `::` but can be changed if you're using something different.
As add-ons are programs downloaded from the internet, they are potentially malicious. You should only download add-ons you trust.
To download this add-on, please copy and paste the following code into Anki 2.1:
If you were linked to this page from the internet, please open Anki on your computer, go to the Tools menu and then Add-ons>Browse & Install to paste in the code.
All Anki 2.1.x Add-Ons
it doesn't work!!on 1578758042
This add-on (version from 2019-11-18) no longer works with Anki 2.1.17 (released on 2020-01-11) or newer because of changes in Anki 2.1.17. All add-ons that modify the browser sidebar need to be updated.
On 2020-01-11 the only sidebar add-on that works with 2.1 is "Hierarchical Tags 2 (Anki 2.1.17 support)", https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/594329229, which glutanimate just released. The popular add-on "Blitzkrieg: Advanced Browser Sidebar", https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/564851917, will be updated later.
This addon lets you bulk edit tags which was a life-saver for me and I feel is the best functionality of it. I don't believe that it is more useful on a day to day basis since the original addon is also faster. Because of its functionality I see this more as an accessory to the original addon and not so much a replacement.on 1574707825
The additional features in this version that were missing from the original are great, but the performance hit is not worth it for anyone with a lot of nested tags.
The original port runs leaner and is thus a better option unless you run a lean set of tags.
It's a fantastic effort overall, but given a high tag volume on my library, it significantly slows down my app and causes me to Force Quit Anki. I understand the creator is looking into this but just wanted to confirm that it is still an issue.on 1574070938
best add-on for organization
edit: I second the recommendation of the Blitzkrieg add-on. It has more functions.
Working like a charm. Thank you.on 1572484114
Sweet upgrade!on 1569252226
Hierarchical Tags for Anki 2.1are not working on my ankion 1567920142
Terrific work. Converting to hierarchical tags with the renaming tool speeds things up dramatically.on 1567671379
thanks,it is great! can "default_depth": 0, be something else that I can Collapse Deck,filter and note Tree in Browser. it is much helpful if the tags can be on the top of the list.thanks again.on 1566677785
What I'm trying to say is that when I wanted to have my deck of a few subjects grouped into multiple levels ordered according to their subject AND level, each card needed to have two tags: "level00::subjectA" and "subjectA::level00". This way I can look for cards of different subject on the same level, or all levels of cards in the same subject matter.
I think this is maybe where you don't want to be actually using a hierachy, or at least separate ones. Maybe like having Subject::A Subject::B etc, and Level::00 Level::01. Then you can either type or just ctrl click to do a joint search.
can I hide a main tag name in sub tags?
I mean, if i have A::B::C, than this hierarchy is shown at side bar like this.
but what i want for side bar tree is
Is there a way for me to do that?
also, I want this tag trees always be open, not hide sub tags. could it be possible?
by the way, Thank you for your awesome add-on!
It worked pretty well and I love the "replace" function. It would be even better if primary Tag could be hidden in the unfolded Subtag. For example "Tag1::SubTag1" showing only "SubTag1 under unfolded "Tag1", just like the navigation pane in the PC file explorer.on 1563025897
It's really good, except for one caveat, although that could just be a unique bug on my end. If there's more than 3 levels in a tag hierarchy, then clicking on the highest-level tags won't give any results, because instead of searching for "tag:myTag or tag:myTag::*" it'll just search for "tag:myTag" - the wildcard subtag search doesn't show up.on 1561883422
Thank you so much, I was about to write this kind of feature!
its works perfectly for me. good job !
Brilliant, thank you so much for this add on. Unfortunately I have the same problem when trying to rename tags, I'll file an issue on Github.on 1560647406
I loved this add on until I realized it wasn't compatible with night mode! :( Can you make it so that it's compatible?on 1559114243
Hierarchical tags work, you just have to restart Anki after installing the add-on. Haven't tested the other features. I chose to install this over the other version because this seems like it's being updated/maintained and has the source code on GitHub.on 1558527387
The customizable tag separator saves my day (emacs org -> anki)!on 1552109148
Very helpful in organizing cards.
FYI, I would like an option to expand/collapse all (keyboard shortcut?)
Any assistance would be appreciated!
This is either an error with ankiwebs servers, or you're trying to install it on Anki 2.0. This addon is only for Anki 2.1.
Very Good!on 1549470608
Works nicely. Highly recommend.on 1545611032
Does'nt work. Download failed : Error 404on 1538995155
An improvement on the earlier port called "Hierarchical Tags Addon (2.0 => 2.1)", thank you.
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