Tag Archives: notes

How To Add The Same Image To Every Card

In some cases you might want to add the same image to every card you’re creating for a note type. For example, you could want your logo on each card. Or you might need the same image as reference in your whole deck. Obviously, you could manually add that same image to every note you create. But when you’re doing the same thing over and over, I can’t help but feel there should be an easier way. And there is!

Why You’d Want Identical Images

First, let’s take an example from my own experience. I was working with a deck to learn all the states in the USA. I had created a note type with the following fields:

  • StateName: the name of the state
  • StateMap: an image with a map of the USA, and the state in colour
  • CapitalName: the name of the capital city of that state

Based on these fields I told Anki to create the following cards. (notice the repetition in my repetition?)

  • What is the capital city of {{Name}}
  • What is the state name of which {{Capital}} the capital of
  • What is the name of this state {{Map}}
  • What is the capital of this state {{Map}}

But I also want to have a map of the USA, and ask myself where {{Name}} was. I had a perfect image for just this purpose, but if I wanted to use it in all my notes I would have to manually add it  to each single note. That’s 50 notes. Yeahno.

The Media Folder

To add images to you collection that can be used in every note, you’ll first need to find your Media Folder.

On Windows, the latest Anki versions store your Anki files in your appdata folder. You can access it by opening the file manager, and typing%APPDATA%\Anki2 in the location field. Older versions of Anki stored your Anki files in a folder called Anki in your Documents folder. Anki Manual

Please be careful with your media folder. Close Anki before you open the media folder. I recommend making a backup of your collection before you start messing around, just in case you corrupt it. The folder will be called ‘collection.media’, so go ahead and click on it.

If you want to use your image in a template you’ll need to rename it so it starts with an underscore. For example: _emptyMap.png. Place the image in the media folder and close it. You can now open Anki again.

Using The Image In Anki

Finally, your image is now ready to be used in your card templates. If you want to place the image in your template, use basic HTML:  <<img src=”._filename.png”> For example, I added the empty map to the card template for my USA States deck.

Notes and Cards: The Difference in Anki


anki note typesLet’s say you want to remember the capital city and the language of all European countries. This is easy in Anki. You just creating cards in Anki with every fact you’d like to remember. For example, like so:

Q: What is the capital of the Netherlands?
A: Amsterdam

Q: What language is spoken in the Netherlands?
A: Dutch

Q: What country is Amsterdam the capital of?
A: The Netherlands

Q: What language is spoken in Amsterdam?
A: Dutch

Q: What is the country where people speak Dutch?
A: The Netherlands

So far, so good. But when you want to create the exact same type of questions for France, you can see this is becoming repetitive. Instead of creating a crapload of cards, you can decide to use notes instead. Because it will save you a ton of work.

Notes and Fields

In Anki a card is a question+answer pair. It’s based on the paper flashcard with a question on the one side and the answer on the other. Obviously, because Anki is software it’s not restricted to the two sides of a paper flashcard, so in theory you could create as many sides as you want.

Getting Started With Anki

A note is all the different pieces of information about one ‘thing’. A field is a specific bit of information. So we’d have a note for ‘countries’, while ‘language’ would be one of the fields. And based on the information in the notes, Anki creates cards. You are then shown these cards. For example, we can make a note about The Netherlands that contains fields with the country name, the capital city and the language.

Country: The Netherlands
Capital: Amsterdam
Language: Dutch

And we can do the exact same thing for France, Germany and so forth. Now you can tell Anki to create cards with pieces of information from these notes. If you update your notes in the future, Anki will update your cards automatically. Flashcards are the cards that are presented to you. The notes are the underling pieces of information.

In conclusion:

Country: The Netherlands
Capital: Amsterdam
Language: Dutch

Card templates:
Q: What is the capital of {{country}}?
A: {{capital}}

      Q: What language do they speak in {{country}}
A: {{language}}

Cards you’ll be shown:
Q: What is the capital of The Netherlands?
A: Amsterdam

     Q: What language do they speak in The Netherlands?
A: Dutch

Standard Note Types in Anki

There are four stardard note types that come with Anki: Basic, Basic (and reversed card), Basic (optional reversed card) and Cloze.

Basic: This note type has two fields, one Front and One back. The text you place on the Front will appear on the front of the card, and the text you enter in Back will appear on the back of the card. This note type will create one card.

Basic (and reversed card): This note type works like Basic, and also has two fields (Front and Back). But when you select this note type, Anki will create two cards. One card will put the text you enter in Front at the front, and Back at the back. But then it will create a second card with Back at the front and Front at the back.

Basic (optional reversed card): This note type is just like the previous one. But the second card (the Back-Front card) is optional. There is a third field in this note type, “Add Reverse”. Anki will only create a reverse card if you enter text in this field.

Cloze: You can select text and choose cloze deletion when you use this note type. It will turn any piece of text into a cloze. You just select the text you want to hide when the card is shown, press the little […] at the top and click add. For example, “The colour of the sky is {{c1::blue}}” wil create the following card: “The colour of the sky is [..]”. The correct full sentence shows up when you press ‘answer’. You can delete different parts of the text, Anki will create a separate card for each cloze deletion.

Adding a New Note Type

First of all, start up Anki on your desktop and click on add. You’ll see the note type at the top, the default will be ‘Basic’. Click on that and choose manage.

You’ll now get a new menu with all the different note types you have at this moment.

So let’s create our own note type, specifically for our geography cards. Click on ‘add’, then on the note type, click on manage and then on ‘add’ again.

adding new note to anki

We’ll start with a basic note type and add fields to that. Click on ‘add: Basic’ and OK. Next, you’ll get a window asking you to name your new note type. Maybe we can call it “LearnTheWorld”, because why not. Just type in the name and click on OK.

It will now be in your note type list.

Learn the World note type

Great! You’ve created a new note type. Let’s edit it.

Go back to the window where you were adding a new card, and click on the note types again. Your new note type, LearnTheWorld, is now one of the options. Since we want to edit this note type, select this one. You next step is to click on ‘fields’ and manage the fields for this note type. Remember, fields are the bits of information in a note.

I used ‘rename’ and ‘add’ to set up my new note type.

Managing fields in Anki

Because we want Anki to create cards based on these fields, we need to edit our card templates as well. Close the ‘Fields’ window, and then click on ‘Cards’.

Cards in Anki

On the left you can edit the card, while at the right you can see a preview. Because we called our fields ‘CountryName’, ‘Capital’ and ‘Language’, you can add these fields to your card. Just write {{CountryName}} where you want the country’s name to show up.

There is a drop-down menu called ‘More’ at the bottom. If you click here there’s an option to rename your card.

Card Templates in Anki

Finally, let’s put some information into our notes! I added The Netherlands, Germany and Ireland with their capital cities and languages.

Time to Study

cards based on notes

Getting Started With Anki SRS

Remembering anything becomes easy when you’re using Anki. The flashcard software is totally free, open source and easy to use. Getting started with Anki is done in a flash: you just need to download the program, create some cards and start learning. Easy peasy.

Spaced Repetition

With spaced repetition you create flashcards that are reviewed in increasing time intervals. It’s active recall testing, which means being asked a question and trying to remember the answer. If you answer correctly, Anki will schedule the next review over a longer period of time, increasing that interval each time you give the correct answer. If you forget the answer, Anki will schedule the review for that card sooner.forgettingcurve

So Anki will make sure you wait the right amount of time between the reviews. Because this method of studying is so effective, you can greatly decrease the amount of time you need to study, or greatly increase the amount you learn. Every reason for getting started with Anki today!

Since it is content-agnostic and supports images, audio, videos and scientific markup (via LaTeX), the possibilities are endless.

Anki Manual

Downloading Anki

Anki is not the only software that uses spaced repetition, but it is by far the best. Download the desktop version of Anki by going to the website and clicking the big blue ‘download‘ button. I recommend you create an AnkiWeb account while you’re at it, since AnkiWeb will give you the option of synchronising your decks over multiple devices. Very handy if you want to use Anki on your desktop and mobile phone. It’s all free and they don’t spam you.

For Andriod users there is AnkiDroid, the free mobile app that works like a fricking charm. I’ve been using it for almost four years (january 2017) and never had any problems. For Apple users there sadly isn’t a free app, but AnkiMobile is available and definitely an option if you intend to use Anki a lot.

The basics

In Anki a card is a question+answer pair. It’s based on the paper flashcard with a question on the one side and the answer on the other. Obviously, because Anki is software it’s not restricted to the two sides of a paper flashcard, so in theory you could create as many sides as you want. But while you’re getting started with Anki, we’ll stick to the question on one side and answer on the other format. Just click on ‘add’ and start creating flashcards.

Anki Card Basic

When you’re done creating flashcards for now, go back to the main screen. Click on the default deck and hit the ‘study now‘ button. Anki will show you the front side of the card. You then tell Anki if you remembered the correct answer and how easy it was for you to remember, so that Anki can schedule the next review accordingly. I use ‘hard’ when I barely remembered it, ‘good’ when I knew the correct answer and ‘easy’ when I knew it so well I was bored even being asked. Obviously, use ‘again’ when you can’t come up with the correct answer.

Read more: How to create KICKASS cards in Anki!

Using decks

A deck is a collection of cards. They are meant to be used to divide up your content in broad categories, for example ‘French’ or ‘Geometry’. You might be tempted to create a lot of little decks to keep everything neatly organised, but it’s a terrible idea. Anki is not designed to handle lots of different decks. More importantly, it will cause you to learn the content in that specific context, which makes it harder to recall in real life. If you really need to organise your content, use tags. For example, you can use tags for specific chapters or tag content that is related to your next test.

When you need to recall the word or phrase outside Anki, you won’t have the luxury of being shown related content first!

Anki Manual

Tips for studying with Anki:

  • Review your cards every day, if it’s at all possible. I don’t review 100% of the time, but I know when I skip my reviews, the cards start piling up and I’m messing with the spaced repetition algorithm.
  • Be honest about your answer. You’re really not cheating anyone but yourself if you pretend to know an answer you couldn’t remember. If you really can’t be bothered to learn it, just kick it out of your deck.
  • Creating cards is actually one of the most important steps in learning. Put your time in creating good quality cards, because it means you’re already halfway into remembering the content for good. Avoid decks that are created by others, unless you have a really good reason to use them.
  • Congratulations on getting started with Anki! Let us know how you’re doing in the comments below :).