Avoiding word convoys

This morning I went through the day’s reviews of ~100 cards, only to get yesterday’s new words in a chunk at the very end. In addition to them generally being together, many of the individual words had their cards back-to-back. This makes those reviews pretty much worthless to me and the results meaningless to Skritter. Given the total number of reviews, it was completely avoidable.

A really simple solution: if I’m reviewing Due Cards, which is theoretically a small batch I’m expected to finish today, just shuffle them. It won’t guarantee you avoid back-to-back cards, but it is good enough. (Stirring the pot would have the bonus effect of distributing cards you just got wrong so you’re not retesting them in an obvious batch.)

The one downside to this is it will have a significant effect on people trying to work down a review backlog. If you are only making it through 100 of your 2000 cards, without shuffling you are repeatedly confronted with the words you don’t remember (frustrating but guarantees slow progress), whereas with shuffling you are exposed to the entire deck (lets you access the low-hanging fruit but is worse at cracking the harder nuts). I feel like this use case shouldn’t be the design center, but making randomization an option would satisfy both preferences.

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I actually just brought this up in a team meeting this week and we’ve opened an issue to add some randomization to the daily due cards. Should be included in the 3.4.0 release along with lots of other goodies!


Is this perhaps what’s causing different forms of cards to appear close together again? I’ve only noticed it recently and only on my phone (3.4.0). I do my cards in batches of 20 and don’t do the writing cards on my phone. I’m getting both the reading and definition versions of cards appearing in the one batch, in some cases immediately adjacent.

The 20 card batch grabs the first 20 cards that are due, and based on how things were added in the past the reading and definitions might be very closely spaced together. We’re looking into addressing this, however in the meantime, you could limit it to a 20 card session of single card type, so that you wouldn’t see the same word (but another card type) in succession. Or, you could do a slightly larger review of 50 cards or something, which allows for a bit more spacing to take place and you wouldn’t run into the same sort of behavior. We’ll work on making this better!