How to use Skritter after a break?


I took a break recently from Skritter and wanted to continue using it now. In the meanwhile, my review queue has grown to 3000+ cards, and this is kind of a problem. I don’t know how to use Skritter as before, creating new lists and adding from those lists, because it forces me to review 3000 cards first. I don’t want to delete the old lists, i just don’t want to review them for the time being, and rather make new lists and study only those. Is there a way to do so?

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So I still haven’t figured out a way, but maybe a suggestion for what I am missing: A list can be set to either of two review modes: “Add” and “Review”. Right now, I would like to have a third option like “Inactive”, so that words for review are not drawn from those lists. This would have the advantage that I do not have to delete those lists and that I can just start to study new lists immediately.

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Personally when the list is too large I just press enter all the time, it’s quite boring to do but in 1 or 2h should be clear

So how I worked around this issue now: I exported most of my old lists, so I don’t lose them completely, until I had just some hundred cards left due and then reviewed those.

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I think @SkritterJake might have a more ambitious reply in the making, but in the meantime, I’ll share what I do. I also see that you found a solution that works for you, but I thought I’d share my experience in case other users read this. My situation is not identical to yours, but it’s close enough that it might help!

When I started using Skritter again for my own learning (rather than for testing purposes), I had accumulated a due queue of somewhere around 5000 characters. I only study writing and only single characters, so that’s a serious pile, drawn from roughly ten different decks.

What I do to avoid the problems you mention is to go to normal review, then select only certain decks to review from. Ignore the large due counter on the dashboard for now. When you start, you select only one deck. You work your way through that deck until you’ve depleted the due cards in it. Then keep going with the other decks. Since you’re only working actively on catching up on one deck at a time, things you get wrong will show up immediately in the next session. You can also study and learn new things from other lists by studying them and then including them by including those lists when selecting which lists to review.

I’ve been doing this for a month or two now and I’m down to about 2000 due, most of them in two specific decks that contain a lot of fairly rare characters. When I review, I select everything but those two, which makes Skritter work like you want. There is no way to inactivate decks, but by always doing selecting reviewing, you achieve the same result (it would be great if this was easier to do, but it does at least work)!

Personally when the list is too large I just press enter all the time, it’s quite boring to do but in 1 or 2h should be clear

I strongly advice against doing this, unless you have spent significant time writing characters outside Skritter. You’re effectively telling the algorithm that “hey, even though I haven’t studied this for a year, I still know it well”, which will push it out even farther into the future. If your only goal is to remove the queue, this obviously does the trick, but I assume that the goal is to still maintain the knowledge that these characters and words represent, so simply marking them all as correct is not a very good idea.

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Don’t do this! (I’m not sure if you’re just joking though)! It would be better to just reset your account if you’d like an easy way to clear your queue. The idea is to schedule items based on your memory of them. If you mark things correct that you don’t remember, they are going to be spaced out with the assumption you remembered it.

The best way to handle a large queue (in my opinion) is to make sure you aren’t adding new words until the queue is low / manageable, and to set a specific amount of time each day that you can commit to without going under or over. Ideally the maximum amount of time you’ll know you will be able to commit to. As long as you spend the same amount of time each day without missing a day, and you’re not adding new items, the queue will start dwindling down though it will take some time.

If you’ve been away for awhile and feel like you might have forgotten a lot of things, really resetting your account isn’t that big of a deal. It won’t delete your custom lists, definitions, or mnemonics, and you can always mark something as “too easy” if you know it well (or even ban it if you know it so well you don’t need to be bothered with it)! That might be a good solution for somehow who gets overwhelmed by seeing a large review number, and it feels really good to be able to get the queue down to 0 daily.

I actually have chinese lessons with a teacher where I need to read stuff + lot’s of online interactions with my friends + living in Taiwan so indeed I have the feeling skritter is over testing me. I quite often use the too easy button but doesn’t seem to do much, basic words keep showing up (i’m using the web browser). But you are right, it’s certainly not ideal since it’s kind of lying to the algorithm. I’ll try to study selective lists as you suggest, I also think it’s an OK way to go through queues.

The thing is I get extremely bored when my list is over 300 and takes me forever to clear it, and as long as the list is not clear I won’t add new words. Yet adding new words is what makes me excited. I would like to add 10 a day, but if I can’t work on skritter for 1 or 2 days in a row, I’ll need 2 days to clear my list and get bored, so I won’t even totally clear it, then I won’t add any new word for a week or so, which will make me even more discouraged. If it’s 1 or 2 weeks out of skritter, it’s really becoming impossible for me to clear the queue the normal way (I already lowered some settings).
I’ll study more your idea of resetting my account, sounds to be actually not a bid deal indeed, but I want to make sure the thousand of custom mnemonics are not lost :smiley:

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None of your custom mnemonics would be lost by resetting your account, that’s correct! This goes for custom definitions, lists, and forum posts for instance as well.

Sorry for my slow reply on this thread. But the question inspired me to make a video about this very topic. Hope it’s useful info!

Note: next video I shoot should have much better framing and lighting. Gwil gave me some great tips and I’m excited to have a second “studio” up and running for more videos in the future!


That’s awesome! Thank you so much!

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One thing worth highlighting is that nuking your account is less serious in Skritter than in many apps. The main reason I’m normally against nuking is because if you do that in many other apps, you don’t only get rid of the data related to what you have learnt (or forgotten, as it may be), but you also lose all your custom stuff (definitions, mnemonics, etc.). In Skritter, those aren’t lost, so if you end up relearning something, your earlier edits will still be available. That being said, nuke with caution, as the process really is irreversible.


I wish there was a work around for really long-time users. I have a review backlog of probably 17 k items. I also need the stimulation of learning new and currently-required vocabulary, and cannot possibly take the time to go through reviews backlogged over starts and stops five years old.

So my solution is just to review selective lists, and go through old lists whenever I have time. Which makes Skritter’s normal review mode useless to me.

The idea of archiving old lists for the time-being is intriguing. Do you have a step-by-step somewhere that explains how to do this?

@Therebackagain if you delete the decklist from the app or website it will remove unique words from those particular decklists from your queue. I called it archiving in the video because that is more what it is doing, and that is the way that we’re building the new system to operate.

The main theory behind what I was saying in the video was basically just taking some time to prune through things from time to time and reflect on whether or not one really needs to be spending time studying and reviewing everything that might be in a queue.

When something is removed it can always be access again by either studying a published lists again, or moving a deleted deck back into the My Lists area. Decklists that you’ve deleted can be viewed at the following links.

Skritter website:
Legacy: (select “Deleted Lists”)

Hope that helps make it more clear!


Being able to retrieve deleted decks is terrific. I think that will solve my problem.

To be clear, “deleting” a deck actually archives it at the site you mentioned, from whence it can be later retrieved?

And deleting a deck removes words permanently from the review list, but they can be re-added at a later point if one wants to retrieve a deleted deck?

Yeah. A little confusing, isn’t it?

If it is a deck you’ve created you can retrieve it. If it is a deck you’re simply studying from you’ll just have to find it from the list of decks again.

Correct, words that are unique to that specific deck will be removed from the total items due on your account. If they’re being studied in another deck, though, you’ll still see them in the queue.

If you study the deck again in the future you’ll have to re-add them to your studies.

I hope that helps!


It helps a lot!

Really good to know this. I have five year old lists with words from textbooks I’ve rarely or even never encountered in any of my reading since. And for newer lists, I just put in words I’ve probably studied before but have not memorised. So deleting/archiving those ancient lists will get rid of a lot of clutter in the review, hopefully make it more manageable.

Thanks much!


Thanks Jeremy for your info about resetting an account. I am using the legacy iOS app on iPad and iPhone. I cannot see how to do the reset.