I thought I would make this post because I have had the problem that many Skritter users have had over the years: inundation of reviews. I believe I have found a solution to this that works for me, so I thought I would share it with the Skritter community (many of whom will have a full-time job).
My solution to this has been to ban the writing of words (I manually ban words via the Legacy Skritter website). I still have the writing setting for characters. I have also taken off the studying of pinyin as I feel I can do that with the Tones setting (i.e. I test on tone and pinyin).
Since I did this two months ago, I have been able to add a lot of words (close to 1000 in a month) and my retention rate is pretty solid (91%). The retention rate is brought down primarily because of the original writing that I do undertake. Tone and Definition retention rate is around 95-97% (my setting is 97%)
My process goes like this:
- Add words to a Skritter list
2a) Go through and ban Pinyin and Writing for words which I already have the character added
2b) Go through and ban pinyin for words where there is at least one unadded character
- I don’t like to add words without some context, so I will find the sentence in which I have added the word from (e.g. Chinese CNKI article, Chairman Bao, online news article etc.).
- Add words to study on a ‘Fast’ setting
- When a new word comes up, I will go to Pleco to get more context. I edit the definition, adding the category of the word: N., S.V., ADV. etc. I also add the Chinese meaning (which I bold):
e.g. 攒钱 --> V.O. to save money (e.g. 你就赶快开始～吧) [积聚､储存钱款]
- If it is a new character, I do the same process as (5): 送 --> V. deliver; carry (e.g. ～电; 移～); give as a present (e.g. ～给); see sb. off/out; accompany (e.g. 欢～) [把东西运去或带给对方]
- Then I study like normal
- Every week to two weeks I go through and ban the words which come up for writing (via the Legacy Skritter website)
- I can add a lot of words. This is a good thing for me as I want to build up my reading comprehension.
- The algorithm pushes out those words which I get right when I know the character well (i.e. its definition and tone). Sometimes I have seen words that are pushed out to three months if I have gotten them correctly the first time. I don’t mind this so much because I am not studying for a test and if I get the word again in three months and get it wrong, then the frequency will increase.
- It allows me to add in quickly a lot of words that I have encountered before. I did nuke my account two years back from a 7000-word base, so I am finding that for words that were part of this list they were easy to add in without ballooning my reviews
I don’t think this process would work for people who are studying each week formally and would like constant reviewing. I guess that is where Pleco or ANKI would more come in handy.
I am not getting tested on English to Chinese recall. I found that when I was testing myself with writing that was an ancillary benefit as I would vocalise or sub-vocalise the pronunciation. In another thread, I will post a feature request for having Definition to Pronunciation review a feature in Skritter. I do know that other apps have this feature (e.g. ANKI and Pleco), but I would like to have all my reviews integrated within the one app.
Apologies for the length, but if this helps just one person then I will be happy. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!