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Skritter is a brutal task-master

jimi02   July 23rd, 2010 6:07p.m.

Hi all,

So, I took three days off of Skrittering for reasons totally outside of my control (internet outage). The build-up of reviews is pretty disheartening, as I'm sure you can relate to if you've ever taken more than a couple days off.

I have a vacation of a week coming up and I don't anticipate Skrittering at all. Is there any way to halt the buildup of reviews? I understand the need for spaced reviews but... this is a little intense. Can Skritter be "paused"?


nick   July 23rd, 2010 6:41p.m.

I hear you. I couldn't get my Wacom to work and had bed bugs to deal with and was behind and basically didn't practice for two weeks. (Good thing I hadn't been adding right before that). Cleared 1800 reviews yesterday, doing all the writing prompts on paper--took almost three hours. Fried my brain. I don't know how some users can study for 11 hours in a day.

What you'll want to do is turn off adding and overpractice for a while, using the future items graph on the practice selection page to guide you on how many items will become due over the next week. When the week is almost clear, you know you won't have a big review pile waiting for you.

More here:

jww1066   July 23rd, 2010 6:47p.m.

I've been through this multiple times myself, and am going through it again as we speak. You need to remember that the "items due" number is only a problem if you let it bother you mentally. The most important thing is how much work you put in per day, not how many items you have due.

jimi02   July 23rd, 2010 7:18p.m.

If there were 100 hours in a day, I'd love to Skritter for 11...

Is it the "Save me" tool that is the way to manage a big review pile? And then turning off adding and "overpracticing" is a sort of pre-emptive thing before the vaca?

jww: good point. It's just a mental thing. We want to make progress--ie., add new words--so rehashing old ones is frustrating.

murrayjames   July 23rd, 2010 9:29p.m.

James--That's dead on. I don't psych myself out on Skritter so much anymore. Skritter and I have come to an understanding :-) But on Mnemosyne, doing sentence practice, this happens all the time. I get fixated on performance (items due, items forgotten) which kills the fun.

nick   July 23rd, 2010 9:59p.m.

"Save Me" is not recommended. It's just pushing your review load off until later if you have to add new words. It's a question of mental attitude how not to be bothered by the number of reviews due. I mean, how much more fun is a new word really than any other word you don't know very well yet?

Yeah, overpracticing is a pre-emptive thing.

Foo Choo Choon   July 24th, 2010 2:32a.m.

This problem is not at the core of Skritter, it's at the core of our memory.
SRS software like Skritter tries to construct a model of our memory, and the mid-term memory simply deletes tons of stuff within just a week. The only way to stop it is to practice, so any way to "save you" is artificial and can't work properly.

By the way, I know from experience what 2000 reviews are like, but luckily I've never had a problem getting rid of them. Now I'm preparing for three weeks of holidays - that's going to be a lot of fun. Proper scheduling is key, and that's what the new practice page helps to achieve.

skritterjohan   July 24th, 2010 5:56a.m.

I'm going away for 2.5 weeks and have stopped adding new words so I will have 2 weeks before my holiday with hardly any new words added. Anyway I estimate at least a week after I get back just to get back to 0 items in my queue.

Someone in this forum said that forgetting stuff helps to teach your memory that this was actually something important and should be rooted deeper in your memory. I think that's true. So an occasional break might not even be that bad.

In the past when I had huge review queues I stopped adding new words, switched to writing only (no tones or definition) and then tried to clear the queue in 3-5 days. I let go of the desire to get my queue down to 0 every day. It was a difficult process though :)

Then when I was through with the writing I did all the tones and definition the next day. They dont take so much time to clear for me.

Byzanti   July 24th, 2010 6:42a.m.

I've also taken a holiday recently (and took advice and only reviewed before). So for a month I haven't been adding new stuff. I've also been a lot more strict marking red stuff I don't know. I'd say it's been pretty helpful and solidifying things. Glad I did it.

marchey   July 24th, 2010 8:03a.m.

Basically what it means if your review queue is growing very fast is that you are adding too many new words. So if you anticipate a time off from skritter I would recommed to slow down a week or so before you go away.

When you are overwhelmed the 'save me' feature is really great. I know that in a sense it goes against the idea of it all, but as i see it it gives me an opportunity to get back into it again.

radical   July 24th, 2010 9:01a.m.

"I mean, how much more fun is a new word really than any other word you don't know very well yet?"

A LOT more fun. For some people, myself included, learning a new word is at least 3X more enjoyable than reviewing one I don't know so well. Why do you think stores always have "new" products when in reality they are just rehashes of old things?

Human beings crave novelty; some more than others.

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