These 10 essential add-ons for Anki will totally transform your Anki experience by allowing you to get more done faster with a better experience along the way.
I have used Anki for years. This means I have gone far down the rabbit hole of trying hundreds of add-ons to find the perfect setup. This isn’t exactly a great use of time, but it did help me compile a list of my top Anki add-on choices so you don’t have to.
That’s why I consider these the best 10 Anki add-ons out there. They have totally transformed how I use the software as a memorization aid.
Before we get started, also make sure you know how to install Anki addons, I have a simplified guide for this process.
Also, if you just want the list quickly with their download codes, here’s a table with everything you need. Keep reading if you want more information.
Table of download codes
|1. Image Occlusion Enhanced||1374772155|
|2. Review Heatmap||1771074083|
|3. Load Balancer||1417170896|
|4. Custom Background Image and Gear Icon||1210908941|
|5. Speed focus mode||1046608507|
|6. Advanced Browser||874215009|
|7. Image Resizer||1214357311|
|9. Always On Top||1760080335|
|10. More overview stats 2.1||738807903|
The Best 10 Anki Add-ons to Supercharge Your Learning
Now that we have the basics covered let’s go into the best Anki add-ons and why I have found these to be so useful over the years.
1. Image Occlusion Enhanced
This first add-on is something that adds an entirely new way to study your material. Image Occlusion Enhanced allows you to insert images into cards and cover selected parts that get revealed as the answer. This way you won’t have to manually write out a list of terms from the image.
I have a complete guide on how to create and use image occlusion cards in Anki if you want to learn about how to use them.
When you see a card you need to fill in the missing visual information which will enhance recall. You will also have a visual cue to use when you remember what you are trying to memorize.
These cards can be made by importing an image file but my favorite way to create them is to simply copy and paste a screenshot.
The only thing to be aware of with this add-on is that each occlusion is its own card. If you are not careful you can give yourself way too many cards to review in a short amount of time because creating them is so easy and fast. So be selective when it comes to making your occluded cards.
If you are interested in creating Anki cards faster, I wrote another article specifically on how to use add-ons to speed up the card creation process in Anki.
2. Review Heatmap
Review Heatmap is a great motivation add-on for Anki. Having a streak of doing something in a row multiple times is a very powerful motivation technique that has been used by successful people like Jerry Seinfeld to propel them to success.
Review Heatmap maps out your progress on a calendar. As you review cards the map changes color to reflect how many cards you have reviewed and whether you reviewed them at all.
Every day you will be more motivated open Anki because you will want to color in that calendar slot and not lose your streak.
As you can see from the image, I don’t use Anki every day. This is because I primarily use other active recall techniques and use Anki on the side these days.
But nevertheless, this add-on is very helpful for those who want to use Anki daily and need extra motivation to do so.
3. Load Balancer
Sometimes with Anki, you will end up with tons of cards due on a single day. This is where the load balancer comes in. It will smooth out those big spike review days so you don’t suddenly end up with a ton of reviews on a single day.
Notice that in this image that there are spikes where the cards are due to be reviewed. By using Load Balancer we can smooth out the number of daily reviews so we have fewer due each day.
Distributing your practice over more days is also likely to improve your memory as there is research indicating that massing your practice on a single day is not as effective as spreading it out over many.1
4. Custom Background Image and Gear Icon
Do you feel like the Anki interface is ugly out of the box compared to other flashcard apps? Well, many do and this is where Custom Background Image and Gear Icon come in.
This add-on totally transforms how Anki looks because of the ability to add your own custom image as a background and looks great with Review Heatmap.
For a simple step-by-step guide on how to do this, check out my article on Changing your Anki background which includes a collection of aesthetic Anki backgrounds for your viewing pleasure.
5. Speed Focus Mode
Speed focus mode is helpful when you need to get a lot done quickly or when you want to simulate exam time pressure. This add-on will go through your decks automatically at whatever speed you choose and then automatically fail you if you don’t get the right answer in time.
It’s helpful to practice for certain exams with this kind of time pressure. I have taken many multiple-choice exams where there is a time limit per question and using a tool like this just allows you to get used to answering quickly.
In fact, you will likely perform better under pressure in the exam because of this add-on. This is because it helps you get used to time pressure.
You can also set the time pressure to be more intense that the actual test so the test feels easier and more relaxing for you than anyone else taking the test.
6. Advanced Browser
The advanced browser adds more ways to view and sort your cards in your browser. For instance, you can sort by time. You can see which cards have gotten the most attention and how long you spend on average reviewing each card.
This is particularly useful if you want to see what cards are taking the longest for you to review. This way you can target the material in those cards with other studying techniques outside of Anki.
It just allows you to give a little extra attention to your weak points.
7. Image Resizer
These last four add-ons are especially handy when it comes to creating new cards quickly and efficiently.
Very often when we make Anki cards the images are either way too big or too small. Luckily with image resizer, you can actually just resize the images right in the card editor. This is something very simple that just makes your Anki life much easier.
This is another great quality-of-life add-on. It simply adds a series of shortcuts to the top of your browser screen without having to dig through the menus to find what you need. This makes toggling and suspending old cards that you no longer need a much faster and easier process.
9. Always On Top
If you use split screen or multiple monitors when making Anki cards as I do then this add-on is a lifesaver. Always On Top adds an option in the tools drop-down menu to make Anki always the top window on your screen.
This allows you to copy information from the windows behind Anki and copy-paste things that are behind it without the window disappearing when you click behind it.
10. More overview stats
More overview stats gives you much more detailed information about your Anki decks.
Normally you only get how many new cards you have, have many you are learning, and to many, you need to review.
But with this add-on, you get a much more detailed picture of what is going on with your progress on each deck
Can you get add-ons for Anki mobile?
You might be wondering if it’s possible to use add-ons with Anki mobile.
Unfortunately, this is not possible, most add-ons simply are not supported in any way on Anki mobile. However, you can use your Image Occlusion cards on Anki mobile.
That’s another reason I put Image Occlusion Enhanced at the top of the list.
- Cepeda NJ, Pashler H, Vul E, Wixted JT, Rohrer D. Distributed practice in verbal recall tasks: A review and quantitative synthesis. Psychol Bull. 2006 May;132(3):354-80. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.132.3.354. PMID: 16719566.
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