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Anki ergonomics

#1
I bought a "mini bluetooth keyboard" recently for use with Anki and want to share the idea since I'm finding it quite useful.

It's basically like a remote control for your computer (or phone).

Anki's awesome but also an ergonomic nightmare since you sit in one place for several hours pressing the same 2-3 buttons over and over again (or even worse, doing so on your phone.)

It's a big benefit IMO to study in more natural positions and with more variety accessible. I'm also finding it faster.

Do others feel the same need to improve your Anki ergonomics? Share your tips!
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#2
I would like to have Anki available on Kindle, it would make all the review process more enjoyable for me Smile
There is a software which works like a server and make it possible to use a Kindle device as a secondary, remote monitor for your Windows platform. It runs on your computer and you can connect your Kindle to it with wi-fi, and use your Kindle as a monitor and controller. Check "kindle vnc" on YouTube to see if you like it Smile

PS: I know that Kindle is slow but it seems that in the future they are going to make them faster, see the "Manga" version.
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#3
I don't anki for hours so it is not a problem. I spend less than 3 seconds per card and I have 5 different decks so that ends up being like 15 minutes/day? I use the number key part of the keyboard so I go on about it as efficient way as possible. I think you anki too much??? Even if you're doing heisig decks that seems excessive. That's just my learning philosophy
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#4
My passion for Anki comes and goes but I estimate I've spent a few thousand hours. (At some point Anki's count of it became corrupted and it now tells me a negative number!)

I'm pretty sure I have a few more thousand hours to go before reaching the level of fluency I'm aiming for.

I do believable in comprehensible input but have found it's more efficient paired with focused vocab memorization. (Also I like reading and listening to sentences as CI via Anki.)
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#5
I try to use 4the keyboard as much as possible for everything, which is almost workable. Some stuff is just way easier with a mouse, but once you have a Windows open you can usually navigate it quite easily with the keyboard.

Beyond that I hadn't given it a huge amount of thought. So you bought the BT keyboard in order to have the keyboard in a more ergnonomic position than your non-bluetooth keyboard? Am I understanding right?
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#6
I do anki on my phone mostly. I can't imagine I'd have kept with it spending thousands of hours sitting at my desk clicking my keyboard.
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#7
>> So you bought the BT keyboard in order to have the keyboard in a more ergnonomic position than your non-bluetooth keyboard? Am I understanding right?

Right. I sit at a desk all day at work so not necessarily excited to sit still in one place during my free time. I use Anki Mobile and my laptop in various places and the BT keyboard expands the set of comfortable positions (and I think the variety decreases the strain.)

I've had a few friends all messed up from RSI injuries so I guess a bit wary of these things.
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#8
(2017-01-30, 7:41 pm)andrewkun Wrote: I've had a few friends all messed up from RSI injuries so I guess a bit wary of these things.

FWIW, my anti-RSI regimen accumulated from various readings and experiences is,

- Take glucosamine-chondroitin supplements regularly (I don't know for sure that they help with RSI, but they noticeably reduce the frequency with which my wrists and ankles make crackling sounds when I stretch and generally make those joints move more freely and comfortably. I just assume healthier joints are less prone to RSI.)

- Stretch regularly when doing repetitive hand work, trying to stretch all the involved muscles from the back to the fingertips; stretch early and often, whenever movements feel stiff or tight and long before they actually hurt. Also trying not to overstretch -- there were studies showing that runners overstretching made the muscles more fragile and prone to injury. RSI is not really muscle damage and fine repeat movements are very different from athletics, but still... I have no need to move my wrists or fingers to any terribly abnormal angles so there's no reason not to be moderate just in case. (Well, my flute playing hobby does involve a certain amount of unnatural positioning of some of the fingers, but beyond that.)

- Use arm movement in preference to wrist movement when manipulating the mouse (or anything else, like writing with a pen or cutting with a knife). It turns out you'll actually have better handwriting, finer FPS aiming skills, etc. if you hold your wrist stable and use your other muscles to control your handheld tools while reducing the wear and tear on your wrist. It's also actually quite natural, the trick is not to think "I'm going to use arm muscles" but just to think "I'm going to keep my wrist stable". You already use arm muscles for fine fingertip positioning you just don't think about it when doing it so just keep not thinking about it.

- Avoid resting the palms when typing. The biggest aid in this is keeping the keyboard low enough that this isn't tempting. (Not doing so good on this one right now, since the taller chair makes my back hurt and the desk is high with no keyboard tray. I should probably do something about that. It's not constant but I do sometimes rest my palms in a way that I know is bad.)

Anyway, while I still sometimes got muscle aches from overdoing it, it's been years since I've felt that pain down the center of the forearm near the wrist that forewarns of carpal tunnel so I guess I'm doing okay.

Variety probably helps too, to some extent, as long as the variety doesn't include any really bad habits (ie. palms on desk and crooked fingers clawing the keyboard or a deathgrip on the mouse while using tiny wrist movements to move it.) I wouldn't count on a new keyboard to work any great magic, but it's certainly true that with a keyboard in your lap you're unlikely to rest your palms. You can do that with an ordinary keyboard as long as the cord is long enough though.
Edited: 2017-01-30, 9:36 pm
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#9
(2017-01-29, 2:28 pm)andrewkun Wrote: I bought a "mini bluetooth keyboard" recently for use with Anki and want to share the idea since I'm finding it quite useful.

It's basically like a remote control for your computer (or phone).

Anki's awesome but also an ergonomic nightmare since you sit in one place for several hours pressing the same 2-3 buttons over and over again (or even worse, doing so on your phone.)

It's a big benefit IMO to study in more natural positions and with more variety accessible. I'm also finding it faster.

Do others feel the same need to improve your Anki ergonomics? Share your tips!

Sometimes I use a wireless (non bluetooth) numeric keypad similar to this one: [Image: Logitech_Wireless_Number_Pad_N305_Keypad_920-002338.jpg]

I like it because it allows me to pedal on a stationary bicycle while doing reviews, so I get both study and workout done at the same time.

I also created a very simple Autohotkey script for adding some nice extra functions to the keypad, like using the backspace key as "undo", marking cards with the "*", or zooming in/out using "+" and "-", in conjunction with a zoom plugin downloaded from the official Anki shared plugins page.
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#10
@SomeCallMeChris: Thanks for the RSI advice! This stuff is important since most folks don't pay attention until too late.

@Sebastian: Looks cool! I think we have a similar idea.
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#11
Necrobumping, sorry.
But as it hasn't yet been mentioned... get a "Zeemote" for sure.
RSI is an issue if you're using Anki and aim for >N1.
This was one of the great improvements i made using Anki.
Plus, it enables you to do physical training while doing reviews (stepping, deskcycling, not swimming unfortunately).
Works for Linux (not to mention Windows) and even Android which was useful when i did lenghty bikerides.
Ask me if you need advice for making it work on Linux.
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#12
Thanks for the pointer.

Do you find Zeemote to be particularly comfortable/ergonomic?

I'm still happy with the mini keyboard but could imagine upgrading at some point if there's something more comfortable.
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#13
I use Anki on my iPhone 6S+ mostly but a little bit on my MacBook Pro too. On my phone I have it setup so I can tap anywhere on the right to indicate GOOD, and middle or left to indicate fail (repeat). Those two are by far the most used responses for me. The buttons are at the bottom if I want to select something else. I find this layout very ergonomically comfortable and I can do Anki for any amount of time.

*edit*

I also use a Bunker Ring with my phone which helps make using it more ergonomic.
Edited: 2017-03-09, 2:27 am
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#14
(2017-03-08, 8:34 pm)andrewkun Wrote: Do you find Zeemote to be particularly comfortable/ergonomic?
Yes, it fits easily in the hand, there's a joystick (4 inputs) and another 4 buttons. Joystick is designed for thumb use, but can be operated conveniently by forefinger. Variety of use possible with push buttons. Of course buttons can be freely configured. Should check it on YT. Price is cheap.

Quote: I also use a Bunker Ring with my phone which helps make using it more ergonomic.
That's a good one.
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#15
For a while I used a PSX pad and mapped the Anki keys with Xpadder. But now I'm much better a sitting for long periods of time with good posture.
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#16
Somebody hurry up and make a Vive/Rift VR plugin for Anki, where I can punch the answer keys with my Vive controllers in VR. I'll review and get a light workout at the same time. @_@b
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