Do you Spend Too Much Time Using Anki…But Not Enough on Actually Learning?

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So you’ve discovered Anki, believed that it will help you reduce your study time, and help you remember anything you want.

But as it turns out, you still feel like there’s too much to learn and there’s too little time.

You get buried in mountains of due reviews…

You find it really hard to remember big ideas even after using Anki…

You feel that it’s taking you so much time to study because you feel like you have to make a card on every single detail…

You can’t remember long lists, even after using the Cloze Overlapper add-on…

You can’t understand new concepts at a reasonable speed…

And worst of all, making flashcards take you a REALLY long time.

If you feel like I’ve just described what you’re going on right now, then hear me out:

As someone who’s been in ALL situations back in 2018 and ended up at the top 0.2% of students nationwide in my Engineering Board Exams after a couple months….

I can be sure of one thing:

That is, if you’re experiencing at least 3 of the above right now, then at this moment, you’re probably feeling behind of the class right now. After all, your peers finish a lot more material faster than you do — and they don’t even use Anki!

Just what the heck is going on?

Well, I’m here to show you why that’s the case for many people — that probably includes YOU.

Let me start this my telling you two brutal truths nobody else online will tell you:

Two “epiphanies,” as I call them.

Epiphany #1: Anki alone is NOT enough.

As you may know, it IS possible to learn anything faster with Anki. But, that is true if and only if you’re using it with respect to how your brain encodes information. (more on this later)

Of course, you’d think that “scientifically proven study hacks” would do that for you, but in practice? They won’t, because they don’t answer the more important questions, such as:

  • How do you integrate Anki into your studying without spending a lot of time making flashcards?
  • If I’m taking notes, then what should/shouldn’t I put in my notes?
  • How do I determine what “important information” is?
  • How can I finish a mountain of materials without burning out?
  • How do you memorize confusing facts and long lists using Anki?
  • etc.

Which brings me to the next point…

Epiphany #2: Consuming more advice — “best” hacks/techniques/apps — won’t save you.

They have failure mechanisms built-in, no matter how much these ad-infested YouTube channels give you as “proof” that they work.

I want you to picture this in your mind:

Imagine seeing your best friend drowning in a middle of the pool…

He’s crying for help but there’s nobody else nearby who can swim — except you.

As you swim your way toward your sunken friend’s bubbles, what do you think you’d do next?

Would you say, “Here, have a drink. There’s more where that came from”?

OF COURSE NOT — because you’d take your friend out of the damn pool! (Uhm, right?)

So why in the world do we feel like we have to “drink more water” when we are the ones who’s “drowning” in information?

I mean, have you ever wondered why there’s SO MUCH free information out there yet only a few people seem to get real, permanent results?

The truth is that you do NOT need more advice.

You can Google all you want, go down multiple rabbit holes…

But at the end of the day, that’s like chugging margaritas while drowning in the middle of a 10-ft pool.

You don’t need “more information” — you need better implementation!

Sure, information is 100% free online.

Google.

Reddit.

YouTube.

Quora.

Facebook.

Instagram.

Other blogs. You name it.

But information is just means to thinking, deciding, and acting better.

There’s a point where the only thing holding you back is better implementation.

This is the point where most students are today — the point where they don’t need more information to get better results. 

You’re probably in this position, too.

And if you are, let me tell you about a better alternative to “finding more study hacks”.

A systematic way of studying.

If you don’t fix your broken system, then nothing else matters

By “systematic way,” I mean having a set of elements/actions that work together to achieve a specific goal.

Why should you even bother?

Because of one simple fact: It does NOT matter how many “best tips/tools” you use or how much “methods” you know if they don’t work together to achieve your very specific goal!

Same goes with any kind of system in your life.

If your “family system” consisted of “top 10 kindest people,” but everyone had incompatible values, then that’s not going to end up being the “best family.”

If your car merely had the “best wheels, engine, seats, chassis, etc.,” but it results in poor handling, then that’s not going to end up as the “best car.”

That’s because of the first rule of system optimization…

Optimizing each element of the system individually is the best way to compromise the performance of the whole.

Read that multiple times. Drill it into your head. It’s super important these days.

Heck, why do you think rocket science is so hard?

Anyway…

Do you now see how that works?

Case in point: If you’re looking to remember what you learn, this means you need to use a process that works with your memory. Based on studies in memory psychology, you can do that by:

  • Freeing up your attention and working memory for processing information
  • Improving the encoding & storage processes (instead of “note-taking tips”) you use to learn new material
  • Performing spaced retrieval the right way to maintain hard-earned, encoded knowledge
  • Increasing the levels of processing

(Fun fact: Many straight-A students unconsciously use the same principles to score high on exams)

This framework gives you the freedom to use ANY set of tools as long as your elements fit these criteria AND they work together to achieve a single goal.

Think of this as a design manual.

Sure, you can use your “best tips” and “best apps” — but it MUST meet your design criteria first and foremost.

Productivity is another story, but it’s equally important.

If you’re looking to counteract your urge to procrastinate, avoid overwhelm, and become more productive, this means:

  • Knowing the difference between doing the right things and doing things right
  • Eliminating ambiguity via a form of work organization (This is also achieved by creating hierarchy for commitments, big ‘projects’, and tasks)
  • Designing your “deep work chamber” — an environment that has only the right habit triggers; and
  • Using a productivity system (not apps, system) that eliminate the Zeigarnik Effect, the main cause of stress while working

If you look at the most productive knowledge workers and most productive students, they have all of these in one way or another — whether they are consciously aware of it or not.

As long as you meet all these, you can learn productively EVEN IF you’re using a completely analog system. (i.e. pen and paper)

So, are we on the same page now?

This is what I’m talking about when I say “your system has to work together.”

I’m sure you’ll agree that everything I’ve said so far is quite different from what “YouTube experts” out there teach, simply because there are no “hacks” right here — these are all principles.

And honestly, I don’t even think you have to be as “superhuman” as these YouTubers seem to be, in order to achieve great results for yourself.

You don’t need to follow “20 best tips to get X result fast.”

The truth is, you just have to create a decent system that aligns with your goals and tweak it to your liking as you go along — as long as you follow proven principles.

Principles outlive mere hacks and techniques.

You can use them over and over again for DECADES.

Again, using principles, it doesn’t matter what specific apps or tactics you use, as long as you meet them.

If you didn’t know already, these are the same things I put into my system to go from an average college student with failing grades…

…to becoming one of the top 1% of passers (6 out of 2900+) in the national Engineering Board Exams last 2019.

I even use the same systems right now to maintain my life commitments, while studying only a few hours per week to maintain my Grad School scholarship.

Are my results perfect or ideal?

Nope — far from it.

My classmates get way higher grades than me, even though they’re also full-time professors and employees! (Why, you ask? I intentionally avoid submitting hard assignments that give low percentages…)

But, compare that to how I was back in College, then you’d say I’ve achieved great results so far.

And I know you can do the same, too.

After constantly iterating upon that same system I used, I’m excited to tell you that I’m now ready to teach it to you, so you can start acing your exams and get on the top 10% of your classes, too.

Introducing…

Simple Study System

The Only System That Helps Anki Learners Study Efficiently (Without Confusing Hacks)

Click here to get on the priority list

I created the study system course to solve all the problems I see in mainstream studying/productivity advice.

It’s for Anki learners who believe that using systems — rather than silly “top 10” hacks — is the key to studying smarter.

The course will help you learn better in four phases:

  • In Module 1, you will learn the core skills of a study system that will help you remember information in the long term. I designed this module such that it takes the things you are already doing — such as maintaining a to-do list, planning for your day, taking notes, etc. — and tweaks them so you can form a basic study system: a system of study skills.
  • In Module 2, you will learn how to use the “LeanAnki Method” so you can integrate Anki into your studying — efficiently
    • The leanest Anki settings that allows you to stop wasting time on tweaking things that don’t bring you meaningful results
    • How to make “8-second flashcards” — the mindsets, the principles, anatomy, and most importantly, the “cognitive scaffold” workflow
    • How you should review Anki so that you stop wasting time and still get the benefits of spaced repetition (bonus: why only pressing “good” at a certain stage is a great idea)
    • How you can stop worrying about perfectly crafting each flashcard right away using “Iterative Formulation”
  • In Module 3, you will set up a productivity system that frees up your attention for processing information. As David Allen says, setting up a productivity system will not just give you confidence about what you’re doing, but also about what you’re not doing. Take a short vacation without worrying about things falling through the cracks. Feel more in control of your schedule. “If something is on your mind, then your mind isn’t clear.” And if your mind isn’t clear, you won’t process information with your full cognitive capacity.
  • In Module 4, you will learn processing strategies that turn different types of information into knowledge. You will discover why, when, and how you should use textbooks – even if your other schoolmates don’t use them. When should you use memory techniques? How do you implement them easier? How do you extract important information from textbooks? It’s all here.

By the end of the course, you will have a simple study system that helps you remember what you learn without spending too much time.

In fact, after you apply the Fundamental Skills Module, you should notice a significant difference in your study time and retention already.

Can’t say how much, because it varies depending on how well/unwell your current system works for you.

But know that the goal is to help you gain more time for yourself — for your hobbies and other projects.

You keep everything you learned inside your head, so you can make time for other things and projects you want to do.

After all, studying isn’t everything!

I’ve used a similar framework myself, and as you know already, it allowed me to go from a college student with failing grades to a nationally competitive exam taker…

…all while being able to meet with my girlfriend, watch anime, and sleep at least 8 hours most nights. (True story: there are still times when I get too tired, get too stressed, and can’t sleep, but that’s only when I don’t take resting seriously.)

But of course, while elements of this system work best together, the system itself may or may not fit your personal needs.

Let’s talk about that…

This system is NOT for you if…

  • You’re looking for a “secret method” that doesn’t exist for free online
  • You want to learn a new language with the help of Anki, or you’re using the Fluent Forever method
  • You mainly want to use shared decks — perhaps you’re in medical school and you want to primarily use the shared decks available in Reddit forums
  • Your primary goal is to memorize facts/new words rather than learn concepts that have more structure
  • You’re a heavy skimmer who doesn’t take action
  • You only want a list of “top 10 scientific study hacks” instead of a system based on grounded scientific principles and models

If AT LEAST ONE of the bullets above fits you, (especially the bolded one) then this system is NOT for you, and I’m NOT the best guy who can help you with your goals. Otherwise…

This system is for you if…

  • You’re struggling to create good, memorable flashcards that can be answered in less than 10-seconds
  • You study for hours and hours but you always fail to remember even the simplest of things
  • You don’t know how to prioritize your learning, let alone have any idea of how to find what’s important from a textbook, so you always end up with a tall stack of Anki cards in an attempt to capture everything  (Hint: Don’t read everything — especially reactively. Do read strategically. See Module 4)
  • You can’t remember the concepts in a logical manner — especially the “big picture” despite having a lot of knowledge from Anki
  • You don’t know where to start studying because of the sheer volume of materials you should learn for your exams
  • You don’t know how the most effective study techniques fit together in a single, coherent process

So, if you think my description fits you perfectly, read on…

“Why should I take a course from you?”

Hey, I’m Al Khan. Three years ago, I started testing every learning and productivity advice I could get my hands on — from books, blogs, forums, scientific articles, and YouTube videos.

Sure, some of them worked. But the journey was filled with confusion and analysis paralysis.

When I finally figured out how to integrate everything in a single, coherent system, I was able to:

  • Relearn 5 years of Engineering in 5 months to prepare for my Electronics Engineering Board Exams (Of course, good mentors played their part, too.)
  • Rank #6 out of 2900+ students (top 0.2%) on the said exam
  • Study marketing, business, and psychology, write on my blog, and maintain my Grad School scholarship at the same time — with the help of my Productivity System

And yet there’s one thing people didn’t know:

I hated college back then.

Back in college, I always forgot 80% of lectures as I stepped out of the classroom door. I crammed feverishly on exams, too.

What got me my results wasn’t dumb luck or intelligence — it was the way I thought about learning and the system that emerged from it.

As I practiced and reflected on that system, I’ve eliminated most of what doesn’t work and discovered why what worked worked in the first place.

I’m sharing this in the course because I strongly believe that learners who are willing to put in the work DESERVE to get great results from their efforts.

More importantly, I also recognize how many career goals have been “set aside” just because school doesn’t teach us how to actually learn. (Yep, super ironic)

I strongly believe that you should forget about hacks that work around the real problem.

The only way to achieve great results is by choosing to do the real, unattractive work.

What students say about the course (early versions)

NOTE: Everything in here are unsolicited testimonials.

In the first release of the course, I’ve only had a few enrollees — but here’s what some of them has to say. Stelio is a double degree student in Dentistry and Med School. I imagined he wouldn’t have enough time to study, let alone read my course, because of his clinic duties. But here’s what he told me about a few weeks after taking the course: Yup, he still got the highest marks in his degree. I’m very proud of that guy, really. UPDATE: Stelio’s got awesome grades this year. Merry Christmas, indeed! Another one of the enrollees, Mazen, told me that “it will only be a matter of time for this course to be one of the best learning how to learn online courses ever.” Here’s Charlie, who told me how he’s been enjoying learning and implementing LASS:

Finally, here’s what the latest members say…

Of course, this course is just brand new — so these may not be the “thousands of testimonials” you’re used to.

But to take home the point, I made the course because I was getting pretty pissed off at mainstream advice.

Something needed to change, and these are the people who agreed with that.

On the other hand, even if you don’t buy the course, you’d find my free content useful, too — like how these others did…

What readers say about the free content

From emails…

From the comments section…

They’re not super extraordinary “testimonials”, but being able to help others in small ways — even just by providing them clarity or helping them get past a small roadblock — is already a great achievement for me.

Here’s what you’ll get in Simple Study System

✅ The Written Core Modules (valued at $197) — NOT for skimmers

SSS is 100% written, and it’s short.

Others make you pay half a mortgage for a tiny bit of the core module just to show you hours and hours of videos that don’t provide coherence.

Not this one.

I believe someone who pays for information should be given the SHORTEST PATH between where they are now, and where they want to be.

The course is designed so you can easily consume it in under 2 hours, but get results in every lesson you take.

That being said, I want to be clear that this course is NOT designed to be skimmed.

✅ Access to the Tribe Community ($99/yr value)

In addition to the course being tailored to your tight schedule, there’s also the tribe where you can get help and support from other members — including me 🙂 Plus, you get to influence the course roadmap.

✅ Priority Access to my Inbox ($125/mo value)

This is an “early adopter” package — I’ll give you extra hand-holding because this is an early release of the course. You get priority access to me and get personalized advice through e-mail whenever you:

  • Get stuck during course implementation
  • If anything in the course is unclear
  • If you feel overwhelmed and need help with implementing the lessons; or
  • All of the above

I’ll add you to the “Important” list in my inbox so I can get back to you quickly.

I usually reply within 24 hours, but I try to keep it within 48 hours.

Get on the Priority List

The early bird access edition has sold out. It will next be available on April 2022.

Lifetime investment is $99. You get free access to ongoing updates — without paying more — and give suggestions for future lessons.

Sign up for the waitlist if you want to receive my emails re: the next launch. (Limited slots only to avoid myself from burning out)

Click here to get on the priority list

NOTE: This course needs active implementation and heavy reading. If you’re looking to skim the course looking for a “quick-fix” solution to cram for your exams in a few days, PLEASE DO NOT JOIN. I don’t want you to buy a course when the timing isn’t right for you. Besides, you’re going to get turned off by the hard mental processes this course teaches you to do.

Your “It Works” GuaranteeSatisfaction Label, Guarantee Label, 100 Satisfaction

There’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain. When you join Simple Study System and you don’t LOVE it, just let me know within 30 days and I’ll happily refund your purchase.

This is possible because of two things:

First – study systems just work, period. Having the right sequence and the right mental processes make it exponentially powerful over random tactics.

My students have used it to get A’s in their subjects, sometimes along with clinical work in a double degree.

And I use it until today (same system, but using different tools and methods) because it helps me stay on top of my Grad School subjects and in writing content at the same time.

So, I am sure it will work the same for you too.

Second – part of our core beliefs here is that we put your results first – ALWAYS – and we fight for your success.

When you have questions, I give detailed answers that either help you understand the problem or solve it at the root cause.

If you feel stuck implementing, you get help.

The course is concise enough to be read within a few days, so that’s enough time for you to read the course MULTIPLE TIMES, implement the entire system, and benefit from it.

If you still don’t love the content and the clarity you get after that, again, just email me for a refund and you’ll get your money back.

So there’s zero risk in joining. 🙂

Your Questions Answered

Why LASS, instead of others?

LASS is the only course that combines common sense, science (that’s based on real-world data, not controlled BS) and experience to create a system that helps Anki learners reduce their total study time.

You’ll find zero ineffective speed-reading BS that focuses on “finishing books” rather than actually understanding them.

No silly productivity “hacks” that focuses on maximum “efficiency” tactics while losing out on what actually matters.

“Only this few content at that price?”

Yes — and that’s by design.

I believe people who pay for information shouldn’t be spending hour upon hour on fluff videos and “best tips” compilations.

People who invest money SHOULD save time by GETTING RESULTS FASTER than those who only rely on free information — meaning, they should get the best information they need to get from point A to point B as fast as they can.

I don’t know about your investing philosophy, but mine is to pay for speed and permanence — that’s what I had in mind when I created this product.

I want you to avoid the guesswork and just focus on implementing the best stuff I learned both from my research and experience.

I wanted you to learn not only the “how”, but also the principles — the why — behind what I do so you can use what you’ve learned in the course for life.

Even after you’ve finished your exams…

Even after you’ve already finished college…

Even after you’ve gotten your first job or started your new business…

…simply because learning never stops.

“I probably wouldn’t learn anything new.”

Why, of course. Any principle that’s been proven to work isn’t something “new”…and this course is based on principles.

That being said, you’ll find that almost everything here is fresh info, because let’s face it: who in the world has the exact combined experience and insights as me and my students?

You’ll discover a lot of new techniques, too, so that you can save time and execute the principles I teach almost in a “take you by the hand” fashion…

But listen, the goal is NOT “new” — the goal is “results”.

I didn’t create this course to “ride the hype.” Rather, I created this to give you a transformation:

  • From forgetful to exam-confident
  • From behind the class to on top of it
  • From not understanding anything to making more original insights

And, let me tell you one thing:

Principles rarely, if at all, change — even in different situations. Tactics often do.

If someone’s offering you an entirely “new” way to learn, or some kind of “new discovery” then it’s one of these two things:

  1. It’s a small-time tactic based on old principles and models, but with a different name; or
  2. It’s total bullshit.

That being said, I’m largely unconventional and I mostly question everything that’s “famous”, so I bet you’re gonna see ‘new’ things in the course, anyway.

But let me emphasize:

The focus of this course is NOT on “giving you something new”, and especially NOT on giving you “new interesting ideas to talk about”, or “shiny objects” to download.

The focus is on helping you create a system that allows you to study smarter as an Anki learner.

Click here to get on the priority list