Yep. All 25,000+ of them. Gone.

Why? The number in the above paragraph should give a clue: The bloated collection had become a boat anchor instead of a blessing. I found liberation.

Don’t get me wrong: I spent countless hours on flashcards when I was in language school. When assigned endless lists of words to learn, flashcards were the only form of survival. I never would have made it without Pleco.

However, I’m at a point where there are so many words to learn and review that the flashcards became completely unwieldy. I could spend my entire life just on flashcards, and still be frustrated at not getting them all adequately covered.

This completely defeats their purpose. Once you have a decent quantity of vocabulary under your belt, flashcards are more of a vitamin supplement than a meal. With them gone, I now feel more free to focus on the real thing: comprehensible input.

So now for the confession: While I deleted all of my personally created flashcard lists (for textbooks, ChinesePod, TV shows, etc.), I did keep the following pre-made lists:

For most of those lists, I’ve kept them just because I think they may come in handy in the future. They’re pre-built for specific purposes that I believe are nicely compatible with the nature of flashcards.

I have future plans to use flashcards to help me learn the Cangjie input method, and that was part of my motivation for mass deletion: Get rid of all the other options, so I that I might actually get Cangjie done.

Now I’m just waiting for Pleco 4.0 to come out, which Michael Love has said should include a feature that allows you to choose “Cangjie Code” rather than “Pinyin” or “Definition” as a flashcard’s answer.

Fortunately, I’m not in a rush. I already have a pile of hand-made Cangjie flashcards to work on. In between ChinesePod and 人民的名义, they should keep me busy enough for a while.