A long time ago in a galaxy very nearby – this one, in fact, when I got my first job, the manager said that, if there are two ways to do something, pick the way that involves the most work and you’ll probably be right.
What does that have to do with Japanese?
Memrise, that’s what.
You can use the Memrise website or the Memrise app. The difference is that the Memrise app is usually less work, but I find that the vocabulary doesn’t stick as well.
The Memrise app uses a lot more multiple choice than the website. Although the website does use multiple choice, it also uses “type in the right answer” a lot more often than the app does, and, when I use the app and not the website for a few days, the vocabulary simply doesn’t stick as well.
I’m not surprised by this. Obviously “come up with the correct word out of your head” is going to work better than “pick the word out of this list” when it comes to planting the word in your memory. I just mention it because I’m noticing it again right now.
It’s all about actively recalling the entire word (or sentence) and being able to spell it correctly rather just recognizing it when you see it in a list (or being able to select the right answer by process of elimination rather than because you actually knew it).
There actually are shortcuts, but none of them eliminate the need for actually work.