I started learning Japanese in October 2017. I lived in Japan but never took the time to learn the language. I knew pretty much nothing. I felt overwhelmed by Japanese textbooks. It's just not how I learn something. I needed to study in my own way.
I started by managing my own flashcards but to stay motivated I needed the least amount of work possible. Now I use WaniKani for kanji and vocabulary and I am really satisfied. I've also recently started using Bunpro for grammar.
I took a small break last April and it was the biggest mistake I made! I ended up having a hard time going back to it and only resume my progression last July.
With more than 1200 kanji, 4000 words, and some grammar I can now read study material very easily. My skills are improving quickly and I should be able to read books without too much effort in 3 to 6 months.
I listen to Japanese music and watch anime every day, but I can only understand short sentences. In order to improve my listening skills, I just started listening to audio from content I read and studied.
The better my reading and listening skills are, the better I can talk. Nothing special here.
I am really satisfied with the progress I made in just a year. I could have made more progress by reading more but I had some difficulties learning grammar at first and lost some time. Plus my 3-month break didn't help at all.
I hope my study methodology can be useful to anyone who wants to learn a new language, not just Japanese.