How to understand the Chinese character learning part from The Linguist?


I’ve been reading the above mentioned book in German and I couldn’t figure out one part. I found it in English as well, but it’s still not clear. First row: characters. Third row: sound/meaning. Where does the 2nd character go? How to run into the first character again?

"I developed techniques of working with new vocabulary items that enabled me to reinforce learning and vocabulary retention. One system was based on the way Chinese children learn characters.

I bought exercise books that were divided into squares for writing characters. I would start writing a character six or seven times down the first column and then write the sound or English meaning on the third column. Then I would start a second character and do the same. Soon I ran into the first character I had learned and had to write it again.

In other words, I reminded myself regularly of words that I had just learned before I had a chance to forget them. "

That’s a pen and paper version of a Spaced Repetition System.
Day 1:
X - - meaning - - X - - - - - - -
Y - - meaning - - Y - - - - - - -
Z - - meaning - - Z - - - - - - -

Day 2:
X A - meaning meaning - X A - - - - - -
Y B - meaning meaning - Y B - - - - - -
Z C - meaning meaning - Z C - - - - - -

Day 3:
X A D meaning meaning meaning X A D - - - - -
Y B E meaning meaning meaning Y B E - - - - -
Z C F meaning meaning meaning Z C F - - - - -

On day 4 you would meet the first characters (in this case X, Y and Z) and you’d have to write down their respective meanings three spaces to the right plus repeat the character six spaces to the right. I guess you can do that system from top to bottom of the page (in columns) or left to right (in rows), which in my opinion would be easier, because you could continue on the next page. You can set up how often do you do revisions by changing the number of rows or columns.

Thanks emde33, now I get it! He explained it with 2 characters and I assume after a few repetitions (or after the page filled up) he moved on to 2 new characters.