There are three tricks IMO:
1.) Focus on the most frequently used words in German — not so much point in spending your early learning-time on fringe vocab to describe mermaids or friezes.
2.) Learn the gender of the noun at the same time (otherwise you'll curse yourself down the line since German grammar falls asunder when you don't know the correct der/die/das).
3.) Keep revising using some sort of spaced repetition algorithm that shows you each word at progressively longer intervals.
4) Be mindful of when a word is a compound (and look out for the root word within) - I find that making these kinds of connections eases memory (and, of course, you get the gender of the compound word "for free" since it's the same as the root word).
If you want to build your own lists using generic SRS flash-card software, go ahead and download Anki - it's cross-platform and really great.
If you want SRS software with a pre-built German word-list and special features for the German language (automatically shows compounds, explains the rules behind the genders, warns you when a word changes meaning with gender, etc), check out German Grammar Spy. (I was involved, but it's basically a passion/charity project.)