Like with all the memory techniques on this site, practise makes perfect. Have a go at using them in your day to day life. This one is all about using your imagination to remember tons of information.
I used it for my degree exams. It was amazing to be able to remember such a large amount of the subject material. I could open my mind like a book and bring the needed information to hand.
It can also have great applications at work, such as giving a large presentation without needing notes. Click here for other Learning Strategies.
Again this technique is a reflection of how human memory works. This is why it is so effective. Think about that when you use it and try to find ways to personalise it to suit your needs.
Important point: It doesn’t matter how you use the technique as long as you remember the information.
The example below is the way I use the technique; feel free to adapt it, but you must stick to the main principles:
Don’t worry about them now they will be made clear in the example.
Important point: I’m going to show you how I remember playing cards but please don’t copy my example. The point is to make up your own. The process of making up the memory cues is part of what makes them stick in your head.
Think of a house or a place where you know every room, e.g. your family home. Now imagine walking into the first room you come to on the ground floor. I’m going to put memory cues in the corners of each room. I will use playing cards as the example as it’s a good way to show how to encode large amounts of unconnected information.
When you have a go at your own remember to put the memory cues in the corners and move around the room clockwise. This way you don’t miss any out (logical order). Start from the first corner on your left. Once you’ve filled each room make sure you go around the house in a logical easy to remember order.
So for the jack of clubs I’m going to imagine, in the first corner, a man hitting a car wheel jack with a cave man’s club. I’m imagining him hitting the jack with the club, and going really red in the face.
It will stick in your mind more if it is moving, saying something or generally being weird. Again, the same as before, the sillier or more interesting you can make it the better.
So go to the next corner of the room. Again go around the room clockwise to keep the order of the cards correct. For the six of hearts I’m seeing a man having a heart attack holding a six shooter style gun. It’s quite a weird image but that’s good to make it memorable.
Right so far I’ve got a man clubbing a car jack in the first corner. Then there’s someone having a heart attack holding a six shooter in his hand. Try imagining the room from a different angle to see both of your moving memory cues. Remember to go over what you’ve got every two or three cues.
In this one I’ll show you how to remember numbers as letters. For example number 1 becomes the letter 'A' then 2 becomes 'B' and so on. Simple!
With the two of diamonds you can think of diamonds as money. I’m seeing money falling from the ceiling in the third corner. If we use the numbers into letter system the number two will become the letter ‘B’. Now we just think of something that starts with the letter 'B' a bear for example is good enough.
So in the third corner you can imagine a bear. He’s getting really angry because money is falling on his head. He’s a bad tempered old bear swiping at the money with his claws.
Important point: When using the numbers into letters system make sure you think of something with only one name, so there is no confusion. For example you wouldn’t want to use the term hound as it could easily be mixed up with dog.
I think by now you are probably getting the hang of it. However I will give you one more example just to make sure.
We used the car jack cue in the first corner so we don’t want to use it again. Let’s use Jack Nicholson. The spade for this one is easy we can have him digging a hole in the floor. I’m going to have him say something silly to make the cue more distinctive.
So now we have the first four cards encoded. You may need to use a couple of houses if you want to memorise the whole pack but once you get going its easy. Remember once you have all the cards encoded think of a way to remember the houses in the correct order.
When you start to improve you can make it more efficient by putting more cues in each room. You can put them in between each corner. Again make sure you maintain the logical order and don’t mix any cues up. In most memory techniques logical order is so important for linking everything together.
Try to apply all the memory techniques, on this site, to your day to day life. The one above is great for making you look really clever at work or passing an academic test with flying colours. Click here for the next technique How to Remember Names.
Try this memory technique for yourself and don’t get disheartened when you make a mistake or get a cue mixed up. Mistakes will happen. Mistakes are good with a technique like this as they show you the rules of memory. Click here for other Memory Techniques.