Memory Management Techniques:
How to Remember Names

Memory management techniques can be so helpful for remembering names. I can often forget a person's name just after I've met them. This can be a very common problem among dyslexic people.

It can be more annoying than shutting your thumb in a car door. Actually it’s nowhere near as annoying as that. However it can create a negative first impression.

These memory management techniques can be used for both common and unfamiliar names. Because as we all know some names are easier to remember than others.

The great thing about all the memory techniques, on this site, is they have the same fundamental principles.

  • Make a conscious effort,
  • Memory by association,
  • Distinctive cues,
  • Repetition,
  • Find what works best for you,

Getting to know the basic principles will make every memory technique easier to use. Understanding how memory works helps me use mine in a faster and more effective way.

Important point: picture the name in your head

First of all and this goes for any name, common or uncommon, spell it out in your head and picture the letters. It doesn’t matter if you spell it wrong. The point is you thought about it straightaway.

Spelling a name is the perfect way to create a visual representation to go with the auditory memory. You can also repeat the name to yourself a couple of times.

Remembering common names:

Example, David,

Let’s say someone is introduced to you at a party called David. As soon as the name has been said think of it again straightaway. Making a conscious effort is the starting point for remembering anything. Then spell it out and picture the letters underneath the memory of the person’s face.

Alternatively think of someone famous with the same name like David Beckham. In your mind picture the person you have just met in a football player’s kit or holding a ball.

To make these stick in your mind make it as funny or silly as possible. You could picture him in a football kit with a ball glued to the side of his head. I know that isn’t really funny but I’m sure you can think of something better.


As an alternative to the visualisation memory management technique think of something that rhymes with the person’s name. For our example you could say to yourself gravy Davie. It doesn’t matter if it sounds stupid as long as it stays in your head.


Once you’ve associated the person’s name with something silly or interesting repeat it to yourself, if you get the chance. Say at this imaginary party you look around the room and see David who you met earlier. Think of him with the football stuck to the side of his head again.

Remembering uncommon names:

The association techniques above should work fine for most names. What, then, about uncommon names that are hard to associate with other things?

For example Mr. Barrington:

I can’t think of anybody famous or otherwise with this name. If you do know someone called Barrington then think of a name you can’t associate with anything else.

As always start by spelling the name Barrington to yourself. Don’t worry about mistakes no one can check the inside of your head. Try visualising the name next to him.

Break it up into pieces:

One way to break Barrington down is Bar, ring, ton. It may already stick by breaking it down into three easy to remember parts. Then think of something that loosely fits the three bits.

Barrington association - Bar (in a pub) - ring ton (on a mobile phone).

It doesn’t have to be perfect as long as you remember the name. Use combinations of techniques or change them in any way you like.

Important point: All the memory management techniques above do the same thing in different ways. They make the names more distinctive to aid the recall process. Simply, the more distinctive anything is the easier it is to remember.

Do it your way:

A good thing to remember here is that these memory management techniques are not set in stone. Play around with them to make them quick and easy for you to use. Adapting them to suit you is a great way to understand how your brain likes to remember information.


Hopefully these tips will make remembering names a lot easier. Give these memory management techniques a good going over and make them work for you. Click here for the next memory technique How to Remember Any Word.

Try not to forget all the old fundamentals of memory:

  • Association,
  • Make cues as distinctive as possible,
  • repetition,
  • Find the way that works best for you,

No one else not your teachers, family, friends or I can tell you the best way for you to remember information. You have to find that out for yourself. Click here for more Memory Techniques.

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