196 countries and capitals memorized

Very impressive! I haven’t tackled the atomic masses. I memorized the name of the element and its atomic number, as well as the groups (halogens, metalloids, noble gases, ie the columns).

If you’re interested in a book about the elements, i enjoyed The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean. I didn’t realize that I had read the “young readers edition,” but maybe that simplified version is why I enjoyed It!

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Of course. I will definitely read this. If I can find a good translation. My English is enough to read and write posts on social networks, but not to read chemistry books.

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Hii, I saw your spreadsheet in which you have shared the Elements and the way you used to remember them. I wanna ask do you really used those long phrases while remembering them. Also, during my high school, I was able to memorize them in the order of their atomic number by using sort of a rhyming method. This is my first post on Art of Memory, so I apologize if I said anything wrong.


Hi! And welcome to the forums! I really do think those long phrases when recalling the elements! But what takes many words to write or explain, only takes a fraction of a second to think— or “see,” rather. They are all linked in my mind into a story, although it might be hard for someone else to understand since a lot of it is based on my personal experiences.

Also, I remember the numbers with my PAO system— so that’s what’s with all the seemingly random people, actions, and objects. Those are so ingrained in my head that when I see them, I immediately know the number of the element. I did this because I want to be able to be given any number 1-118 and be able to tell you which element that is.

For instance, 37 is Rubidium. I remember that because my sister‘s married name is Rubio, so “Rubio” is my substitute word for the element. Then I also see her holding a microphone, the object for my #37. So I know that Rubidium is the 37th element. It took me a long time to type that out, but in my head I see it in an instant.

I will admit it took me a long time to learn the PAO system, but it’s allowed me to memorize things I never thought I would be able to memorize! And it’s fun to practice it whenever I’m in the car with peoples license plates :slight_smile:

With all that being said, you should share your rhyming technique! I for one always like to learn new methods for my memorizing toolbox.

I see, your method is too fast and PAO is new to me, I will try to learn this method. Thanks for sharing this.
I won’t call my rhyming a technique :sweat_smile:, as I am able to automatically recall the next name of the element, maybe because of a lot of practice. But at the end of the periodic table, I built fictional stories to work around. It has a big downfall that, most of the time I need to recall previous elements, which takes a bit of time.

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Hi -

If your spreadsheet is available, please send a link to it. I’ve used a memory palace to memorize the first 60 elements but all I have are their names, and if I go through the order, their atomic numbers.


I welcome you in the ranks of those who want to be better. On this forum it is customary to create a topic about a new member of the forum. If you want, you can write about yourself.

The PAO system is much more efficient than the rhythm mnemonics. Shijir Erdene Bat-Ekhn memorized a deck of cards in 12.74 seconds with it.

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If you scroll up on this page I’ve provided a link to my Google spreadsheet for the elements. I didn’t go into great detail about my pictures, but hopefully you can get a few things that will help you progress. Best of luck to you!

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Do you recommend that I create a PAO? I’m creating a major system 00-99 but they are mostly objects with actions. It is mainly because I prefer creating actions for certain phrases rather than having predetermined ones, however I can see how the PAO system could be beneficial in that it is much quicker to create images. What would be your advice to me? Do most experienced memorizers use PAO? Thanks

In modern sports, most athletes have switched to the Major 1000 system and the Shadow System. But there are still some athletes who use PAO and perform brilliantly.


Yeah i also see some people that uses

Category system for numbers
And pao system for cards.

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By categories, you meant 1000 digits for numbers, but PAO for playing cards? If I am not mistaken, Andrea Muzii takes this approach.

Really, i don’t know about it , I think andrea muzii is using major system for numbers.

If he using category system for numbers (then it is very important information for me.)

Because his best pb is 10.82 sec .

If anyone know , Andrea muzii’s number system .
Please tell the name.

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Hi! I don’t really pay attention to memory sports much, but I am very happy with the major system-based PAO. When I decided to learn a PAO system, I took a couple pieces of paper and wrote the numbers 00 through 99 and just started filling them in. I’ve provided my list in a link above if you would like to use that to help you out; you are welcome to it. I have used a lot of personal people from my own life so those you might have to think about a bit to fill out people that have meaning to you.

At first I thought it would be impossible to learn these, but eventually, I learned them. Then I went through a phase where I nearly gave up again because they weren’t available to my mind quickly enough. But each day I would sort of review and practice with random numbers or those on license plates, and now they are like old friends that I can quickly called mind and associate with the numbers.


Thank you for sharing. This is terrific.

Using a combination of my own images - but also many of your own ideas, Julie - I managed to memorise all 118 elements in and out of order. I now recite them to myself every day so as to reinforce the information.

What I haven’t yet done is try to learn all the abbreviations. But if it hadn’t been for you, I would never have attempted this feat - so many thanks for being kind enough to share your pdfs. You really inspired me! (I’ve always used the Major system, but found many of your images very useful. Again, thank you!)

I might have a go at the countries/capitals next!


I’m thrilled to hear this! Glad to be of help :slight_smile:

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Hi Julie, very informative thread - thanks for the spreadsheets. It helps to see what more experience memorizers are using.

I have memorized all the Oscar Best Picture winners this week using a memory journey/palace. It was surprisingly easy (but I think also very inefficient :slight_smile: ).

I think the next project is memorizing the Periodic System. Would you advise me to first get a PAO System up and running? Because I see me wanting to memorize things like Nobel Prize Winners, English Queens and Kings, etc.

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Also: for memorising lists like the periodic table, do you always use a memory palace for this? Like you did for the capitals?

I’m sorry I’m only just now seeing your question! Before I memorized anything with numbers or dates, I had a PAO system in place. Maybe there’s another way, but my PAO system has been invaluable in learning numbered or dated lists.

Even for the Oscars, I put them in a memory palace where each location for each movie is populated by my Person from my PAO. This allows me not only to recite the Oscar winners in order, but to be able to recall the winner if given any random year.

By the way, If I see my Person somewhere, I know this always represents a date. Since I made this “rule” it’s made memorizing dates a lot easier.

That being said, when I memorized the periodic table, I didn’t yet use that rule of using Person for dates only. I used either the person, the action, or the object to tell me the atomic number of each element.

I also didn’t use a memory palace for the periodic table, but rather more of a linking story. A downfall of linking stories is that the parts are not numbered. But by inserting something from my PAO with each corresponding element, I’m able to quickly scan my story for the person, the action, or the object of that number to recall the name of the element.

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