A question from a Newbie. Starting a list when your first location ISN'T the first number


Brand new so I need some help. I want to memorize the Academy award best picture winners. They started in 1927. But if I start with 1927 in my first location then I have to do this arithmetical calculation as it progresses to find the year quickly. The problem could really apply to any numbered system where you’re not starting with the number one in the first location. I have a feeling that when somebody gives me the answer I’m going to be slapping my forehead in Homer Simpson style. It seems like there’s something painfully obvious I’m missing here. Thanks in advance for any help.


All you would have to do is use your number system and memorize the numbers and see the images in the location. I would take it one step further and have a memory palace for the 1900’s and the 2000’s. The first location in the 1900’s palace would have my image of Neil Armstrong (27) and an image for the winner. This method allows you to easily give the year or the winner depending on what is asked. Hopes this helps!


Thank you so much. I fear you may regret answering, however. Good idea with starting with the number representing the year, but that’s not really the question. My first (and only…so far) palace is 9 rooms in my home with 5 loci in each. That way it’s easy because the rooms go 5-10-15, etc and I can get to any number quickly. But if the FIRST location is 27, that messes up the ability to “jump” by 5’s. Does that make sense? Am I missing something absurdly obvious?


Correct me if I am wrong, but there are winners for ever year from 1927 to 2017, right? I completely understand what you are trying to do, but there is no reason to know go up by 5’s if each year has a winner. You would have all the images for your numbers from 17- 99. If you need to find when a picture won, you just have to see the image in the location and see your number image. Or if someone asked who won 1966, you will think of the image for 66 then jump to the location that has it. You essentially have a number peg system so you could jump to any year or do a rang of years but jumping to 40, 50, or 60. Does this make sense?


Yes, of course. That’s what I meant when I said there is probably something absurdly simple that I’m not seeing. That is the perfect solution.
So for all the 1900’s, I’m just leaving off the 19 and going with the last two digits.
What do you suggest however for when it turns over to 2000? I guess I could just go to a three digit “prefix” then…2001 being 201, in essence just leaving out the 2nd zero in 2001. Then 202, 203, etc.
Unless you can suggest something better…


If you need a transition, just create a mnemonic image for it. In my case, this would be the nose of Michelangelo’s David with Thomas Szasz. Park it anywhere that works.

But for info like this, likely the transition will be obvious. 1999 is not 2000. Often people get hung up on every little detail, when more often than not, being willing to let some things go is the ultimate solution.

That is certainly the case in music where you manage multiple forms of memory at the same time and are more focused on larger governing structures to help you manage transitions, not each and every single detail. And if you verbally recall, you will get some of this info into the muscle memory of your mouth too, which is a huge help. :slight_smile:


You could make a mental note that after xyz location, it is all of the 2000’s or you can make a marker like a big new year ball that would be placed in the location that is 2000. You will need like 90 locations right? So you have 45 so far and you can make palaces that would only have the 1900’s then have a palace for the 200’s with some extra locations for future winners.