A thought on encoding weekly schedules/plans

A lot of us like to schedule or plan things each week. But how do you memorize your schedule for the week?

I thought about how best to memorize a weekly schedule or plan, and I came up with a method that I think might work.

Take a building you know well and take seven rooms from it. Each of these rooms will be a day of the week. Personally, I use a regular color system where a red room = Monday, an orange room = Tuesday through the rainbow until an indigo room = Saturday and a violet room = Sunday. The color associations work well for me, but you might want to pick something more founded in real life. You just need seven rooms for seven days.

In each room, pick twelve markers for each of the twelve hours (ignoring AM/PM, and I doubt you’d confuse AM with PM anyway). I’d recommend going in a clear order for each room. If you’re stumped, try setting the door you enter to six o’clock and then do three hours per wall.

After entering the room through the six o’clock door, five o’clock is behind you to your right, and seven o’clock will be behind you to your left on the same wall. Then the wall on the left will be 8, 9, and 10. The wall in front of you across the room is 11, 12, and 1. Then the wall on the right will be 2, 3, and 4. It’s basically a large clock face inside the room.

You could also do six hours per wall to get 24 hours if you prefer that. In this case, set the door to midnight. Or you could do this to get the half-hours in if you prefer a 12-hour clock face. Need more landmarks? Hang picture frames on the wall for the missing hours!

To encode the minutes, you can use a number system attached to the event. So using the Major system, something happening at 3:47 would be in the 3:00 position, with a rock attached to it (rock = 47). I don’t have a need to encode the minutes usually - I round to the earlier hour.

A dentist appointment at 3:50 on Tuesday - find the Tuesday room, look for the 3:00 position, maybe encode a giant tooth there, with a shoelace vigorously scrubbing the plaque away. Why a shoelace? Well, lace = Major system for 50, the minutes. Now, when you need to recall your schedule, there’s a giant tooth with a shoelace on Tuesday at 3:00. Tooth - oh right, dentist. Lace? Oh right, 3:50. Dentist at 3:50. Got it.

If you plan your week, once you’re done, try using this system to encode your schedule and see how it works for you. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on it.


Sounds like an intriguing system.

But I try to avoid memory palaces for non-permanent stuff.

I tend to just use a clockface mnemonic. The center of the clockface contains a day of the week mnemonic. Then associate an item mnemonic with an hour mnemonic from the clockface, and the major system takes care of the minutes.