Best technique for quickly memorizing phone numbers

Hi all
I am aware of the Palace, Link, Similar sounding methods and Number Peg system. However before committing to practising memorizing numbers, I thought I should ask what others think is the best & quickest method to memorize phone numbers. Up until now I have only employed chunking for phone numbers with moderate success. My main goals would for this would be speed since most times you would want to memorize a number at the time its being given to you and also a way for it to be connected to the person whose number it is. Thanks all!


it does differ a bit per country as not all numbers work the same, but with most you can just get along with a basic number system. A 00-99 system works fine with me, in which every 2-digit number has an image. A string of images is then used to memorize the number. Take a look at number systems and see if it helps you, there are a lot of number systems.

Thanks Mayarra!

I already have practised a lot with ‘Number Shape System’. I had learnt it under the name of ‘Peg System’ :slight_smile: So I assume I could just chunk 2 numbers together and practise memorising the phone numbers with the help of their shapes.

Which system have you found to be most successful in your experience?

I use a category system, in groups of ten. 00-09 are characters from Fringe, a tv series, 40-49 are Marvel Superheroes, 70-79 are Star Wars Villains, etc. This works very well for me, but everyone prefers another kind of system. Find what works for you.

wow lol thats very interesting! If we take Marvel heroes example, what would be your number ‘peg’ to say Hulk or compartively tier 2 superheroes like JJ or DD? How would you make them connect to a number?

I use a shape usually, though some are also just a hint to the character themselves. any number ending in an 8 (08, 18, 28, etc) is a female character, as the 8 looks like an hourglass. In case of multiple female characters, it is the one that pays the most attention to her looks. In the marvel category I got the following:
40 - Iron Man (light on his chest looks like an 0
41 - Hawkeye (1 looks like an arrow)
42 - Angel (two wings)
43 - Wolverine (three claws on each hand)
44 - Beast (4 looks like a single nail of a claw)
45 - Thor (5 has slightly the shape of his hammer)
46 - Hulk (6 looks like an arm with a clenched fist)
47 - Spider Man (7 resembles a string attached to a ceiling, with which he swings)
48 - Black Widow (Probably the most well known female “superhero” from Marvel currently, because of the Avenger movies)
49 - Captain America (9 resembles a shield being thrown like a frisbee, like Cap does)

Numbers can also resemble the characters in a different way, 00 is the observer from Fringe, as the 00 looks like two eyes. 61 is Obi-wan Kenobi from star wars, as 60-69 is star wars good guys, and Obi-wan sounds like Obi-one. 99 is Leonardi da Vinci as 90-99 are historic people and Leonardo Da Vinci was a man with an incredible amound of talents, so he get the highest number. I could go on forever like that. 01 and 21 are Nina Sharp and “Red-Haired” Shanks respectively, as both only have one arm (although Nina has a robotic replacement, still one armed :P). 70 is Darth Baras as he is a fat Sith from Star Wars. 10 is Sherlock holmes for the same reason as the observer at 00.

The first number shows the category, and the second number resembles the character in some way.

That is all very interesting…Thanks for sharing!!

now that you have all your characters how do you memorize your long number? do you link the characters or use a PAO?

Since I use 3 digit objects. I’ll use 4 images for a 10 digit number, where the last four share the center two digits. 1234= 123+234. I don’t need people or actions to do this, just the objects. 2-digit object users could do this with 3-digit chunks, though in this situation it’s probably better just to remember 5 groups of 2 digits. And I put these objects exactly where I am standing when I’m told the number. And I review those objects in my head throughout the day until it just seems silly and excessive, which doesn’t take that long with such a short string of numbers. I’m thinking of the first number I ever did this with, a little less than 3 years ago, 494 915 051…can’t remember the last digit, but 2 of the possibilities definitely seem most likely. But it doesn’t matter now since I can’t remember whose number it was anyway. Might have been that red haired guy who grew his own food. But I remember where I was standing because that’s where the objects are. If you wan’t to remember your entire rolodex, best to review multiple times within the first 3 years, haha.

The challenge with this question is that it is too easy. Even a trivial peg list/journey combination is going to stick if it is consistently used.

Let’s expand it to, How do you consistently maintain a list of some unreasonable number like 1000 retrievable bidirectionally over time? or a More reasonable number 100? :slight_smile: without having to spend more time refreshing that memory on a daily basis than it would be worth to simply look up the number?

I turn it into a double PAO on a single loci

Say my friend John Doe has the ten-digit phone number 01 23 45 67 89
First PAO: John § + 01 (A) + 23 (O)
Second PAO: 45 § + 67 (A) + 89 (O)
Both images I then put on the loci by linking them. It is easy to tell which is the first, at least if John is not a person in my PAO-system