Book/info memorization

Hi all, I wish to improve my memorization techniques. I made a post last night about organizational systems for historical data, and then lay in bed thinking about it most of the night.

Normally when I study, I make some sort of chart - time line, mind map, table. I then rely on rote memorization plus rudimentary, untrained basic mnemonic techniques. So I feel comfortable with my ability to chart and organize information, but would like to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of my ability to memorize that information.

My question is what are the standard protocols - the tried and true methods - amongst memorization pros for memorizing material such as poetry or better yet, books?

I would like to improve my mental library of a few of the texts I cite most frequently, any suggestions, tips, etc would be greatly appreciated and I’ll be happy to share my results, should they prove at all fruitful.

What’s your goal? Memorizing each line, word for word, is probably one of the hardest things you can do. Going through and finding the important bits and turning those into a mental spark notes version is much easier.

If you are looking to memorize a book, the way I would go about doing it is two fold, first make the spark notes loci from paragraph to paragraph, or even sentence to sentence, pulling out the main points, then study the author’s style, and come up with mental symbols that represent different phrases and parts of speech, and try to memorize it that way.

But I am by no means a pro…

Currently, my plan regarding book absorption is:

  • read the book [√]
  • prepare a skeletal mind map for each chapter and each sub-section [√ - ~90% complete]
  • next phase will be to expand on the mind node with ideas, personal notes, quotes and paraphrases until ultimately most of the text relevant to my needs is included either via direct quote, paraphrase, or my own critical analysis.
  • final phases: overlay timeline and mnemonic devices. this part is still in planning stage. because the texts are historical, i believe I will be able to combine page numbers and dates in the timeline to give me an idea of the era as well as the location in the book. I would then like to design a mnemonic device to overlay on top of all of this, perhaps a map or a drawing, I am still not sure.

The above of course is only a rough idea and I welcome any feedback, suggestions, etc., as I am still in the early stages of my work and would like to integrate any great ideas sooner rather than later!!

I stumbled across this image while doing some google searching, I think it’s very interesting indeed:

Very interesting – I’m going to repost that diagram on the homepage.

Nice. I found some other timelines as well, but most all of them were either too low resolution or only small cut-outs. If anyone finds and shares any well-made, extensive timelines, regardless of whether they are mnemonic or linear or wtfever, I’d be most appreciative.

I set the blog post to publish tomorrow morning. Apparently, the illustration you linked to came from this book. I would like to get the book, but I have too many books at the moment. If anyone else buys it, please post a review. :slight_smile:

EDIT: you can look inside the book here. It looks good.

Here is another neat time line I stumbled across:

Looks interesting. I wonder how they determine the shapes…

I agree, they’ve clearly based it on extent of rule, zenith of power, (to borrow phrasing from the Roman section) and overall degree of influence, but did they just guess it, base it on some sort of formula or what? Formulaic options might work for more recent history but I feel like whatever system they used there’s got to be a lot (if not total) creative license.

Now we just need to borrow ideas from masterpieces like this and the other with our own creative license and start building…