Constantly building new memory palaces is annoying


I have a problem and I hope, you can help me.

Is there a way to just memorize information with mnemotechniques without doing much work beforhand?
My problem is, that I am tired of having to constantely building new memory palaces before I can memorize something. (Reusing memory palaces does not work for me, unfortunately.)
Is there a technique where I don`t have to constantely memorize new loci, a technique where I can just put the infos somewhere and review them later? And if so, how does this technique work and is it efficient (a good way to memorize things)?


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I lack memory palaces as well. You could do this in three rounds, first write down associations for each thing you want to remember, and then look up images on Google for those associations, and then build a memory palace where you put those associations (images) in various loci.

I’ve got a thread going where I ask for VR games. Several of the games mentioned there are free, and can be used even without VR. What you’d do is walk a journey in the game and screenshot every loci, and then upload those screenshots to the ArtOfMemory software.

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If you aren’t already using them, there are also techniques you can use to compress information or use instead of the method of loci:

I recommend reading Lynne Kelly’s books for additional creative ideas.

Like mentioned @ywanm, doing this in rounds you could begin the process without doing the memory palace work beforehand.

We’ve got a thread going about memorizing the American presidents here, in which we’re done with the first step: Coming up with ideas for associations. Here’s my brainstorming, here’s that of Issa. It went super fast to come up with something, and then one would have to go to Google to find images that correspond. I’ve done that below, for the pre WWII presidents. Took me a little less than an hour.

The next step would be making a journey and pasting the mnemonic images into that journey.

# President Mnemonic Image
1st George Washington Washing board
2nd John Adams Adam (from the Garden of Eden)
3rd Thomas Jefferson T. J. Hooker
4th James Madison Mad-Eye Moody (he’s mad cuz he didn’t make the third prez)
5th James Monroe Marilyn Monroe
6th John Quincy Adams Dr. Quincy
7th Andrew Jackson Johnny Cash (he’s goin’ to Jackson!)
8th Martin Van Buren A van goin’ burrr
9th William Henry Harrison Harrison Ford
10th John Tyler Tyler
11th James Polk People are so happy to get a new prez, they’re doing the polka
12th Zachary Taylor Zapp
13th Millard Fillmore A mill that won’t be filled no more
14th Franklin Pierce Pierce Brosnan
15th James Buchanan A buck
16th Abraham Lincoln A Lincoln
17th Andrew Johnson A.J. (from the Sopranos)
18th Ulysses S. Grant Odysseus
19th Rutherford B. Hayes Jumping in the hay
20th James A. Garfield Garfield
21st Chester A. Arthur King Arthur
22nd Grover Cleveland Cleveland
23rd Benjamin Harrison A breast holder (bra)
24th Grover Cleveland Cleveland throwing away the bra
25th William McKinley A suit from McKinsey
26th Theodore Roosevelt A teddy bear
27th William Howard Taft A taffy
28th Woodrow Wilson A wood
29th Warren G. Harding Warren G.
30th Calvin Coolidge Kool-Aid
31st Herbert Hoover A Hoover
32nd Franklin D. Roosevelt A rooster

I made all my memory palaces in one go. It took a few hours to think of as many as I could. Now whenever I need to palace I just refer to my list. If you do all the work up front, you don’t have to worry about it later.


Interesting. How would you use a peg list in combination with the method of loci? One loci per peg list or one loci per peg?

Gavino`s Method sounds great. Has anyone ever tried it? How can one manage all the small memory palaces? Is it possible, to keep them all in the head, without writing them down? If so, the method could be used very flexible.


Sorry, I had edited the first line of my post after writing it but didn’t see that the rest didn’t make complete sense any more. Peg lists are an alternative to the method of loci. If you can generate a lot of pegs (like a 3-digit number system), then that’s 1,000 extra places to store information.

I’ve tried combining them before though. I used an alphabet peg list system with two alphabets, and linked the animals together inside of the middle of a large room without defining specific locations for them. It doesn’t provide more locations than a peg list by itself, but the peg list wasn’t floating around in empty space any more.

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@Josh Thanks for the clarification.

Interesting, I did not know that. Do you still use Peg-Systems as a way of enhancing the method of loci or did you just experiment with it?

I’ve just experimented with it.

check out the videos on

He seems to store memories in locations on-the-fly without creating a palace beforehand. The whole approach is much faster than a precreating a palace.

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Alex’ method reminds me of Dominic O’Briens method when learning new words/vocabulary. He creates different zones (for female and male) and places vocabulary throughout his zones (which are 2 different towns he knows well). I am sure that it also can be applied to things like presidents. In the case of presidents though (where the order might be of importance), you can simply add the action/object (whichever is more fitting) of your PAO.

My #01 for example is Oscar Lafontaine bathing in a fountain. This goes along perfectly with George WASHington, maybe you have a friend whose name is George, you simply imagine him washing himself in a fountain that is in your city. Yours doesn’t have a fountain? Well, now it does.

The fountain will tell you that he’s the first president. @LikeARollingStone’s example for #18 (Ulysses S. Grant) is Odysseus. Maybe your town has a museum and in front of it, Odysseus is receiving a financial grant because of his legendary heroic doings. #18 for me is Ludwig Beethoven, he could be the one handing out the grant, written on sheets of music. The grant could be S.ix million dollars.

Odysseus receives a S.ix million $ Grant by ludwig 8eethoven

I think this can be helpful whenever you hear the name of a president and would like to know his #.

This might not be the perfect example in regards to presidents (since most people have them in a memory palace) but can be applied to other things, especially vocabulary.

The town is the memory palace, you don’t even have to “pre-create” it because most things in town are not attached to a journey. You can just place them there, so it doesn’t float, while reinforcing the link. I hope all of this makes sense.

I know, I literally described the normal method memorizing things. But the “town method” could be used for things that you would like to remember but don’t really have/need a designated memory palace for (and also don’t want to create one).


That’s a good catch, it is like the town-method! I hadn’t noticed that before.

I use them together for my history system Alphabet animals for centuries - major mnemonic system pegs for my years from 00-99

I’ve done that for vocabulary – I didn’t keep the locations in order, because I didn’t need to remember the vocabulary words in order, and creating locations would have taken longer. Here are some related pages, if people are interested:


Dr. Lynne Kelly, who is active here, will actually use physical objects, such as a decorated piece of wood, to store hundreds of pieces of information. She uses other techniques as well, but this is based on objects used by native/Aboriginal peoples around the world. Think of the way Roman Catholics use a rosary to remember a prayer. Only Dr. Kelly’s object concentrates an enormous amount of data on a single piece of wood. (There’s a TEDx video of her discussing this on YouTube.) To be honest, her technique hasn’t sunk in with me; I’m hoping her forthcoming book will offer a clearer guide to how she actually encodes information and makes sense of its locus in terms of her memory object.


In many modern descriptions of the method of loci, they’re often (unfortunately) described as places that are frequently reused as they would be for memory competitions. This makes them much tougher to use for remembering more useful things in longer term memory. As a result I use a small handful of very specifically selected places for these sorts of short term memory-based journeys. When I’m done with the specific task at hand, I mentally travel back through the journey and wash out all of those short term memories so that I can come back to them in rotation and they’re fresh and clean with many of the memories having faded out with the advance of time. Alternately peg-systems or linked story-systems can be used depending on the items being memorized.

For longer term memory, I prefer to use more everyday locations such as my home (or previous residences, schools, college, etc.) or walks around my neighborhood. This way, as I’m moving about my house, neighborhood, or other frequently visited quotidian places, I’m seeing the accumulated images and regularly re-firming them in my memory. This regular revisiting of them makes them stick in my long term memory much better. For things you want to keep for longer term, revisiting them at an hour, a day, a week, a month, and then three months with occasional annual revisits helps to keep them stored permanently in your long term memory. This method also allows you to add additional information via images over time so that when you’ve read that biography of Abraham Lincoln, for example, you can add any additional information to the loci where you stored him when you may have memorized all of the U.S. presidents in order. @LynneKelly has a reasonably good description of this in her book The Memory Code where she discusses the timeline of history she’s created in a journey around her neighborhood.

In short, one should carefully consider the type of information one is trying to memorize, the length of time one wants to remember it, and then choose from one of the many methods for remembering it. Experience in doing this takes some time and advanced thought, but in the end will give better results.

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