Do I have to use people for my number system

Can’t I just assign a memorable image to number from 0-99 instead of this hassle of using names.

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Try it and see? As Anthony Metivier has said several times “There isn’t a ‘Mnemonic Police’ who are going to come and arrest you for not doing things the ‘correct way’”. We all have to find what works for us. Should my 5 Hearts be ‘Cthulu’ according to the Major? No, it should be H.Lovecraft but Cthulu is easier for me to visualize (yes I know that is a dichotomy, pan-dimensional being that he is!).


It is advisable, characters with well defined traits and personalities also work well. For more info read Lynne Kelly.

Moving images or with actions are more memorable. With emotions more. Things plausible but irreal more. And so on.

As always, it depends on the person. For remembering numbers some prefer paos and other objects that have a link for them with the number.

Try and gess what’s best for you.

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Yes you can. Its what i did actually in the first place when getting started. Adding people helps in a way that it gives one more things/events to associate with the given number.

Notice it’s best to create images for numbers 00-99. One 0 for all 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 is sometimes not enough.

You don’t need to use people. I don’t use people for most of them.

Here are my first ten 2-digit images as examples:

Number Image
00 sewing needle
01 iced tea
02 Zeus
03 satellite
04 samba dancer
05 Salvador Dali
06 wasabi paste
07 ice cubes
08 asafoetida flowers
09 Aesop

You can! You do not have to use a person. I don’t. I use my persons for my memory palace. If you search a post for Port500 you’ll see how I do this.

I was struggling using people, and I was always confused with who did what, and was getting them wrong. When you use a person, you’d really have to see that person first before you see the action and or the object. When I recall I could see the action and the object involved but was always trying to guess who the person was. Using a person, you’d have to get to know the face, hairstyle, clothing,accessories, etc etc which is time consuming, and even then you could get it wrong unless otherwise you’d studied that person inside out. It does work for a lot of people, but not for all.

You can just use everyday objects and animals. Those do not take as much time to learn and to remember when you recall. What you need to do is to Create An Action for each of your objects/animals. If the object/animal has a natural action, then use that, if not then just make one up. So each of your Object/Animal has a unique action to the next object or animal. So all you’d have to do is to find the matching objects/animals and the actions that goes with it.

For example;
00 - Eggs
Eggs get cracked, and comes out the next 2 digits from the Egg.
So all you have to do is to see a cracked egg, so that the next 2 digits would come out of the egg on your loci.
With the Clue-Shape-Method, You may just see the 2 digits with egg-yolk running down from it which gives you 4 digits at a time.

For more examples of this you can perhaps see my post, I was struggling like you were and created the images from the number shapes 00-99. It can be used with 2, 3, 4,5 and 6 digits at a time. It may give you some ideas.

Hope this helps.


Not at all. I find people are horribly… not memorable for me. Thus, I use images for 00-99, each a physical thing (most of them). There are some that aren’t really things, like 81 is “fight” for me, but I’m a hockey fan. I love a fight.

Interesting. I just got to 20 on my PAO and couldn’t think of any more associations and drew a blank.

Personally I cannot use people (maybe one or two I know very well).

I find people just morph into each other no matter how hard I try. Using the odd strong cartoon characters seem to hold well. Using objects that are as different as possible works for me.

If I was starting over again I would select a completely different set of pegs rather than the printed list I had in a book. I think it’s very important to get your peg list as vivid and personal as you can when starting out whether they are people or objects. Taking time to do this will serve you well in the years ahead.

May I suggest not to get hung up on using PAO. Let a ‘natural’ action happen between pegs:

37 10 34 = daisy growing out of a mug mower down. Or a mug full of a daisy poured over a mower.

This way I find the brain is stimulated because of the different actions to each other and the connections are rapid.

Of course some are adept at using people and as mentioned earlier we are all different.