Do You Reuse Journeys Multiple Times for Long-term Information?

Do you reuse memory journeys/palaces multiple times for long-term information?

If so, how do you keep images from mixing? Or is it even a problem for you?

I’m curious to find out how many people do this successfully.


not very often have I recycled. however, there have been a couple of times something I wanted to memorize fit much better into a palace that I had already used, so I did basically overwrote the old palace. It worked just fine presumably due to the better fit of the new palace.


Questions like these really need a neutral experimenter and a set of test subjects. E.g. my prejudice before testing it was that reusing will mess things up.

Variables: how random are the images?, how many times journey reused?, how much time between reusing?, do use the same journey or slightly modified for different set of images?, how much linking between images?, how much repetition?

I have tried it really hard with the compressed journeys of RGB system (lots of reusing, lots of linking&associations between the current set of images), and with a lot of repetition I can recall different sets of images. But I haven’t put the same amount of effort into testing the technique with ordinary distant-spaced-loci journeys, because of my pejudiced feeling that “distance between loci makes it harder to make connections between images”.

Test results on me are that what is neccessary for recalling different sets of images within the same journey is eliminating the randomness of the images. That would be making a lot of associations within the set of images, and then giving it time so “sink in”, by spaced repetition. Can’t say anything about the distance between loci, because of my prejudice.

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I haven’t tried re-use yet, but I’ve considered it because I’m lazy, so it seems easier. But so far, there’s no lack of material for forming new journeys, so re-use for long-term info doesn’t seem necessary.

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Yes. And I find it very successful.

I am assuming when you say long term information, you are not talking about overwriting, but remembering concurrently. More than one set of information attached to one location.

I am trying to replicate indigenous memory systems, the basis of which is the method of loci. All of my memorisation is long term. I am no good at doing things under pressure - time or competition.

My main journey is 242 places long to cover all the countries of the world in population order. The first stage of that I use for multiple purposes.

For the first section I have the countries plus the end of another long journey which is my ‘Journey through Time’. The Journey Through Time starts at 4,600 million years ago and ends up at today. By 1900 I have been around the block, and then around another one and back home.

The last 115 years get a whole location each and cover from 1900 until today. This overlaps with my Countries Journey, starting in my study. 1900 is at position 0 of the Countries Journey, 1901 at China. In each location I have at least one major event. So data about the countries, say Iran at 17, is also the location for the Armenian genocide in 1917. Sometimes the two get interwoven in the memory aid, but there is no difficulty separating them when I want to withdraw information.

It often gets more complicated than that. I have assigned 130 ‘ancestors’ to two decks of cards much like memory champions do. I use people who I want to know a great deal more about because of their influence. And I am copying indigenous methods again. I use a normal deck and a tarot deck - hence the total of 52 + 78 giving 130. I associate them with their birthdate - they are assigned to cards in chronological order. It happens that Indira Gandhi was born in 1917. So she is also associated with that location. But the extra information about her is associated with the card. She also gets associated with location 2, which is India.

I use that same journey for memorising short term - say the parts of a public talk. Having characters and countries there gives me more to link to. In the talk, of course, the characters and countries don’t get mentioned.

This overlapping just happened after a year or so of mimicking indigenous memory systems - and seeing how like those of this forum they are. I have outlines the 25 experiments I am doing on my website:

I am deliberately reusing what I call my large memory spaces - such as the landscape - and my miniature ones, such as hand held devices, because indigenous cultures have integrated knowledge systems, not each domain separately.

I learn mostly from Australian Aboriginal cultures. Their ‘songlines’ are using the method of loci. Their churinga and other inscribed handheld objects act as miniature memory spaces. Their mythological ancestors form a pantheon of characters whose stories encode the information, just like my decks of cards. They were totally dependent on their memories to store all the practical, cultural and spiritual knowledge, and it was all overlapping and integrated.

I thought multiple use of journeys for long term storage would be a problem and confusing, but it simply isn’t.

It is such fun!


Thanks for the input Lynne, you’re making me think a little more about how re-using journeys could be really advantageous. I’m gonna read through your blog to try to get more info.


Short answer based on my own experience: if you want to “rewrite” the images = bad idea. Interference will be strong and you end up remembering neither the old image nor the new image.
If you want to increment the images = good idea. Connections between the images make them more solid. The only caution, here, would be not to put too many things in the same place. Too much information can become chaotic and, as a result, loose the links.


I find that I can remember different types of data.

So, long-term info does not interfere with a speed deck. However, I don’t do that too often.

Also, I have re-used loci for song titles, Pi, random words, films and so on. They don’t clash and overlap as they are different types of images.

In fact, I sometimes think that reusing images like this strengthens them for me, as it makes each image more vibrant.

Personally, I wouldn’t store similar info in this way. However, I do include additional info to attach to that previously recorded. So, for one year I may have the Oscar winner for best film as well as e.g. British Prime-Minister or Top selling album. But I wouldn’t want to include e.g. best-selling single.

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I agree about limiting the number of items or the benefit of cross-linking will be lost in the chaos. I am exploring what is too much. I have four different sets in a few locations and figure that might be my limit.

I hadn’t thought about different or similar information. Thinking about it now, I must admit I am using very different types of information when I double or triple up. I am not trying to do things with speed. Sadly, I am just hopeless with mnemonics under pressure. I really admire those who can do it!

My comment above has generated a question on my blog and a number of emails. I have been asked who my card characters are. I have 130 with the standard deck and the tarot deck, in chronological order to add another level of information. I have listed them on my blog:

Comments welcome. Anyone new I would have to link to an existing one, because I have committed them to memory and I get very confused trying to change things.

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Just the fact that there was a definite period of time between the first and second long string of information makes them distinct. If you want to be totally sure that there won’t be interference, you can always link every single object to the next. Hasn’t been necessary for me though, possibly also because the long term sequences memorized in the same palace are disparate topics.

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one way to reuse/recycle… I memorized the presidents in order using a palace. then, I overlaid the elements (periodic table up to 44) in order. it worked much better than I anticipated

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LabDocFarmer, did you find that you linked the presidents and elements sometimes / always / never?

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look if u want remember a lot of information for long term u first create any image it can be weak just fast image for every single information and later u check how many u remember and u fix images , more than 50% images don’t will need any fix , later u again check how many u remember and again fix , and u do it untill moment when u will know everything so 3/5 times , then u ‘‘train it’’ till be fluent in saying it (normal replay like when normal ppl learn something withouth recall image) and after train , train will be really short , for example for 100 foregin words this can be less than 5 min , and later u leave it and tomorrow u one time fast look at this everything (100words=20-30sec) withouth many foucus , u must just be awerness what is there something like speed reading , later after 1 week u again do fast look (20/30sc) later after 1 mounth again , after 1 year again , after 10years again and after 10years replay u can be close to 100% sure u will remember it untill end ur life ;D memory technic should SUPPORT us natural remember skills , not REPLACE. Because strange and awkward is use 1000+ images ;D images will vanish but information will be. Because u have more connection sbetween neurons in brain to information , when u normal use remember u create less conecctions between neurons , remember technic should create a lot of times more conections , and we can forogot us images , us images can be ugly and have no sense , us target is create how many is only possible conections between neruons and brain will use all conections when we will try recall it


i think context makes it not a problem.

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i just bought your book memory craft on kindle. looking forward to learning from it


Thank you. Enjoy!

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I recall Harry Lorayne (Famous memory expert and performer) saying that you can reuse journeys as much as you like so long as you add a header or a title to the beginning of the journey. I think the other rules are to add some time in between reuse. To make sure you have the prior images down well first, and it helps to vary the topics you memorize as well.

I have experimented with back to back memorization of numbers using the same journey, some times as much as 10 times a day. Works great for that, but long term, I don’t think you should reuse the same journey on the same day, it would be better to wait a few days in my opinion.

makes a really good point. Zig Ziglar made the same point years ago. The purpose of all of these mnemonics is to create a link between the information you want to remember and the imagery you are using to do so, but over time the mnemonics fade and you gain direct access to the information. You ask, “who is the 30th president and instead of getting some bizarre image, you just get the correct answer- Calvin Coolidge”

Dominic O’Brien uses a rolling 3-month calendar of 3 different journeys. He just keeps reusing it where each journey has 31 stages/loci in it. So at the beginning of the year he has Jan-Feb-Mar and once he gets into March he starts using the same journey he used for January to now represent April. He does this without issue or interference. I don’t recall if he wipes the journey in some way before reuse.

But Harry Lorayne said that you can easily wipe journeys clean by destroying the images. blow them up, throw red paint on them, drag them away with the police, etc. This way if you do recall the image later in that location you will also recall getting rid of it. You can ALLOW yourself to forget the image over time, but until you do, you will at least recall that it is not the image you want there anymore (by recalling the way you destroyed the image as well).

Lastly, I keep thinking about the role that journeys play in our real life. Consider the home you live in, aside from the images you may have chosen to store there. Your home, and any location you have been to serves as a way for your brain to store events and experiences. We all know this, but I think we forget it. I am sure you all have had jobs and lived in places and gone to places over multiple occasions, and you can, I am sure, readily recall multiple things that happened in those places. You have memories of different birthdays, parties, experiences that happened to you in these locations.

What I am saying is that locations already store multiple experiences for us. Without even trying your brain is already reusing “journeys” all the time. The difference between each stored occurrence is ALWAYS: a.) temporal (events happened at different times - and USUALLY b.) with some very minor -up to- very major changes to the environment being present, and involving different people. Naturally, memories that happen at the extreme end of (b.) tend to be more memorable. But still, it’s interesting to me that the brain is always doing this and at least one individual (Marilu Henner) with HSAM (Highly Sensitive Autobiographical Memory) has hinted that the only difference between her memory capabilities and other peoples is that she chooses to consciously review her day at the end of everyday. She literally reuses the same journeys everyday and remembers them ALL. Food for thought.


Thanks again! I’ve officially stopped using journeys (not effective for me) and am only using beaded necklaces (very effective for me).

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I’m curious about what kinds of information you are storing with your beads, how many you use at one time, and how you associate a bead with the information since you found them very effective. I’ve read @LynneKelly’s excellent book but would like to hear your use. Thanks.


How intriguing! I must work more on my beaded necklaces. I’ve neglected them recently for the palaces and memory boards. Thank you for the reminder. Back to Shakespeare.

Like Douglas, I would love to know more about the sort of information you are storing and any other information about the necklaces.

Any chance of a photograph?