Gavino's Massive Memory Palace System



Dan & Meiapataca: thank guys and I hope the system helps your particular projects.

Yan: thanks also, I have learnt plenty from reading your posts over the last year or so. Actually I was toying with allocating specific images in the mini-palaces that would link to a further layer of locations if you ever ran out. An image of a sparking teleportation machine as part of that would work very well methinks!



Thanks a lot Gavino! :slight_smile: Glad to see that my posts have not been in vain! :wink:

Life got into the way and I kind of put on hold memory techniques for a while. I’m getting back slowly on the saddle.

As for loci, I have noticed that the bigger the palaces, the more they tend to crumble virtually in your mind. I’d suggest you develop a plan and start small.

Like just focus on 100 loci like your house the first month. Master every corner of the house. Then slowly add 30 loci each week. Review them constantly. By the end of a year you would have approximately 1200 - 1500 loci which is a lot!

At one point, you’ll run out of real journeys and houses, rooms etc to memorize. I turned to maps on games like counterstrike to help me.

Also, I used to study the masters like Pridmore, O’Briien etc… One thing Ben did to link information across loci was to link the last image of one point to the first image on the next point.

Let us say you have location 1 and Location 2.

Ben stores 3 images on one location.

So location 1 has Images A, B, C and location 2 has X, Y, Z.

So C from location 1 will link to X in location. I have noticed that this particular trick is very helpful when you are trying to memorise data in sequential order. You can use this small trick to link loci when ‘teleporting’ from one place to another.

Hope this helps… :slight_smile:


Thanks Yan and they are good points well made. Curiously I actually have about 1250 working loci at present and about another 250 ready to go!

However the MMP system is specifically designed to rapidly create larger, but also easier and more manageable palaces.

I need it because I am planning a big ramp up in my memorisation work this year - and early signs are good :slight_smile:



Gavino, another thing I like about your system is that it can be used as a hierarchy in the sense that the basic items on the journey could even be category names, with the more specific detail attached to the nested “journey or pegs,” under a category name.

It models real long term knowledge better than a simple list of items would.

For example I could use it to memorize the countries of the world in alphabetical order.

The main locus would be say for example Afghanistan, assuming I want to memorize them in alphabetical order.
I would associate Afghanistan with the first locus.

Then I would use the say 4-5 nested loci to attach the Capital, population number, the main language(s) spoken, main industry, etc just to the nested items. (Better if I have exactly the number of nested items I want to memorize for each country.) In other words the Capital would probably always be my first nested locus. The population might always be my second nested locus, etc.

I would then associate Bahrain, if that is the next country alphabetically, to the second base locus. And then I would use the nested loci in the same order to associate the 3-4 main facts I wanted to remember about the country.

So this could be better than just associating the countries to a list and just elaborating a story for each country to include the above items that I wanted to memorize about each country.
At least recall would be more sytematic with less chance for error. So in one room of my house I could have 10 countries (base loci) with 4 nested facts about each country. There are about 195 countries by the way. But it is a start. (Wether to include the countries I already knew a lot about would be a minor problem.)

Of course one still has to associate the nested items to each base locus, but there may be some logical or thematic way to do that to make it easier, like you said based on things we already know well. For example if the first base locus in one my rooms in my house is a television, then I could have my top four favorite programs (visualize the main character maybe as the symbol of the show) nested in that site in alphabetical order, or a walking order if that is possible.

And as you say, I do think that several nested loci as in the example above which would create 40 loci, would be easier than trying to remember forty basic loci without nesting. I say that because even with mnemonics there is a “primacy” and “recency” effect in that the loci in the middle may be harder to recall than the loci at either the beginning or the end. I already have several long journeys and find I have to practice them more than I would like to, to make sure I recall the ones in the middle, to the point that I am preserving large numbers of loci that I rarely need. But I think I would practice them more if I had long term information attached to them rather than a series of nonsense syllables or playing cards that I would rather forget.


Thanks Dr S for this well thought out reply. I too am much less keen, for whatever reason, on story-linking compared to loci.

Your country example is great and I also particularly like the way MMP allows me to recall additional layers (branch levels) of a mind map.

And you may well have hit the nail on the head as to why I prefer short journies and nested locations to a single long journey, so thanks for that also!



Hello !

I’m French, so I hope that I don’t make too much mistakes. First Thing is simply Thanks Gavino.
In the book called The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci, J. D. Spencer explains the technique used by the Jesuits Matteo Ricci. Matteo Ricci used a combination of a real palace and an artificial. I follow this advice and I place doors or elevator in my room that doesn’t normally exist. When a new information comes, I open the door and I make new picture in a new location. But this location isn’t artificial. For example, in my kitchen, I make a door that doesn’t exist which opened to the museum that i know well.

I hope that you understand me…

New Member: MimKoRn - Slovakia. Music learning? Book-focused, practical.

Welcome Mutso and thanks for your comments - your English is much, much better than my French!

I think this is a similar concept and adding virtual doors and elevators would be one really useful way of extending an MMP if you find that extra base loci are needed. Thanks!



Gavino, I had a question, have you already made it yourself and if so, how big of a palace is it? How many loci does it contain?

I’ve been working on mine for a few days now. My base line is 52 loci right now (it wasn’t even on purpose) and it’s just the bottom floor of my house (I have three floors).

My estimations were to have around 900 loci packed in there but it’s going quite well so I think I underestimated myself and i should look at numbers around 1200 (it’s a very slow job to do and I need to be sure that every loci is in the right place before I start memorizing Medea).

So, tell us about your own experience and what the biggest palace is you have created.


Frankly, I don’t see myself using valuable spaces to place “links” to other palaces. Take your example of 10 friends in the garden, linked to their homes. Well, I already use the homes of friends as palaces, so I don’t need links to get there. So, I can use the garden to place non-linking images when I need to recall something.

I see no advantage in the number of palaces or steps in a journey using your method. If you simply create a lot of palaces and a lot of journeys, then no linking is required to get to them.

The “movie” technique is something that a lot of us have been using, especially those of us who have eagerly made it a point to watch a lot of old movies again and again (even the silent movies). It’s always interesting to use them, because not only to they provide palaces/journeys, but they also help your concentration in order to better recall new movies you come across.

One of the best ways I’ve found to increase the number of rooms in any palace is to use the trick from the movie The Adjustment Bureau: open a given door to a wholly new palace, or simply a room of the palace you’re in. In some palaces, I place a special door, sometimes in each room, sometimes in a designated place within the palace. Perhaps it’s a giant shining golden door, or a door with the giant image of someone’s face on it. I see it and it tells me there’s another room/palace behind it. I might be in a palace of human bones and somewhere is a giant door with a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger posing and flexing his muscles, telling me that through that door is the palace of human muscles.

Whenever I have a door or anything with a picture, I try to take a hint from the Harry Potter movies: have the image moving within the frame, make it come alive, rather than keep it static. Action = memorable.


Thanks Cupid, I think you raise some good points there that a lot of people might agree with. I think of it a bit differently though:

  1. The phillosophy of the method is the exact opposite of your paradigm. I do not regard my existing spaces as valuable, because I know I have thousands more available to me. I just need a way of using them.

  2. My method, which is in its infancy and is certainly there to be shot at, allows me to utilise all those houses and journies and movies that I know reasonably well, but without the method will never ever be used for memory purposes. I think that organising loci in this way a priori is something a little different and delivers some major benefits.

  3. And so it is not only a ‘movie method’ although movies are certainly a good source of loci. And you certainly don’t need to have put the effort in that you seem to have done ( and enjoyed!) in order to make it work. You can probably generate dozens of scenes and 100’s of loci from each movie, but I don’t need that here!

My goal was to create an easy path to a large memory palace and I think the method delivers that, whether you use movies, tv shows, paintings, friends houses, workplaces, restaurants or whatever. Having said that, not everyone will need huge palaces and so the method is not for them.

By the way I love your ideas about how to conjure and use extra doors, although I think for me it will compliment the order of a pre-existing structure rather than replace it.

Thanks again.



I disagree with you on this point. You just wait until there are 200 different journeys you need to remember in order. If you have an overlapping mindpalace you always know what comes next and you can get just as fluid with them as you would be with any other journey.
The most potential is in the fact that you always know where you have open space and where you left off. You have a system to memorize extremely large junks of information.

I do actually think that your space is valuable especially when you are working in a time frame of a few days (test week, just don’t ask). You shouldn’t be too careless with your space because some of them show high potential (I am sure you have noticed that there are fast and slow journeys, you don’t want to waste the fast ones, do you?)

And it’s quite good for that purpose but a lot of wasted effort if you don’t need extremely large palaces.

I have 2 things to say and 1 question to ask.

  1. I personally dislike using movies because I can’t really walk through them even though I’ve watched them 36 times and know every single line by heart. They are just not as real as buildings I’ve been into.
  2. Gavino, I mean no offence by this but please don’t refer to this as ‘your’ idea because it wasn’t. Things like this have existed in the past before. I am sure DH can quote directly from Moonwalking (which I have loaned out to someone at the moment) but both Ed Cooke and an old pope have mentioned and used this exact method.

My question. How far are you into building it? How much loci do you have already?

In my memory log I’ve posted some more about my own MMP and I won’t bore you with all of the details right now.


I assume that “200” is just a random number, one that you put forth simply in order to mean “a great number”. (Why would you assume I don’t already have 200?)

Anyway, there are many ways of dealing with the sequential order of palaces when you’re using more than one to recall one connected chunk, or interconnected chunks, of information. Let’s say you use more than one in order to memorize a 1000-line poem. In that case, there are an infinite number of ways to recall the proper sequence of palaces without any overlap. You can place the palaces along a street going in a specific direction, in which case you can see the order right away. Or, if you’re running away from the Adjustment Bureau, you can rush out the back door of each palace and enter the next one. Maybe there’s a giant neon sign over the door, flashing the announcement telling you which is next.

Let’s face it, “overlap” isn’t necessary in order to recall extremely large chunks of information. (I don’t recall Dominic O’Brien using overlap.) On the other hand, I can hardly say that it can’t be done that way. If Gavino can use overlap successfully, then I’m glad it works.

My criticism was only about using someplace (in this case the garden) and stocking it with images in order to bring you to a memory palace that you can easily get to without having recourse to the images in that garden. I mean, do you really need a garden (or room) to remind you who your friends are? You already know who they are, therefore the palaces of their homes are instantly available to you.

Personally, I’m not interested in the philosophy of any memory system, only in the nuts and bolts of it. That’s my objection to those books that include charts, graphs, excerpts from lab studies, analysis after analysis of how the brain “really” works.

My use of the word “valuable” was meant only to signify the loci that, in my opinion, should be used for storing/placing images that directly recall the information, not used for storing/placing images that merely send you to another palace, which you can create independently. A palace to send you to (or remind you of) other palaces? It seems to defeat the purpose, which to me means to simplify.

You see, it’s never a big deal to create a palace with a thousand loci. We can all do that. But look: suppose you have a palace with 1000 rooms and each room has 1000 loci; you’ll end up with one million palaces. OK. But why not simply create one million palaces independently, without having to go through the intermediate step of making a palace to go to a palace or palaces? Don’t forget, all palaces have unique characteristics. No two are identical. Walk through enough houses, offices, buildings, churches, supermarkets, malls, etc., and you’ll end up accumulating all the palaces you could ever need, all without having to create one to get to them. Do the same for the journey method. Walk, observe, look around, see possibilities.

The only question you’ll have to ask yourself is: Would a palace or a journey be better for the memory task I’ve set for myself?

As far as movies are concerned, I have to admit that I don’t always walk inside the scene. Sometimes I imagine myself to be the only one in dark theater and, being able to see a particular scene very clearly (and therefore the loci), I can then populate that scene with my various images.


Hey Guys,

Excellent debate! A few points:


  1. Actually, as a reasonably detailed methodology to create a MMP, I think this may be something at least a little new…and I am pleased to see you are specifically using it as opposed to ‘one of the other guys’!

Does anyone else suggest creating a palace of mini-palaces, based around existing knowledge, and then describe how to do it?

Has anyone who uses movies or video games, actually set out in detail how they do it - and do they do it this way and with this rationale?

And I am not offended, quite the reverse. If you have seen something similar please point me at it so that I can compare and contrast and develop how I work a further notch or ten.

  1. Of course the methodology borrows from many different ideas (not least ‘the memory palace’ :slight_smile: ) and everyone I have read including O’Brien, Buzan, Lorayne, Aquinas, Foer, Cooke etc., not to mention hundreds of posts from the kind folks on this forum including Josh, Yan, Gary and Kinma to name just 4!

  2. One thing I have noticed as a kind of ‘constant craving’ on this forum is a method to create larger palaces and i think this delivers very well. It is not the only method, but at least it is now here in black and white detail to be used and refined.


P.S. I will continue to share progress using the method in detail on the other thread. (However it is not a competition - at least not for me!) am currently populating a 200 loci palace with Spanish words and I am close to having a 1,000 loci palace ready, which has 100 base loci that link to 10 scenes from my 10 of my favourite movies, each scene having 10 loci. These two palaces will double my number of loci to around 2,500 in total.



Lots of good points and you are obviously very experienced whereas my method is aimed at folks who have not already developed their own successful ways of working in this field.

In general, no, but in this context absolutely yes, because I have to remember a specific group of friends and in sequence. I can’t do that without some hooks!!!

You also mention simplification. I genuinely think this is an incredibly easy and time effective method to create a large palace. I have always found that my own palaces and journies just don’t have the scale for the big memory tasks like book recall or course memorisation, that have potentially lots of layers.

And lots of folks cry out for the next step after starting out with a 20 or 50 stage journey. I think this method does that job quite well by making use of all the mini journies that we already know but never use individually.




I’m using the same method, as I say upon, for two years. If you’re memorizing books, this method is powerful. I’m sure that you were confronted at this problem: You memorize information or a book. Then, you took and information from another and you think that you could make this information in the first palace you created between the 62 and the 63 pages. How to do that? It’s very easy. You created a door on an elevator in your palace that is going to a new palace. You place the new images and you created a door which is bringing you to the first memory palace. So, there is no limit to memorize new information. Notice that the new information that you link to an old is much memorized. It makes years and years that I practice, and I think that the memory palace, the new location isn’t a problem. Don’t see any offence. But, all of you know building, friend’s house, museum that can be used. And, in this way, Gavino’s post is very very great. I think that the real problem is to memorize the information for a very long time. And I have to say that I’m so admiring of Buzan or O’Brien when they are saying that they have only to repeat the information the first day afer, the week after, the month after… That is not my case…


Thanks Mutsu. I also think that the number of repetitions is understated if it is for materials you are not using on a regular basis. That said I have also noticed that as I get more experienced, my images are becoming increasingly memorable as I up my effort to use as many of the SMASHINSCOPE elements as I can. I can now see that some of the images I used a year ago were just not up to scratch. Increasingly I try to add a couple of extra elements (sound works well for me) if I have any difficulty in the early repetitions, because it will never get better!



Has anyone read this? It’s a really good read, and used in combination with this technique, you could honestly hold every single memory you ever had, ever, in this room(s). I’m definitely going to start using this, since I’m struggling right now (and in general) with science (biology) and social studies (history, american gov’t, economics).


Thank you ickathu and gavino,after i read all the post on the cube memory palace and let go my mind imagining lots of stuff, i immediately remember two specific documentaries i watched a long time ago, it doesnt matter you dont like mathematics, this can help in the develop of imagination for everybody… Dimensions - A walk through mathematics and Benoit Mandelbrot - Hunting the Hidden Dimension (fractals).


There are some very interesting articles at that link, but I would just caution that it makes it all sound very easy and straightforward to create something like that, which, in my experience it isn’t! I am also not at all sure about the concept of having virtual books on shelves that you can mentally ‘read’ in the way described.



Yeah, it’s definitely not as easy as he makes it seem. I’m incorporating images in the books too, since if it’s all text then I can’t remember it. I’m going to keep working with it for a while to see how well it works; you probably can’t tell after just a day or two. But it does seem like it might be able to work, not sure though.
I’ll keep working with it for a few weeks and give you guys some updates every few days.