Greetings from the Pampas (Argentina).

Hi! I’m a 26 years old Law student from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I would like to share with the community a sinopsis of my memory journey. Each number corresponds to a step ahead in my technique.

  1. When I first started my career, after reading and underlining my textbooks, I used to make a very brief summary based in the program of the Course. For example:; below each point I used to write by hand the most relevant things taken from the underlined texts. It was very short, very precise. I repeated that resume one or two times in a loud voice and then I went to take the test. This system worked inicially, but when the subjects got more complex, I started failing, because I had a lot of memory gaps and I couldn’t expand about the different topics, as I only knew short definitions.

    This book lead me to start associating numbers with letters: for each number, a certain image.
    Also, to make diagrammatic tables with different colors. I employed this method for studing Classic Greek and Latin (declinations), but although the associations were successful, the results weren’t, as I took a lot of time to access the information located in my memory and everyone knows that the times to take tests are reduced.

  3. Studing French, for preparing a letter, I took a perfect model and write it many times at home, so at the time of taking the test (via PC), my fingers had the letter in their memory and it was an easy task (mental cheating, if you would).

  4. The method that I’m using now. I re-type all the laws, divided in smaller blocks of information (for example, if an article and 11 subsections, it’s going to be one rectangle for each subsection).
    Then I read the pictures and try to repeat them mentally or outloud without looking, page after page.
    First I tried to use the Campayo system of numbers/images, but I didn’t create stories about them, just the visual elements alone. Then I realized that this image creating took a very long time and that and the examination test I was certainly going to forget the little things (the numbers); mainly I was going to remember the information, the essence of each article. So, now I’m doing the rectangles but without the drawings.

Example with pictures:

Example without pictures:

Please help me out to correct my mistakes, to improve my method or ask me if anything that I wrote is unclear.
Also I would like to know if you could recommend me the best books about memory and memory techniques. If there is one like an Universal Guide to Improve your Memory, it would be better that a hundred separate books, each covering a tiny little aspect, as it’s a little difficult for me to import books right now.

Thank you all very much for your help and I’m glad to start being part of this wonderful commmunity.

Hi, Welcome.
That is a lot of text. I’m not sure what your quesion is.
There are lots of threads already about memory books, everyone has different needs so you probably won’t find that anyone can offer you a single book to read.
If you have specific questions they are best asked in the relevant forum. Not everyone reads the introductions forum.

Hi, thank you very much for replying.

Yes, I’ve been searching the forum and I’ve found references to various books that look useful.

About the text: yes, perhaps is a lot, but I just wanted to explain where I come from (in memory terms). My question is which is the best tool to memorice abstract information such as laws? (I know a Brazilian asked this in the forum, but it was more refered to memorizing numbers and asociating them with specific legal cases.)

If I’m not dealing with facts (Alexander the Great was born in 356 BC and he did this and that, for example) nor numbers, which technique is best? For example, if I want to know that the declaration of bankrupcy has 10 different effects, I should visualize them all with persons and objects and try to link them?

And the other question is if I repeat enough times the abstract-legal information inside my current color squares that I did (, that should be enough to have a clear picture in my mind that get fixed more or less permanently?

Thank you very much for your time and help and my apologies if my text is/was misplaced.

Unfortunately I don’t have experience with remembering legal facts, so I cannot tell you which method is best. Any method you choose you will get used to and adapt to suit your purpose.

If I was doing it, I’d have a journey around a bank from a wild west ghost town (bankrupcy), which has 10 different loci in which there would be something to remind me what the effect was.

Try some different methods and see which one you like the most. Any associations you have will be personal to you anyway.

I’ve not taken the time to try and work out what you’re doing with the colour squares (no need to explain it again.) but it looks like you’ve thought about it and come up with a system that works for you.

If you repeat anything enough times you’ll remember it. Just make sure it’s not so abstract that you forget what things represent.

I suggest using a spaced repetition flashcard program like Anki to make sure you’re spending the right amount of time memorising.

Good luck.

Hi zapatronic,

You seem to be a very experienced memorizer already. And you seem to be willing to work very hard at it.

I don’t know which book would be most comprehensive but I know Dominic O’Brien includes many use cases in his books.

It sounds like that the softer mnemonic techniques might be best for your purposes. Story creating, associating, creating number images on the fly from the basic major system.

Some principles I think get ignored when getting too technique-orient.

  1. Trust your natural memory. It will fill in a lot of details.
  2. Take notes mnemonically and preserve them in writing for review (like your summary rectangles).
  3. Understand and you will remember.

Just a rough example: " the declaration of bankrupcy has 10 different effects,"
Think of a scene that represents bankruptcy to you. Write down what scene you have chosen in your notes.
Work the number 10 into that scene in some way that makes sense. You might imagine, “I’m backrupt and I’m going to drink my troubles away with beer, but I can only afford 10 beers because I’m bankrupt. Then you can associate each beer with a quick story or place that evokes the effects in a funny way.” The first beer for “counseling” could be you discussing bankruptcy with a priest over beer. “Attorney” might be you drinking the second beer in a lawyer’s offices. Chapter 7 might be a place to use the mnemonic for 7 which might be a key or a cliff edge or whatever system you use (there are many).

Your notes might say, Bankrupty 10 (image) element. Drinking beer and going through the element. counselingk, beer with priest, Chapter 7 using a key to open a beer. etc.

this is just quickly off the top of my head and might not work for you.
Good luck,

I want to thank both of you, Geoff and Dale, for your help. I didn’t know about Anki program, but I’ve already downloaded it and I’ll start practicing with it.

Dale, your examples are great. I think it’s a good idea to add a brief relationship (association) while making my rectangles. Nowadays I’m trying to use more and more “segmentation” for learning, that is, not letting everything to the end, but memorizing my rectangles as I make them (at least after a few pages). The same could be applied with teacher’s lessons: I take very quick notes with my Palm keyboard (almost word-by-word), so I think it could be a good idea to review the past lesson before the next class. Or to read before and after the given subject from the textbook. And repeat, repeat, repeat.

I read from Domenic O’Brien here, in a section about recommended memory books.
The books that I have to read now are:

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything [Paperback]
Joshua Foer

How to Develop a Perfect Memory by Dominic O’Brien

You can have an amazing memory by Dominic O’Brien

How to Develop a Brilliant Memory Week by Week: 52 Proven Ways to Enhance Your Memory Skills [Paperback]
Dominic O’Brien

The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force [Paperback]
Jeffrey M. Schwartz

Which is the best book of Mr. O’Brien? Are all more or less the same?

I want to add that the idea of writing about my memory journey from 2004 to his day is for others not to make the same mistakes as I did, specially if they’re studing at a positivist Law faculty like mine (where there’s no much place for reflection).

Thanks again for your help.

Since you’re such a serious student, zapatronic, you might enjoy the blog about successful study strategies. Also is good.

You might also try making your notes before class and then updating them .

I’ve added the blogs you mention to my bookmarks. I’ll certainly take a good look at them.

The problem of making the notes before class is that they’re based on what the teachers says. Even sometimes is difficult to know what are we going to have the following class, as most teachers at my faculty don’t have a written schedule with topics and days… but yes, I’ll try to read something related before and after going to classes (“segmentation and repetition, over a long period of time”).

Thank you Dale!!! All the information and tips that you can give me are always welcome and really appreciated for me.