Hello, Any advice on how I should begin my training?

Hi, I’m new to the forum and to the world of memory techniques (the only bit of knowledge that I have is from reading “Moonwalking with Einstein” and the ebook from the forum), but I’m quite excited to begin my ‘memory journey’ ;).

Using what I got from those books and from looking around the forum I thought up a draft for me to begin my memory training and I hoped I could get some advice from the more advanced practitioners, and any one else who’s willing to help :), in how my training should progress and what i should adjust in my ‘program’ (I’m not sure yet in what direction I want to go in terms of focusing on the competition side or the more “life applications” side, but either way I wanted to get the basic foundations first).

What I thought out so far:
1. Establish a few memory palaces and solidify the journey and number of loci for each. (how many memory palaces should i go for at this moment? A dozen or more/less?)
2. Study and solidify a system for numbers and cards (I thought that i could first start with a variation of the Major system, adapted for Portuguese - my native language -, and then move on to a more complex system like the PAO system).
3. Practice the techniques using random number generators and decks of cards (plus chronometers) to make them more natural and fluid.
Bonus: Establish more memory palaces and (maybe) solidify a more complex system for numbers/cards and one for words/texts.
(I thought that I should focus and complete each step before going into the next one; and that I should start my training sessions with around 30min. each day - don’t know if that’s enough or if i should go for longer sessions, even in the beginning).

I’m sorry for the long post, I’m just excited to finally stop fantasizing about it and actually start putting in the effort to learn these techniques.

Please feel free to comment any advices and/or insights you think might help myself and other beginners or if you just want to say hi :slight_smile:

Cheers to you all and thank you for reading the whole post!
Um grande abraço pra quem chegou até o fim hahaha! (A big hug for those that reached the end hahaha!)

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Perhaps the first thing is to think of this as a long term plan. From my personal experience (others might see things differently) perseverance and constancy are more important than having the perfect method or the smartest tip.

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Welcome to the forum! :smile: great to see that you have given it some thought already.

To start with, I would recommend to aim for some three to five palaces at first, but slowly build. Especially take time with the first one, and practice with it. Since you wont have a number system, you could try grocery lists.

When you actively work with systems for numbers, cards, etc., you can make the other palaces you move on to the three to five palaces. By then you will get a bit of a feel to what works for you, and then you can move towards more.

You eventually might want more, but if you kick off with too many palaces, you will be spending more time getting a basic grasp of all, rather than a real feeling for each. A dozen is a good goal to work to, but build it up one by one :slight_smile:

I recommend numbers first, and the major system is a pretty good start for that.

So why numbers? Because you can then use that system for your cards. You already have the images, so all you need to do is think of a way you want to combine it with cards. Some take 1 to 52, some take 1-40 for numbers and then 41-43, 51-53, etc for the king, queen and jack, I divided it by suits and went with 00-12, 20-32, etc. you can go various ways, but you already have the images ready, that helps.

After you have a number system, play around with it and see if you have a need for PAO. What I remember from moonwalking with einstein is that it praises PAO, but I find it only useful for long strings of numbers or binary, and multiple decks. For speed runs, I use only persons. Others here dont have a PAO at all.

Practice is always good, but dont rush it. At first, just memorize, no timer, no fancy stuff, just get some numbers or cards and memorize all. After you do that, move to a total time. Lwts say you want 5 seconds on average for one card, you will have to set a total time of 260 seconds, or 4 minutes and 20 seconds) then. Then you can move down to an average of 3 seconds (so 2 minutes, 32 seconds total), until you feel like some cards are holding you back, then you can get a metronome set to a certain amount of time. By placing cards on piles of which you did in that time and those you needed longer for, you can see where you require the most effort.

I would say, don’t wait. Step 3 goes hand in hand with learning the images you made in step 2, and step 2 is needed to really practice step 1 because the images you create are key in using memory palaces. So in the end, you need all of the things you mentioned to practice effectively.

You should start with step 1, then 2, then 3, but basically you should begin 2 when you made a decent start with 1, in order to master your first goal. Then you need 3 to get a better mastery of 2, which then again improves on 1. So all tie in together in the end.


Hi @Liam, thanks for the insight! I also plan on making the effort to consistently practice a little everyday so that I can make a habit out of it (and also so that everything gets a little more natural and smoother a bit faster).

Hi @Mayarra, just wow! Thank you so much for all your insights and advices! It really helped clear up some of the doubts and foggy parts of how I should put everything in action!
I plan to start implementing my little training program today, with all the changes you suggested!

Again, thanks for the advices!