How do you track your loci?

I have heard of three main ways to track and remember imagery for a memory palace:
a) Don’t (just remember them)
b) Use a memory journal
c) Use an excel spreadsheet

For b) and c), what specific information do you keep track of? What have you found works for long term?

For me, I draw out the memory palace in my memory journal, and then I write down the spot number, specific location (e.g. chair by kitchen), keywords of what I want to encode, and then an explanation of the scene that unfolds.

However, this feels like a lot of work to do for each and I start to dread doing it. I would like to just give keywords and forgoe the scene/association part but I feel like I won’t remember what happens looking back.


Hi Brennan,
I’m just a newbie to the Art of Memory.
Like you, I’ve started a journal in which I map my memory palaces and all the pegs within. The actual items I place on the pegs are kept as a list alongside the map. This takes a while to do but I’m sure it enhances the memory process.
As for keeping items in an excel spreadsheet, I can see the benefit of this but it is just another step that takes time. One of the advantages of doing so (actually I’d use a Google Sheet) is that it would be easy to identify potential duplicate Actions that may sneak into a large memory palace.
Best wishes,

I use a Google spreadsheet. I am building 10 palaces for each discipline and try to create two per week.

I use either

  • excel with the columns:
    • keyword, palace, room, station, imagery
  • a text file (like markdown) with a numbered list
  • a paper journal where I sketch the palaces (for the bigger long term projects)

Because I almost always use 10 loci per room (to start with), and I always go through palaces in the same order. I often just need a numbered list an the name of the palace. All the other info is inferred.

I assume you are talking about filled memory palace locations, with information that you want to remember long term.

I put mine in Anki, the spaced-repetition software.

If I wasn’t using Anki already I would put the info in some other digital tool, like google docs/sheets and then schedule the reviews on a spaced repetition schedule. I’d keep track of the dates on a calendar.

What kind of information do you store in the spreadsheet? For example, Location, Key words, Actions etc.?

So you just put the locations by themselves in Anki, and then quiz yourself on what is at each location?

So one side is the location, and the other side of the card is what is there? Do you just describe the imagery, or also what each of the images mean?

Yes, location on front (specific loci) and whatever I have memorized on the back. I don’t have any images on the card (only in my head). I put memory palaces into Anki after I memorized the items in it and have done some retrievals. When I can already see it all clearly in my mind.

I also chunk them. More than one loci per card. How many loci depends on the complexity of the material.

I try to put as little as possible in Anki while still having it be enough.

Name of palace, # of loci, and the name of the location. If it’s the images discipline then I use 15 loci and if it’s the words discipline I use 25 because I use two images per locus.

Cool, thanks for that chart!

Yes, I typically have more than one image per locus but I’m not sure really what my personal limit is for number of images per loci.

In the past I’ve used linking + loci, so I will have an initial link as a locus, and then each successive link will usually take me out of the palace to some random places where the background / context seems most natural.