How to recycle memory palace and How to build loci index systemically?


I just started using loci method to remember list of items (eg shopping list). It’s very fun and easy to start with.

But questions I have:
1) how to recycle the palace? i.e., if I am going to remember a new shopping list / deck of cards, how can I make sure that I don’t mess up the “movie” I have in my mind with the prior one?

2) how to expand the palace to systemically remember things permanently (say a subject economy 101) ? i.e. how to build loci index better?

Really appreciate your help!!


@1: just try it out. You might need a little extra time memorizing the new list over the old. If you recycle too soon or too often, mistakes might happen. In that case add more journeys.

@2: do a search on this forum. In general, once you have the knowledge firmly in your brain, you might find that you do not need the loci at all anymore. So take a palace exclusively for this, add knowledge, revise often until you just know. Btw, for permanent knowledge in general I do not use a palace. I link the knowlegde to the item I need to know. I do this with languages and with for example economics. As an example, if I want to remember somebody’s birthday, I link this to the person. If I want to recall the birthday of that person, I just revisit the link I made. No need for a palace, since the person itself can be used as a peg.


Thanks Kinma, this is very clear and helpful!

For easy and direct info like birthday, direct peg is simpler. In the particular example you mentioned, I see it’s much more straight forward if you use the person as peg for birthday.

Let me try to dig deeper to help me understand better. I was looking for how to better apply the loci method to record vast and structured information (e.g. foreign languages, different courses). But you are saying it’s actually not good to apply loci in such cases.

With no loci information is involved, this seems to go back to the “traditional method” we typically use, although I assume I may also add some imagination and exaggeration to help memorize. That’s a fundamental challenge to what I just learned about loci method. As I started learning loci method, I assume no loci peg means the “loci” part of our brain will not be used, thus weaker memory linkage.


Yes, often you will find that the loci becomes unnecessary.

In many cases, I find that how all of this works is that these memorization techniques are processes that cause us to pay attention to the target material in a completely different way. Sure, it aids recall, but memorization also occurs on top of the recall triggers because of this unique form of attentiveness.

At least, that’s how it seems to me.

As for recycling, this can be as simple as imagining yourself sweeping out the old and making room for the new. Maybe even smudging a little with some burning sagebrush, if you’re into that kind of thing. :wink: