How to see people in a PAO system

Have you already created your persons from 00-99?

They can be any persons;

Friends | Family | Neighbours | Doctors | Teachers | Shopkeepers | Bank Workers | Footballers | Movie Stars | Music Idols | Rich People | Politicians | Presidents | Skilled Workers | Kings & Queens | etc…

Each person is different. Each have different jobs. Each have their own hairstyle, eyebrows and eyes, nose, chin and other facial muscles. Also, each person has their own distinguishing clothing style, shirts, jumpers, trousers, skirts, dresses, shoes and other accessories.
So it’s always easy to separate one person from the other.

You just need to really get to know that person and have at least one single image of him or her standing. And practice imagining the person mentally for all your persons.


Do you know any of your people, @jjeeny01?

The problem is that if you use 23 (major = NM) as Nelson Mandela… but, you have no idea what he looks like because you only know him as that guy, famous for something… then, of course, picturing the person will be kind of problematic.

People that grew up in the 90s might have an easier time picturing Michael Jordan (#23 for the Chicago Bulls) instead. People not from your generation might have no issue using 33 for Marylin Monroe or 99 for Brigitte Bardot. Do you know what these two like?

Is that maybe where you got your issues?


Yes I have create people but I cant´t see them do you know why I have problem to see my people?

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I dont know actually
You can have right there about that I not know my people so what do you think I want to do if I want to use PAO? What do you mean with your exampele about that they like?

@Josh wanna split this into a separate topic?

Well @jjeeny01,

ask yourself “why are you using PAO” in the first place… is it only so you can get 6 digits into one location? If you are better at “seeing” simple objects, why not just use an OO major system and place four digits into one location.

Granted, you’ll need a few more locations… 60 digits will need 15 instead of 10 locations, but if you have no problem seeing objects and creating memory palaces is not an issues either… maybe that’s your way to go. Maybe?

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I don’t find people very memorable, so many of my images are objects. They tend to be things like:

  • sewing needle
  • glass of iced tea
  • Zeus (a human form with a lightning bolt)
  • satellite
  • samba dancer (a generic form, not a specific person)
  • wasabi paste
  • ice cubes
  • yellow flowers


How do you mean with 4 number on a palce?
I want to use PAO because I have heard it works better in competitions and I also heard is easier to memorery numbers. What do you mean with a OO-system?

Have you some tips to how I can create memorypalace with many places too? Right now I only have two palaces with about 20-30 places?

So you also think I should use The major system with objects if I have problem to see people?

OO is Object-Object, just like PAO is Person, Action, Object…

say 74 is car and 30 is mouse, you just place car and mouse into one location… so unlike PAO, with OO, you’ll only have 4 digits total per location instead of 6.

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Aha but why everoene recomerade PAO and if I want to use 3 nubers system so Is that better than PAO? There is memory master as use OO?

I don’t know who everyone is… it’s an easy system for beginners for sure.

If you wanna go with 3-digits, sure, why not… usually those are placed as OO, so 3-digits + 3-digits = 6… basically the same you get by placing PAO as 2 + 2 + 2 = 6

Depends on you definition of “master”… also check out #shadow-system where you place any number of O… OOOOOOO in one location (3-digit major system)

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I think it might have been made popular by the book, Moonwalking with Einstein.

I think many competitors use the Ben System or a 3-digit Major System. Some top memorizers use PAO, like Shijir.

Imagination, the creation of images is fueled by images, input data. Your memories.

My trick, at least when creating memory pegs of people I have never seen before or only on the internet (TV, video, movies), I imagine the person within the context of my memory of them:

Think of Benedict Cumberbatch? I have plenty of him in my mind, make your pick: Sherlock TV series, Dr Strange (movie), Infinity War (movie), Endgame (movie). If I find hard to picture him perfoming an action, I look at a memory of him maybe in the house of Sherlock Holmes, or looking at the multiple timelines from Infinity War, now within that memory, I twist his image, I imagine the action or feature I want to give him then I place his image within a memory palace performing the action or with the features I gave him.

When I memory peg lists I place my lists within memory palaces (100 spots for 00-99), and I memorize ten then review as fast as possible, mutiple times, then I go for the next 10. When memorizing numbers if I forget, I go to my palace of mnemonics. A metamnemonic.With time, I don’t longer need to look at the palace.


So do you mean that all numbers system works same but I must find one as works for me and is different for everyone? Is there anyone in the elit as OO?

Ok so you mean that many people use major system with three numbers at the same time?

Ok so you mean that many people use the major system with three numbers?

But is PAO really better than the major system do you think?

PAO is an style not a system. You could be using a system like major for your objects even for the three categories. Major System refers to 0- s,z 1 - t,d… and taking mnemonic images based on the sound it makes. For PAO you can use the Major System or any system of your own. The Dominic System changes the code for the digits and it’s not based on sound rather in initials at least for the people or characters. I prefer to make my own system (code) and use people based on first letter of their name. Though I memorized a list PA without order in both people and actions, just place them in loci and associate them with the digit pair. For instance, Sophia Lillis that could be 05 (Dominic and Major, first letter), it’s 99 in that system. However the effort is not needed, if you use the method of loci for the task of memorization of your mnemonic peg list.

Yes, you can use the Major System for 3-digit numbers. See the Major System Examples page.

Almost all my people are fictional characters and have very different overall looks. That way I don’t need to see their faces, only their clothing and general features and they are very easy to tell apart. I have characters from Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Marvel and DC comics, Star Trek, and various other miscellaneous sources.