I made a sweet Anki template for PAO based on twitter bootstrap.

Hi All,

I made an Anki template for memorizing PAO. It quizzes you on the number, PAO elements, and your mnemonic. You can get it on GitHub. It’s based on the Twitter Bootstrap framework. Let me know what you guys think and if anyone uses it! :slight_smile:

Here are front and back screenshots.



So I do not see at front just number 09, but the whole picture, the name and the only thing I do not see is the couch? That seems way too easy - nothing to recall, you see it right there.

From your github I read that every time you have all the information available, except for one (either pic, or any of the other rows) - that is too easy - every time you have the pic available, you have everything. And the only time you do not have the pic available is when you have all the components of the pic.

Have you used it? Have you found it useful?

Hi There,

I updated it since, more on that in moment. I really tried to follow those 20-rules of formatting knowledge. I’ve also been trying to make Anki reviews FAST and splitting up knowledge seems to help.

My current theme now has these cards:

  • 5x cards with everything shown but one --> test the missing item.
    • 5x cards: P.A.O., number and mnemonic
  • 3x Only one of P.A. or O. shown --> test the number
  • 3x Only number shown --> test P.A. or O.
  • 1x A card to cue you to spend a moment re-visualizing the scene in the MoL loci.

I find it works, I use anki ~ 20min a day for professional knowledge, french and memory stuff. I just don’t have time to do much more memory practice and this setup keeps my PAO system “within reach” so I can use it when I need it.

Before I had this setup, in some random situation like remembering a pad lock, I basically spent like 30 seconds per number that I had do encode and if felt like, UGH, why not just write it down?! Sometimes I’d encode it wrong. Now with a tiny bit of Anki magic, I can do it at a reasonable speed.

Do you think it’s worth updating github? I doubt anyone is going to use it…

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The new setup seems to be doing more challenging reviews - this is good. I have not really looked into how much effort it will be going from github to having it feasibly generate my content, but if it would not be too much, I would give it a shot - I have built my PAO only few weeks ago and I still take a few seconds going from a number to PAO - would be happy to be able to see the number and just go to PAO skipping Major convertion and this seems like it could help with that.

I quickly exported one card it in an otherwise empty deck. Check it out. Let me know if the stye works (it might be missing the _custom_bootstrap.css file.


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Seemed to work just fine. Shown card with an anonymous person and 00 on the top and some information below and blue highlighted row. Showing answer changed the anon pic to a specific person with the number and the name.

'sup @moo? You planning to do an update? I am sorta waiting for it :slight_smile:

Hi @MimKoRn, I think the exported deck with one card should actually work just fine. The one note has all the card types defined, so you can just add your own cards.

When you add one new note, and test-ahead to see all the new cards does it have everything you need? If not what is missing?


Ow! Just my lack of inexperience with more advanced features of Anki! I tried to create my own notes and realized that it created all the cards I needed, just buried them (even better!)

This is some excellent work moo, thanks! I will soon fill up my PAO deck and will let you know how it worked out for me! Thanks!

P.S.: the font colors and hovering is a little messed up with dark theme - need to review in white theme, for the bootstrap to show stuff correctly

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How did it go? Has it helped your PAO speed?

Funny that you ask now, since just yesterday I finally got to reading the 20 rules of formatting knowledge, sat down to Anki and started filling up my PAO list using your template. I only tried out one card back then, just to check if I can work it out. Yesterday I filled the first 10 (90-99) and started reviewing them straight away. I am planning to fill 10-20 per day every day, until I have full hundred.

I already know my PAO, but suffer from lack of speed as you described it, so I have high hopes with your template. I might need a month or two to get through some reviews of the full deck before I will probably see results, but I will definitely let you know, if I find myself to be faster!

The only two things I am unsure how to address while I fill are

  • mnemonics - I use Major PAO, so the mnemonic is the phonetic conversion - I have difficulty finding other mnemonic, so I left it empty on most notes - I might remove it from the template altogether.
  • photo - I can easily get a pic of the person, but I would not be able to get a pick with action and object like you posted in your first post. Often times the combination is so absurd. So i just use the pick of the person. Hopefully it works anyway.

Thanks again!

Hi @MimKoRn Hey cool! I’m psyched it’s helpful.

Here are couple of ideas for you based on your last post. (Bear in mind though that I’m no memory champion either!)

Re. mnemonics. So you haven’t predetermined the mnemonic? I guess I used that column for the Loci.
Re. Photo. Yep, I did exactly what you described too. I never did find a photo of Charlie Sheen snorting coke…

Regarding speed, I’ve found the following helpful

  • Store your PAO in a memory palace, and mentally walk (run) through it before doing flash cards. It warms up the circuits or something, so you’re never stuck “trying to recall” during the flashcards (b/c you JUST did it with the MoL walk), instead you can focus on speed.
  • Aim to be 4% faster than baseline. (Supposedly, that’s around the additional difficulty needed for flow states). I find that it helps me focus, without being too hard.
  • There is an Anki plugin to automatically advance the card at a specified rate. If you don’t click on a good/bad button (or type a number) then it makes it bad. https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/1046608507
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Hey @moo!

Thanks for such great tips!

Not sure what you mean by having mnemonic predetermined. In your case that was the position in the palace? The conversion process for me is 02 - s/z/c/ + n - I start playing around with the phonems in my mouth trying out different vowels in between until I hit the memory “SNape” or “SNeeze” or “SNow”. The moment I get one, I remember the whole thing (I remember a picture of Snape sneezing a snowy mist). There is no more mnemonic in between. Just number -> Major -> phonems -> combine -> hit one of the three words -> the whole PAO combination pops up.

  • Running through 100 PAO palace must take long! You do that everyday? Or does it get really fast?
  • Do you track your speed? Or you just know it takes you say 4 seconds to remember, so you set the autoadvance to 3 seconds? (asking cause of the 4% you mentioned)

One clarifying question.

Do you have exactly the same PAO for each number? Like for the number 25, do you use exactly the same person, action and object each time you encounter 25? Or, do you use the major system to come up with it on the fly, so that it could be different each time?

In 98% it’s the same. Sometimes, very rarely, if I’m performing on speed and can’t figure out the original and something else comes up faster, I might use that, since it works anyway.

Re. running through the PAO palace beforehand. Actually, when I started out, I reviewed the palaces on a scheduling that followed Dominic’s rule of 5 reviews. (+1d, +1wk, … etc). I did that because it was slow. At first, I had to “try” to recall the path way through the palace, and even refer to a hand drawing sometimes. I would track the reviews by putting due dates and check boxes on the palace drawing, along with how many I forgot PAO + Loci is 400 things to recall, so I would score myself out of 400. Over time, the forgetting decreased to zero. Also, after I dunno, 10 reviews or something, it became super fast, with no delay at each loci, it was like visualizing something you know incredibly well, so entire stations (with many loci) such as a room containing 15 PAO characters just, pops into mind as one chunk. Now to review 100 loci in a well known palace takes 1-2min.

I think these are all different skills that need their own practice: making palaces, reviewing palaces, and random recall and translation.

Re. tracking speed. Yes, but really informally. I check my anki deck stats for cards per minute in my memory deck. I also track the speed to memorize a deck of cards. I’m slow, but every time I do it, it gets a tiny bit faster. :slight_smile:

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Moo, some time has passed and I have been practicing using the PAO deck daily. I have not even seen all card forms for all numbers yet since there are so many (which is a good thing)! But already the performance of translating numbers to PAO is so much more fluent! I rarely even stop to respond! So just wanted to say thanks a lot again, this has proven to be very useful.

off topic: I just did my daily speed cards (I only use 00-99 system + palace for that) and I finally reached my desired record! I wanted to get below 2 minutes which was the record for this category when it was first time set. I just did it in 1:57! Not sure if I could ever reach a minute without learning advanced system with a larger vocabulary. But that was never my intention to go so far. I think this is enough for me and I will continue to develop other memory technique related skills.

Thanks again

Hey @MimKoRn, Thanks for the note! :smiley: Also, great progress on speed cards!