Is ANY memory palace useful to store information?


Hi, I was thinking… is every room you ever knew a good memory palace? Or are there some “requirements” for being useful as such?
I can recall some general rooms (ie a doctor’s office) that I know it belongs to a certain place (in my example, a hospital from a book I’ve read and I’m visiting in my imagination while storing information and drawing a map).
But there’s nothing special about this doctor’s office besides the story behind it.
Wouldn’t it be a problem if I want to use another doctor’s office? (a problem similar to recycling the same memory palace, ie strong information that cannot be forgotten). For me they are all the same…

Thanks for your attention!

(Simon Luisi) #2

It depends on a number of factors, like what purpose do you want to use that memory palace, what name do you want to give it. If you know these things, some places maybe better than others.

I think small spaces you know but rarely visit such as the 4 corners of your dog’s house should be avoided. You want a consistency of focus, a kind of a set for an unfolding story. Large gaps between stops may not be a good idea. The inside of each of you 3 drawers in your desk may not be best too if you see what I mean but anything any space you know can be made to work if you want and put the effort to make it work. It is all a matter of practise.


I was a bit delusional when I couldn’t learn quite well my open golf-course based palace. It was too wide open and empty. Too bad it didn’t work, I barely passed that subject (Public Health).
But well, Nnow I used a non-existent abandoned hospital from a book I’ve read recently and it help me learn a new subject (Nutrition & Bromatology) in a way that took me maybe 2 months-1 whole year to achieve. I could vision every class and connect ideas far easily.
So I used that hospital because every key room was close to each other. I think it was a great advice at least for me. Thank you @SimonLuisi

(Simon Luisi) #4

Well, Ai, I am not sure if I follow your time line since I gave you this advice 6 days ago, so how could my advice have helped you learn anything substantial in 2 months?

But I do think that the advice I give there is good and can help make a difference. Thanks for saying it worked for you.

When I started, such good advice wasn’t readily available and it can take a while before you figure out what works best for you and you can get discouraged along the way. That is why I always recommend to learn the skill with others who have lots of with experience or skill when you have a chance.

But I would like a return favor from you, if you would be so kind. I am running an international honorary memory competition for this coming May 4-5. Even if you think you may be too busy that weekend to participate, I would appreciate if you registered any way. The reason is that you may win the competition by just registering, as we may select the winner completely at random; it is an honorary competition.

If you do have time to try it out, then it would be great too and if you can get others to join you, you may end up producing the largest memory competition in South America ever. And that can really go a long way to helping you with you memory even more than online exchanges here.

Thank you.

PS. At the Canadian Memory Championships, we are focusing on this new type of competition because the competitions we do have right now at the world level yield two different world champions of memory, which is confusing.

We think it is key for the development of memory sports to have only one such champion and so we feel our competition is the way to go for now.


Hi, this is my last free-day.
I have to admit that competitions are not one of my interests. I don’t have friends nor acquaitances interested in learning Memory Journeys (maybe only one but we’re suffering the Pharmacy curse together and never asked again).
Leaving that clear, if needed me to, I can register but I won’t compete.
The reason is hell. I’m going to struggle while learning Clinical Pharmacoogy (I didnt use Memory palace for “General Pharmacology I and II” so it will be hell) and other important and long, dense subjects. One lasts 2 months so I have to pass one final exam in May and we have 3 promotional (or mid-term) exams on May (one for each subject) so I’ll be living hell for this semester…
I think that to give a better idea, my best try was 6 subjects per year so doing 5 subjects in one semester is not going to give me the possibility to participate.

So wish you luck with your project!


Memory Palaces can be finicky. And not all of them work for all kinds of information.

For example, I did a recent experiment with some verbatim Sanskrit from the Ribhu Gita.

Normally, I would prefer indoor Memory Palaces, but for these 32 verses, more than half of the MP is outdoors.

The indoor part was much easier to encode. It was great to have the challenge and variety of the outdoor elements, but proved to be an obstacle that slowed down what should have otherwise been easier.

One of the reasons here is that the metrical nature of the verse makes it “snap” more into place when there is a fixed and regular series of structures - the kind that indoor Memory Palaces so reliably deliver most of the time with some consideration during the creation process.

But outside… often it’s pure chaos, especially when you have regular metrical patterns.

Related to this issue is the psychological feeling you have for the place.

For example, I’ve used medical offices before wherein I have no fond memories whatsoever. They sometimes don’t work simply because they’re not pleasant houses of memory to begin with.

Not all Memory Palaces are created equal, even if we can strive to think about equalizing them though selection, planning and learning through execution.

(Simon Luisi) #7

Hi Ai_Leen.

In my way to look at it, if you aren’t interested in showing off what you can do (competitions) then you are limiting yourself as to what you will be able to do. But I don’t want to push it, as I mentioned, it is fine if you just register. You may still be eligible to win that way.

Memory techniques are supposed to be fun, not hell, but I see what you mean. I wish you all the best with your Pharma memorization.

I am attaching the form to register. You don’t have to answer all the questions on the form. If you can, please forward me the info soon, either by private email: [email protected] or by messaging here, and I would greatly appreciate it.