Isn't there already a post about advantages and disadvantages of memory palace?

Isn’t there already a post about advantages and disadvantages of memory palace ?I know this is a powerful method but it seems unable to get any information straight.I means compared with study directlly , palace method just like a storage to help you keep things but not understand it .So whats your strategy to deal with it?


The memory palace technique is just one tool you can use to study. But you’re not limited in any way if you use memory palaces, you can (or rather should) always use other techniques in addition to the memory palace.

Just to name a few:

  • spaced repetition
  • ask yourself questions about the study material to check if you understand it
  • teach others in order to recognize the areas where you still lack fundamental knowledge or understanding

To me, understanding comes from making connections between bits of knowledge. In a memory palace—or any memory technique—you can easily create those connections as you figure out what your approach to the information will be. (I realize that’s an awful sentence!)

Yes, a memory palace is for storing information. But how you store that information depends on how you want to use it. If you simply want to recall 100 decimal points of pi to amaze your friends, a straightforward walk-through is fine. But if, say, you’re studying medicine and need to know all of the blood vessels that connect to the heart, then maybe you place that heart in a central room, with a variety of rooms coming off of it, each representing a blood vessel connection and a pathway to a wealth of additional information.

I will say this, though: Memory techniques aren’t intended to teach you anything, per se; they are intended to help you recall information. You need to first understand what it is you’re wanting to remember before you can store it effectively using a memory technique.



Seems perfectly clear to me.

One of the briefest and best definitions that I’ve seen.



I think it is possible to compare two methods when they have similar purposes or objectives, on when these objectives are also compared.
To ask about advantage and disadvantages without more context hardly has any meaning.


By itself, the memory techniques just encode raw information without comprehension or understanding of the parts. Memorizing decks or lists of phone numbers, this is all you need. There isn’t any comprehension to be had.

When I tour my memory palace I hear a narrative explaining what things are, how they got there and their relationships to each other.

This narrative is built over time as I revisit the material and increase my understanding. This web of connection forms a very strong attachment. Just like a story, if a piece is lost, it’s noticeably incoherent. @mayarra mentioned this technique for capturing abstractions in particular.

I have difficulty absorbing completely raw data. My brain really dislikes it. I have to have some minimal understand of the the parts before I can take them on board. Sometimes I just make up a story and that seems to work too.

Some are more verbal, some more visual. I have a very strong attachment to words and stories. This approach may not be effective for a dominantly visual person.

In that case, I would try to structure the memory palace so that it reflects the relationships. Like a map. Like a mind map. This can only be done once the material has some coherency.

I rework my notes and memory palaces as my understanding deepens. I draw them out on paper. I don’t have any trouble abandoning the old structure.


Thanks and i’ve used some of what you noted here-- like spaced repetition --to my foreign language.And i also use language town to this work.By using a memory technique,you have to decode things u placed in loci,but if i study directlly,things just like comes from void.It made me feel confused.


You’re right about the mental translation that has to happen when using a memory technique.

I don’t know how long you’ve been working with memory techniques, but I feel the “translation” step takes less and less time the more you use memory techniques. Meanwhile, the time saved in actually committing something to memory using an associative technique—as opposed to using rote repetition—is significant.

What I’m saying is, in short, I can’t think of a single disadvantage to using a memory palace—or any memory technique, for that matter. In the long run, you will save time, have built-in aids to improve your recall, and, frankly, have more fun, since you’ll be coming up with highly entertaining images and scenes.



Hasn’t worked for me. People stop listening after 10 digits. I could just as well be making them up. Nor does anyone ever ask how I did that. It’s dismissed as just another weir thing I do.


They probably see it as a savant-like ability (aka unobtainable) or they see it as useless. It reminds me of the videos I see of Ben Pridmore showing off his skills to others. The comments in those videos are just too cruel.


Very interesting.

I am faced with the same baffled thoughts as if I was asking to myself, what are the advantages of reading and writing ?

Bob and zvuv couldn’t have put in a better light all that can happen while building and reviewing and renovating a journey.

And I feel that what happens when I go through a palace is like when I use my speech, this action playing a part in the creation of my thoughts, as my thoughts are in my speech in return, and vice versa. In a memory adventure, my thoughts being my understanding of the subject.

As valuable as the times I understand the subject prior to encoding, are the few Eureka moments I have had, by understanding and discovering something while sailing through the myriad of entangled images carefully or carelessly placed.

I apologize if any of this makes no sense. I cannot review.


I will simply add. Trust in ability to grow with your palace. It is a skill to be developed and will if it is trusted somewhat blindly at first steps

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Yeah, it’s taken as a sign of a character flaw. You’re the Rain Man


Um…Why wouldn’t you hand them a printout or a note in your phone that lists pi, so they can follow along? To me, that’s the only way this makes sense.



It’s not that they don’t believe me. They just accept that I can do it and are not interested. They certainly won’t put the effort into checking.

When mentalists do calculations on stage, I suspect that very few people follow along or check even if the digits are within range of a calculator. It’s ‘gee wiz’ experience.


Thanks Bob !Your palace structure to medicine study impressed me .I use a complex method to extension sticks witch ruled by their interest relationship.Maybe I was too greedy, memory palace is just a technique to help memerise😂,as a tool,it works good,thats enough!

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There is a really thought provoking thread here where medical students discuss this, unfortunately I cannot trace it. Perhaps another may find it.

The thoughts below are for serious application of a Palace

Before anyone can learn, understand and acquire wisdom first he needs raw data.

I use the palace to store this raw data. What I’m after is to gain understanding to obtain discernment and perception, the significance and implications of this information.

I achieve this similar to zvuv “When I tour my memory palace I hear a narrative explaining what things are, how they got there and their relationships to each other.” Focusing on my palace I actually see a representation of this data, begin to see their relationships and then those eureka moments come. I find a palace yields the best results for this.

Of course then there is wisdom, the correct application of knowledge. Wisdom is the jewel in the data that med students, lawyers, engineers…all of us are after, but that is another subject.

In conclusion, for me Palaces allow me to store data and in time reap discernment and hopefully wisdom.


Memorizing one hundred digits of Pi or whatever is only interesting to people who are interested in that particular feat or the process of being able to do it.

Clearly your friends are not. Perhaps they are too polite to ask you why you don’t memorize things that are interesting to them. Again, either the feat or the ability to do it.

Suppose you demonstrated fluency in German and French and Italian. Then you told them it took you about three months to learn each language. They would be very interested. Their interest would stem from wanting to speak a foreign language themselves or from knowing people who spent years learning one foreign language and still weren’t fluent.

Such a display of language skills, film history, geography, whatever, will find people saying…how did you learn all that stuff? Wasn’t it hard? I thought it took a long time to do it.

But anybody can memorize a long series of random numbers if they work at it long enough. The fact that you did it in what seems like a much shorter time doesn’t mean much to them. The trick is to memorize material that has meaning for you and your friends.

As an exercise, memorizing pi is excellent. So is playing the scales a good way to develop your musical skills. But you wouldn’t play scales for a while and then expect anybody to be particularly impressed. Fellow musicians would be interested but no one else would be.

Basically I am saying, why would anybody outside of mnemonics be interested in a display of memorization of extreme pi? Even I’m not and I am into memory.

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