Major system, 1 or 01?

Newbie here, just starting.

I’m learning my major system 00-99. From what I’ve read on the forums, there are no tricks for learning 00-99, it is just old-school rote memorization (flashcards, practice, practice), right? I’m ok with that, the ends easily justify the effort, but if anyone has any tips for making it a little easier, I’m all ears.

However, I do have a very simple question regarding the major system. Let’s say you want to remember “3 lemons”. Do you use the image for “03”, or do you use whatever system you want for single digits 0-9? For 0-9 I use numbers as shapes.

I guess I could also come up with a major system for single digits 0-9, but I’m already very comfortable with my shape system, and, besides, the same question would still apply. Are “03” and “3” interchangeable for simple single digit things?

Obviously if you are remembering 1903, you’d be using “03” exclusively.



Hi boulderKC,

for me it is dependant on the situation.

For example when I want to remember a serial number before I have the chance to write it down : 1903560 is to be remembered with 03 not 3 .

But 3 lemons I remember as the number name for 3.
Or if the picture for 03 lemons is more fun or has more living picture I might choose that. Depends on my time I have.

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I usually stick to two-digit numbers exclusively. I do have images for the others as well if they are needed. For example, 7 is a key but 07 is the sky.


My brain asking this, but i ignore it,

My three digit memory system consists of using 1-9 as people i know then 01-99 as major system for a three digit system. for example. 399 would be my 3rd person doing the action from my 99 major system. i found this to be the quickest way to learn 3 digit system, without having to make up all new words for each 3 digit number.


I also use number shapes for 0-9. I use my 00-09 images only where there is a zero there.

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Wow, so, general idea: whichever way works best for you, they are all good. You can mix and match, or use mostly 00-99, or use separate 0-9 and 00-99 images. It sounds like any choice works.

CapnCrunch - so, does that mean your 00-99 values are all actions?

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I’ve said this before here, so forgive me if you’ve seen this before, but:

Once you know the Major sound associations (1 is “t,” 5 is “L,” etc.), nothing says you have to memorize a rigid, set-in-stone list of words/numbers. Unless you’re planning to compete, where you won’t have any time for coming up with images on the fly. But if that’s not in your plans, I wouldn’t overly fret about memorizing a 00-99 word list. Because as long as you know what numbers the sounds represent, you can easily grab appropriate words as you need them. That also gives you some flexibility when it comes to creating memorable images for longer numbers. Maybe your “set-in-stone” image isn’t that effective or appropriate (or inappropriate!) for a given scene; so, you can change it to something that is memorable.

Thinking in advance about your word associations can help for those numbers that don’t immediately trigger a good word/image. But I’m guessing those will be in the minority.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with memorizing a standard list! I just wanted to let you know that it’s not a necessity that you have to stress over.


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After I learned the 0-9 major system “consonant alphabet”, I tried remembering some fairly small numbers (less than 10 digits). It felt like a puzzle to me. Sometimes, the puzzle was easily solved. Sometimes, I’d flail around for a long time looking for a word, or several small words, that contained the consonants needed. A few times, I flat out failed to come up with a word/words. I am not going for speed, I am only learning this for personal use, but when it takes me 10 minutes to solve a puzzle for a small number, I worry I will be hesitant to use the technique for everyday life.

Perhaps I’d get better with practice using just the consonants for 0-9. But having set-in-stone images for 00-99 seems simpler to me. A little painful up front, but then simpler in the end. That’s my hope, at least.

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Whatever works for you!

It may not help whatsoever, but I use a mix of rhyming associations and shapes for 0-10 and occasional oddities after that; some nouns, some verbs…it’s a bit of a mess. But it seems to work for me. I also have a Dominic O’Brien-style list of people for 00-99, because sometimes it helps to divide up number groups by having people involved. These people are almost all based on Major.