Major System and 1 Minute Numbers - reasonable expectations

Once you have a Two Digit system nailed what is a reasonable expectation for one minute numbers

with linking?
with loci?

How soon should you start working on Actions or People to extend your system?

It SEEMS pretty obvious that being able to put 3-5 PAO combinations into a single loci, 18-30 numbers, should be more efficient than the 6 I am playing with right now but… one step at a time, and my O isn’t done yet.

Is there a known reasonably efficient path or is it as simple as work the O till improvements tail off then add the P and then add the A using the same kind of approach?



18-30 digits in ONE location? That seems like a lot. I think usually people who use PAO just have one Person doing one action with one object in one location.

There’s nothing wrong with adding the P and A right away. Why wait? If you already have them, I’d start using the People and Actions right away.


@SilvioB I don’t already have P’s and A’s and I am still memorizing my 100 objects for my major system ( testing at 4 seconds per object this week ). Still about a dozen gaps and it may be a few weeks before I have immediate recall of my Objects. I find 3 objects (6 digits per loci linked quite comfortable). turning that into 3-5 PAO’s per loci and linking them doesn’t seem like a significant stretch other than the metric ■■■■ ton of rote memorization for the P and A.

All my study time is focused on getting my O down under a second right now so I could start building P and A but I don’t have the mental energy or time to try to do everything at once.

An I missing something obvious?


If you compare 3 simple objects to 3 PAO images, there’s a bit of a difference (it’s like if you had 9 regular objects basically, unless you know your combined PAO images so well that they instantly become one inseparable image, which would probably take an insane amount of practice to achieve).

Do you use any sort of technique to learn your objects/people/actions? I started by placing them all on a 100 location-journey. That helped a lot in the beginning since I could just review this journey until the numbers instantly reminded me of the People/actions/objects.


@Silvio Here is an example of what I am saying (recognizing that I’m not there yet)

I see Sherlock Holmes PooPing on a CouCH
65, 99, 76
while watching Marylin Monroe SleePing on a steak (BeeF)
33, 09, 98
and Harpo Marx RuNs through the room with a KNiFe
26, 42, 28

in the kitchen… ( 18 digits one loci )… 3 PAO’s is an easy story and I don’t think it’s a big stretch to get 4 (24 digits). 5 might be a little tougher until the PAO’s are all sub 1 second kind of thing. (30 digits)

Then if you can chain 10 loci that takes you to between 180 and 300 digits kind of thing.

Currently my O story would be a knife stuck in a steak on a couch.
76, 98, 28 and it is actually less memorable than the PAO story but I haven’t got my major system fully wired in yet.


Oh I think I see what you mean now. I wouldn’t define “kitchen” as one locus though. When I talk about one locus, I usually mean one location where only one image can be placed without getting too crowed, for example: The place where you’re at is the kitchen, but you have several locations there, like the stove, the fridge, table etc. In this sense, yes you can quite easily put more than one image in one place (kitchen) which contains multiple locations. Some people have 5 locations per room (some even 10 or more). I usually just use as many as I feel comfortable with in a room; a larger room usually contains more locations.


Usually the PAO would go together naturally, like “Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lifting, Dumbbell”, or “Albert Einstein, Writing, Blackboard”. In that case it seems a strange approach to start with only objects if you’re planning to create a PAO system.

On the other hand, using objects only and combining 2 or 3 at each location is a fine system in itself.


@simon it seems very weird to me to do Arnold Schwarzenegger, lifting, dumbbell unless of course those were all related to the same 2 digit number, although in this case I would start with my already memorized major system and I could go.

Gordon Ramsay - cooks - Sauce
00 - 00 - 00

But to me, it might be easier to simply use the major system for actions as in practice I will rarely if ever care about that relationship.

Gordon Ramsay - Sells - Sauce
00 - 00 - 00

Is easier for me to approach my Actions if you see what I mean.

When constructing 6 digit list ( person (00-99) action (00-99) object (00-99) ) If arnold lifting dumbbel required me to use one unique 6 digit number and memorize a list of 999,999 unique combinations it would seem pretty useless to me.

Am I confused by what you are saying?

Yes, I meant (Arnold Schwarzenegger, lifting, dumbbell) would be the person, action, object for one 2-digit number, and (Albert Einstein, writing, blackboard) would be the person, action, object for another 2-digit number.

If the person, action and object are all logically related, it’s more like learning 100 things instead of 300.


Thank you very much. I appreciate the guidance.

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duplicated my major set and started building a PAO as a side-project while I keep working the major system. I’m kind of hoping to start level 4 or 5 numbers this weekend. 3 is going to fall. I might have to start using a simple palace in level 6. Just simple 3 image montages with a link between them so far. I will probably end up using more than 60 seconds to build a story around 5 or 6 so a simple palace will likely be needed for me to remove the linky thinky step for each montage.

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Level 3 fell today…

I did it the cheap way…

rat on a rock surrounded by foam
roach in a cab on the rail (train tracks)

and then the sleazy ( almost out of time I can remember 71, 67, 31 as numbers in the last 5 seconds and write them out first .

I have no pride and level 4 won’t let me get past without improving my chaining.
My recall of the pegs should be fast enough so hopefully by tomorrow I will take out level 4.


As in chaining P, A, and O together; or as in chaining method rather than memory palace?

simple chaining method

Imagine a rat on rock surrounded by water (foam)
RaT, RoK, FoaM
41, 47, 83
Think that a roach is nasty like a rat (simple memorable link)
amd Imagine a Roach in a Cab on the railway tracks.
RoaCH, CaB, RaiL
46, 79, 45,

50 seconds…

read 71, 67, 31 a couple of time so I can keep the 3 numbers handy.

55 seconds done…

I will play with 24 numbers in 2 or 3 minutes tomorrow till it my linking improves a bit more and then I will probably complete level 5.

PAO is a long way away. I have just started building it based on my Major sytem and I am still learning the major system. Will likely reset my major system to 3 seconds in memosets on tuesday and run it through again, and again till I get it down to 1 second recall all the way through.

I’d look into memory palaces before looking to go the PAO route. Doesn’t appear that you have much of an issue with OOO even though most people would just do OO if they don’t have a PAO.

Just chaining is weaker than a peg list, is weaker than a memory palace. Maybe just look in front of you when you memorize and pick: the doorway, the couch, and the window. This way you got three location for 6 digits each. No need to memorize a journey with 10 locations yet, but at least make use of the spacial navigation aspect.

Just my 2 cents

I’m going to practice linking for a bit yet. It’s a useful tool for the toolbox.

I am going to take your advice about reading ahead.

A quick scan in advance with only 24 numbers is something that I have plenty of time for and gives me time to establish a story line however trivial.

I am only at 4 loci with 24 numbers so I think I have just not practiced enough yet. I suspect what I mostly need to do is spend a few hours practicing and getting comfortable. I’m going to ignore the memory palace, pegs for loci for another level or two to get the chaining practice OR till I hit some kind of hurdle. I think I should be able to get through level 5 tomorrow simply with a couple of hours of practice.

Similarly with another week of practice on my major system I’m hoping I can knock off level 6 next week.

I expect to add in a memory palace or pegs for loci around level 8+ but I reserve the right to make it easier on myself at any time :wink:

Thanks again for the tips.

I was a little overly optimistic about taking out 24 numbers in 60 seconds today.

I am pretty close with 3 minutes constructing a story. ( 10 - 11 images, dropping one or two in the middles )

Hopefully, by next week my recall of the major system will have sped up enough that I can do level 4 with a mental story.

Missed the damn NaRwhale ( 24 ) . I think I need a better 24.
A whale in the ocean doesn’t easily fit into a narrative.
Probably fine with a peg or memory palace but in a story it is an awkward pause.

A NuN (22) riding a tandem BiKe (97) drinking GiN (62) with a MuM (33) on the back reading a MaP (39) riding over a MaT(31) , They LoCK(57) it and see a hanging, NooSe (20), from a RooF (48)… doh Narwhale (24XXX), Running low on time last 2 number , 07, 08 (Gift)

Currently practicing my major system memoset with a 3 second limit.


My goal is to get out of level 5 :exploding_head:


I’m right behind you although I took the night off tonight. I don’t want to burn out before I get the hang of this.


17 + 1 in 60 seconds. I need to improve my major system encoding speed a fair bit.
It is getting easier for me to use very loose links and still manage to put it together at the end.
I’m going to reset my learning for 2 seconds on the Major System Memoset and keep drilling for a few more days.

Jail, Foam, Comb. ( silly picture and foam and comb rhyme )
Jet FK JaiL ( Jet … Expletive return to the beginning JaiL )
Nun, FiB, MaC ( a nun playing backgammon with the fibs software on a MaCintosh ) doh! that’s an 8 (got the encoding wrong - s/b MoVie )
then a Free 1 for luck.