Memorizing PAO

I have finished my PAO system and was wondering how I should go about learning/memorizing it. Should I put them on flash cards/anki? Should I memorize it by using it? Should I memorize it by memory palace? etc.

I don’t use PAO, but one way to learn a number system is to print some random numbers and read through the sets. When you miss one, circle it and review it. Then repeat.

Keep practising reading the numbers until the associations are immediate. When I’m working on numbers, I read license plates and every number I see.

Ola Kåre Risa showed me his binary number image cards in Anki, and he was the first one to break the 1,000 digits in 5 minutes record, so Anki seems to be effective too.

In order: yes, yes, and yes.

Yes, I strongly recommend you use spaced repetition software (SRS) to ensure efficient practice. Anki works well for me, but whatever you use–use it every day. Memorize each person-number, action-number, and object-number pair in both directions. Setting up the correct Note type for this in Anki will take some work, but like memorizing the PAO, it will take less work than it might seem to require. Use an image for every person, action, and object.

Yes, you should put the PAO system to use. You may find mnemonic images spontaneously coming to mind when you see a number. Good! Don’t just wait for that to happen on its own, consciously practice it with licence plate numbers, room numbers, addresses, road signs, etc.

Yes, use a memory palace too. Assign a location to each number in order of traversal. At each locus, picture the person acting with the object. If you can’t recall those three at that locus during the review, try reviewing the preceding locus and the following locus. If that doesn’t help, try reviewing the nine other numbers with a common tens-place digit. If that doesn’t help, review the nine other numbers with a common ones-place digit. Remember to review the PAO system backwards and forwards by traversing the memory palace in forward or reverse order.

For example, I walk past locus #94 of my memory journey, a bridge over a creek with a small waterfall just east of the bridge. I imagine Neil Diamond § saber fencing (A) with a spinal tumor (O) along the edge of the waterfall. When I couldn’t bring that to mind, I mentally revisited locus #95 and locus #93, reviewing the PAO at each, and then attempted to remember 94’s PAO. If that failed, I’d review all the loci from #90, #91, #92, #93, …, #95, #96, #97, #98, and #99, each with their PAO triple, and then again try to recall #93. If that failed too, I’d do the same with #4, #14, #24, #34, #44, #54, #64, #74, and #84, each with their PAO triple, and then again try to recall #93. If I still drew a blank, then I’d “mark that wrong,” and try again the next day.

I’ve used all three techniques to memorize a Dominic System encoded PAO. SRS makes the single biggest difference. I’ve used the PAO to memorize common logarithms, squared and cubed numbers (and their roots), dates, trouble ticket IDs at work, the Dewey Decimal System’s classes and divisions, serial numbers, part numbers, and more. A one-hundred point memory palace lets me organize the memorized digits in particular orders.

Jay, is there a particular SRS you’ve found especially helpful, and if so where is it made available?

I use and recommend the spaced repetition software (SRS) Anki, available for most platforms from

Using spaced repetition software or a system matters more than which one you choose.

My NPAO is ready and I remember it all. But I’m having trouble translating my images back into numbers. It just takes too long. Is there a good way/app/secret to practice converting the image back into numbers?

It might take at least a couple of weeks of regular practice to remember them easily. Have you tried practicing on Memory League?

There is also a page of tips here: How do I memorize a mnemonic number or card system?

In ANKI you can make a flashcard for the image and on the back put the card #