Memorizing phone numbers

Having recently made a 110-digit POA system, I naturally wanted to test it out, so I began by memorizing the 17 numbers of everyone I work with. Basically I chose a memory palace and populated it with images. Right away, though, I noticed that the POA system works best with multiples of 3 or 6, whereas a phone number is 10 digits. I solved the problem by making the first Person of each locus the actual person whose number I was trying to remember.

Read more on my blog:

It worked well enough, but I suspect there are still more efficient ways. I know memorizing lists of 10 digits is a very common memory task. How do you guys memorize phone numbers and such?

I don’t use the phone much, but if someone tells me a phone number, I chunk it 3-3-2-2 or 3-2-2 (if it’s in my area code). Each image has a one-syllable pronunciation, so if I only need to hold it in memory for a minute I can just store it as a three or four syllable nonsense word… otherwise link the images and place them somewhere.

There’s some more discussion of phone numbers over here by a guy who memorized a phone book:

I have a pretty unique way of doing this stuff but it works perfectly. I can read my 3-digit objects faster than my 2-digit objects or even my 1-digit objects. I haven’t practiced with the latter 110 enough for them to be automatic. So I just memorize the digits in a string in groups of three, and when I get to the very end, I just memorize the last 3 digits as the final object.

So when I memorize the phone number 123.4567 I memorize 123+456+567. Even if I memorized 123 + 456 + 7 like most people would, it would still take 3 objects, so I just use this technique to take the images from the image list that I want to use.

A cool incidental benefit is that if I forgot the second image but remembered that the last image was 567, I’d know that the second image was either
856 or 956. So I’d only have to check through a maximum of 10 images instead of 1000 in order to find it. And this really does happen.

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I guess you’re using a 1000-number system, then? That would definitely be easier, since people naturally chunk phone numbers that way anyway. But I haven’t yet convinced myself to invest the time and effort in creating and practicing with such a big system.