Memorizing Your Life Story / Daily Diary (inspiration - DoubleHelix)

I was wondering if there are people that are actively remembering their day-by-day “life story” as a series of notable events. I first encountered this idea a few days ago, and would like some more information if possible:

When I read this, it actually kind of blew my mind. Heck, you could remember exactly when you met each person (and their name, some information) using something a lot like this too. I’m curious about a few things:

  • Has anyone attempted this? How well does it work? How far did you get?
  • If you've managed to do this for years, how easy has it been to remember all of the information?
  • How easy is it to be able to figure out what date in particular you're on? I suppose you could memorize your starting date and then count x days from there, but that seems tiresome with long ones. You could perhaps also put notable markers between months or somesuch.
  • What kind of information is kept? People? Location?
  • If each locus is one day, how do you handle complex days where lots happened? Do you branch off from your main route, explore to the end of that, and then return? (Like a nested sub-journey.)
  • What do you do about days where just nothing interesting happens, or you're sick for a week in bed?
  • Any advice?

I guess one side-effect is that you’d probably be encouraged to do something notable every day, or else you’d feel bad reporting back to yourself that you just watched TV all day :slight_smile:

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This is brilliant! I agree though about the spontaneous adventurism needed to keep things interesting. For example, I am a university student who travels to and from uni nearly everyday, same route, etc. Lately, it is feeling monotonous and I myself am wishing I could do more exploring, to seek out new experiences to stop this dullness that is creeping into my life. I think this is half the reason that making an imagined memory palace is so alluring.

You may find this thread helpful :wink:

Ah, thank you Dharis – always a worry that the topic’s been covered to a fair degree. Looks like I have lots of reading that I can do there :slight_smile:

Hi there, can anyone of you guys share your personal experience on remembering your whole life with us? This would be a real big trigger or the rest of the forum, I am sure nearly everyone here would build up a memory palace with their personal life content.


I have done this for a little over a month now and it works out nicely :D.

To more easily keep track of exact dates I place both a peg for the date and the actual happenings of that day in one loci. I think you could also just have for a peg for each month and then maybe mark every fifth day or so.

I don’t think this motivates me to do something new and interesting each day, but I have noticed that some days indeed become rather similiar to each other and quite boring to record. For instance, training memory techniques all day or going for a run or any other activity that might appear frequently in ones life. If anything apart from the ordinary happens then I usually only remembers that, but ofcourse there will still be days when nothing special happens.

To deal with days I do a lot in is no problem. I basically make up a little story which all take place in the loci so I doesn’t have to make any branching.

Would you be kind enough to give us a short example? Do you use something like a major system for your dates? Do you visualize yourself doing your daily stuff, or some more creative actor? What are your mnemonics like?

What about recalling your daily memories? When do you recall the locis, or don’t you need to recall once you placed your daily loci?

And how many locis do you use, each for one day? one pr week?

Look, Mom - I’m inspirational!

I was thinking it would be a good way to build an enormous memory palace throughout your town. Just create a new loci every day, or fourteen in a single day every two weeks if you are walking through town and using the buildings/restaurants in order.

The memorization of one’s own life really is the Holy Grail of mnemonics. I plan on beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, but that is by no means definite. If anyone has ideas related to this, please share - it’s very important!

It would be a very good idea to keep an actual journal with brief details about the day as well. Just a 3 minute entry every night for reference. Then, as you reviewed these details along with your images, the images would take on much more significance and depth in time. It might seem like keeping a written journal defeats the purpose, but being able to access the days through your own memory at any time is the treasure of it, so I don’t think that is true.

The way I translate dates into pegs is by translating the date to a 3-digit number and then use my 3-digit system. Although, any 3-digit system will of course do so the only potentially interesting part is the translation to a 3-digit number. To be able to easily tell which month and day in the month a peg is I use the translation ((month-1)*50+(day in month)) so seven of august would be since august is month 8: ((8-1)*50+7)=357. The reason I multiply with 50 instead of 100 which would make more sense is that there are too many months if I still want to keep it to 3-digit numbers. And although this isn’t a problem for me yet, I plan to place special year pegs at the beginning of each year so that I can tell which year a peg translates to since after more then a year the pegs for each date will start to repeat, but I will know which is which by knowing where in the journey they appear. For instance if I would like to know what happened 2008-03-24 I would look at the journey between the peg for 2008 and 2009 and find the peg for mars 24.

Every day I add yesterdays happening so today I will add the sixth of august and I use one loci/day so I basically add one new loci per day or sometimes I might think about several loci ahead.

So to give an example. First of July which was the day I started this happens to translate into Sherlock Holmes. And what I do is simply imagining Sherlock Holmes studying some boxes with a magnifier on top of which my brothers are standing. This is enough for me to remember that I sorted/cleaned out some old stuff and hanged out with my brothers that day. And all this is happening in one loci, actually the loci is not very important since I use the pegs to index myself easily. So basically I pick out key events and make them into images. Sometimes they are straight forward like my brothers, sometimes they are a bit more abstract, but the main thing as I see it is that I know what they represent.

Also, one thing that I didn’t mention is that I use Anki to schedule revisions although I completely rely on my memory and have no written account of what happened each day. So Anki basically just says “review this day” and I do and then press the remembered good button (or hard), but I do rely on me never forgetting a day which hasn’t happened yet, but I guess it could happen and it could also happen that one want to make sure that all details are there.

And finally, I would like to encourage anyone who thinks about starting this to just start it. I had this idea for some time before I started and always thought that I should start on the first of january or my birthday or any other special day, but finally come to the conclusion that it actually doesn’t really matter. There is no reason why you should start on such a day and especially if you use a system similiar to mine it wouldn’t complicate the date indexing.

It seems to me that if you’re ready to embark on this journey, it isn’t particularly necessary to sync it to the start of the year. But that’s just me. Perhaps keep short journal entries for now so you can fill them back in to your journey later if you choose to – I’ve been reading Lembran’s blog about his almost 2 year memory, and it seems like his memories became increasingly dear to him, such that he actually went back and started digging further into his past to be able to reconstruct and memorize some of those days too.

Thank you pabergg, those are some nice details. I was perhaps thinking of just having markers before every Monday, and markers for every month. That way, I could snap to a month, and be able to count out to the day / jump by weeks. Perhaps if I use an artificial memory palace, each week could have a distinct theme, or months also. This would save me having to have a date marker every locus. Does anyone see problems with this approach?

I’ve also been reading Lembran’s blog quite a bit to gain insight into problems he’s had and his method. His blog is and seems to have been fairly regularly updated since he started almost two years ago. There’s a ton of content, so I’ve only read about the last 8 months’ worth. I’ll lay out roughly what he does and what problems he has, perhaps people will have some ideas:


  • Doesn't use a journey, instead actually visualizes a calendar, and can use that as his grounding. It is somewhat abstract at first, but later on, his visualization skills improve and he's able to more or less physically float around above it, and "fall into" days, where he has movie-like experiences that are fairly lucid, viewing days in first person.
  • His memorization method is simply to have a key image for each day, and he claims that it's sufficient for it to trigger the memories if he wants to investigate that day in more detail (I would have expected the need to encode more information about a day, but a single still seems to be enough)
  • He actually uses no mnemonics, but instead just relies on pure repetition. All numbers are actually what the numbers are, etc.
  • After the first year and a half or so, he started having trouble having enough time to review every day, since it started taking more than his regular 20 minute morning routine. He started scaling back review just to the recent year/6 months to make it more managable, but is worried that past images will start to fade
  • His system works a lot like Anki, so perhaps pabergg will be interested in it -- For whatever day of the week it is, he reviews the current day and the two previous, for every week. He also tended to do a rolling 30-day review. For example, if it's Wednesday August 7, he'd review Wed/Tues/Mon for every Wed/Tues/Mon since he started (and sometimes a bit before if he's recovered a memory or two from before the process). He'd then review day by day back to July 7. In this way, it's kind of like Anki's periodic reminders, though I suppose more rigid. In more recent entries, he's started scaling back to only reviewing in the past 6 months or so. Oh, he'd also tend to review every day of the month for every month. So if it's the 7th, he'd review all 7th days of every month. Each image took about 8 seconds, I think -- and he tried to synchronize to his breathing if he could.
  • After a year and a half or so, he did burn out once, and couldn't work up the willpower to review for a day or two. This had no impact.
  • He also did forget two days so far. He eventually recovered them by using surrounding days, since associations build up -- but it did worry him a fair bit.
  • He also has had problems with slight false memories corrupting his history. These have been extremely minor like being unsure exactly what names were, or exactly what key phrase was said. He'd have the correct name/phrase in his mind, but would be able to easily flop to a similar name, and be unsure which is correct. I feel like he would avoid these problems if he used mnemonics for them, but his system doesn't really rely on any as far as I can tell.

All in all, it seems like he’s gained massive insight, and can perform fairly superhuman looking feats of remembering events. He seems to remember when he first posted to our forum here, and comes by every few months to do a short update on progress. He also seems to understand better the passage of time, and feel it’s weight. I imagine that the condition of “wow, where did the years go?” doesn’t happen so much. I also imagine it’s very good for seeing the big picture of your life and helping you decide where to go next.

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I think this would probably work well. If you use different themes for each month it might perhaps take some time to recall some days in the middle of the month since you will have to count through the days to be sure which exact date it is. Also, thinking up the artificial memory palace will probably take as much or probably more time then just having markers of some kind.
I am not sure it is a good idea to categorize days into weeks mainly because it will be even harder to tell which date a day is. And this is also unneccessary since the day of the week can quite easily be computed from the date. Just google “How to tell which day of the week a date is” or something like that if you are interested.

Well, the reason to use an artificial palace is simply that I don’t find it particularly easy to find a real memory palace that could store potentially thousands of ordered loci. I suppose it might be doable in the way that DoubleHelix said, but there is some appeal of having a palace that is tailored to helping store the data better. Do you not use one at all for this?

I’m not awfully concerned with being able to very quickly figure out what a date is, though I think it’d be pretty fast actually. Assuming my visualization skills end up what I think they are, presumably you could start at the start of the month (1), then count the days until the first end of week marker, then scan forward by 7 days at a time to compute the date.

I agree, it’s not optimized for speed, but I think it’ll require less of a cognitive load long term since I won’t need to remember a date number for every single day. (And cognitive load seems to be a real factor, at least from what I think I’ve learnt from Lembran.)

But maybe I’m not seeing some issues, or thinking about this incorrectly, since I’m an amateur.

I simply use an outside journey, but the loci are not very distinct since I use a datepeg so there is not much need for the loci to be easily distinguishable. My idea is to simply maybe extend the journey and spiral out from my house.

That might be true. Since I have only done it for a bit more then a month I guess there might be problems I haven’t runned into yet that will reveal themselves later.

Zodiac Calendar with Optional Feature Connections: Crimson colored cells conflict somewhat. Loads more zodiac articles are available to further customize the Visual Zodiac Calendar.
The Year is the Chinese Zodiac, and the month is regular (in English) Zodiac by month. Other features exist from Carl Jung Archetypes, Tarrot Cards, Zodiac Symbols, Planet Association with Zodiac, Birthstone,Element type, etc.

  • Streets Labeled by Year
    • Houses Labeled by Month
      • Days labeled by Mnemonic Pegs
  • Lembransation takes the lead

Chinese Year: Lookup (Pattern Every 12 years)

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Hello LociInTheSky, pabergg and garoth !
Sorry to dig up a three years old thread :). I will try it with a method I described there largely influenced by this current thread.

I would be very interested to know how far did you go in the experiment and what are your feedbacks.