Memory Palaces and long term vs short term information (Beginner questions)

Hello all.

I’ve only just started my memory journey, and I’m really excited by the possibiltities. The past few weeks I’ve been practicing an alphabet peg list (visual alphabet), and researching as much as I can about memory palace, and I also have a few basic questions.

I’ve managed to map out at least 30 loci between my front door, and halfway into the first room. This is an exciting prospect to think that my house alone can have anywhere between 200-300 loci. But it brings up some (I feel) basic questions…

  1. Do you use your palaces for long term or short term information?
    I’ve seen examples of both. Some people seem to use the just one memory palace to encode information over and over again. But others have different palaces for specific information. I feel like my home is a special place, so I’m kinda thinking of using for something permanent, but not sure what yet (hah!)

  2. How often do you practice visualising your memory palace? I find I have to really focus and concentrate to mentally walk through my house and remember the spots… What’s your process, and how long did it take you to make it effortless?

  3. How do you encode and memorise really short, non-sequencial bits of information? (this is the important question for me).
    For example, I may be reading a book and come across a random fact about Winston Churchill. This isn’t part of a journey or a larger set of information that I need to contextualise in his life. It’s just something he did on a specific date, and if it comes up in conversation, I want to be able to recall that information quickly rather than googling it.
    I feel like this is going to be my go-to use-case for memory traiing, so it’s an important question to me. What’s your process for this type of info? How do you encode it? Recall it? I’ve tried using my visual alphabet, but it feels a bit arbitrary, Do I stick with it, or is there a better system for this type of random trivia?



Both. The memory palaces for long term only hold that information for me, I won’t use it for anything else in the future. For short term information (like training on memory league etc.) I use palaces that I reuse over and over again.

If you only mean the visualization process; that gets faster and faster as you practice more. I started a few years back, practicing for like 15 minutes a day for a few weeks/months and the process got much faster and less tiring.

If you mean that it gets harder to visualize it over time; you need to review your palaces with spaced repetition, otherwise the images will fade naturally.

I sometimes just google a picture related to the information (for example a picture of Churchill). I look at that picture 3 times close it (and will never actually look at it again), then I create a mental image and attach it to the picture that I saw before. The picture isn’t at all perfect in my memory (I just go with what stuck), but it helps me have a background for my mental image and that usually helps me with recall. Some people don’t seem to need that background and just use the linking-method (which doesn’t work well for me, at all).