Memory palaces still aren't working for me

I find using a memory palace far more effort than simply associating information. It’s the visualising. It’s a lot of effort for me. It’s not just the visualisation though. It makes me feel really weird to put an item of information somewhere that makes no sense. It’s not memorable to me to do that.

I still prefer to just associate the least information possible and leave it at that. I then review by linking or with Anki.

What’s wrong with me?

I’m the sort of person who takes longer to learn something but when I get it, I get it at a deeper level than anyone else. I think I find it hard to simply memorise without understanding and the memory palace doesn’t change this.

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I mean, what is right with you? :wink:

Don’t worry, my dad does the same… his argument… this doesn’t make sense, so I can’t learn it like this. The point is actually, the fact that it doesn’t make sense makes it easier to recall the information.

Your brain is pretty dumb when it comes to stuff it knows… been there, done that, have a pattern for it… ooops forgot about it. That’s it in a nutshell… now you just gotta convince yourself to eat your vegetables. :wink:

What are you trying to use memory palaces for?

There are many uses of memory palaces that other methods have no chance to compete with it. If my wife sends me to the store for 30 items am I supposed to put them all in anki and wait to go until I’ve done enough spaced repetition to have them memorized?

…then you write it on a piece of paper and done. Alternatively, put it on whatever note taking app you got on your phone, etc…

What kind of person do you take me for? Some kind of savage? :rofl:

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“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” ~ Abraham H. Maslow (1966). The Psychology of Science

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For one, I’m trying to get my PA images 00-99 into my head
second, I want to get my first A-Z Animal+Action
third, the 2nd alphabet AA-ZZ into my head.

This would be very useful to have.

I’ve already got most of it 00-99 and the letters into my head without using any loci at all.
I’ve been associating the numbers and letters and using Erol’s Shaper system.
However, I’ve found that there is a stubborn remaining 20-50% that I can’t get to stick.
Because of this I thought I’d try going back to the Major system and try putting them in locations.

But they won’t stick.
There’s something about putting things in locations that isn’t right.

I prefer to work in the void.

I searched since posting this and found I’m not alone in this. I searched a bit more on the method of loci and found complaints from people that things memorised this way can be compartmentalised and don’t associate with other pieces of knowledge.

The thing is, there’s nothing wrong with using the method of loci for memorising the number system and aa-zz. This is very much a memory sport related thing, right? So why do I struggle to do this? Why does it feel so wrong?

The story method works a lot better for me… but the story method does not allow fast indexing for sequences.

So I’ve started to combine the Dominic journey method with the story method both for the Major and also for associated stuff. I then interact that with the environment in ways that make sense. I’m getting some progress here but it’s limiting because my mind won’t remember things unless it makes sense.

Sure, some weird stuff fits but only if it’s extreme and actually, I found that this stuff doesn’t last as long as logical linkages.


Well, firstly, not everyone puts their number and alphabet systems into loci. I don’t - I never seen the need since it will be used so frequently with all manner of things. I just remember them because I use them all the time. The only thing I did was put them in Anki for practice when first learning them. So, when it comes to the number and alphabet systems themselves I just used more regular methods for remembering.

Secondly, having things make sense and be logical is part of the method of loci. When you take something ridiculous and add details to force it to be logical, in a way, that helps you remember it better.


But do you mean to say that it is easier for your to remember “apples,” for example, if you think of regular looking apples in your fruit basket (or where ever you keep apples) than to think of apples coming out of your kitchen faucet or a giant apple with arms and legs jumping up and down on your kitchen table?

I think it depends on how you memorize things. Using memory techniques don’t prevent you from using your regular study methods — they are just an additional tool for the study toolbox.

You can arrange things in your memory palaces whatever way you want. For some kinds of memorization, it helps with associating things.

An example would be a list where related items are next to each other. If you look up one item in the list, you can walk forwards and backwards in the list to find similar items.

I don’t think there is anything wrong. Everyone thinks differently, so what works for one person might not work for another.

Example: some people remember movies well, but I don’t have a good memory for movies. I would probably have to take notes during a movie to remember what happened (or use a memory technique).

I didn’t use a memory journey to remember my number systems, but some people do. There’s a page about it here: How do I memorize a mnemonic number or card system?


Your post is a great example for how different memory techniques work better/worse for different people.

For me, the exact opposite is true; I always need a place to store my images, otherwise I’m lost and can’t recall the images.

My personal experience with this is very different as well; the information placed in my memory palaces very much associates with the knowledge I have already obtained and I see connections that I didn’t see earlier when reading the information in the first place.

What kind of schedule do you use to review the information? For information that doesn’t seem to make sense, you could try to shorten the first review intervals in order to make it stick better.