I have been using linking without knowing it was a commonly-used mnemonic technique, and I have had some success with it. I would repeat each link in the list independently, and recently have noticed that recall is better if on top of that, I also drill the entire list, after memorizing each independent link. This linked list has always been of phrases, not images.
I recently decided to give the method of loci a go, and I’m pleasantly surprised with the results, not so much with how easy the sequences are (which is pretty much what I expected), but also with how ‘sticky’ the information I put in a loci is. I tried the method of loci with numbers (even if the usual recomendation is to use pegs), and with a list of 6 items that I had some trouble remembering. I managed to remember all 7 numbers, and 5 out of 6 elements in the list; I doubt I’ll forget the 6th element again with sufficient maintenance of that loci, though I might adopt a peg system for numbers instead.
I have tried to find some comparisons of linking vs the method of loci: it’s obvious that memory palaces are more versatile, though harder to use. I don’t think the amount of loci available will be a problem, and while I have been linking phrases, I know it would be easier to memorize if I convert the phrase to something visual.
What I’m concerned about, is to employ the method of loci for things that are better suited for linking. Linking has the advantage of being easier to learn, but with some practice this difference disappears. Also, the method of loci has the obvious extra overhead of having to use/create a memory palace, and create a scene (though scene creation could be equated with the overload of turning linked phrases into visuals), but this extra effort could be mitigated by the fact that linked lists are harder to remember than memory palaces. So if there’s people who use both linking and the method of loci, when do you use one or another?