Mitchell's Memory Journey


As of today I am beginning to seriously use memory techniques, I plan to memorize at least one thing daily. Today I learned the 45 US presidents in order, I’ll post here with my progress over time, what I learn that’s worth noting, etc. I should note though that my memorization of book indexes is really helping me recall information that I read from the book. (A mathematics textbook right now.) I tend to be bored when reading textbooks and thus forget most of it, but this appears to circumvent that for me majorly.

(Silvio B.) #2

Don‘t forget to review the information you put in memory palaces with spaced repetition. I‘ve made that mistake in the beginning and forgot some parts of what I learned. The reviews take little time. It‘s definitely worth it.

I made an excel sheet where I put in what I learned on which day and how long a review will take (estimated), then the sheet tells me when I should review that information. This helps me keep track, because I often forgot reviews.


Yup. I am planning on making an Anki deck later with my palaces as each card for the SRS.

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From now on I’ll update this every Saturday, it’s Saturday now so… So far I’ve created 8 memory palaces. Can recall the US presidents forward/backwards as well as the states of the US. So far no degradation of them. But it is far too early to tell, albeit I now have the Anki SRS system setup to make sure they don’t. My biggest accomplishment so far though, is using six memory palaces to remember six out of twelve articles of the Bill of Rights verbatim. (Learned them yesterday), going to learn the rest later but this is really nice for me!. I will be busy on the weekdays now, (senior in high school and winter break is ending), so I do plan to start applying these techniques for that.


Sorry to come to the discussion so late. While you are getting the presidents it would pay to memorize the vice presidents as well. It may be confusing for a list since many of them will become presidents later on but it would be worth having a useful list twice as long as before.


Yup, planning to do that in the future though not just yet. Going to get more used to mnemonics first as I want to encode who the president was during their terms too.

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Hi Richard, Quick question, when you memorize the US Presidents in order do you use a memory palace or the major system? If I asked you who was the 37 US president, would you know it was Richard Nixon using a memory palace? I suppose you could add the major system to the memory palace but I also thought it would be easier to use the major system to remember the US presidents because I would like to know the number of each president. I didn’t want to have to go through 8 rooms to get to the 37 president (ie, I use 5 locations per room, so the 37th president would be in the 8th room). thanks.


Mitchell* not Richard. But I used the memory palace, and used five per room as well, I don’t know the major system yet. But in general, I can say who is what president. It at first took a moment to find the correct room but after going through it a couple times, going to the right number became instantaneous. I found it helpful to recall them backwards and from the middle for this, so I wouldn’t have to start from the beginning. I’ve also done the same with the US states and other things I’ve memorized…


So it’s Saturday again. As of right now I am working on my system for verbatim text more to make it more effective. I may post about that soon though not just yet. But I’ve managed to memorize 11 amendments verbatim so far and am working on the 12, (#12 is over 400 words long.)


Didn’t update last Saturday buuut… Here I am now. I haven’t done nearly as much with mnemonics this week in terms of new things, but I have noticed that for the previous things I generally don’t need to use the memory palaces to recall them anymore, albeit I feel a distinct sense of being spatially displaced when recalling them which is a rather unusual feeling.

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Decided this to be the best place for me to lay out what method I am currently using for verbatim text. I use the memory palace albeit with some modified aspects and “steps” to suite my wants of quick memorization of verbatim text. But I haven’t tried this on something too large yet, I am nonetheless planning on doing so eventually.

For an example, I’ll take the first 111 or so words of the 12th US Amendment. (Split of large texts into sections but I doubt this is 100% needed, I just haven’t gone too big yet.). I’ll go through the text and highlight words that draw my attention, these words I’ll compile into a list and make a quick memory palace of. -

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President , one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves ; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President , and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice- President , and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President , and of all persons voted for as Vice-President , and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify , and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States , directed to the President of the Senate ;

I’ll normally take a couple minutes to concretely recall them, and then take around 10 minutes sometimes longer of a break, and then recall them once again. At this point I’ll begin to go back through it, but for each “unimportant” word, (The ones I didn’t memorize concretely). I’ll often visualize as they are forming a sentence between each loci. For some words I’ll transfer them to a small image rather than the word itself for this purpose on occasion. Albeit for words such as “if”, “then”, etc, I find it most useful to just visualize the word itself. This step will take me around 10 or so minutes to complete, though it varies depending on the length of the text.

(aneesur) #12

Can you elaborat on that
Thanks for sharing.


Sorry for replying very much late. (Haven’t been active at all.), but if you still wish to know… Essentially I divide the text into two categories, important words, and unimportant words. The important words are basically words that you can then use to give yourself hints on how to reconstruct the sentence. While the unimportant ones are the bits that you would reconstruct.

For this purpose, I only encode the important words into images, while the unimportant ones I simply visualize as the words they are, linking each encoded-word together in a chain throughout the palace.

So far it has worked pretty well, though I haven’t used it much the past few months. I’m sure if I had I could’ve improved on it by now. But as of now I remember most of the text I memorized, (Except the ones that I didn’t review, those ones are there just not as concrete as I’d like.)


So… To begin getting back into this, I have decided I will delve into something a bit different using my current number system. I will be memorizing every important date of the Cuban Missile Crisis over the next few days. (Doing it because it’s recent and shouldn’t take too long, though I plan to do learn far more. Just testing the waters right now.)


Current Number System -

Ones Place
	0 - Zombie.
	1 - Elf
	2 - Sal Vulcano.
	3 - Three headed woman.
	4 - James Murray.
	5 - Frieza
	6 - Steven (From SU).
	7 - Sick man.
	8 - Simon Cowell
	9 - Knuckles.
Tens Place
	00 - Scarf
	10 - Blue Sweater
	20 - Red Shoes
	30 - Umbrella
	40 - Feathers
	50 - Fedora
	60 - Syrup
	70 - Rainbow Wings
	80 - Witch Hat
	90 - Knife

The idea is rather than go for a image for each number, I’ll instead use 10 numbers for the tens place, ten for the ones, etc, (Going to expand it to four digits later on). Though I also might add multiple images for each number due to complications I have noticed with having too much of one image at once. But any who, essentially I’ll do this, say I have 51, that would be Fedora + Elf, and I’d then create a image with both of these incorporated, (One set of images per loci). As of right now it is working well for me, though I am mainly using this for memorizing dates, etc.

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(selmo'i cu se nintadni) #17

Sounds like a good method. I’d call it a 1-digit OO system. And if you find yourself getting too many repeat images, you can always expand it into a 2-digit OO system. And/or add on more objects as mentioned in your post. A lot of people talk about PA systems, but there’s no reason I know of that a system of objects (which can include “people” in this context) cannot work in a similar fashion. Major system and Ben system lists end up linking objects just fine; it’s just a different way to approach memo.