My First Memory Challenge: Getting Started


I posted my introduction maybe half a year ago, when I first got exposed to memory training through the book “Moonwalking with Einstein” and I wanted to learn more. Shortly after, my dayjob got very intense and I couldn’t find time for anything outside work except for going to the gym occasionally.

Now finally, I have some more time to experiment with memory training. I’ll keep track of my progress on this blog.

To start with, as my very first memory challenge, I decided to learn the alphabet. I know, this sounds easy. But how many times have you been filing things and you had to say the whole alphabet in your mind to know if R comes before or after N? How cool would it be to know that instantly? Also, it’s a fun challenge to recite it backwards – something I’m not able to do right now.

I decided to try out the journey method for this. Using a journey I know well should make it easier to bring them in the right order. I’ll use my go-to running route for this.

To make it a litte bit more challenging than just memorizing letters, I’m trying to memorize the spelling alphabet of the country I live in.

So here’s the list:

A Anna
B Berta
C Cäsar
D Daniel
E Emil
F Friedrich
G Gustav
H Heinrich
I Ida
J Jakob
K Kaiser
L Leopold
M Marie
N Niklaus
O Otto
P Peter
Q Quasi
R Rosa
S Sophie
T Theodor
U Ulrich
V Viktor
W Wilhelm
X Xaver
Y Yverdon
Z Zürich

I’ll let you know how I progress. Have a nice weekend!


Shortly after writing the post above, I commuted thirty minutes to an appointment and used the time to place all the people alongside my running route. The first half of it was quite easy. After that I started to struggle. One of the mental images I created was a pink flower. How do I know if I’m looking for the adjective instead of the noun when recalling? Also, I had trouble with names that I couldn’t link to a person that I know: Theodor or Ulrich, for example. Another difficulty was sticking to the method. I cough myself randomly linking the words together, without a sense of place: After Sophie, there comes Ulrich.

Nevertheless, when I was recalling it today, I got every name correct. Forward and backward. I struggled with the some of the later names though. I’ll revisit the journey on my next commute and try to paint better images of those names that gave me a hard time. Once I’m done I’ll test myself by putting random letters in the correct order. I’m wondering how that goes.