Newbie question about the Major system

Hi. It seemed hard to get clarification on this newbie issue and I got annoyed solving it on my own so some input would be appreciated.

How do you guys keep the order of the numbers intact if not using loci?

Let’s say you want to remember a phone number 993324241

It’s simple to create a story or a verbal sentence with personal images corresponding to those numbers. But not so easy when keeping the original order intact.

How do you guys deal with it?

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Can you maybe give an example of one of your stories? Does it all happen at the same time or do you have multiple unrelated events? Usually, a story would have a timeline or some sort of action/consequence sequence that you can follow.

You can also try and structure the sequence in a way that the objects fall into each other, from left-to-right if that is your normal reading direction. Alternatively, start using loci…

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I place the images within a location from left-to-right or top-to-bottom. I got the idea from the Ben System.


Thanks. Do you remove the interaction between the images? That is, do you visualize them sitting one above another?

I once decided to use one location per image but that needs an endless supply of locations. Any idea how to do it without using loci?

You have to use at least one location-spot to memorise this phone number. Else you’d have to memorise it in the cloud and soon forget the order of the numbers.

You would usually use a memory palace with a few spots on the location to memorise nine digit long number.

However, you can just use the link-method to connect the next digits to each other on a single location-spot. Doing this, you can than memorise more than nine digits on a single location as long as you link the next digits with the previous digits continuously.

Depending on what number system you are using, you can also use the person’s body to make action-links on and around the person. So, it would be on the left of the person, in front (or on top) of person, and on the right of the person. You can go even further with it, and use the hair, eyes, nose, etc as the pegs, so you can attach even more information.

To memorise numbers, you need a number system such as Major or Dominic or other.
To memorise a Phone number, you need to use a Phone Number Method such as the Method of Loci, Body Method, Words Method, other etc.

For example; If you want to memorise history dates, you’d need to again use the number system, and a method to memorise dates, history etc.

You’d have to of course Choose what method/s is most suitable for you for whatever you are trying to commit to memory at what situation you may be in, and use just that rather than learning many other methods. Use what works for you and stick to that to have your own system as a whole.

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Doesn’t matter… if it’s in the cloud, I got it on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac. :wink:

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I’d experiment and see what works best for you, since different people find different things memorable. Sometimes my images interact.


  • 1467 (otter + abacus) would be an otter skidding on abacus beads (otter above the abacus beads)
  • 1706 (dog + wasabi) would be a dog eating wasabi paste (dog on the left)
  • 9986 (pufferfish + fiddlehead fern) would be a pufferfish stuck to the left side of a giant fiddlehead fern.

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I’d use my minds image of my friend on the phone; as I’m looking at them. First three digit image on left shoulder. Second set of three numbers on the top of the head. Last set of three on the right shoulder.


 993.                241
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markring40, don’t you mess things up as you memorize more numbers in the same way?

Erol, I can’t imagine what you mean exactly by memorizing something ‘in the cloud’ since I’ve observed whenever I visualize an image, my mind supplies a location as a background on its own.

Josh, I share your view that mnemonic theories are too much tainted by personal preferences to develop objectively. I’ve tried remembering numbers by repeating to myself a string of words over and over again over a couple of days and the words seemed to stick. For example, when I wanted to remember 16 times 7 is 112, I chanted “dish-cow-titan” for a whole day. From the next few day onwards, the phrase just pops up in my mind effortlessly. And there are other word-strings I’ve memorized that it doesn’t interfere with.

Is there a system that converts long string of numbers into one single word? Like in the major system, 87451 can be remembered as viceroyalty.

Another idea that crossed my mind was to have 3-4 different lists for major system words. When encoding the numbers, the first two numbers I choose from the first list, the second two from the second and so on. But that’s overwhelming amount of preparatory work for someone who’s not interested in memory sports.

Kinda like PAO then…

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I see the image only. Not the number. The images are also mapped to that persons face and shoulders. So for me it’s completely isolated. It’s a tiny memory journey of that person. When I want the phone number that’s when I convert the image to numerals. If I want to add a second number I add that image below the first one and so on.

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