PAO Advice I wish I knew before I learned my PAO

So it has been a few weeks since finishing my PAO, many hours later I’ve got it up and running well. Speed is coming along. But now that I’m using it effectively, here are few things I’d wish I’d done differently.

To those coming behind me, who want to build their PAO, here is my advice:

  1. It is normal to struggle to build your 2 digit PAO. I had real trouble finding 100 people who were memorable and I had connection too. In the end when I was about 10 short, I just crammed 10 people that I kinda knew about into the PAO. That was a bad idea, connection seems to be key. You will be using this the rest of your life, take time to build out your PAO people.

  2. Using the Major system to pick the people was just…a waste. Now that I’m using it, I don’t pronounce anything in my head, I just image the PAO. The Major system did nothing for me but handicap the order that I put in people to the PAO. (I even saw someone using Major system for actions and object, which is an aweful idea, adding another burden to remember WHAT the P does and what O it does with with. Go with logical AO for the P) Major system does nothing for speed or recall. At first, the Major system kinda helped on memorizing it, but that was slow and ultimately overridden but another method, and I’ll address that in #3.

  3. I struggled for days memorizing it. But an hour after I read someone recommended putting it into a dedicated memory palace I did. But I had to make a big palace, 100 loci. I used a video game map, Once I walked thru it, BAM! They all were there, settled into their places within the hour. I’ll address optimizing this in #5.

  4. But I get ahead of myself. The P of PAO are going to be key for speed. I now wish I’d grouped them by decade. 0-10 should have been generics, ie. Astronaut, Doctor, Baker, Butler, Soldier. 10-19 Sports figures, 20-29 Ex girlfriends, 30-39 Star Wars people, 40-49 Harry Potter folks, 50-59 old college professors, etc… This should increase speed in using it. And also make it easier to use 1-40 for Cards, with 4 suits, Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades (by alpha) all clubs are generics, Diamonds sports figures, ex girlfriends are Hearts, etc. To make it extra fast take care on your memory palace layout.

  5. So when I’m recalling cards now, it is sometimes faster to pull by location. So if you make sure your first 41 locations (remember there is a 00 that goes before 01 where the card deck starts at Ace of Clubs) are grouped with each decade (suit) in a common area. Like 1 big room or 2 rooms with 5. Don’t put 21-23 in the same room with 18-20. Keep the breaks clean, isolate the decades (1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40) cleanly in their own areas. Speed is key on cards and helps with numbers.

  6. Dedicate this memory palace to your PAO. Never reuse it. That will keep it clear of interference.

  7. Be logical on the AO. If you have a P of a Juggler (06), and you are remembering Bill Gates (King of Diamonds) juggling Han Solo’s Blaster, then you quickly remember the ‘A’ is the Juggler 06 and the ‘O’ is Han Solo. Don’t do something weird and have Juggler flying spaceship and Han solo tunneling in minecraft. You will have to do extra cross-tabling recall if you abandon logical actions.

And with that I’m done. I wish someone had given me this advice a month ago.



This is like the song “99”. After so many, you just assign numbers to them.


Isn’t there a minimum age for users of this forum? :grin:

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I thought hard whether to have 80-89 as my Ex Wives. But I’m still on talking basis with 6 of them. :crazy_face:


Probably need mnemonics to remember their names.


After the 3rd wife, I just gave them numbers.:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


To be on the safe side, you should probably verify that each woman is happy with these numbers.

I’m no expert. but I should imagine the number must be in harmony with her astrological sign, to ensure that the sub-etheric emanations don’t clash with any transcendental vibrations occurring naturally in the universe, such as maybe the 21-centimetre electromagnetic radiation spectral line, in accordance with Zen rules. Or even vice versa.

Just a thought.



First time ive laughed outloud in a while!!! Thnx a lot

Or “Song For Whoever” by The Beautiful South. :wink:

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Useful info! Thank you for this! But how did you determine the order of P? For example, why is your juggler at 06 and why does P 07 follows the juggler?
I also want to build a pao next month, but need some help on the order. I wanted to use the dominic or major system for the order of the P but since you advise against it… hence the question. Thnx

Pardon me, but: This advice was based on the OP’s experience regarding the approach that worked for him/her. I would say that many—if not most—of the people who use PAO will start with Major or Dominic when choosing their People. My advice: Start there, because both systems have a history of success. If it doesn’t work for you, then experiment to see what other options you prefer.



I am wondering why does the order matter. Or why would there have to be a connection between 06 and 07.

I have had a pao for a few years now and have been using it for everyday purpose and the order never mattered.

As long as when I need to remember any given number, I can replace them with the image I decided represented that number, with the help of the various tricks (dominic, major, associations, objects resembling the number, modifying or replacing the ones that didnt pop up when I ran into the number…) . Now, 826193 I see Lucy lu with her hair on fire. And it never helped me that 827 was elon musk.

Good question. On the matter of order, I found it very useful to have a type of P grouped by 10’s. The order inside the 10s is not germane. ie. The order of Harry Potter characters from 71-80 could be in any order. Why grouping them into 10s is useful, is when I see a number of 7x I instantly know it will be from the Potter group and I instantly jump to that part of my memory palace, then pick out the exact Person for the number. Initially, I was jumping around, with a “73…is that Conan the Barbarian, Andrew Jackson, or Snoopy? They were close together in the early 70s…” and I was doing more mis-encodings and mis-reads.