Please suggest ANY other memorization technique. I cannot make memory palace images to save my life!

I have to memorize 15 different subjects. All of them involving a combination of numbers and concepts.

I did try to create my own memory palaces and peg system. I set numbers like this:
1 V
2 I
3 B
4 G
5 Y
6 O
7 R
8 8) glass emoji
9 N
0 @

But it is so complicated to combine them together. I have to memorize laws. It goes like this:

Section 100: HEADING: (1) Law here
(a) part 1
(b) part 2
© part 3
(2) Law here
(A) sub part 1
(B) sub part 2
(3) Law here
Clause 1
Clause 2
Exception 1
Exception 2
Exception 3

That’s only one section!
Then goes:

Section 101: Law here… and same as above.

As you can see this is extremely complicated. Memory champions use memory palaces but they only have to memorize numbers, pie numbers, names, faces, etc. But what about heavy concepts as I mention above?

My outcome: I’ve read that most of the people don’t follow memory palaces because they can’t make images or stick to them. Yes, that’s the most exhaustive part. That’s why I don’t want to do this too. Rather than memorizing law, I’ll keep making images only! Plus, I have to memorize the law verbatim, so story making won’t do.

My current routine: Well, I don’t have any routine. I rely on the cramming and rote memorization. With rote memorization, sometimes I can see the pages in memory. But that’s about it. Law has neither diagrams nor visuals. It cant be visualized.

Cons of rote memorization: 1) time consuming (but every memory technique consumes time, doesn’t it?)
2) THIS IS IMPORTANT: it’s easy/interesting when I rote memorize in one round. But revision gets boring. I never revise, consequently I forget it all! I’ll rote memorize something but revision is daunting and horrifying.

My questions: 1) Please suggest ANY technique other than memory palaces to memorize such massive data.
2) Why do I not like to revise after rote memorization? There must be some science behind this.

Massively oversimplified:

You have done it before, there is a lack of interest in information you have already perceived because you haven’t associated any pleasurable feelings to this information. You have if anything trained your body to remember that you do not like this information, or do not care greatly about it. Then you are thinking about reviewing it and really do not want to go through the ordeal. The willingness to act is very much related to a flow of the reward circuit and you are opposing it.

“The length” is associated with displeasure, the end reward is not large, sure you get your work done but all you are telling your body is , I want to not do it anymore. When you say to yourself something like, “I will only do 1 line” your body is more willing to cooperate because it does not feel the massive displeasure in the load. The brain isn’t entirely logical with you, even if it likes something if it remembers that it doesn’t like load it will have to learn that this load is nice and other load is not. The displeasure is also usually severely attached to starting the action so once you get going it may get easier, think about it as being a habit and forming habits. You also do not invoke the entire sense of pleasure without a cue, there are specific brain regions which only respond in presence of a cue in relation to pleasure. You will find it easier if you ‘learn’ to do the action in response to a certain stimulus.

The other reason is also because your action takes energy,effort and your brain is recovering from this effort while you are not doing it. You are trying to openly make it work harder. It is like being told to sprint after running a marathon. You will definitely not like that. Hence the ‘right time’ to review is also important. It is widely accepted as best just before you forget it. Hence also you should take more breaks, if you are finding that for the first 5-10 minutes you are working more effectively than the next few then you are actually feeling fatigue, sometimes breaks do not have to be very long, 1 minute or a few will do, the brain is used to operating most of the day.


Agree with Nagime. Pushing yourself like that is counterproductive. Once your brain is tired it’s not learning much. And if you continue to press, you develop a bad association and your brain is wired to get rid of unpleasant memories.

I learning habits, physical or mental, 15 mins a day is better than solid training.

It takes time to develop these techniques and it takes work, which is why most people quit. You seem to have taken on a full size practice for your

Much harder to absorb unprocessed or meaningless information especially in large volumes. Memory palaces by themselves serve to jog you memory but you can’t expect them to encode text or involved techical details by themselves. Find some way to engage with the material. To make it more interesting and less abstract.

I have to take in a lot of software documentation. I turn the abstractions into thing, animals, buildings, whatever and draw pictures and write notes on each picture element. Perhaps, make Mind Map out of it but invest more in the elements than just colored circles.

A journey can serve as a memory palace. Is there a hike or route you travell routinely and know well? Identify locations along the way and use those to store memories. A 50 locus memory palace is well beyond my range but I can easily do 50 locii on a hike.!

Here’s something I drew up to collect all the parts associated with the response object. Most people would add some color. It’s not art. It’s cartoons. You can cut and paste online images if you liked. It takes time, but when I’m done, I have the material.



I love your drawings and the way you work your images to encode even the most abstract!!! I would love you one day there would be a thread for your drawings!!!

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Thank you for your kind words!

I enjoy drawing, which is why I use this technique. It doesn’t feel like work. And I enjoy spending time with them when they are done - this is important. But I’m a bodger and I really don’t think they are worth displaying as drawings. I showed a couple as an example of how one might develop a private language.

I wish you success in your project. It would be good to hear how it goes and what progress you are able to make. I’m a big believer in the principle that everyone’s mind is different and you have to invest some time investigating what your mind likes to hold onto and how it does it.

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Sometimes I feel like I’m cheating. Perhaps I don’t really have a strong natural facility for abstract things. I think, most naturally, I am a craftsman. I love to make things and think about their design. But I was born into a family of intellectuals, educated to be one and did spend my career doing things like math. Not much money in woodwork. My technique has always been to give some physical form to abstractions which allows me to mentally handle these things in a way that feels comfortable, perhaps like chess pieces. I’ve been faking it all my life :slight_smile:

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The folks where I work specifically told me DON’T MEMORIZE THE REGULATIONS! Now, about thirty years later, they ask me for help when they can’t find a particular law or reg. No, I did not try to memorize laws, but when I learned how some of them came to be written it made them a natural part of a story. When I studied accounting, the fellow who taught Income Tax Law during evening classes would tell us why a particular tax law was written or why it was better than an alternative.

My “any other” method is to embrace the story where the solution or conclusion of the story is that regulation or law. I suppose it helps that I can mentally see portions of the page where I saw the citation number written, but if you can mentally hear your voice reciting or mentally feel your hand writing, those are just as good as mentally seeing (probably).