Study method (reuse palace)

Hello everyone,
I would like to hear your opinion about my study method.
For now I have one memory palace which I know well. It has about 80 pegs and I want to use it to memorise college stuff.
Let’s say I have a test for Biology.
I make a list with the key points and put them in my palace. It covers 70 pegs.
When the test is done I’m going to clear my palace and just reuse it to learn for the next test.
Of course I need to create multiple palaces if I want to use this method for multiple subjects (for I can’t just place it all in one evening :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:).
What do you think of this way of learning? And do you have any tips?
I would be glad to hear!


It is a good way to learn, especially if you already have the imagination to do it.

I have over a thousand lists with “permanent” information. So I can share a few pitfalls that I have encountered with you :slight_smile:

  • I find it harder to reuse palaces for long term information, especially to clear them. Usually I have recalled them a few times, and the images are burned into my mind. This is not a problem with single exposure (meaning to memorize, recall, forget, reuse) but causes a lot of shadow images if I recalled multiple times. Not impossible, but it takes more time to clear.

  • subjects like biology can turn out to be very easy or very hard, depending on your approach. I’d say that 90% of my biology images are stories about how certain processes work. So think of it like stories, where cells, enzymes, chains, etc are all actors in a screenplay.

  • Dont lose yourself on memorizing, also understand. Take muscles. The musculus biceps brachii. Musculus means muscle (actually “little mouse”, which is where the word ‘muscle’ found it’s origin, due to the biceps looking like a mouse, sort of), biceps means two-headed and brachii means arm. So the two-headed muscle of the arm. Various parts, processes and even functions have names that tell something about it. By understanding why they are named a certain way, it makes the information almost unforgettable. You will find a lit of similar things that require understanding along with memorizing in most other sciences.

  • Personal preference: dont reuse the palace for a completely different subject. If you used it for biology, keep using it for biology. It increases your chance on shadow images, but it helps you find your palace. Very important! When you have multiple palaces, you want to know where to find the information. It is not a huge deal with 5 or 10 palaces, but if you end up with 50 palaces that you all use randomly, it can get extra confusing.

  • Get a recall schedule and stick to it. Lets say the day of memorizing is day 0. You could do a recall (in any preferred way, but be sure to view the information multiple times every recall) on days 1, 2, 4, 7, and 13, with the test on day 14. That does mean you need to plan it out. So why a schedule? It primes your mind. At first it will not do much, but after a while your brain will get primed to such schedules, which can help calming it when the test comes.

Hope it helps!


Mayarra, thank you for your extensive and clear response!
This will help me a lot, for I find biology a very difficult subject and I’m not so advanced with memory techniques.
I think it’s a very good tip to pay attention to the origin of words. I often have difficulties to come up with a picture which also contains the term itself. But in this way I think it will work much better.
As you recommend I am going to use this palace from now only for biology (I experimented a bit with different subjects :blush:) and for other subjects I am going to make another palace.
The schedule seems also a good point to me.
Thank you for your very useful help! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Most of what I regard as memory experts say reusing memory palaces for long term memorization takes considerable extra mental effort to accomplish because of obvious ghosting problems. Long term means for more than a few minutes in some sort of memory performance test. It you want to hold testable biology material for more than a couple of hours you are going to be using long term methods such as periodic review, burning it in each time. Extra mental effort to avoid previous imaging interference is wasted mental effort.

I’m not sure what your goals are when attending college but deliberately wiping out retained knowledge about something as fundamental to life as biology seems kind of strange. Any serious discussion of memory will get you into neuro-biology. Health scares are all about biology especially the current pandemic that seems to be unfolding. You already did all the work of memorizing it. Why not keep it there effortlessly?

As for palaces, stations and loci there are several solutions to creating them at will. Let’s say you have a palace with ten stations. Each room/station has ten object/feature/loci. That gives you one hundred potential memory sites for a particular journey which you can fill up with biology data. But there are more than one hundred biology data points you want to remember.

Now you go back to the first loci in the first station on your first journey. Visually lay a compass grid on top of the object/feature/loci. Imagine the standard N., N.E., East, S.E., South and so on layout finishing with a point in the center. Now you have ten sub-loci for each existing loci. At ten loci in each of ten stations in your original journey, that is one thousands data points for each palace/journey.

The creation of the required numbers of palace/journey to accommodate the target date is a non issue.

There was a time in America when there was conscription of young adult males to go fight in the war in Vietnam. Those who were conscripted were usually given the most dirty, dangerous jobs for a couple of years in a war with no objective located in an extremely unpleasant environment and quite likely to provide an at least traumatic experience if not horrific. College students were exempt.

Therefore hundreds of thousands went to college simply to avoid the draft. Currently a significant number of students are there on athletic scholarships and want nothing more than to play sports. Some students are funded to go to college and want nothing more than to party while being supported. Some of these kinds of students actively resent the demands placed on them to keep their marks up to the required, minimal level, in things that they detest. They fully intend to deliberately eliminate all consciousness of their study subjects as soon as it is no longer absolutely necessary to retain it. If you lean toward any of these categories then ignore all the stuff about how to store limitless amounts of data.


Northernguy1, I completely understand your point.
It seems a bit unnecesarry double work to first memorise things, then try to forget them and later learn it over (for the exams).
But the thing is that I think it becomes a complete mess when I keep the palace how it is and add new things.
I thought to make for the exams a more concise overview so I can easily pass to things and don’t have 80 pegs with useless information.

I only don’t really know what to imagine with the compass grid you spoke of. So you place a compass on one loci. Do you create ten another images upon that loci? Could you explain it a little further?

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I too faced the same trouble,but in my case it’s regarding electronics,so I can’t store entire info in one mind palace so what I did is while imagining I just switch the weather of mind palace,so for one set of topics I imagine daylight for next set I would imagine it’s dark,rainfall one time, snowing one time like that

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That’s a pretty good idea. In that way you can get 4x more out of your palace, or even more! I’ll keep this in mind.

The idea of the compass image is just to get you started. Now it is just sort of a circle for me.

The reason for resorting to such a device is the necessity to store a lot of related data.

Let’s say you have ten rooms on your journey. Each room has ten stations. So each station gets a basic loci image which is the topic.A compass grid is loaded on top of the station to maintain order when attaching supplemental images. Each cardinal point in the compass grid is a related aspect of the topic which in turn receives a supporting image using whatever method you normally employ.

So ten rooms, ten stations per room, ten points per station = 1000 data points nicely organized for review, complete with memorable images for each point.

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Wow, that would be a pretty good way to expand my Palace. Thank you for further explanation.
So now I can turn my 80 pegs into 800. Then I only need to distinguish four seasons and voilà: 3.200 pegs! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: If that isn’t effective…

Since you are talking about biology, I imagine it can get quite complex.

If you have a massive load of information that you want to keep connected you can use a deck of cards peg system for each compass point. Assuming four seasons attached to each compass point, you can locate a deck of cards to each season. Each deck has four suits with thirteen cards. Of course, you have to be consistent in choosing the order of the suits. If you want, you can put a compass grid on each of the fifty two cards. Repeat for each of your original station compass grids that you started with.

As you can see, you can build up a room in your palace to easily contain tens of thousands of data points if you want to organize your information that way. Of course, none of this helps with the actual memorization. But it does allow you to manage your spaced repetition in an organized way.

You do have to set it up in some kind of database like excel so that if you lose a link in the chain you can get it back anytime you want.

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Wow, I think indeed it’ll get a bit messy then, because if you have over and over the same compass grid, it loses the idea of the memory palace a bit… But indeed, it can be a good way to manage spaced repetition.