Systems analysis of visual memory systems

@Mountainmystic, confusion was my friend as I was sorting out how other people used palaces. I finally had to apply the system and listen to my intuition to arrive at a result that seemed to be in line with the classical use of them.

The structure on the diagram would map your examples like so:

  • 2 Peter = Convent = palace name and background (locus) (only three chapters)
  • the inn at the convent = 2 Peter Chapter 2 (a traversable object, not a locus)
  • images around the inn = verse numbers converted via Major system to images associated with positions on the traversable object traversed by a story or a journey.

Feel free to ask other questions with other examples to see if it is catching on with you. I’ll be updating more information soon.


@LynneKelly, I’d be honored to give you feedback on Songlines. The book will be arriving next week but I got a Kindle version so I could dig in sooner. I’m doing my own “literature review” and have piled up a few of the great references I’ve seen discussed here by @Josh and others. Moonwalking with Einstein is about 2/3 done and I couldn’t put down Ultralearning today seeing how much good psychology research is discussed when incorporating mnemonic systems into pedagogy and learning.

It’s a shame I couldn’t have been born in Australia. It seems like so many Native American memory systems might have been disrupted by the forcible relocation of the tribes. I’ll be looking for information on them in the future.


Im certainly no expert. I understand your terms now well enough to process your system and ideas

I realized you already defined your terms earlier in the post. So sorry to make you repeat yourself, I should have started f om the top again before asking!

I dont have any more questions, I’ll just be tuning in to your following posts on the topic(especialky your walkthrough)


@Mountainmystic, I updated my diagram a little. It wasn’t really showing the multiple ways I get around in the system.

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I’m slowly building a better understanding of the system as we go, though not being a software guy has me at a disadvantage. I think the updated graphic helped.

The example you created in the other thread (I linked it already above) had 2 peter (2=high peter=church) chapter 3 (3=Ma=mother superior in a scene from {chapter 2} the inn inside the church)
Verse 9 (9=boy= a boy is running to mother superior)
The story of the text using “lord” “keep” “promise” (the landowner is chasing the boy, catches him at a keep, the boy crosses his heart)(all this happens in front of mother superior)

Because chapters aren’t limited to locations, and the locations aren’t limited to an existing space, your method seems phenomenally flexible and intuitive in its use.

If it’s possible, I still would like to see an existing journey you have stored(actually use) for a few consecutive verses with a note on the set of chapter pegs used in the background and the book image. I’m curious how your text interact with your chapter peg, and how the chapters form the scene.

Thanks for the heavy lifting and constant responding. I’m doing my best to follow and I’m super grateful for what you’re doing, keep up the great work!


@Mountainmystic, yes, the system allows for the maximum amount of personal customization because the more personal it is, the better we remember. I have a 2 Peter palace built around combined Austrian and Kansas City area monasteries I’ve been at depending on which object I’m working with. I sketch out the outline and encourage people to enhance the image like it’s a paint-by-numbers template.

I do have over a hundred selections, many with multiple verses. Some are in transition between a previous system and this one but most are usable. You have to let those memory ghosts disappear so they don’t interfere with any new stories. :ghost:

That will be the next two steps I do in the System 7711 Bible memorization process. @LaurianH wanted to do Genesis 1 and 2 which I’m working on since I had just completed the NT and was practicing on it. But I’ll post the process with an example for you there.


On a related note, what about decoding systems? If you are memorising, for example, texts, then you will come across, on revisiting your memory palace, a variety of images. For some of them, your natural memory will have faded. Is there a way of distinguishing what sort of relationship the image has with the text? For example, if you come across someone chopping a cherry tree, and you forgot what it signifies, how could you reconstruct “Washington”?

I guess some of it would come from context and layout e.g. if you are remembering a list of facts about Washington state, and the image is in a room at a place where you put titles, it is easy to reconstruct. But what about lists of unconnected words?

I’ve used memory techniques for non-competitive purposes, so I value stability rather than speed. What I try to do is build several layers of redundancy. Like “metaphysics” is encoded to “met a physicist”, so “meeting Einstein”, but in case you forget, and stumble, also a layer of redundancy can be added, by imagining a conversation with Einstein about the “fundamental nature of reality”.


Encoding digits

Most of these have been well covered in the Wiki under How To Memorize Numbers but I categorized them slightly differently.

One-step systems

These are systems which are a direct one-to-one mapping. This is a disadvantage though because it is difficult to retain the images for numbers much over 20 in my experience. My preference is for a two-step system of pre-encoding with the Major system and then sound-to-word encoding.

By soundalike

See the Number Rhyme system in the Wiki.

digit object
0 hero
1 bun, sun, gun
2 shoe, gnu, zoo
3 tree, sea
4 door
5 hive
6 sticks
7 heaven
8 bait
9 wine, line, mine

By object

Also known as the shape and Shaper system. See the Number Shape system and the Shaper System in the Wiki.

digit object reasoning
0 ball round
1 magic wand straight
2 coat hanger hook on top with straight pant holder
3 butterfly two rounded wings
4 chair person with crossed legs?
5 unicycle rounded bottom with seat on top
6 golf club club on bottom with handle on top
7 boomerang angled
8 snowman two round balls
9 balloon rounded top with string on bottom

By association

See the Association System for Numbers in the Wiki for two-digit mappings.

digit object reasoning
0 ice on thermometer freezing point of water
1 cross, tree count of vertical items
2 twins, jeans count of items
3 dinner triangle, stool sides or pieces
4 compass directions, car tires count of items
5 fingers on hand, glove count of items
6 Star of David, die count of items
7 dice lucky number for games
8 8-track tape, skates part of name, shape from use
9 pool balls, solar system part of name of game, count of items
10 bowling pins count of items

Digit to sound pre-encoding

These systems are the first step in a two-step process converting the digits to sounds which are then encoded to words, people’s names, objects, or locations.

Major system

See Major System in the Wiki.

Major+3 system

This is my addition of three aspirated letters (H, W, Y) to 11/J, 12/Q, and 13/K for use in playing card memorization. 10 is mapped to zero. Ace is mapped to one. Has anyone tried this variation?

Ben system - vowels

@Zoomy (Ben Pridmore) uses this in combination with two of his consonant mappings (below). See Ben System in the Wiki.

# sound # sound
1 short a – cat 6 long A – hay
2 short e – pet 7 long E – bee
3 short i – kitten 8 long I – high
4 short o - tom 9 long O – low
5 short u - puss 0 long U – you

Ben system - consonants

This is a 16-digit/number to letter conversion which provides much more flexibility for different data types but correspondingly more difficult to learn. The system is mostly a digit to letter mapping with a few sounds which improves the efficiency of encoding and decoding. But there are also less secondary encodings of words that can be made.

# sound # sound
0 s 8 f
1 t 9 b
2 n 10 p
3 m 11 d
4 r 12 h
5 l 13 sk, sn, sm
6 g, j, ch 14 st, sp
7 k 15 sh, sl, sw

Dominic system

Dominic O’Brien pre-encodes digits to letters, and is not a true digits to sounds pre-encoding, so is more of a competition system and then finishes with Person-Action pegs. See Dominic system in the Wiki.

digit letter reasoning
0 O looks like zero, last letter of zero
1 A first letter of the alphabet
2 B second letter of the alphabet
3 C third letter of the alphabet
4 D fourth letter of the alphabet
5 E fifth letter of the alphabet
6 S first letter of six
7 G gee, I have no clue (DH)
8 H almost the equivalent of a long A
9 N first letter of nine

Phone system

A system lacking usefulness for encoding.
2=A,B,C; 3=D,E,F; 4=G,H,I; 5=J,K,L; 6=M,N,O; 7=P,Q,R,S; 8=T,U,V; 9=W,X,Y,Z

Numerology system

Another useless system for encoding.
1=A,J,S; 2=B,K,T; 3=C,L,U; 4=D,M,V; 5=E,N,W; 6=F,O,X; 7=G,P,Y; 8=H,Q,Z; 9=I,R.


@Niten, you raise some good questions. I’m not a memory athlete myself. I grew up on a farm without brothers so sports was not my thing. I could barely handle bowling.

The encoded images should be unique so they can be distinguished. If they can’t then you need to change the context or the object itself. Exaggeration or providing a different set of enhancements changes the object. But maybe the object might try to slip back to mediocrity. In verbatim texts, the background (locus) provides the scenery to the objects and activities of my journeys and should be well distinguished from any other background.

So you are right about how I would go about encoding information about Washington state, however it might end up as a room (a memory object) within a locus of the Northwest states. I’d have to have mapped out the info that I wanted to retain and created a traversal scheme for every room based on that information.

Lists of unconnected words pose a problem. They have no natural order as in verbatim texts. So they must be associated with an ordered system of pegs. The next large post I do will review the peg systems.

I’ve found that using redundant peg systems, which I call doubling-up, is a great way to provide assistance when reaching for that next part in traversing my journey with just a story. I double-up with number-pegs on every paragraph of Bible verses or famous verse which helps me get back on track as I traverse to the next used number-peg.

It seems to me that your style of redundancy is what I would call enhancing the image and is a category on the poll I took at the beginning of this topic that I’ll address in the future. It’s often just a sketch in my mind that I create at first for a story and not being that memorable; it fades easily. The big enhancements are personal images and relevant or strong actions. Dance and music are also used. The big techniques are writing down your story and telling your story orally to another person (if you can find another person who would tolerate it. My wife made it through only one.)

I hope this helps you see from my perspective how I do my memorization. Maybe other folks have some other ideas. There’s quite a large range of opinions here which is why I like participating. I look forward to hearing more ideas and questions from your background and sharing here on the site!

Happy encoding, Doug


I think I’m comfortable in sharing the analysis of memory systems in general now. I had to use the various systems, learn from everyone, and test everything before I made decisions. The three big variables that define a memory system, it seems, are how encoded images

  • are grouped
  • create their own or use an existing system
  • are traversed

Here’s the basic visualization system categories:

Type single association narrative sequence rule-based sequence
Words / digits Simple association Story Pegs
Object Symbol Memory object (palace) Journey

and here are the system construction methods:

Top-down, key first Bottom-up, value first
Simple association Key-value pair Tradition driven systems suggesting links.
Story Pre-written narrative Keys become values to link to next key suggesting narrative.
Pegs Peg system A personal implied order of items.
Symbol Shelving, pigeonholes. Aggregate object, souvenir cabinet.
Memory object (palace) A selected background, familiar locations, photo books, an unordered method of loci. A composite memory image where chunked values suggest a background or a scene of a play.
Journey Locations having a common and distinct background(s) for encoded images or other systems. Winter counts, songlines, an ordered method of loci. Associated values suggest an imagined background or scenery for multiple encoding types in each scene. Layering of types. Lukasa. Free-form art forms – plays, movies.

Rules which can be applied to the ordered groups are one or more of the following (not complete, I’m sure):

  • pre-existing path
  • sequence (alphabetic, numeric, etc.)
  • peg system (imposed sequence)
  • path by proximity, alignment, contrast, or repetition of markers
  • small to large
  • front to back
  • left to right
  • top to bottom
  • external POV outside to inside
  • internal POV low (starting near your feet) to high
  • external POV high (starting near your head) to low
  • internal POV: inside to outside
  • clockwise (north, east, south, to west or 12, 1, 2, etc.)
  • 6-sided die - turn right, rotate forward
  • pitch

I’ll continue to discuss the systems in these terms in my posts. I welcome any discussion on my organization of the memory systems.

Edit: I’ve made a major revision to this summary at post 58 in this topic.


After updating the above summary another thousand times, I considered that it wasn’t quite ready after all and now post the current status of the overview which has much simpler names and consistent descriptions based on sentence structure similarities. If you find it easy then my difficulty has been worth it. In analysis, simple is never easy. Suggestions are always welcome. @LynneKelly has provided much input via her Songlines book.

Memory systems

Visualized by single association narrative traversed sequence rule traversed sequence
Words Sentence Story List
Things Symbol History Journey

Creation methods

Type Key first (using and teaching) Value first (learning)
Sentence Logical sentence. Subject performs relevant action with relevant object. Nonsense sentence. Any subject acting in any way with an object.
Story Interpretation. Imaginary subjects and actions perform narratives on objects to achieve an outcome. Improvisation. Subjects and objects follow narrative logic with relevant actions without knowing an outcome.
List Pegs. An ordered list of subjects perform relevant actions to a sequence of objects. Pattern. Seen as a whole, a group of objects suggest an order for imaginary subjects or actions of a sequence.
Symbol Feature. A natural or created part of a background is associated in a relevant manner with an object. Monument, memento, icon, tag. Method of loci without a traversal rule. Projection. An object acts on a natural or created part of a background for an imaginary reason.
History Adventure. An existing background controls the narrative logic to the actions and objects without knowing the outcome. You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here. What does the mailbox do? Dreaming. A background is the result of a narrative of locations with imaginary actions and subjects to achieve an outcome. People or gods did stuff here to this object, who and what was it? Songlines.
Journey Marked path. An ordered set of locations within a real background are associated with actions and objects. An ordered method of loci. Art form. An ordered set of locations using an imaginary background develops out of imaginary subjects doing actions on a group of objects. Plays, movies, dance. Lukasa, winter counts.

The difference between the two styles of visualization systems in the bottom chart are distinguished when the system is created. If the knowledge that is being stored is known beforehand, then it is what I used to call a top-down system or a key system based on using a memory system as keys to provide storage locations for the knowledge. People impose a rational order on top to retain for use and to teach others about the knowledge. It’s more of a scientific approach.

Any kind of system for using and teaching information by location is essentially a method of loci. The feature has no traversal system and items are plopped into a room as features to be seen, the adventure has a narrative approach to walking around in your memory palace finding objects as you go, and the marked path tells you by rule what location to go to next.

The other style of visualization system is the bottom-up style where information is stored as it is acquired and blended in to a system. When too many pieces of information or values are needing to be stored, they have to be understood and chunked using the imagination to provide a way to organize it. It is a learning process as new pieces of information are blended in and the ordering can change. You could call this the analytic approach.


I received my copy of Margo Neale and @LynneKelly’s Songlines recently and thoroughly enjoyed discovering how knowledge has come to be encoded and visualized in her part of the world by the indigenous Australians. As an analyst, I wanted to see if I could visualize the memory system known as the songline. Here’s my first draft of the model:

All of my information is from one reading of the book, so if I don’t have all the details, any other person including Lynne, is welcome to suggest edits.

The sites of significance exist on trails and sometimes will appear also in the constellations. The sites became descriptive names or sometimes creatures made through associations to add to a rich composite memory image at that site. Simple visualizations follow a sentence structure usually. The imaginative visualizations are what I think are called the Dreamings. The composite memory images also contain the visualized imagery that has been encoded from plants, animals, migration times, agricultural methods and more. The diamond refers to the relationship of visualized images being aggregated into the composite in a way that doesn’t depend on the composite to understand it.

As a custodian travels along the paths of the songline traversing the specific locations, composite memory images come to mind. The dreaming is a narrative-based sequence of objects recalling a history of significant events and objects, in this case, locations followed in a particular order along a path that existed before the songline was created. This is a learning type of recording of history drawn from the imagery of the Country. Today, we generally bring information to associate to locations which is more of the adventure purpose used to teach others or use for ourselves. When you bring knowledge about history in a narrative sequence, as Lynne does, to her path around the house and into town, that is her adventure. If the information was more disconnected along a path it would be a marked path style.

The filled diamond is a symbol of composition which means that the composite memory images can be traversed as a dreaming by travelling along the locations in order. But the composite memory images can also be traversed as a legend which puts the words on the images so they can be told in stories, sung as a song for easier recall, and performed as a dance in a ceremony. Ceremonial objects. the art form style of journey, also have locations on them, traversed by a rule, which represent information and are included in the legend traversal when the performer enacts a songline.

The benefit of having redundant traversal methods is that songs can be sung as the sites are being visited. I liked a part of the book where a song told two local Aborigine people of a waterhole obscured by an escarpment while driving through Country even though they had never visited the area.


Halfway through Songlines myself. Bravo on keeping up with these threads. I’ll keep on reading as you post!


Here’s another significant piece of visual systems analysis: the glossary. Without knowing how to talk about the problem you can’t solve the problem. That was my obsession in the last two weeks.

It started with @LynneKelly’s Songlines and developed into visual images and finally into words with alternate words I’ve picked up from listening to everyone here on the forum and examples that help me prove that I had a good definition. Here’s a slight addition to the Songlines model to add in the songs that are not visual.

The 66 terms in the glossary have generated a lot of discussion in my head. I’m happy to welcome others into my discussion now. This version is 3.0 and is likely to be updated in the future but the major work I believe is done. Thanks for all the great posts and discussions here!

You’'ll find my glossary and an incomplete version of my thinking about memory systems in general including the chart on visual systems above in my Github memory repository. Click on the item and then the download button to retrieve it. Please give me feedback.


Saved on my device. I’ll get back to you soon.

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I like that you split memorizing knowledge aquired beforehand and memorizing knowledge as you aquire it into separate categories. I understand that distinction, and I understand a lot of the table but there are parts I don’t quite apprehend.

What do you mean by putting things-in-words, and things as separate units in the visualization table? Are words visualized as written in part your system, like king is sometimes not a man with a crown but a series of letters k-i-n-g? If I’m being painfully obtuse I apologize

@Mountainmystic That’s a subtle point but an important one so it’s good you question me on that.

I noticed that people used different methods for competition and long-term memorization. The imaginative narrative style was used often and the prepared rule-based pegs and method of loci (an adventure or journey) were primary styles at competition. Narratives could be dynamic but rules always had a limit so they could be well understood.

On the other hand, people used more relevant imagery in their stories and passed them down with their own interpretations over generations. Other peoples crafted interesting art forms and explanations of why trees and animals were the way they were. Those stories became ways to teach but first had to be composed in a believable fashion. So it was a dynamic system where new information could be merged as it was acquired.

So I split systems into those that were capable of being extended, or dynamic, when information is being altered, composed, or extended and those where the system is static for efficiency of speed and the ability to pass the knowledge as a teachable and usable process to many others.

The other division of words and things are really the division between the sounds we use for words and the things themselves. If you use the Major system (1 = T,D), you use sounds, if you use the an association system (1 = lightpole, ice cream stick, etc.) you are using things. To remember a king, you use a crown using the thing style but using words, you would remember a king with a similar sound like kink or King James.

I hope this helps. I’m sure others have the same questions so keep asking if you don’t understand. My glossary tries to give examples too.


Anecdotal stories are great to read but I like to make decisions on data. I haven’t seen much data when it comes to which system is better for memorizing numbers and I needed to do better at house numbers and phone numbers. So here is my analysis on systems that memorize digits for competition and casual users like me. Please feel free to suggest improvements or other systems.

Competition systems analysis for numbers


The 3-digit story system is best for competition if several years of practice are put in. A similar 4-digit system has little added benefit and practice becomes burdensome. A similar 2-digit system is best for casual users producing faster results than any peg system.

The winning system

The 3-digit improvisational story system starts with an encoding system to map digits to word sounds. Popular encodings from digit to word sounds are the Major and the Ben systems (@Ben = Ben Pridmore). Mappings to other data types can be made for 2-digit systems but don’t have the flexibility that sounds give. The word sounds are then visualized as a memory image.

The Ben system has the added benefit for memory competition of reuse for binary numbers and playing cards because of the 16 different consonant sounds. The Major system can be extended into 13 consonant sounds easily for playing cards and 16 takes a little more effort.

The analysis method

Each system was broken down into two main process categories of preparation and visualization. The competition environment uses simple data types that need no strategies or familiarization except in the case of people’s names where practicing with common names helps. Each process defines a quantifiable amount of mental work as either encodings or associations.

Preparation workload

Preparation workload involves the development or acquiring and practice of a memory system. The metric used here is the number of visual sentence component pegs (P, A, O, L) to be prepared for the system (CPs). This is the number of digits used in the system multiplied by the number of component peg values needed. Visual sentence component pegs directly relate to the amount of time needed to become proficient through practice and a conversion of one PC per day is used for casual users and is meant for comparison purposes only. The more practice that competitors put in will reduce the time needed to master the system. A lower number is better.

Visualization workload

Visualization workload is measured by the units of how many associations are made per memory image so that it can be used with another memory image. I assumed that most system users were fluent in encoding digits to sounds and that what mattered was the association of sounds to memory image rather than having any issue with decreased efficiency due to being unable to encode. Each sound association maps a digit or digits to a visualized memory image.

System deconstruction

A complex memory image, or visual sentence, is created by adding enhancing details so that it becomes more memorable. Those data type details can include subject, subject enhancements, strong action verb, direct object or items, and location or terrain (SEA-IT). A visual sentence can be described as connected set of those details such as a subject-verb-object in a location. This is a direct relationship with the PAO (Person-Action-Object) system which has been improved by adding a location (PAIL).


The metrics used for measurement per memory image were

  • how many image components were recalled (MI components)
  • how many associations were made in the creation of the visual sentence, usually one less than the MI components (sentence links) and
  • how many associations need to be made to store the memory image with the backing traversal order in the memory system (system links).

Because the mind can store seven plus or minus two items at a time easily in working memory, the Miller number, a goal of seven or less is desired for visualization workload.

That number is then divided by the number of digits being encoded to get a KPI (key performance indicator) for system visualization efficiency (SVE). The lower the score the better. The other KPI of visual sentence component pegs (CPs) should make systems easily comparable for either casual or competitive users.

Systems analyzed

Systems and other terms are described by names defined in my Memory systems summary and Glossary of memory terms found at my Github repo for memory.

The systems
Digits System type combined with number pegs Abbreviation
1 Story improvisation of any data type 1-*
1 Story improvisation – PA, PO, or OP/AL 1-PA
1 Adventure or marked path PAO 1-PAO
1 Adventure or marked path PAIL 1-PAIL
2 Story improvisation of any data type 2-*
2 Story improvisation – PA, PO, or OP/AL 2-PA
2 Adventure or marked path PAO 2-PAO
2 Adventure or marked path PAIL 2-PAIL
3 Story improvisation of any data type 3-*
3 Story improvisation – PA, PO, or OP/AL 3-PA
3 Adventure or marked path PAO 3-PAO
3 Adventure or marked path PAIL 3-PAIL
4 Story improvisation of any data type 4-*

Notes: OP/AL is my enhanced Person-Action, PAIL is Person-Action-Item-Location, adventure and marked path are both types of a method of loci.

The results

Preparation workload
System system peg values peg images combined CP Total App. time to master
1-* 10 1 10 1w
1-PA 10 2 20 3w
1-PAO 10 3 30 1m
1-PAIL 10 4 40 1m1w
2-* 100 1 100 3w
2-PA 100 2 200 6m
2-PAO 100 3 300 10m
2-PAIL 100 4 400 1y
3-* 1000 1 1000 3y
3-PA 1000 2 2000 5y
3-PAO 1000 3 3000 8y
3-PAIL 1000 4 4000 11y
4-* 10,000 1 10,000 28y
Visualization workload
System Memory image components Sentence component assoc. System image assoc. Total (7 ± 2 optimum) Chunks System visualization efficiency (SVE)
1-* 1 0 1 2 1 2
1-PA 2 1 1 4 1 4
1-PAO 3 2 2 7 1 7
1-PAIL 4 3 2 9 1 9
2-* 1 0 1 2 2 1
2-PA 2 1 1 4 2 2
2-PAO 3 2 2 7 2 3.5
2-PAIL 4 3 2 9 2 4.5
3-* 1 0 1 2 3 0.7
3-PA 2 1 1 4 3 1.3
3-PAO 3 2 2 7 3 2.3
3-PAIL 4 3 2 9 3 3
4-* 1 0 1 2 4 0.5


My thoughts

In general, the systems using a narrative system had a greater efficiency seen by the smaller SVE but topped out at three digits for significant incremental gains. The preparation workload between three- and four-digit narrative systems was greatly increased.

@katiek (Katie Kermode) switched from a modified 2-PA (SVE=2) system to a 2-C+1-O (2-digit Category and 1-digit subject/object, SVE= 2?) to a 3-* (SVE=0.7) type system at the direction of @lociinthesky (Lance Tschirhart) and increased her speed after eight years of using the 3-PAO system in only two months.

I think that the placement of the optimum number memory images in the same location in a method of loci background, is a matter of the Miller number. In other words, the mental workload decreases if you place two rather than three memory images per location. @AlexM (Alex Mullen) switched from three to two memory images and believes that the change was responsible for a spike in his scores. I don’t know his number system but any decrease in visualization workload towards a goal of five to seven will get you the best results.

The 3-digit improvisational story visualization seems to be best for competition if several years of practice are put in which most competitors do. A similar 4-digit system has little added benefit and the practice of it becomes burdensome. Most people want to develop a competition weight system quickly. A similar 2-digit system is best for casual users producing faster results than any peg system.

One thing I’ve found that helps in developing a narrative traversal approach is for the memory images to contain significant enhancing details with a visual sentence structure using subject, subject enhancements, strong action verb, direct object or items, and location or terrain (SEA-IT). The ability to tie a new image to the last is increased by the details that you can build relevant associations to.

Competitors with an already strong reusable method of loci system have no benefit over forming visual sentences and this would be a personal choice. Casual users do best with less complexity and therefore a story system with a narrative traversal is better to start with.

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Hi! A very thorough analysis, which I’ll look forward to reading soon, but just to clarify (since you used my example), I never used PAO. I initially had what you might call a 2-digit PA, then a 3-digit category system, and finally the Ben System. The marked difference in speed came when I moved from the category system to the Ben System, presumably because the images were quicker to “read”.


Thanks @katiek for your quick feedback. I made the edits in my post above. I explored the Category-PA systems and think that they are as complex as the pure PAO systems but I think they really are two systems combined. One is a 1-* for category and the other is the 2-PA. It does increase the preparation workload slightly from 3000 to 3010 I think. I look forward to your thoughts and experiences. - Doug

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