To use memory techniques in everyday life, started practice with trying to remember movies

Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forum, this is my first post. Thanks for having me here :slight_smile:

I have been learning about all the techniques, the memory palace, major system etc for >5years now, and have been trying to put them to work and it really seems too difficult every time and I just quit! Recently I tried to put these techniques to practical everyday use AGAIN by trying to place images of storylines whenever I watch movies, into a memory palace (current home). But I am pausing too often to gather the info and to compile them into the memory palace. Also there is this constant worry that I will run out of loci’s or magnetic stations in the memory palace. I don’t want to get out of the current house (in the memory palace which has 50 loci as per my initial design plan) but as I keep watching movies, I will run out of the loci. Also, another worry is how’ll I know later which memory palace is for which movie?

I tried to understand the RGB idea and Stencil concept by R30 and it was too complex to even understand. I tried to use Gavino’s MMP system as well but come revision time, I keep forgetting which loci I mapped to which other location or friend etc. I also went through the Penrose stairs concept by user “MM Scot of Glasgow” but still wondering how to practically implement it because I tried to use my current home for remembering the Matrix movies’ storyline but I already reached 99PAO persons and I was not able to recollect things in the first place. Even after pausing, associating, placing the association in the memory palace and resuming for every scene I hoped to remember! That only says that I need practice with associations I guess but is it possible that there can be more of an organized way to remember movies, another way for programming concepts, etc.

I want to use the memory techniques for everyday use. Definitely to remember bank details, passwords etc but also as a software engineer, I would like to remember Programming concepts, learn new concepts for certifications, read books, watch movies for retention!

I hope there is an organized system using which we can pick a palace for whichever topic we are currently trying to remember (as if at finger tips, like a memory palace index). I know that this question is asked too often and many have answered this already but the solutions are not answering the main issue for me when the techniques are being put to use by a beginner like me:

  1. How to plan for memory palaces instantly to remember say Minutes of meeting after a call with a client?
  2. How to plan for memory palaces to remember important points to be recollected when attempting certifications?
  3. How to instantly come up with memory palaces when someone tells there phone number or there’s a list of groceries to be remembered?
  4. Even if we do, how to be able to recollect in the future which memory palace was used for remembering what?

I want to learn the techniques, make it second nature to observe, be in present tense every moment by being on a lookout for everything in the present that I can use later in my memory palace and finally remember everything important and useful like everybody seems to be doing in this forum.

Cheers :slight_smile:

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First, @DeniseTheMenace, welcome to the forum. If you’ve been learning for five or more years, then you have a good idea of the fundamentals, I expect.

Following a movie in your memory provides a good set of images to place at your locations around your house but movies tend to have several hundred scenes which is much too large to begin with. TV shows are better which have 11 to 16 scenes for a half-hour sitcom. Try those first.

Check out how to reuse palaces here on the forum. There’s a page about it at Is it possible to reuse memory palaces?.

Stay with simple peg systems (number keywords, bestiary, a walk around your house, etc.) and story methods until you are good at those then try the more advanced methods. Practice using the Memory League training software.

My opinons about your questions are:

  1. Use any peg system.
  2. Certification is usually more about understanding and not memory work. But you can create a story to remember multiple points.
  3. a.) A phone number is a multiple image mini-story that is associated to a feature of a person. Get a good book or search for remembering faces.
    b.) Use a simple peg system for groceries.
  4. The cue of what you want to remember is associated to the first item of the list. I just posted an example of remembering the virtues and it’s easy to remember sticky prunes in my hair as the way to start off that peg system.

Practice makes perfect! And when you run into a problem, you know where to find an answer.

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

Now, I have a long post for you, and it might seem discouraging, but I mainly want to let you think about your questions some more. From reading your post I feel like you are the proverbial person with a hammer, who views every problem as a nail.

You can either create a palace on the spot (needs practice) or have a palace dedicated to this, but don’t depend on it. I speak to a lot of people, and during important conversations with clients I just write things down. I add it to a memory palace as well, but never without writing it down. This does 3 things.

  1. You always have a backup, our memory is not perfect, and I notice that it is especially useful when I understood something wrong. I might think they meant A, and I write down A, but then they say no, they meant B. On paper I can scratch this and write B down, if I rely on only a memory palace I tend to get more ghost images, and end up doing A after all.

  2. I know what to put in my memory palace, I have already phrased the subject for myself. When phrasing it and looking at it I might also get additional question, or maybe I get additional information that would have changed the image.

  3. It shows the client that I don’t want to get it wrong.

Sure memory is nice, but don’t try to rely solely on it. Use it as a post-conversation addition to your own productivity.

Lets skip the memory palaces for a minute. What you don’t want to forget is what I call a pact. meaning Practice, Analyze, Connect, Theorize. It is how I learn most skills. I practice it all, I analyse what I am doing and what results it gives, I connect the things I have learned to other things I know and have learned, and finally I theorize some things based on my experiences (which I can later test if needed). This creates more understanding, which helps a lot in forming the images if you do use a palace.

Now, as for memory palaces, you can use them, but it is like writing something in a notebook to be read later on as a reminder. Think of how you would write notes, and then translate that method to memory palaces.

First, ask yourself if it is needed. I don’t memorize phone numbers when people tell me them, I put them in my phone.

As for unexpected things that need to be memorized, I often use my training palaces for those. These are palaces that I used hundreds of times to memorize lists of words, numbers, cards, etc. so I can picture them very well, and I can use them instantly.

Here you reach more into the subject of permanent memories, and I would once again ask the question of why. You mentioned phone numbers, when is it important to know someone’s phone number? I mean actually know, having it ready in your mind. I bring that up because it takes time and effort to let information stick long term. You have to make a dedicated palace, form images, recall the images, do periodic recalls to make sure the information sticks, and account for any mistakes.

Here again, you can ask, why? Is it because you like doing it, do you want to impress people with your memory, does your daily life require you to use your memory instead of memory aids, etc.

When looking at the basics, we are all searching for effective ways to perform the task at hand. Memory athletes have to be able to memorize sets of cards, strings of numbers and lists of words without any external help, often in a fast time, so their techniques are adapted to fit that task. If you have to memorize a phone number to call later today, you can surely memorize it. But when that one phone number becomes a couple hundred numbers that you might call once every few months, it is way more effective to just write it down.

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