Transition to using Major System from learning Major System (Questions about Learning)

I suspect I am overdue to start practicing numbers, put together a body journey, a walk and a palace or three.

My major system still has gaps and slow spots but I am kind of thinking that using it will be the best way to drive it home.

Any recommendations on the variety of practice in numbers that are good for a beginner? ( I have had a tendency to avoid reaching with my mental calculation and I think it has in general held me back ) . I suspect there is a balance. Should I alternate between achievable and unachievable lengths and times OR should I do progressive runs OR should I just randomize it and let the chips fall where they may?

== Warning ---->> Serious geeking out starts here.

=== You have been warned

This is where I think you could game the system. The deep learning algorithms are doing a really good job of becoming world-class players at probabilistic games. If you could train a network to treat teaching mnemonics to people as a game then I suspect both strong general and custom algorithms could be developed for a wide range of learning.

Any thoughts on initial weightings would be interesting. Zero-knowledge might be fun but as a starting point understanding what categories might be identified in the use of mnemonics and the underlying data schema would be quicker to prototype. Bet you could build a pretty strong trainer.

thanks to anyone who managed to read to the end.



Right here is where you err:
“I suspect I am overdue to start practicing numbers, put together a body journey, a walk and a palace or three.”

I see no reason to create a memory palace or journey when it comes to numbers!

Numbers are already “enough” to memorize…Use the Major method and link the images.


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I’ll agree that you don’t have to use a memory palace/journey for numbers, but I’ve found it to be helpful.

If those numbers are telephone numbers, you don’t want them linked in an endless string of images; you’d want to have each number in its own discrete location, so you clearly and quickly know where one ends and the next entry begins.

I would expect the same would be true for memorizing formulae; you need to know where one ends and the next one begins.

But I also use a journey for pi, which you certainly can memorize just as effectively by linking. I find it helpful, though, to store the numbers in 6-digit chunks, which are then stored along a memory journey.

While a journey isn’t the best method for every kind of information, I believe it should at least be in the arsenal of everyone who is truly interested in using memory techniques.



That’s correct RM,

You don’t BUT should know it.

To me, understanding the information in a meaningful way and being able to link the info. is the most crucial intersection of learning material.

If material is complex enough, simple memory methods should be employed.


Thanks for the tips. Using basic linking to start about 8-10 in 60 seconds to start with. Easy recall but dead slow recalling and linking the images.

Hi Bob,

The only ways to use number via a Memory palace/Journey would be if you were travelling and decide to:

  1. Memory the map
  2. Memorize directions using a map or directions verbalized to you
  3. Memorize numbers in rows & columns in a Matrix
  4. Memorize numbers in a code or cypher device


I’m sorry, but that’s absolutely not true. A memory palace is a place to store images. When numbers are associated with images, you can store all of them in a memory palace. Not sure why you’d think memory palaces have such limited application when it comes to numbers. I store pi in a memory palace, phone numbers, addresses, family birthdays, historical dates, etc.


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I had a few hundred digits of pi in a journey last year with the major system for image pegs.

For fast storage and recall a pre-prepared palace and quick access to the pegs seems like a must have. I intend to use Numbers for calculation so in general I want very fast storage/recall with little or no mental effort wasted being distracted building up a story/links for my pegs.

That said at the place where I am right now, linking is a perfectly good tactic for engraining the major system and it is not really a constraint on my speed for now.

Hi Bob,

What I forgot to say was, In My Honest Opinion, regarding my last post.

I don’t etch anything in stone really but do dislike certain methods for certain tasks.

I personally see no use for memory palaces and numbers when you can use a grid which can be lettered and numbered respectively…same result, less work


@Stefos … “I personally see no use for memory palaces and numbers when you can use a grid which can be lettered and numbered respectively…same result, less work.”

What did you mean by this? I think I missed something interesting here. I find it hard to believe that mentally sticking images in a grid is as easy to recall as a body journey or simple set of loci. What am I missing?


Creating a Memory palace or journey involves more work than simply linking information or in this instance, “gridding” the information.

Not only that but older memory systems used a room and numbered each corner and the center of the room, similar to a Letter M pattern.

Memory palaces have their use, no doubt.

Now I can “see” Quintillians’ point.


Just a minor update post if I ever look here again. Still learning the major system. Some of my mental mappings are going straight from image to number now but I am mostly still using the sounds to try to recall my images or numbers. This is taking me anywhere from 3-5 seconds on recall. For those that I can remember directly the time is well under a second. Not sure how much more study it will take to be able to directly recall the image/number pairs but I am still seeing steady but slow improvement so there isn’t much for me to do except keep practicing.

Learning a system for speed doesn’t have nearly the magical feeling of of creating a journey for the digits of pi but I suspect the end product will be much more useful and effective… (maybe).

I have been accumulating numeric lists ( squares, primes, logarithms, exponents ) and esoteric lists ( cards, constellations, euclids elements ) that I will either use with the major system or let drive me to a 3 factor system and looking forward to getting to level 4 in training on the Memory League site.

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Down to 120 seconds with one miss-translation 16 out of 18 and I thought lily when I should have thought nun. (the last 2 numbers, I blame being overly excited as that was the first time it felt moderately easy. I was pretty stoked that I came up with my little story quickly and recalled the mappings without straining (much). ).

A person is laying down with their neck on a beef steak in the lap of my teddy bear
27, 98, 11

watching a badger driving a car hit a bike
66, 74, 97

that results in a funeral for sure, a lock in a noose and a lilly… (oops) should have been a nun.
57, 20, 55 but it should have been 22.

I intentionally remembered lily (55) but the number was (22) nun. I am going to reset my learning on Monday with a max time of 4 seconds for my memoset. There are still outright difficult numbers but the rest are starting to improve nicely.

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