Using Loci Method books or texts


I have never used the loci method to memorize information in texts and I was wondering if anyone could give me a few suggestions on how to start. I understand how to use the loci method for memorizing items like grocery lists or for important people in history, but memorizing information in textbooks seems like there is a different trick to it. Do you take key points and transform them into imagery? All suggestions are welcome!

PS: I am learning HTML and CSS and other forms of web development, so that is why I find it difficult to transform the information into a loci.

Probably the best thing you could do, as a beginner, is to buy a book by either Harry Lorayne or Dominic O’Brien. These will give you a great headstart. And a book is perfect for (a) going at your own speed, (b) rereading portions. A lot of things that you may not find explained fully here will be found in the books, and the books are written simply and are accessible to any beginner.

As for text, the books give information about memorizing speeches and you simply treat any text as a speech. And yes, you do transform the key points into images. This is the whole method/point of mnemonics. Words into images.

Once you make the transformation into images, you then have to decide if you want to use “instant association” or if you want to place them at various loci. As to which is better, you’ll have to decide that for yourself. You may find that using instant association works best for some information, while loci (memory palace or journey method) works best for other information. There is no “one way” that’ll work for everyone.

By the way, just so you understand, you don’t transform images “into” loci. You “place” images at loci.

Thanks Cupid,

I do understand and know the method, when using it for items, like I said. Perhaps it was poor wording, but what I meant to say was:

If I am reading my text and I have to remember six pieces of information to from a paragraph, (let’s say, six different image file types and their characteristics because I am learning Web Development), since these file types are are simply tags, .wav or .mp4, how would I implement them into a loci? Or how would I do the same with sound file types?

I guess I will be more concise next time. Certain elements of my course are seemingly abstract and only exist in the world of the internet, that’s why I was trying to allude to using characters or images to represent an HTML or CSS code, like h3 { font: font-variant font-weight font-size/line-height font-family}.


As far as the tags are concerned, all you have to do is come up with an image that you’ll use exclusively for that tag. It can be a person, an animal, or a thing.

All .wav files can be Sylvester Stallone, or a zebra, or an ashtray. And then you fit it into whatever it’s supposed to remind you of.

Any mp4 file can be represented by Michelle Pfeiffer (MP).

Apply this to any constant, anything that you’ll encounter on a regular basis.

Remember, these images aren’t “implemented” in loci. You simply “set them down” into a locus. You “place” them there. So that when you walk through your palace, or your journey, you’ll see the image “on” your desk, or “in” your bathtub, or “on” your stove, or “in” your fridge, or “on” your doormat, or “in” your driveway, or “in front of” that house or store.

If you regularly come across HTML, you have a choice. You can come up with a four-word phrase, each word beginning with H, then T, then M, then L. Remember one of those phrases you used in order to recall the order of the planets? My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.

Or you can come up with a single image that you’ll use only when HTML is necessary to remember. An image that has nothing logically to do with the letters HTML, but an image that you use only for it. Again, a person, an animal, or a thing. Every time you see your cousin’s image, you know it’s an HTML you’re remembering. Or a pet you used to own. Or a type of car. Or a weapon. Then all you have to do is work that image into the thing you want to remember.

The best images (person, animal, thing) are those you come up with for yourself. This way, it’ll be natural for your mind to recall it, since it originated within you. Of course, we all use images other people have suggested, but not all the time. When you come across a word or a concept, ask yourself, “Why don’t I just represent this with a specific, constant image? Any image will do, so long as I use it only for that word/concept.”

All of this is more or less spelled out in Loryane’s and O’Brien’s books.

All right, thanks for your advice. I hope we’re not getting tripped on semantics.


No, not semantics.

I was merely emphasizing that the image(s) you use don’t necessarily have to interact with the loci. I’ve found that, more often than not, it’s simply a matter of setting the image(s) down in a location along a journey or in a palace.

Of course, I’ve had images that did, in fact, interact with the location in some way, but it’s a matter of choice. Some people will do it all the time with every image, some will do it only occasionally, or, as the occasion demands.

I’ve set images in a bathtub without water. It was simply there and not interacting with the bathtub “as a bathtub”. I’ve set an image in front of a wedding-dress store and had a bride and groom rush out and interact with the image.

I just use whatever works, without trying to impose a strict system. I rely on the situation to tell me the best way to do it. I may set something down, leave it there, and find it when I come back. Other times, it doesn’t feel strong enough and I see what else can be done to strengthen it, which sometimes means making it interact with its location. I may use 20 locations in a house and 19 of them will have images just sitting there, waiting for me to come along. And there will be 1 that interacts with the location. Or the reverse.

For me, leaving the system open-ended that way (that is, not having a pre-plan to impose an image-location interaction), allows me the maximum freedom I need to come up with a visual that will last.

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I’ve learned HTML & CSS a long time ago, and all things you need to do are practice frequently. You don’t need MP to memorize, just rotation memory is enough.

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