I have been thinking of trying to get better at mind palaces and use them throughout the day for memorizing, but I have trouble remembering the mindnpalaces themselves. Does anybody organize their mindpalaces themselves? If someone could help me with this that would be awesome!
Never had that problem before. Can you describe more specifically what exactly you can’t remember about them?
Like Pikachu, I’m not certain I understand the problem you’re having. I do keep a list of my memory palaces in Apple Notes on my iPad/iPhone. But I’m guessing your issue is something more than simply not remembering how many palaces you have or which ones house which information.
Are you having trouble remembering your actual route through your memory palaces? If that’s the case, I’ll say that I think it’s important—and I don’t think everyone here would agree—that your memory palaces be based on actual, physical places that you know very, very well. To my way of thinking, that’s the whole point of using a memory palace; because you know every space within it, it quickly and almost effortlessly triggers the memories associated with them. (So, no, I don’t ever use imaginary spaces or spaces that only exist on paper or in games.) If you’re forgetting the actual route through a space, it may be because you’re trying to remember the space itself in addition to remembering the associations.
It can be helpful, when possible, to somehow link your memory palaces to the things you’re memorizing. For example, if you’re memorizing a lot of detailed information or lists related to education, maybe your memory palace is your university. If you’re memorizing authors and books, it would make sense to store that information in a memory palace built on a library that you know.
Finally, “walk through” your palaces as often as possible, so they—and their contents—become even more familiar.
Hope there’s something here that can help!
I suggest you write down your memory palaces on a journal. Review them everyday for a few minutes for a week or so. Eventually it will become easier to recall your palaces. But like other users mentioned above, try using areas you’ve visited or know very well.
I agree with a lot of what Bob said. I use mostly places I know well, but I have been using imaginary palaces. When I decide to use a made up palace, I draw it out, know the number of loci in each room and rehearse it without the mnemonic images a few times first. I then input the images and write out the story on a file on my computer so I can go back for review. So far it has been just as effective for me as palaces of actual places.
I’m naturally nostalgic/sentimental, so I especially enjoy linking information to homes and places from my past. Even though I’m reciting US States, I get to walk through my grandmother’s house—which no longer exists—when I do it. Best Picture winners give me the chance to revisit my childhood home now that my parents are gone and the house has new owners. So, old homes/old neighborhoods make the memory techniques that much more appealing to me.
Assuming I keep memorizing stuff, there’s going to be a point when I run out of nostalgic journeys and need to change things up. But walking repeatedly through an imagined location—one without any memories of its own—doesn’t appeal to me…yet.
(I should add that I memorize purely for enjoyment. I’m not competing at all. If I were, I think I’d have to be much more clinical about this.)
When you do create your own mind palace is it a location with furniture in a specific unchanging way? Or is it just objects in a blank room in a specific path?
I wouldn’t say I create any mind palaces.
To me, the whole point of a memory palace—and the great power of it—comes from using places you know well. My memory palaces are all based on actual, remembered places, using the furnishings, etc. that I can recall—to the best of my ability and as need requires for the specific information I’m storing there.
I’ve encountered this problem in memory palaces and in memorized lists. My table of squares had the word “warrior” in tow places. There aren’t a lot of one word encodings for 44 :). And it was a short circuit, I’d look up 44 squared and find myself crossing over to 38 whose sq is 1444. I have a very persistent “aural loop” so the sound of the words can dominate my memory.
There are many ways to “color” an image. You can associate it with a smell, a sound, an emotion or even a story or a name and a personality as if it were a pet. If you invest the effort to make a really bright image, say a really stinky couch or actually humm the tune, the images become reliably distinct.
A lot of the problems that people have with these techniques is failure to invest enough work in producing and refreshing a really bright image.
I’ll disagree with a little bit about “44.” I often use “roar,” but in English you could also use “rear” or “rower.” You also don’t have to be slavish about this and only stick to the Major system. If you follow sports, maybe “44” is the jersey number for a player you like. Maybe your favorite movie came out 1944; you could use an image from that movie. Or use a person whose first/last names start with “R.” And if you’re only memorizing two-digit numbers—and won’t have conflicts with longer numbers—you could even use something like red rose to mean 44 (assuming you’re not using “rose” to mean 40). It doesn’t matter what you associate with 44, so long as you know that when you see/hear/taste/etc. that thing in your memory, it means “44.”
To stick with “warrior,” though, I’d picture a tabby cat that’s mushing a group of sled dogs while being chased by a warrior. That way, the squared result is being acted upon by the square root. For 38, the warrior would be part of the image being acted upon by the square root, so it’s serving a different function and should, hopefully, be easier to remember. For example, 1444 would be a candy heart (14 for me, because Valentine’s Day is on February 14)) being eaten by a hungry warrior (44), who is suddenly attacked by a giant moth (38).
I wasn’t aware the Major system did prescribe specific words beyond being an encoding scheme. I use whatever words and phrases work best for me.
I am aware of alternatives for 44 there aren’t many and none of the others suited me.
Everybody is a bit different and what might be a pleasant mnemonic for one can be ineffective or awkward for another. Some are more atuned to sound, some to color and everyone has different associations.
Many use a PAO scheme in their mnemonics. I am really averse to that. I don’t want all those people in my head. But if a phrase has a pleasant sound and rhythm, I hold on to it easily.
People do construct special fictional memory palaces but I agree, you get a huge boost if you use your life experience, places you’ve walked through and touched things.