Zill's Training Journal

Starting a memory training journal here has been in the back of my mind for a while now. This is merely to hold myself accountable, but also to hear feedback from all of you. I feel of the wagon a bit with memory techniques since the pandmic and a few other life events, but now its time to bounce back.

Been so long since my last post, so I’ll reintroduce myself.

Hiya! I’m Zillia, 17 years of age, part-time lurker here, part-time professional overthinker.

I ordered Memory Craft as a little summer break treat. (It will hopefully be here in two weeks!) I read some reviews here, as well as the authors blog, and it got me inspired. This will be my first memory book that I will have a physical copy of, rather than just being a PDF file. I usually prefer physical if I deem it important enough.

So a few, short term goals I have in mind are:

  • Get into the habit of associating an object I’ve put down with the area its in, so no more me running around looking for my phone in the morning.

  • Memorize the Latin and Swedish names of all the major muscles and bones in the body (unsure if I will include the names of the carpal bones and such, but it would be a nice exercise in nestling? I think?)

  • Improve recall with names and faces. Even with the techniques, I still struggle to apply it when it’s needed.

But this journal is mainly for feedback, sharing my experience, and fighting my insecurity of posting here. I can’t say for certain I’ll update every day, but at least once every 3-4 days will probably be doable.



Good luck on your journey!


Today was low on pure memorizing. I spended most of my time practicing for my final math exam tomorrow. I did use some methods, made up little stories to tell the differences between types of graphs. I think i will use my Major System to hoggle together the prime numbers up to 100 for the test.

One thing i have been experimenting is creating journeys using video games locations. I realized i can remember many of them and they all have some emotional connection to me. Ive created one out of the Able Sisters Shop in Animal Crossing New Leaf, one of my childhood classics. It looks like this.

The tricky thing is that the game is in 3rd person and you often see the entire room from your view. This differs from how i normally use memory palaces, first person journeys of places ive been trough.
My view in this case is like a zoomed in camera that jumps between different key areas in the room, like the cash registrer, and Sable with her sewing machine.
Is this how people use films and screencaps as journeys?
Also wondering if theres any advantage to imagine my in game avatar walking around instead, but this method works really well for me so far.

Final interesting thing to note: whenever i “walk” through this palace i hear the music that plays in the game. I am pretty good at remembering tunes naturally, i thought this was a bit funny. Will i also associate the music with the information ill be storing in this place? I pondered about this a little, and maybe having a background track in your journeys will add an emotional element that makes them easier to remember?


Hi Zillia, welcome back. All the best on your math exam.

Thank you @deeptravel. I think i did quite good on the math exam! First math test i ever done where i a) sit the full three hours and b) dont get a massive headache afterwards. :grin:
Otherwise, i have walked a few journeys, i remember everything from my Able Sisters one, so its ready for usage! I want to hear some thoughts on my “routiine” for creating palaces:
After having created a new palace (usually i write down and or count all the loci and walk thorugh it twice), i recall it atleast three times, and after that, i create and Anki card with its name and number of loci. I let anki do its magic with spaced repetion, have no plugins on it.
I tend to rate it so that if i miss 5 or more loci in a recall or if it is difficult to recall i will press again or hard. Flawless recall gets easy.
I haven’t seen so much about using Anki decks for this? Or i’m not searching correctly.

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That’s great about the exam.

You are using Anki for empty memory palaces? That seems to be what you are saying. I use Anki for knowledge in memory palaces but not for the palaces themselves. I keep my palaces pretty basic, using real places that I know well. I have a few memory palaces that I use for temporary items but most of them are for knowledge I want to remember, say from books or podcasts.

Do you have anything in your memory palaces?


I do use Anki for full palaces as well. After I’ve begun putting something in them, I will usually create a new card for it and delete the old one, to refresh the spaced repition, but sometimes I feel confident enough that I will remember the information stored, and I keep the old.
I don’t use it for information in the palaces but that seems to be common here and I don’t really understand it. (cus then aren’t you juat relying on anki completely, do you even need the palaces then?)

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I don’t put every item in Anki. Here’s how I often do it: Let’s say I have a memory palace that’s made out of one room and it has 12-20 items in it. I usually chunk it into 4 or 5 pieces. I’ll make one card in Anki for each memory palace chunks. When the card is due I’ll look at that section of the memory palace in my mind and recall the items.

Memory palaces vary in size and the complexity of the information in them varies. So the size of the chunks varies.

If I don’t do that, items will begin to drop off over time. Or it takes too long to remember certain items. Doing Spaced Repetition keeps them fresh. For an older palace I don’t see cards for a long time.

I usually put them in Anki after they are solidly in my mind. I’m talking about filled palaces.

I’m no longer a student and other than palaces that I use for temporary items, all my palaces are permanent. I make new palace all the time. I only re-use my temporary palaces.

As a student you probably have a more short term strategy.

How specifically are you combining Anki and the memory palace technique, as a student?

Have a good morning.


Thanks so much for the answer, an interesting method! Apart from my method i mentioned earlier, i dont have much else. I mostly really on Anki for my third language though. I might put some of the grammatical rules in a palace, but i mostly stick to decks with sentences for comprehensible input.
Have a good evening.

Summer break is finally here.
I’ve started to use one of my 3rd person game palaces for a book to test them out. I choose another animal crossing one, this image does not show the full store.
I started reading the Sherlock Holmes handbook, and it is actually pretty entertaining, and i want to remember certain things, like how to deduce a persons height by the length of their footprint. Did a recall, and found most of it to be solid. There’s two things nagging me right now, however:

  1. My brain is a bit too eager to memorize stuff and tries to craft a loci right after I read something interesting, and I find this really messes up my flow when reading, I’m not sure when to space reading and memorizing to get it to not feel choppy.
  2. When i walk through these game palaces, I instantly try to view them in a more first-person perspective, like if I were the in-game character. I find it interesting how my “default memorizing mode” is to view it like that, and I don’t feel like it’s difficult to imagine how it will look. Think I stick to whatever perspective my mind thinks is best, maybe it’s not best to fight against it.
    Still eager for Memory Craft, and this Sherlock Holmes book is so short I might start on Jane Eyre before it gets here. : /
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I have already read the first two chapters and I adore them. The historical ties, the walkthroughs of her palaces, Dr Kelleys desire to learn everything, I’m enthralled.
Today I was at a cafe where they had a small exhibition on a battle against Russia that happened close to where I live, in 1721. I have a journey of the Swedish Regents from 1523 up till today, and I made up a little story with how the battle was initiated, how many Russian ships (around 100), and attached one object from the story in the palace at that time slot. Reviewed it and found atleast the basic course of events to be there. It’s fun that just from knowing the year, I know who was the regent at that time.

Speaking of letters, I have made myself a little Alphabet Peg list based on the in Memory Craft. At first, I was going to use only Pokemon since I remember a lot of them as fleshed-out characters and there is at least one for every letter in the English alphabet, but then I realized that having Pokemon interacting with only other pokemon is…normal. To make it weirder I went with my first instinct for the letter, which still led to a lot of Pokemon, but a few other characters.
I decided to use the Swedish alphabet, giving me three extra letters, but since I tend to default to English when using my mind palace, I might at first glance think my örn for ö, is actually an eagle, but then again its placement in the story/chain should make the meaning obvious.
I actually found a Swedish bestiary when looking for characters, and one of them was too interesting not to share.
Älgfrode (“Moose Frode”) Upper body of a human, lower body of a moose. I saw a connection to this and the centaurs and satyrs of Greek Mythology. Have humans this innate desire to acquire an animal’s ability, like the strength in the legs of a horse or a moose?
Perhaps the real Art of Memory is the connections we make along the way.


It rained pretty much constantly today, so a perfect day to be reading Memory Craft. Am halfway to the fourth chapter, and I am wondering if I to shall create some character for the genders in Spanish to chat with.

Completed my visual alphabet, memorized a points of the second and third chapther, and organized a deck of playing cards because I’m wondering if I should do my ancestors with cards as she did. Think I will have to see how many I want first.

I’m also trying to create a small memory system for remembering orders at my summer job at a restaurant. I’m such a newbie to being a cashier that I forgot the orders almost immediately. My idea is just to connect the customer with their table number and their dish, including specific requests.
I did this once, one lady at number 18 ordered a salad, no tomatoes, so I imagined her head being covered in tofu (18) and she was cutting up evil tomatoes to protect her salad.
But right now I’m thinking if I even need to remember what the customer looks like? Shouldn’t connecting the number to the dish be enough? When I get back tomorrow I will try and experiment more tomorrow.

Finally, there’s one part of Memory Craft that confuses me. @LynneKelly and the historic mnemonists she has written about recommend marking every fifth place to make recall more structured. Excellent, I am applying that right away. But then in the History Journey, she writes that she always finds new locations to encode information. Doesn’t that break up the flow? Arent you stuck with those 5 locations?
Would like an answer from anyone.
Have a good, and hopefully less rainy day everyone.


Hi Zillia,

It is interesting that you ask this question, because it was only today that I realised the inconsistency. I am sorry! Oooops! :frowning:

You are right in everything you say. I use every fifth location in the discrete memory palaces, like countries, the periodic table, Pi … but not for History.

In the History Journey, it is the dates that do the dividing up. I started with the corners of the blocks as shown in Memory Craft, and then broke them down further - by every 100th year (1000 BCE to 0) then every 25th year (0 to 1900), down to every year from 1900 on. The events are put in wherever they fit, so I can usually guess them to within a decade just from the palace. I will use the Dominic System if I want exact dates and add that image to the palace.

I don’t use ‘every 5th’ or anything like it for my French verb memory palaces. I divide them up according to the first two letters, much like my Bestiary. I had to keep adding diversions for the letters which had a lot of verbs, such as ‘de-’ and ‘re-’. I keep adding more refinements as I have continued to experiment.

For my Chinese radicals memory palace, it is divided up into every fifth location again. But some radicals have a lot more characters associated with them, so I added diversions (down a lane, a loop across the road) to give me plenty of space. I will be writing up my memory systems for French and Chinese / Mandarin as soon as I can. The suite of techniques for Chinese has become a new obsession!

It depends on the nature of the data. I keep adapting the palaces to make them suit what I want. But all the ones I started with were carefully structured, marking every 5th, so I lost nothing.

I hope that makes sense.



Thank you so much for the reply Lynne! I think your explanation makes sense, and it is funny that you just realized it today, maybe Fate exists after all.

Great explanation on your History Journey, which was the most interesting one to me. One small question on that: In the book you wrote that your history journey is put “on top” of your countries journey. Do you have both journeys “coexist” at the same time, or do you try and not visualise one when walking through the other? I have problems with reusing palaces and journeys, so your example stood out.


@Zillia, there’s two types of systems. There’s a progressive one that you are building and is dynamic like @LynneKelly’s increasingly complex history and language journeys/palaces, and the other is static.

The static type of system benefits from the fifth marker the most because it allows the person learning it from another the ability to check if they’ve travelled (traversed) over five separate locations. The first mention of that in history is related to teaching it seems and therefore a static system. Here’s the quote from the Rhetorica ad Herennium .

And that we may by no chance err in the number of backgrounds, each fifth background should be marked.

That’s from my perspective as an analyst. Hope that helps.


Thank you, this made me realize that most of my journeys are dynamic, and that was why I was a bit confused.


I do have the 20th Century part of the history journey on top of my main memory palace which has five different sets of data in it. I have no trouble with them overlapping. That palace does countries, 20th (and 21st century to date) by years, the periodic table, my Dominic System people and I use it for one of my talks, so it has the points of that specific talk on memory systems.

I am constantly adding information to the locations in that palace - more information about countries or elements or events in the 20th century, but I am not adding any more locations. All of those topics have a set number of locations defined by the countries, Dominic System people, chemical elements, single years from 1901 on and the points in the talk. So it is dynamic in that the information is constantly growing. It is static in that I add no new locations, except for activation a further year as the 21st century progresses.

In the history palace I am constantly adding locations for new events. I don’t do that for the 20th/21st Century, as I only remember the year, not part of it, and every year is already represented by a location.

The languages are different. For French, there are a few different palaces. For the main one (-er verbs), I technically have locations for the Bestiary letters (ab, ac, ad … de … ta … ) but I didn’t divide them by every 5 because I never need to do them in order nor make sure I never forget one. My brain jumps to the right place depending on the verb or other vocab item I need.

For Chinese, I do each location by the Chinese radical for the first character in the word. It is static at 214 - they are not adding new radicals. I originally laid it out with every 5th location significant - a town block for each 5 radicals. I left out extra houses/shops if there were 6 or more in a block, added extra locations if there were less than 5. I have found I never use that every-5 fact because I jump to the one I need, so I wasted that effort I think. I never need to reel them off in order. The locations around the palace are in the order of the number of strokes in the radical, so the location indicates me that fact, which is important when writing Chinese. I know which location is where I jump from, say, 3 to 4 strokes.

I think it depends on what you are recording but also how you use the palace. I tend to adapt a bit as I use the palace. Do you need the order specifically? Do you need it a bit because it helps. Or does each location stand alone? I shall keep experimenting!

I am also happy to visualise one palace while walking another. If I think of an event in the history palace, I may cross mentally to the countries palace for some item of information. I link people across both palaces. But I don’t make any effort to do so. My brain will just go to whichever palace it wants when thinking about a specific bit of information. I put the item into whichever palace I was thinking about when I decided to add it. I don’t have really strict rules.

I hope that helps.



Whoops! Accidently strayed from here for a bit more than 4 days! A well, the new streak shall commence now.

I’ve put my original memorizing plans on hold for now, as I will try to do what is most useful to me now, which is memorizing the routines and the menu of the cafe I’m working at. I started yesterday with 16 dishes and will continue on now. It’s just to gain me some better footing. And on my first day, I could already see benefits, remember which pasta is not tortellini, etc.
I think I am becoming better at cramming in loci in my journeys, the one I use for the cafe is the bus I take each morning, and I’ve managed to around 97 locations, I think I will see just how many I can manage until it becomes to “cramped” or some locations become so small that I forget to zoom in onto them.
Also laying out my own History Journey! The best part is that the palace I used for best picture winners is the cafe I’m working at, and since I know now so many details, I can probably attach all the events I want, and the films will act as the dividing points.
Also, a reflection, I took a walk through one of my old journeys, and attempt to memorize the Nordic Rune alphabet, its ghost images, and not much more, and only a few ones, a snake stuck in a tree and a pirate, are the ones that stuck. Memory craft helps me really realize the importance of character. Right now, it feels like I’m finally getting the through basics of memorizing, despite me being on this forum for nearly 2 years.
Better late than never,eh?


By bus, do you mean inside the bus, or the bus route?

I mean inside the bus. Using the route sounds interesting. I’m not used journeys that arent solid rooms.