Thinking Skills

21 Techniques For A Better Memory

Memory power



We always remember best the irrelevant.

- Peter Drucker


There must be at least 500 million rats in the United States; of course, I am speaking only from memory.

- Edgar Wilson Nye


1. The best tip for having a good memory is simple: You need a healthy lifestyle for a healthy memory.


Take your vitamins: Vitamins that are essential for the proper working of memory: thiamin, folic acid, and B12 vitamin. (found in bread and cereal, vegetable and fruits etc).


Drink ample Water: Water helps maintain the memory systems working, especially in older people. Lack of water in the body has an immediate and deep effect on memory; dehydration can generate confusion and other thought difficulties.


Get enough sleep: To be able to have a good memory, it is important that we allow the brain to have enough sleep and rest.


Do not smoke: Smoking lowers the amount of oxygen arriving in the brain, and this often affects our memory.


Coffee and tea in moderation: Although coffee and tea help maintain attention and end sleepiness, doctors say that the excitation promoted by these drinks may interfere with our memory function.


2. Keep your brain sharp: Stimulate memory so your memory to the utmost.

Challenge a novelty. Learn new skills.


3. What affects our memory of the things we read

- The Context: Why is that particular read so relevant? Where will it be useful in your line of work? When you think in this manner as you read, the context helps you remember better.


- Understanding: Summaries, short paragraphs, short sentences, mostly jargon-free...make sure you read/are made available information in this easily digestible style.


- Memory Traces: Every bit of information has 'memory trace' attached to it. Trace is how our brain finds a connection a particular memory.


4. Three important kinds of 'memory traces'

- Association: We tend to remember something we have read when it is also strongly related with a memorable picture, idea, pattern, arrangement, and event and so on. We rarely remember, for example, a telephone number as a straightforward sequence of numbers,



Typically, we remember it by arranging it in blocks (also known as chunking)

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- Motivation: Sometimes, we ‘motivated’ to remember a piece of information because it is associated with something that is not easily forgotten - ‘memorable association’.


- Reinforcement: You may need to reinforce your recollection in various ways until the information ‘sticks’. You may need to return to a piece of information at quite short intervals initially to strengthen the memory.


5. Always give a face a place.


- You remind me of someone: 'face (like sister's), place (sister's house), key image

- What's my line of work, what sort of work the person does

- Feature link: Person, feature, scene

- First name places: Use an association with the person's first name to transport that person to a location


6. To memorize a speech: Condense the contents into key points

Create symbols for each point, by using imaginative, colorful, and meaningful key image.

Place each key image on various stages along a familiar mental journey.


7. Link method and story method: Useful in remembering simple lists. You make simple associations between items in a list, linking them with a vivid image containing the items. Taking the first image, create a connection between it and the next item (perhaps in your mind smashing them together, putting one on top of the other, or suchlike.) Then move on through the list linking each item with the next.


8. The story technique: Very similar to 'link method'. It links these images together into a story. This helps to keep events in a logical order and can improve your ability to remember information if you forget the sequence of images.


9. The Number/Rhyme method: It is useful in remembering ordered lists. It works by helping you to build up pictures in your mind, in which you represent numbers by things that rhyme with the number. You can then link these pictures to images of the things to be remembered.


10. The Number/shape method: It is useful in remembering ordered lists. It works by helping you to build up pictures in your mind, in which the numbers are represented by images shaped like the number, and are part of a compound image that also codes the thing to be remembered


11. The Journey method: Used to remember long lists. You associate information with landmarks on a journey that you know well.

To use this technique most effectively, it is often best to prepare the journey beforehand. In this way the landmarks are clear in your mind before you try to commit information to them.


12. The Roman room method: Helpful in remembering grouped information. It is similar to the Journey method. The Romans would begin by creating a mental picture of their home, with their more familiar household items and decorations, mirrors, statues, chairs etc, taking on the function of peg images. They would then attach events and memory cues onto these pegs.


13. The Memory Palace: A modern name for the Roman method. Like the Roman (and the Journey method), the Memory Palace technique is based on the fact that we’re extremely good at remembering places we know. A ‘Memory Palace’ is a metaphor for any well-known place that you’re able to easily visualize. It can be the inside of your home, or maybe the route you take every day to work. That familiar place will be your guide to store and recall any kind of information.


14. The alphabet method: Used for remembering middle length lists. it works by associating images representing and cued by letters of the alphabet with images representing the items to be remembered.


The selection of images representing letters is not based on the starting character of the letter name. Images are selected phonetically - i.e. so that the sound of the first syllable of the image word is the name of the letter, e.g. we would represent the letter 'j' with the word 'Jay'.


The alphabet method is a good method for remembering long lists of items in a specific order in such a way that missing items can be detected.


15. The Major system: Useful for remembering very long numbers - It takes time to learn and master but is very useful. The Major system works by converting number sequences into nouns, nouns into images, and linking images into sequences. For starters, the numbers 0-9 are associated with consonant sounds. It is a detailed method. Just Google for it, whenever you need it.


16. Use Concepts Maps to remember structured information. For example, create a concept of the various memory techniques listed here.


17. 'Nook and Cranny' method: Near left corner - left wall - far left corner - far wall - far right corner - right wall - near right corner - near wall - floor - ceiling.


18. Map points: North - polar bears, East - Asian hat , South - penguins, West - covered wagon.


19. Mnemonics: Using vivid images, imagination, location, or association to code and remember information


Mnemonic peg system: A peg system is a technique for memorizing lists. It works by pre-memorizing a list of words that are easy to associate with the numbers they represent (1 to 10, 1-100, 1-1000, etc.). Those objects form the 'pegs' of the system. Then in the future, to rapidly memorize a list of arbitrary objects, each one is associated with the appropriate peg.


Generally, a peglist only has to be memorized one time, and can then be used over and over every time a list of items needs to be memorized.


The peglists are generated from words that are easy to associate with the numbers (or letters).


Rhyme may also help with memorizing a peglist. Here is another example that includes an element of rhyme:


three as in free

jon did a con


How you can create positive mnemonic images:


- Synesthesia / Sensuality: Sound, sight, taste, touch, smell

- Movement: Shaking, flying, kicking,...

- Association: Associate with stable memories

- Sexuality: You can imagine anything having sex

- Humor: Silly, related to jokes

- Imagination: Anything at all

- Number(s): Details like sequence and/or order

- Symbolism : Associate abstract pattern with meaningful items

- Color : Use more than one color, too

- Order / Sequence: Use things like ‘PegSystems or Memory Palaces‘ to your advantage

- Positivity: People like to remember positive things

- Exaggeration: Very big, very small, very small, extremely numerous


20. 'EJOTY': A nonsense word coined by magician Stewart James. It is simply a mnemonic consisting of the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th letters of the alphabet.


From here, it's easy to work out the location for any given letter, or the letter for any given location.


21. Play memory games to sharpen memory.

- Can you recall what happened on the same day a month ago? A week ago?

- When was the last time you (insert any activity)


Thank you for reading.
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