5 Tips for Creating Memory Palaces (Method of Loci)

For video version go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drMxRbcEdIY
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This is an ancient mnemonic strategy used by many of the greatest minds in history. As you probably can guess by its name, it relies on our strong memory of physical locations. The trick is to connect the new information you want to learn with specific locations in these strong memories, i.e. use the latter to piggyback the former. Most of us have very strong memories about our home, school, workplace and other buildings we often frequent. However, you can also use your dream home and other fantasy (or videogame) locations as the framework for your memory palace. Let me now tell you how to make great memory palaces!

1. What kind of Memory Palace should you build?
Naturally, this is EXTREMELY individual, but you should use a location you both have a strong memory of and one you love. That is, if your strongest location memory is your workplace, but you only remember it due to boredom, then use something else.

2. Create Vivid Scenarios
Let me illustrate this with an example where a basic home is the memory “palace”, and you want to remember the numbers 4892. Visualize this: Firstly, you enter your front door and you hang your jacket on number 4. Secondly, you take of your shoes and place them opposite each other such that they form the number 8. Thirdly, you putt down your keychain, and it forms the number 9. Fourthly, you seat yourself in front of your TV and choose channel 2.

3. Make a Fixed Route through the Location
Use some logical route like e.g. the example above. Alternatively, we could use the morning schedule etc. We all have routines, and it is beneficial to choose one that makes you feel good. Coming home is a good routine for most people, while the “spring cleaning routine” might not be so hot.

4. Quality over Quantity
Try not to overcomplicate your memory palace and stories so much that you struggle to remember them.

5. Start Small
A huge Victorian Castle might not be the best thing to start with, given the architectural complexity. So, you might start with one single room, and go on from there. Your bedroom/living room might be a good start, or maybe a specific chamber in the Victorian Castle.

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