If you want to learn how to memorize fast, then a great technique is the method of loci (also known as a memory palace). If you’ve never heard of the this before then have a look at my article about how to use the memory palace technique to learn how to use it to remember things.
The basis of using the method of loci is to create a great memory palace – and that is what this article will teach you!
There are two terms that you will have to understand first:
- Method of loci – this is the name of the technique for quickly memorizing large numbers of things (like a list, or a speech)
- Memory palace – the memory palace is the structure that you use to ‘hang up’ the items that you will be memorizing
What is a memory palace?
A memory palace is the overall structure in your mind that you use to hold the things that you want to remember. It can be anything that you can visualise that can hold enough objects or waypoints for the number of items that you want to memorize. Common memory palaces can be the place that you live or another building or a route that you are familiar with (such as the route you take to get to school or work). It doesn’t even have to be real, though when you are just learning the technique, it is best to start with somewhere you are familiar with.
Tips to create a great memory palace
- Use somewhere that you are familiar with. When you are starting out it is best to use a building or route that you are familiar with because this makes it a lot easier to visualize. If you do create a memory palace that is purely in your imagination, then make sure you practise visualizing it so that it is as real to you as a real place.
- Make the memory palace interesting. The more interesting your memory palace is, the easier it will be to remember. There also needs to be a lot of rooms or objects in it so that you never run out of waypoints to hang the items you want to remember on.
- Define the route that you want to follow through your memory palace. It is important to know exactly what objects in the memory palace you want to use as hooks, and then always travel through the memory palace in the same way, so that you always encounter these hooks in the same way – this ensures that you will not forget any of your waypoints.
- Use a separate memory palace for everything that you are trying to remember simultaneously. It is fine to have just one memory palace if you are trying to just remember one thing at a time, but if you are trying to remember multiple sets of things in the same memory palace, then you run the risk of getting confused.
- Rehearse your memory palace. In order to ensure that you can always remember your memory palace, you need to run through it several times in your mind. Make the images in your mind as bright and vivid as possible. If you can close your eyes and travel through your memory palace any time you want, then you are ready to use the method of loci to help you remember things.
If you follow the tips above, then you should be able to create a great memory palace, but remember, this is just the first step. Once you have your memory palace, you can then use it to remember anything that you want. If you want to have a photographic memory, then make sure that you use it often!