Memory Palace

The memory palace is a technique to remember facts, numbers or other things, like a shopping list. It has been around since Ancient times and is also known as the Method of Loci. Memory Champion Marwin Wallonius used it to remember, in just 30 minutes , the correct order of 5040 binary digits or a complete deck of 52 cards in just 33 seconds. Here is how it works.

Close your eyes and imagine some sort of familiar physical space, like your house, school or office, and then add a mental image of the thing you want to remember. To remember a bunch of things you can use different rooms and visualize how you would walk through that space following the same specific route. As you walk through, place the things you want to remember at specific locations. Ideally, imagining things in a funny or crazy way, also helps to remember. Once we have placed all items that we want to remember our memory palace is complete.

The day we return to our palace and want to remember what's inside it, we have to go back in. We have to concentrate and imagine opening the door and walking our route. Once we pass by the specific location that we used to place our things , the item will pop back into our mind Let's try to remember 7 ingredients to make some pancakes.

  1. You open the door and see a full cup of flour next to some shoes. Strange.
  2. You walk into the bedroom. Inside your bed, sleeps a teaspoonful of baking powder.
  3. In the living room sits a massive egg watching TV.
  4. And on top of the TV is a cup of milk, almost full.
  5. You go to into the kitchen and see 6 teaspoons dancing around a bottle of vegetable oil.
  6. Enough. You leave the house and enter the garden. But it's full of sugar canes and in the middle, a teaspoon dressed like a gardener. What going on?
  7. You turn around to check the bathroom. The only thing left is half a teaspoon and salt.

Now try yourself! Close your eyes and think of a familiar place such as your home. We will now slowly list 7 numbers. As you walk through your space, place each one in a different location. Lets go: 3, 14, 1, 5, 9, 2, 6

Done. Now open your eyes and revisit your palace. Then write in the comments below what you can remember. By the way. If you want to memorize Pi or something else for a longer time, forget this technique, turn off your screen and start! Nothing beats learning by doing.