Offbeat Memory Techniques

Published on Sunday, August 26, 2007 in , , ,

brainMost standard memory challenges can be overcome by learning standard memory techniques. However, there are some memory challenges that, because of the way in which you need to use the information, don't work neatly with those techniques.

For example, what if you needed to memorize several essays for an exam? Steven Aitchison discusses the technique that he used to help his wife remember three 500-word essays. She managed to do this in about 9 hours, over the course of just 3 days.

John Place has a more general approach that will work for just about anything.

A key point in both techniques is being able to write and study distraction free. If you use a word processor to jot down notes, there are now several word processors whose main feature is that they minimize distractions. They do this by using a full-screen black page, and minimize features so that you can focus on what needs to be written. You can find versions for Windows, Mac OS X or your browser.

Now, this works well for when you have to remember just some main points, but what about when you have to learn something verbatim? I linked to one approach in my post on memorizing poetry. At the Productivity501 blog, there is an interesting method for learning text word-for-word. There is even a handy tool at the end of the article to help apply the technique!

Just to get our minds out of a scholastic mode, let's turn to memorizing something more fun. What if you were a casino dealer, and you needed to memorize the roulette wheel? This dicedealer.com article not only shows how to memorize the wheel, as it discusses both what exactly you would need to know, and why you would need to know it.

Even if you don't use any of these particular approaches, I suggest looking them over. Together, they're a wonderful lesson in figuring out exactly how you're going to use the information you memorize first, and then using that knowledge to find the most effective method.

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4 Response to Offbeat Memory Techniques

1:22 PM

shows that grammar words may be represented by images; then a peg system of mnemonics can store verbatim information.

A prompting tool exists as well for revealing text bit by bit.

8:17 AM

Sorry, Blogger messed up my links:
nakedscience.com :
shorthand article,
bottom of flashcards article.

2:55 AM

Hey, thanks for the info.

For many years I've been a believer in the Harry Lorraine type of stuff.

Recently I found some interesting "complementary" resources. Maybe you'll find them useful:
A new focus for memory improvement

9:29 AM

Looking for a way to master the Journey / Loci Method?

Why not download an inexpensive app for your iPhone or iPod Touch that does exactly that?

Please see http://www.memgellan.com/ for details, including a brief video tutorial.