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How to use Loci Memorization Techniques to improve your memory

Web Watch usually has a good memory for things.

We may not remember names and faces very well, but we certainly remember places and all sorts of useless trivia (as you can well attest by reading any of the thousands of Web Watch articles we’ve written over the years).

So how does one exercise their memory in order to become good at remembering things?

Your Memory : How It Works and How to Improve It
Your Memory :
How It Works and How to Improve It

Memory experts will tell you that the best way to remember large quantities of items is not to memorize the items directly, but to equate them to things that you’re already familiar with.

The LOCI TECHNIQUE (or Loci Method) is where you take a familiar location, one that you know intimately well – such as a room in your house – and place each item you’re trying to remember in a specific location in that room.

This works best especially if you’re trying to memorize items in a specific order, as you can then place those items in the room in the order that you would encounter them as you walked through the room.   So if the first thing you see when you walk into the room is a table, then you would associate the memorized item as an object on that table.

The second item in the room may be the sofa – so that’s where you place the 2nd item on the list.  And so on.

As for remembering each individual object, try associating each object (or card in a deck of cards) with something easily remembered.  If you think back to your days learning the multiplication tables, you may not have remembered that “8 times 3 equals 24”, but you might have remembered that “24” was a family picnic, and that 8 and 3 were together bringing sandwiches.  6 and 4 were bringing beverages.  12 and 2 were the parents (they didn’t need to bring anything).

Hey, we didn’t say memorization couldn’t be silly.

But it is about equating unfamiliar items with something that is familiar to you.  It’s the same thing magicians do to memorize a shuffled deck of cards and recite them back:

  1. link each card in the deck to a person you know, even if they have to be celebrities
  2. create a journey through your house, with 17 specific locations
  3. for every three cards you memorize, place those three people into 17 specific locations, as if they were having a conversation while sitting in those 17 places

That’s it!  Location-based memory techniques will have you remembering things instantly