5 Memory Techniques That Will Make You Smarter and More Confident

Simple Ways to Remember Things and Have a Better Memory

Neel Raman
5 min readMar 8, 2018

As we are relying on technology more than ever before to recall and remember things, having a trained memory can be a big advantage.

If we think back to just a couple of decades ago, when we didn’t have smart devices, we tended to rely on our memory to remember numbers, facts, dates and names. Since we didn’t have tools like we have today, we really didn’t have much of a choice but to remember things any way we could.

Having a trained memory is a critical skill to master if we want to differentiate ourselves from others. Just think what type of an impression we can make if we meet someone for the first time and can recall things they say, including their name.

If we cannot remember a person’s name, the message we give off is we don’t care enough about them, and there’s a very high probability they won’t like or trust us.

I was first exposed to memory training a few years ago when I watched a video of Ron White, a two-time USA Memory Champion, give a presentation where he was able to recall the names of at least fifty audience members and was able to recall twenty or thirty digit numbers easily.

That sparked my interest in learning memory techniques, which I still continue to do so today.

Memory techniques for studying

Just like building any muscle in our bodies, improving our memory requires training in order to strengthen it. We have to be willing to learn new techniques, some which we may already be familiar with. All learning is connecting something we know to something we don’t know.

5 Techniques That Will Improve Your Memory

  1. Basic Association. This involves finding or creating a logical link or an association, between two ideas. For example, the number “one” rhymes with “sun”and they both have the same number of letters. Also, there is one sun in our solar system and the sun is the first thing that suggest it’s day time. Basic association can be used for remembering simple lists or things in a particular sequence.
  2. Chain Linking. This involves taking different facts or information we want to remember and linking them together, just like links in a chain. This technique can be used to memorise something that is technical, boring and not relevant. For example, in science class in school, we had to remember the Periodic Table and this technique can help by linking each element to the next.
  3. Hook Method. This involves using predetermined mental “hooks” to hang important information we want to remember. One practical application of this technique is to imagine walking through a hallway and seeing all these hooks along the wall where people can hang their coats or jackets. On each of those hooks hangs a piece of information we want to recall.
  4. Location Method. This is often referred to as the LOCI Method, which means place or location. We can create different mental lists of locations or places we are already familiar with like our home. As we create various mental markers of things in our home, we can place different facts or information in each location. This technique can be used for remembering speeches or scripts.
  5. Number Rhyme Method. This involves taking a number and associating it with a word that sounds like it. This can be used to remember lists. For example, one rhymes with sun, two rhymes with shoe, three rhymes with tree, four rhymes with door, etc.

It’s important to know that each technique listed above may not be applicable in all situations, which is why it’s beneficial to have numerous memory techniques. There are literally hundreds of memory techniques. The good news is we don’t have to learn all of them to develop a powerful memory.

If we focus on a few techniques initially and start improving our memory, we can add in more techniques over time. If I had known these techniques at school or at university, it would have made studying for and passing exams so much easier.

Action Step: Use any of the techniques above next time you have to remember something. Do more research online on memory techniques and spend some time daily on improving your memory. The reward will be well worth effort you put in.

Question: What techniques have worked you in remembering facts, information, names or numbers?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Neel Raman

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