Memory Devices (NaBloPoMo: Mnemonics)

Prompt: What memory devices work best for you when trying to memorize chunks of information?

I honestly don’t have one single system of memorizing. It depends, I suppose, on what I have to memorize.

When it’s a list of different items, I try to organize the things on the list in an order that would “logically” remind me of the next item on the list. For example, if I have to memorize things to pack and my handy phone with the Google Keep is out of reach and the first thing to pop into my head is “toiletries,” I could think of toothbrush first. This leads me to toothpaste, because, you know, duh. Then I think of all things in the bathroom I need to take with me. Into the kit goes the shampoo, conditioner, body wash, feminine wash, panty liners (just in case), facial moisturizer, eye cream (yes, it’s in my bathroom, not the vanity). Because these last two things are all about the skin, I think of the next few items to pack: lotion, deodorant, Katinko, and so on and so forth. The next thing to pack would be clothes, so I just go from head to toe clothing necessities.

When I have to memorize something for geography, repetition helps. Also, I put a certain beat or rhythm in the way I memorize these things. Until now I can still recite (in alphabetical order) the 13 municipalities of Metro Manila (1991 edition) before they were declared cities later on in the millenium. Then again, I could just be imagining this rhythm.

Sometimes, I try to picture in my head the items I have to memorize if spatial factors are involved. Actually, scratch that. This helps with simple recall more than strict memorization. I’ve been able to better recall phone numbers after I see my thumb type in a contact’s number. I make my thumb go over the numbers so that I can recall the pattern later on.

Like I said, there’s never ONE system that works for me. It’s all been a mash of different things. What HASN’T worked for me is using other people’s mnemonic/memory devices for myself (except for ROYGBIV–this one’s a gem).

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One thought on “Memory Devices (NaBloPoMo: Mnemonics)

  1. Hello! That’s exactly how I used to do things! All the other memory devices didn’t work for me at all. Over time I just evolved my own system- I call it a memory network- and have been using that. I’m not sure how well it works for others besides me but I am blogging about it to find out and if you want to see what it’s about it’s all on my blog, http://www.memorystrings.wordpress.com. Hope I helped. 😉 P.S. if it isn’t your cup of tea, maybe try and make up your own overarching system that fits to the ways you memorize.

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