Am I creating my memory palaces inefficiently?

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#1 20 April, 2017 - 15:53
Joined: 1 month 1 week ago

Am I creating my memory palaces inefficiently?

I have been lurking on this site for a while and have read a couple books regarding memory techniques.
I have loosely been following the "Magnetic Memory" method to teach myself Esperanto out of desire to learn it and as a test in memory techniques in general.
What I have been doing thus far seems to be working pretty well. I generally remember 25 words a day and my recall is much better than with rote, of course. What I am unsure of is my method.

I type out all of my locations in an excel spreadsheet, put in the words and their definitions and then sit there for probably 30 minutes or so coming up with what I believe will make a good image to encode the pronunciation and meaning of the words, and then go through all the locations to actually encode. It can take me 45 minutes to an hour and a half(sometimes image ideas don't seem to come) and while effective, this seems like a long time. I'd rather do it this way versus rote, but if someone out there has some suggestions for me to pick-up the pace, I would be very grateful.

I apologize if there are similar questions to this, I am sure there probably are. I did search.

20 April, 2017 - 18:57
Joined: 5 years 3 weeks ago

I am confuse on the part about this being a memory palace issue. It is hard to judge what might be going on without any examples of the locations, images, or how you are piecing all together. I don't know what that method is but I am not a fan of always using a memory palace. In fact, it can make learning a lot slower depending on the information. I teach people differently and give multiple methods to remember the same type of info.

Are you saying it takes 45 min to 1.5 hours to remember 25 words? How long have you been using memory techniques?

20 April, 2017 - 20:10
Joined: 2 years 1 month ago

It should get faster with time.

For Esperanto, I kept false friends in one location and regular words in another location. I haven't tried ordering the locations.

An example of a false friend is atendi, which looks like "attend" but it means "wait".

Some regular words:

  • subita -- a submarine suddenly rises through the ground
  • pilko -- I peel an orange and wrap it around a ball
  • tuj -- a Twitter bird ("tweet") immediately flies away (that stuck in my head without needing another image for immediately)

If you post a list of words, we could help brainstorm mnemonic images for them.

21 April, 2017 - 08:03
Joined: 1 month 1 week ago

Yes, it takes me about 45 minutes and up to create all of these images before-hand. It doesn't take me all that long to actually go through the palace and visualize everything afterward. The magnetic memory method is pretty much just making a palace for each letter so you know exactly where to look for words. I, on the other hand, took a list of the most common and essential words for Esperanto and put them in alphabetical order and create palaces from that. I figured it would make the most sense to get the foundation first and then come back with the dictionary-like approach.
I've been actively using memory techniques for a month or two, I had played with the major system late last year and decided to become more serious about it.

Josh, do you think I would benefit from trying to make associations on-the-fly versus constructing all of them before I actually go through the palace at all?

That is a fantastic idea for false friends. There are definitely that have thrown me off. like "etikedo" for label.

I'll embed a link to a screenshot of one of my palaces in excel. Not all of the descriptions fully detail what I picture and I know I definitely could make better images for a lot of them haha.

21 April, 2017 - 09:09
Joined: 5 years 3 weeks ago

Haha I love some of the actions you created! What exactly takes up the 45 minutes or more? Creating the palace or the images? AH okay don't know if that method is efficient for this. I did my own way when I learned AP Spanish and could do pages of vocab and conjugations in an hour. It makes sens that you would have a palace for common things.

You are only few months in so as you practice, you will get a lot faster. I recommend memorizing random words. It is the best practice you can do!

21 April, 2017 - 14:18
Joined: 1 month 1 week ago

Thanks man! I try to make things as ridiculous as possible hahah.
Yeah, it's generally just figuring out what I think the images should be before I ever even picture them that's eating up so much time.
I do have a bit of a shortage on palaces, but reusing my few palaces actually has not been a problem thus far. I do need to make more, I just have a hard time with coming up with palaces that have what I would consider a useful number of loci.

I'm sure you're right! I will keep on going. Even though it won't be anything more than anecdotal, at what point did you notice that everything was going a lot faster? I'm just antsy because I want to be remembering quite a bit more than what I am currently tackling.

That's a good idea! I have been considering trying card memorization to attempt to speed up my ability to create images in general too. I just need to not discourage myself haha.

21 April, 2017 - 20:53
Joined: 5 years 3 weeks ago

It makes it more fun with crazy stories! Are you reusing memory palaces that you had info you wanted to keep or was it just practice material in the memory palaces? You should still create the palace regardless if it doesn't have the certain amount of locations you need at the time. You can use the palaces later!

I went a lot faster after I have practiced for a while but I started to noticed similarities between the things I was learning that allowed for me to take shortcuts. Another big thing was using the most efficient method. You can be using a method that is working okay but it can be a lot slower and just be more work.

Card memorization wouldn't help you in this situation because with cards, you have 52 premade images (simple system). You know what images you may be seeing. Words is going to be the best practice because you have no idea what images you have to create. This develops your skill for creating images out of words.

22 April, 2017 - 04:50
Joined: 1 month 2 weeks ago

My advice would be that spending tons of time trying to create the "perfect" image isn't going to help you that much. The best thing you can do for speed is to just make the image fast and just replace it if it won't stick after a while.

I'm still new at Memory and not very good yet, I can only reach level 7 in words in ML right now. However, it's extremely good practice because creating an image for a couple words should ideally take less than a second and it's possible to practically make images that will stick in that amount of time. If you can do this too, I'm sure your memorization speed for both short term and long term will increase a lot.

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