How to Memorize Numbers

I made a quick video that provides an introduction on how to memorize numbers. The main purpose of the video is to introduce some common number memorization systems and explain the difference between image generation and image placement.

Image Generation Systems:

Image Placement Systems:

Though not mentioned in the video, for completeness you might want to also check out Number Shapes and Number Rhymes. I use a custom number memorization system (based on the Ben System) that you can read about here.

Check out the video, and if you have any questions leave a comment below. For best results, turn the quality settings of the video to HD (maximum) and watch it full-screen.

Major system examples

See also our pages about memorizing numbers with a memory palace, photographic memory and eidetic memory.




joker 20 Oct 2021

Hey, Josh Thx You man ! great to see video podcasting ! I really want to know the list of object for the association system 52 : pack of card 05 : starfish 25 : present rest 97 number, is there a list anywhere on the internet for the asso systeme ? I love this REALLY WANT IT, it's hard to find an object for every number !

note : why not create video like "à la " khan academy, You recording is Great ! but I think it takes to much times, You can do much record with less effort, a tablet and a pen,(wocom works very well with LInux, the cheapest model 20 €is very good).

idea : why not built a full "open memory course" , You know like the "proprietary" Pmemory course. a training plan for 120 days for exemple for everyone for free (dare to dream) :D.

So thank You again for You incredible effort to promote memory technology ! joker-France

Josh Cohen

Josh Cohen 20 Oct 2021

Thanks – I just created a wiki page for it here:

I don't know the correct associations, but I've tried to list them from the flash cards, maybe someone else in the forum has the book and can fill in the rest.

I have a tablet and have considered screencasting with it. I'll experiment with a few methods... :)


joker 20 Oct 2021



joker 20 Oct 2021

"information about the logic behind his choices for images"

Yes it's not easy to understand his logic, I think some are probably personal (?)

Josh Cohen

Josh Cohen 20 Oct 2021

He explains it in the book, and the associations make sense, but I don't have the book anymore. I'm hoping that someone with the book will fill in the missing information.

Memory Games 2013 on the Science Channel — 20 Oct 2021

[...] Memory technique: an introduction to memorizing numbers. [...]


mosab 20 Oct 2021

Hi Josh thanks a lot great video i was wondering if you have an artical or maybe a book about the history of memorization

Josh Cohen

Josh Cohen 20 Oct 2021

Yes... check out the links on the Major System wiki page and the book The Art of Memory by Frances Yates. Another author that writes about the history of memory is Mary Carruthers. See the memory books page for a list.


GC 20 Oct 2021

Hi, The information you shared was very informative! If I used the jersey numbers of famous athletes as my associations, would you see any drawbacks?

Thank you.

Sam Vincente

Sam Vincente 20 Oct 2021

Great explanation. Thanks.

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