Finishing My Ben System Images

After I filled about 6 pages with image ideas, I started to add them to my system in the way I mentioned in my last post.

Adding the Images



  • “DOW” refers to musicians and composers — derived from John Dowland
  • “DOR” refers to mythology — an association from dorge (lightning) to Zeus

Examples from composers:

  • DOW-B: Bloch
  • DOU-G: Gluck
  • DOW-M: Mahler
  • DOW-F: Froberger

Examples from mythology:

  • DOR-T: Terpsichore
  • DOR-N: Nereids
  • DOR-M: Melpomene
  • DOR-TH: Thalia

There are over 2000 years of paintings and sculptures based on Greek myths so it shouldn’t be difficult to find good visual images.


If I have trouble with the faces, I will add the facial characteristics of real people to some of the mythological beings. I prefer to do it that way than to use people I know in my system–probably for the same reason Ed Cooke had to excise his mother from the deck.

The organization of the images isn’t too strict. As long as there is a mental link between the digits, sound, and image, the system will work.

How to Visualize the Images?


I chose picture books for my research so that I would have something visual to work with. I looked for things that had clear enough illustrations to turn into vivid mnemonic images by using a little imagination.

I tried to choose images that that I could distinguish from each other.

Example: for birds, I chose ones that have distinguishing characteristics:

  • cardinal—bright red
  • robin—distinctive way of running, and “laughing” call
  • chickadee—tiny bird that hops
  • kingfisher—hovers before diving with large beak
  • vulture—holds wings in “V” and wobbles
  • blue jay—bright blue and sounds the alarm in the forest
  • nuthatch—walks headfirst down things
  • peacock—tail
  • rooster—loud
  • ostrich—large
  • etc.

I’m not adding birds like scarlet tanager since it’s red like a cardinal and has a song like a robin, so there is no very clear distinguishing characteristic. I could probably add a scarlet tanager if I learned more about the bird, but there are many other birds to choose from that are more distinctive.

All of this is still an experiment, but it seems to be going well so far.




Mike 10 Nov 2021

seems like a really good start. I hope all goes well for you!

Mike Owner of "Designing effective memory improvement email free courses. Join us to receive your free memory improvement email course today"

Experimenting with a Category-Based Ben System — 10 Nov 2021

[...] One of the ideas was to redo my Ben System images entirely from scratch using the ideas here and here, along with an idea that Nelson Dellis [...]

To leave a comment, visit the Art of Memory Forum and create a new topic.