My First Memory Journey

I first heard about memory techniques from the book Mind Performance Hacks by Ron Hale-Evans. Hack #4 is called Stash Things in Nooks and Crannies and describes how to make a memory palace through a single room. The hack can be read online here.

The 10 steps of the memory journey are:

  1. near left corner
  2. left wall
  3. far left corner
  4. far wall
  5. far right corner
  6. right wall
  7. near right corner
  8. doorway (where you are standing when forming the journey)
  9. ceiling
  10. floor

Update for 2016: I changed the way I do this so that the ceiling location is location number 9 and the floor is location number 10.

Here’s what is looks like:

10-location memory palace

I still use my first 10-step journey daily for quick memorization of things like shopping lists. I prefer to make this kind of journey in larger rooms like restaurants, cafes, halls, and historic buildings, because I like each individual locus to be large enough to fit things like elephants and pterodactyls without shrinking everything down too much. I put up to three images in each locus.




Dan 19 Sep 2021

There is something neat and tidy about this. You know quickly how many loci you have in one room and how many rooms you have in one house. Dean Vaughn uses this method and calls it "cube". Vaughn says you can use this cube over and over. When I first started with memory techniques earlier this year, inspired by Dominic O'Brien. I used a journey method for a work project. The journey was through an old neighborhood. I used 3 loci at each house-- mailbox, driveway, and house. I had great success and knew if I developed this it would make life easier and much more productive. Since then I have spent a lot of time researching and mulling what would be best for my needs (i.e., wasting time reading about what to do rather than doing it). I go back and forth. Should I use the major system for 2-digit numbers or the Dominic System? Should I use Roman Room or journey (I've had success with both). I have a tendency to be a purist (OCD) even if a hybrid might be better. In my moments of grandiosity I've toyed with the idea of trying to get good enough to enter the U.S. Memory Championships. Kind of like out-of-shape couch potato who sits around talking about competing in the Boston Marathon. Recently I've toyed with the idea (after reading a post of your's Josh) of trying to become a grandmaster of memory.


Josh 19 Sep 2021

Hope you can make it to the US competition. :)

I'm not going to do well in 2011. I can't even practice cards at the moment because of my hand injury, but I'm going to enter anyway. I think the US people should all help each other to bring our scores up to UK, German, and Chinese level within the next couple of years.

I think for competitions, one needs many loci, so maybe build a lot of journeys around both systems. In the competitions I'm going to use regular journeys, not the system mentioned above.

I think it's better to go with the consonant-based Major System because if you want to expand to a three-digit system later it will probably be easier than with the Dominic System which has consonants and vowels. In the end, I think the letters that the system is based on don't matter much, but consonants-only seems easily expandable.

I went with a slightly modified Major System which is more strict in which consonants can be used for each number. 6 is "b" because they look the same, and it uses Ben's consonant-vowel-consonant technique.


Dan 19 Sep 2021

Germans have been good about developing resources. From what I understand a lot of their top competitors have trained at XL. Have you tried (in Englische) to train? German top competitors have written books (Gunther Karsten, Christiane Stenger) which have inspired others. The only U.S. Champ to do so is Scott Hagwood and his book is of little use to either beginners or more than beginners.

I think the future of memory sports is China and Germany with an occasional top competitor from another country. Nelson Dellis is the best U.S. prospect for top WMC finish.

As for the Brits, they


Josh 19 Sep 2021

I think within the next year or so it will take off in the US. At the moment, there is a lot of opportunity for us. :)

Nelson has the best scores in the US that I know of...

I haven't tried beyond just looking around. I work with computers and memory techniques are a way for me to get away from the computer.

Learn How to Memorize the Order of Black & Red in a Deck of Playing Cards (Easy) — 19 Sep 2021

[...] first thing to do is create a memory palace. You can do this on the spot with the Nook & Cranny Method. Just look around the room that you are in and choose 10 locations in the room in order. The way I [...]

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