New Memory Flash Cards

I’m frustrated with some elements of my current system, and inspired by the recent World Memory Championships, so I’ve decided to try to move from my two digit number system to my three digit number system as soon as possible. I asked a printing shop to cut up some card stock into 1,200 business-card sized pieces.

I’m going to put decimal numbers 000 to 999 on one side and binary numbers 0000000000 to 1111111111 on the other side.

Memory flash cards

Blank flash cards

The reason I haven’t made flashcards yet is because I have problems with my hands and it’s difficult to write out a lot of numbers. (This blog is written with speech to text software.) I’m hoping I can find someone to help me write them out. Once I have the numbers on flashcards, things should move along much more quickly.


  • Hi, You works like me, I’m WMC2010 competitor and now I decide to move to 3 digits sytem too

  • What kind of system do you use? Is it phonetic, like the Major System?

  • I use this flashcard program to help memorization.

    It is free.

    What is the 3 decimal system you’ll be using? Ben’s system? I’ve tried it for the cards but it takes me a lot of time to convert the cards into letters and then into pictures. I’m working on a PA system for the cards.

  • It’s based on what I’ve read about Ben’s system with some modifications:

    Here’s a chart of the system:

    I’ve been keeping it strictly phonetic because of an experiment that I’m doing. I don’t know exactly how Ben does it though…

  • I have a great flashcard program/app for my iPad where can make my own flashcards and include pictures. I have a made a 2-digit major system set with pictures downloaded from Google images. Before that I bought packs of 3×5 cards and never got around to doing anything with them. I am thinking of making a set of Dominic System flashcards for my iPad flashcard program, but go back and forth on this (already started w/ the major system, why switch?).

  • Josh your programs are awesome! I’ve modified the php script to return a list based on my letters but it is returning an error instead.

    How do you view the script on your browser after you’ve modified it?

    Can I separate the php script into 2 scripts, PAO for the card and Ben System for the numbers and binaries?

  • I’m getting this error message when I’m running it on the localhost in wamp server for the memory_system.php

    Notice: Undefined offset: 1 in C:\wamp\www\Hostels-Memory-Training-Scripts-d1abd4b\memory_system.php on line 90

    Do you know how to correct this?

  • @Dan
    What is the name of the iPad program? I originally started with the P-A Dominic System. Then I started adding objects to each double digit number with the Major System to make a P-A-O system. I found that it got confusing to use two different phonetic systems so I eventually dropped all of my Dominic System images and redid everything with my modified Major System. I think the Major System is easier for a three digit system…

    If you paste your code on, I could take a look:

  • I didn’t modify your code. I just saved the files in the www folder of wampserver and opened them on local host. The ohter php files work fine. It is only the memory system one. It is no big deal though. After the error messages, the page displays correctly below.

    Thanks. This will help me greatly. I’ve started building images for my systems. Hope I’ll be ready in 3 months.

  • Strange — I think it means that line 90 is referring to an array key that doesn’t exist.
    $card_suit2 = $card_suit[1];

    I’m not sure why it’s displaying that error, because I don’t see it when I run the script. If the output looks accurate, it should be fine. Are there any card pairs that are missing the second suit?

  • No every pair of cards is properly displayed. I’m just pasting it in Calc (Open Office) and adding images to them. I’m using google search images based on the words generated for each pair to find an image. I’ve finished with the Heart Suit. On to the 3 ones.


  • My iPad app is Flashcards Deluxe. I am thrilled with it. Plus there are many flashcards sets to download that are provided by other people.

    Btw, I think I am going to move to the Dominic System. To me it is easier to remember people, and they are all relatively the same size, which makes it easier to place then in a Roman Room or journey. the major system and associated objects are too varied. This might help with overall better recall, but it is cumbersome and untidy.

    In addition, have you compared the scores of Dominic O’Brien from a decade ago to U.S. Memory champ Ronnie White or Scott Hagwood or some others who use a straight-up major system? Dominic crushes them in numbers competition. There’s a site that allows to compare two to four mnemonists.

  • Another great iPhone app which will work on the iPad is iCue cards and numbers to practice 5-minute cards and numbers (each 99 cents). They also have Mnemecards which is based on the Dominic System.

  • Another great iPhone app which will work on the iPad is iCue cards and numbers to practice 5-minute cards and numbers (each 99 cents). They also have Mnemecards which is based on the Dominic System.

  • @Yan
    Good idea to use Google images. I’m going to try that.

    Thanks for the software info.

    I think the people who are scoring the highest at the moment are using 3-digit systems, though there isn’t that much difference in the decimal digits. Here’s a comparison:

    I’m a relative beginner, but I switched to Ben’s system after seeing his scores. His system includes a method for binary numbers that is brilliant. Here’s a comparison I did when trying to figure out which system to choose:
    Ben’s binary system puts 30 digits into each locus, using the same images as his 3-digit decimal system.

    I’ve also wondered whether Dominic O’Brien has completely revealed his full technique. He might do it exactly like he says in his books, or there might be more to it. His books describe a person-action (PA) system, but maybe he secretly uses a person-action-object (PAO) system like many of the other competitors. I don’t have any evidence of this, but sometimes I wonder if the top mnemonists have revealed their complete techniques. 🙂

  • Hour numbers and five-minute numbers there is not a big difference. If Dominic O’Brien competed in the U.S. Memory Championship in 2011 I think he’d win. I’m curious, don’t you think the time spent mastering and honing the Dominic System and becoming really good at it would result in better performance than merely becoming proficient in a more complex P-V-O system? Doing something very well often beats out a better system done not as proficiently.

    Btw, from what I could gather, both Hagwood and White seem to use single objects for numbers. So a 10-digit phone number would be five objects.

  • I don’t know… Ben’s binary system is incredibly efficient (30 digits per locus). I know it’s going to take a long time for me to get up to speed, but I’m not in a rush. 🙂

    I think one advantage of having more images is that the combinations won’t repeat as often — something that probably matters when memorizing many decks at once or very large numbers.

    I’m still not sure if Dominic O’Brien ever completely revealed his competition techniques in his books. It’s possible that he is using a more complex system than P-A. Maybe he does use P-A though…