Have You Ever Wanted To Have An Encyclopedic Memory?

encyclopedic memory

Developing an encyclopedic memory has long been the dream of many people, even those who never discover mnemonics.

So I wasn’t at all surprised when I asked people what they wanted me to cover next.

Here’s the best answer, one that connects to encylopedic memory and reminded me of the time I dropped out of high school…

Hello Dr. Metivier 🙂

I want a sort of “mini-encyclopedia” in my head!

Basic knowledge of every subject available to mankind!

It’s an interesting question and something I’ve thought about a lot. Especially when I was younger.

For example, I once dropped out of high school for 6 months so that I could pore over the encyclopedia. There were more reasons than that, of course. I was in Grade 12, depressed, lonely and felt completely out of place in the world.

I didn’t read every page of the old encylopedia set my mom had at home, of course. But I did go through a fair amount of it.

And I can guarantee you that I learned way more in that short period of time than in the years it took to get to grade 12. Of course, I have to admit that school certainly had something to do with my ability to comprehend the material, but exactly how much …

Who knows?

Anyhow, let’s try a thought experiment.

How to Memorize the Entire Encyclopedia

If you want to develop an encyclopedic mind, the Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass can help. If I knew then what I know now about using memory techniques, here’s what I would do using the techniques I’ve been teaching now for over a decade:

  • Develop at least 26 Memory Palaces, one for each letter of the alphabet
  • Get a complete multi-volume Encyclopedia (not Wikipedia, though I would likely refer to it in ways we’ll get to in a second).
  • Start with the first volume, prepared with Memory Palace ‘A’ and 15-20 stations ready to go with mnemonic images.
  • Go through the volume looking for facts that speak to me and that are worth memorizing. Finding the main points can be tricky, but there is a strategy for doing it reasonably well.
  • For each category, I would memorize the heading (the name, the country or chemical element, etc.) and use The Pillar Technique for the sub-headings.
  • Operate with a specific focus on developing a vast vocabulary. This is important because it lets the chunking technique do its work.
  • Use the Zettelkasten technique (or the Leitner System) frequently
  • Possibly use the Telesynoptic Memory Palace technique to reuse certain Memory Palaces.
  • Practice spaced repetition as prescribed in the Magnetic Memory Method to help ease the information into long term memory, noting that the mnemonics will only serve over the long haul when this kind of active recall is in place.

Beyond that, I would suggest writing summaries, getting into lots of discussions about the material and reading as widely as possible on Wikipedia for more updated references.

Sound like a plan?

If you want to know more about the Memory Palace technique, many fine folks recommend my FREE Memory Improvement Kit, which you can grab right here:

Free Memory Improvement Course

It will help you set up for an ambitious goal like memorizing the dictionary.

Or, if you think you might like to start with just one book, here’s how Anastasia Woolmer is going about memorizing the dictionary.

Her description of how she’s going to approach it is doable and you’ll learn a ton from our discussion.

So what do you say?

Are you ready to give a large and ambitious learning goal like this a try?


4 Responses

    1. That’s great to hear, Guillermo!

      One thing that helps a lot of people is to answer the following three questions as part of getting to the next level:

      Question #1:

      What is your personal “Memory Myth” about your memory, including any programming you may have received as a young person or continue to receive in your daily life? How does this myth affect how you think about your memory?

      Question #2:

      What is the “distance” between where you are now with your memory skills – and where would you like to be in the future. Please be as specific as possible, including something like a deadline for when you would like to see a difference achieved (five minutes from now, tomorrow, next month, next year, etc).

      Question #3:

      What is your education “action plan” for getting started so that you have total control over the improvement you would like to see in this area of your life?

      Please let me know if you have any specific questions or if there is anything more I can do for you. 🙂

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Anthony Metivier is the founder of the Magnetic Memory Method, a systematic, 21st century approach to memorizing foreign language vocabulary, names, music, poetry and more in ways that are easy, elegant, effective and fun.

Dr. Metivier holds a Ph.D. in Humanities from York University and has been featured in Forbes, Viva Magazine, Fluent in 3 Months, Daily Stoic, Learning How to Learn and he has delivered one of the most popular TEDx Talks on memory improvement.

His most popular books include, The Victorious Mind and… Read More

Anthony Metivier taught as a professor at:

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