How to Create A Memory Palace: A Proven Memory Palace Technique Approach

| Memory, Podcast

Memory Palace image to convey their power for the Magnetic Memory Method blog and podcastIn the modern world of omnipresent information access, memorization using a Memory Palace is almost a thing of the past.

And this shift has occurred very quickly.

Little more than a decade ago, it wasn’t uncommon that a person had to memorize a sizable list of phone numbers belonging to partners, siblings, parents and close friends.

Now Many Of Us Forget Our Own Cell Phone Numbers!


Despite this fact, there are situations in the modern day that still require memorization.

Perhaps phone numbers and historical facts are better left to Google. But in reality, not everything can and should be searched via a computer.

A notable example which is becoming conversant is “language” – which requires that you memorize a huge amount of vocabulary and grammar.  Until now, there isn’t a technology effective enough to replace human ability to learn and master a language.

In the past, having to memorize information was not optional because information wasn’t easily accessible. Up until the 19th century, paper was expensive, especially for quantities required to make a book.  To add to it was that not many people could read and write so the ability and need to memorize and recall information was critical.

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Why The Greeks Adored the Memory Palace Technique


That’s why a powerful memorization method was adored by the ancient Greeks. This technique is used today by memory experts to commit huge amounts of information to mind.

The only problem is this:

An abundance of terminology has emerged that all means essentially the same thing. For example, you’ll here some memory experts call the Memory Palace technique the Mind Palace. This alternative term appears to come from the world of Sherlock Holmes, and it’s interesting to question if it’s really accurate.

After all, this detective is a fictional character, and we’re here to optimize our memory based on what is scientifically possible in real minds, not fantastically described fictional ones. And the whole notion that the information is in our ‘mind’ is obvious, but also a deviation from the fact that this technique uses what is already in our memory to help us remember more.

You might also hear this called the Journey Method, the Roman Room or a related term like the Pegword Method. All of these have one thing in common: They are using space itself as a mnemonic.

The fact that all of these techniques draw upon your spatial memory explains why “Memory Palace” is in fact the better term. This is true because no matter what you call the technique, it’s a lot easier to use if you are basing your journeys on space that is already remembered and easily recalled. This feature was noted by Thales of Miletus who lived during the pre-Socratic Era. He pointed out that “space is ultimate because it contains all things.”

Thanks to Thales and a long line of people who have used these techniques, we have an abundance of Ancient Greek facts and instructions that have been handed down, anyone can learn to use a Mind Palace at any time.

One such contemporary memory expert, used it to memorize Pi to over 100,000 digits. Our own MMM student Marno Hermann has used a Memory Palace to memorize 1200 digits of Pi.

This memorization technique is called the Method of Loci, or more commonly the “Memory Palace”. It is a memorization method that not only has held the test of time, but has been shown to be effective through modern-day studies.

You may even have heard of the Memory Palace without realizing it because it has been featured in multiple books and media.


The Silence Of The Memory Palace
In Fiction And Movies


For example, the technique was employed by the fictional serial killer Hannibal Lecter in the novel series Hannibal written by an American author Thomas Harris.

In several passages of the novel, Lecter was described as mentally walking through an elaborate Mind Palace to remember facts. That’s the basics of the Memory Palace.

Although relatively unknown, this method can be a game-changing technique for people who want to improve their ability to retain large amounts of information.

You might be a student trying to master information for an exam, or an aspiring polyglot trying to learn Italian. You might be aging and finding it more difficult to recall routine information.

Whatever memorization challenge you face, the Memory Palace is a proficient way to finally help you achieve your goals.


How the Memory Palace Evolved


The origin of the Memory Palace was traced to ancient Greece. As mentioned earlier, in the olden days, people had higher incentives to create effective methods of retaining information. Writing and writing materials were difficult to access.

The Memory Palace was introduced to the ancient Romans and the world via Greek rhetorical treatises.

The Roman Cicero described the Memory Palace in his writings on rhetoric, called De Oratore.

In De Oratore, Circero claims that his Mind Palace method originated from the Greek poet Simonides. Simonides was commissioned to recite a poem praising a group of nobles at a banquet. After the recitation, Simonides left the hall and shortly after the edifice collapsed and killed all the people in the banquet.

The bodies were so badly mangled that not even close relatives could identify the corpses of their own people. However, Simonides was able to identify each of the corpses by name based on their location. Based on this experience, Simonides devised the Memory Palace (Bower 1970).

Whether this story is reality or myth, it illustrates the basic idea behind the Memory Palace. Luckily, you don’t have to attend a tragic banquet to master the technique and start using it to improve your information retention.

For a true story that will rivet you from beginning to end, check out The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. And more recently, scholars David Reser and Tyson Yunkaporta have shown the Aboriginal origins of the technique and demonstrated how well this ancient memory technique works for medical students.


How to Create a Memory Palace


The basic idea behind the Memory Palace is to associate pieces of information with a location that you are very familiar with. A prime example would be of your home.

If you’d like some free Memory Palace worksheets and a concise memory improvement video course, do this now:

Free Memory Improvement Course


If you close your eyes right now, you can probably picture your home with a high degree of detail. You know where the furniture is found, what colors the walls are, and even where small objects are placed.

The Memory Palace has to do with associating information with specific areas of that familiar location.

As you walk through that location, you place pieces of information that you wish to memorize in specific areas. When you want to recall the information, you go through that mental route, and the information will be easily accessible.

The technique is made more effective when you add surprising or out-of-the normal features to the information.

For example, assuming you would like to memorize this sequence of words:

  • hero
  • drill
  • spacecraft
  • music

You could imagine yourself at your front door, with a hero standing next to you. Here you’ve made an association between your door and a hero.

You can increase your ability to memorize and retain this by making the memory more distinctive or unusual. For example, you could imagine the hero opening the door for you, or banging on it before you enter.

You then walk down your hall, and before your feet is a drill. To increase the power of this mnemonic imagery, imagine that it is turned on and you have to leap to avoid being hurt.

You then turn the corner and see a spacecraft flying out of the window leaving behind itself a trail of glitter.

Finally, you sat down on the couch, and as your bottom touches the cushion, your favorite song starts playing. You might even imagine the word “music” written on the cushion before you sit.

Anthony Metivier Memory Palace of Berlin Apartment

Quick Memory Palace Drawing by Anthony Metivier (Berlin apartment)

To get started creating a Mind Palace, do this now:

  1. Draw a floor plan of a familiar location.
  2. Create a journey that does not lead you into a dead end.
  3. Make sure that your journey is linear so that you don’t create confusion by crossing your own path.
  4. Don’t over clutter your first Memory Palace.
  5. Number each station and create a top-down list to help you mind remember the journey better. Optional: Use a Magnetic 00-99 P.O.A. to assign an image to each Magnetic Station
  6. Use the Memory Palace as quickly as possible with information that will improve your life.
  7. Use the Memory Palace to invoke the Primacy Effect and Recency effect for each Magnetic Station by using the Serial-Positioning Effect.
  8. Create more Memory Palaces and repeat the process, always taking care to memorize information that makes your life better professionally and personally.

The Definitive Guide To Reusing A Memory Palace

A lot of people ask me about using their Mind Palace a second or third time.

It is possible, but it can be a bit finicky. To explain, please check out this thorough guide on the topic:

As you can see, not even the most skilled memory experts reuse Memory Palaces. If you set yourself up correctly, it’s not really necessary.

That said, doubling up does make for great brain exercise, and that’s usually the way I treat the practice. I think it might have helped me experience a breakthrough with aphantasia, actually.

But what this question has taught me the most over the years is that many students of memory improvement put the cart before the horse. They worry about advanced skills before they’ve mastered the fundamentals – advanced skills that the pros have already determined might be great, but aren’t really worth using.

Likewise, people sometimes worry about what will happen if the furniture in their Memory Palace moves around.

I understand why they are concerned, but it’s the kind of question that just doesn’t arise when you have the fundamentals mastered. Please make sure that you devote yourself to the loci method thoroughly and completely. It will serve you well for the rest of your life.

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This Memory Palace Technique Is Not Necessarily Visual


As you can see, the technique seems to require a vivid visual imagination. A lot of people get this wrong, confusing iconic memory with the fantasy of photographic memory.

However, when done correctly using all of the Magnetic Modes, you can memorize a very large amount of information relatively quickly without necessarily seeing the Memory Palace in your mind.

Here’s an infographic to teach you all about the different ways that your brain perceives information:

Magnetic Modes Infographic for Memory Palace blog post on the Magnetic Memory Method Blog

Keeping the full range of your Magnetic Modes in mind, you can use any home or location with which you are familiar.

You can even use small areas, such as the inside of a broom closet. You can even use your own body, attaching information to different limbs.

Just keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to see the Memory Palace. You can feel it, hear it, taste it, smell it and even just think about it.

If any of this seems odd, continue reading to be convinced of how seriously well this technique works. You might want to see just how well the Memory Palace can work in combination with Mind Mapping too.


The Science behind the Memory Palace


Many studies have been conducted to analyze the effectiveness of the Memory Palace. It’s all based on the scientific fact that your brain and spatial memory perceive space as a kind of image.

Check out this lecture with memory expert Stephen Kosslyn for more information about how that works:

Cool, right?

The answer is a resounding “yes!”

Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch.

>>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer.

Incredible Experiments with Memory Palaces and Students

Even better:

In a study conducted by J. Ross and K. A. Lawrence in 1968, the Memory Palace was tested on a group of 40 students.

The students were asked to memorize a list of 40 items. They were given only a few minutes to do so, yet were able to recall an average of 38 out of 40 items upon immediate recall.

The next day, the average recall rate dropped to 34 out of 40 items – still very impressive!

Nature Magazine did an investigation of so-called superior memorizers (SM) in a 2002 paper (Maguire et al). They studied a group of 10 champions who had competed in the World Memory Championships.

The researchers first wanted to know if these SMs had some special natural advantages that other people do not have, such as a higher IQ.

They first found out that SMs did not have exceptional cognitive abilities. In fact, they did not even show superior performance on visual memory tasks (for example, the recall of faces).

Retrain your brain image of Albert Einstein

The paper further investigated the brain structure of these SMs, and found out that their brains were not significantly different from average brains (Maguire et al 2002).

The scientists also performed functional MRI scans to see if the SMs brains were activated differently when actively memorizing.

Here the SMs brains differed from normal brains – SM’s brains activated particularly when memorizing (Maguire et al 2002).

Significantly, scientists found out that SMs all used mnemonic techniques to aid in their memorization. Nine out of ten of these subjects were specifically using the Memory Palace (Maguire et al 2002).

Note: Some of people call it the Mind Palace method, but the basics are the same.

Plus, the different activation patterns observed were associated to the fact that SMs used mnemonic techniques, namely the Memory Palace, to memorize information (Maguire et al 2002).


No Need For A Huge IQ To Use A Memory Palace!


It’s not that SMs are smarter or have bigger brains than the rest of us. It’s that they use mnemonics, and specifically the Memory Palace to memorize semantic information.

That is the secret behind their impressive abilities. And because these SMs had been practicing the technique for a little over 11 years on average, they were really good (Maguire et al 2002).

This suggests that anyone with average abilities can use this technique to improve his/her memory.

And once you know the drill, it’s really just a matter of spending some time with a few solid Memory Palace training exercises. Like these:

Even if you are not seeking to learn large amounts of information, the Memory Palace still has something to offer. There is even evidence that the Memory Palace can help maintain a healthy brain during old age.

As MMM student Sunil Khatri has explained, the Memory Palace is also great for language learning, including the difficulties of Japanese.


Benefits of the Memory Palace
Technique for the Aging Brain


As we age, our memories become weaker. In elderly people, this might lead to a frustrating situation where they are struggling to recall routine information.

There has been much study on age-related memory loss, but so far not many effective solutions to this problem.

Happily, the Memory Palace holds promise in aiding the enhancement of memory in the aging brain.

One study conducted in Norway in 2010 employed expert instructors, who taught the Memory Palace to 23 volunteers. The average age of these volunteers was 61 (Engvig et al 2010).

Portrait of memory expert Gary Small and author of 2 Weeks to a Younger Brain

After training, these volunteers were able to memorize a list of 30 words in sequential order in under 10 minutes – impressive!

A control group, a set of volunteers of the same average age, sex and education was included in the study. They were not trained in the Memory Palace technique, and were instructed to memorize the list as well (Engvig et al 2010).

Afterwards, both groups were released into the world to live normally for eight weeks.

When they returned to the study, researchers challenged both groups to a recall task.

The Results

They first flashed a list of 15 unrelated words, each for only a second. The volunteers were then instructed to recall the words in order.

Researchers then showed them a list of 30 words. Half of these words had been displayed in the initial 15 word list while the other half was completely new.

The volunteers were asked to pick out words that had previously appeared and also identify their correct position in the first list (Engvig et al 2010).

Volunteers trained in the Memory Palace outperformed the non-trained volunteers for recognizing the position of the words (Engvig et al 2010).

The study also measured the amount of brain thinning that occurred in the trained versus untrained groups of volunteers. Normal age causes the brain to shrink.

The brain of the individuals showed thickening in areas of the brain which were key for visual abstract memory (Engvig et al 2010).

What should we conclude from these findings? It’s clear that using a Memory Palace makes for great brain exercise.

Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch.

>>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer.


Why The Memory Palace Technique Is Not Snake Oil


This research and others like it have shown that the Memory Palace is not snake oil.

Sadly, the modern world does not see to encourage us to use our imagination as much these days. It might therefore be slightly challenging for someone newly using the technique to really get into it. This is especially true if they don’t have the kind of Memory Palace example you can get when you take my free memory improvement course.

However, after practice, many find out that this memory technique is not only effective in memorization, but is also very engaging. Certainly more engaging than the traditional rote memorization technique, especially when you use Magnetic Note Taking as part of the process.

With some practice, you’ll be impressing all of your friends and family with how good your memorization has gotten in no time. And if it’s still not clear how and why this incredible tool works so well, here are 5 Memory Palace Examples that make everything clear.


Memory Palace References & Further Resources


Bower, G. H., “Analysis of a Mnemonic Device: Modern psychology uncovers the powerful components of an ancient system for improving memory” American Scientist, Vol. 58, No. 5, pp. 496-510, September–October 1970 Web. 21 Jan. 2016..

Engvig, Andreas, Anders M. Fjell, Lars T. Westlye, Torgeir Moberget, Øyvind Sundseth, Vivi Agnete Larsen, and Kristine B. Walhovd. “Effects of Memory Training on Cortical Thickness in the Elderly.” NeuroImage 52.4 (2010): 1667-676. 1 Oct. 2010. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.

Fan, Shelley. “Can a Mnemonic Slow Memory Loss with Age?” Scientific American Blog Network. 20 Mar. 2014. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.

Maguire, Eleanor A., Elizabeth R. Valentine, John M. Wilding, and Narinder Kapur. “Routes to Remembering: The Brains behind Superior Memory.” Nature Neuroscience Nat Neurosci 6.1 (2002): 90-95. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.

Want to Become a Mnemonics Dictionary? 5 Powerful Secrets Revealed!

7 More Mental Exercises From Around the World

102 Responses to " How to Create A Memory Palace: A Proven Memory Palace Technique Approach "

  1. Alex says:

    Memory Palace Science: Proof That This Memory Technique Works

    Thanks Anthony,

    Memory truly resides in several realms, and science is certainly one of them. Of course, it is a subject of pure and applied sciences, such as medicine, neuropsychology and the like; but it also resides in social science, life science, formal science, etc. Science is an activity that we use to gain knowledge of our world through gathering evidence, conducting experiments, and arriving at conclusions.

    Those who consider Humanities, which applies the scientific method to the study of human culture, as non-scientific have a misunderstanding of science.

    This is sad, but it is not surprising, for our Western systems of education have been degrading woefully over the years. Levels of illiteracy (cultural, literary, scientific, and so forth) and innumeracy are staggering.

    But Memory is the stuff of all scientific and artistic pursuit. In fact, Cicero considered it the “treasure house of knowledge.”

    His work on Rhetoric (“de Oratore”) covers the classical five fields, which are Invention, Arrangement, Style, Memory and Delivery. For him, and for many of his contemporaries, location-based mnemonics was very well known. Many were versed in the skill, so he is almost apologetic when he covers it. Moreover, Memory was made even more powerful when used in conjunction with the four other fields.

    Mental imagery predates spoken language. In fact, a fascinating article on it appears in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ( It relates imagery to mnemonic and other pursuits. I encourage you and others to read it.

    When I recall how I learned my phone numbers as a child, I “see” the telephone (its colour, its location). I remember dialling the numbers with the rotary dial. Everything was experiential and highly memorable.

    I think we developed such a strong sense of visual memory because it literally was a matter of life and death. We needed to know where to find food or how to avoid pitfalls, and all of this was contingent on visual memory.

    I like your example with hero, drill, spacecraft and music. How I would handle it is combining the words together to form one mnemonic image in one location. For example, I see our old 1966 Dodge Polara parked in our driveway. All of a sudden an old flying saucer spacecraft comes whirling out of the sky and lands on it crushing it like a pancake. A classical Greek Hero comes rushing out of my house with a drill in hand to start fixing the mess; but he’s only making it worse. Bonnie Tyler’s “I need a Hero” is blaring out over the scene, adding the music. Funny, crazy, dynamic and all rolled into one location.

    Possibly why people complain about the effectiveness of Memory Palaces is that they’re not using vivid imagery. It has to be totally outlandish if you want to remember. But as you say, “Sadly, most adults in the modern world are not encouraged to use their imagination. It might therefore be slightly challenging for someone newly using the technique to really get into it.”

    However, once people really use the technique, and as true Memory Scientists, explore, practise, experiment and observe; and compare it to other methods, such as rote learning), I am sure more people will embrace the Science and Art of Memory.

    Kinds regards.

  2. Ah, rotary dial … just thinking of all the phones I’ve used or owned in my life brings back so many memories – and all in the form of a profound memory exercise.

    The phones in the homes of friends and relatives … pay phones around the world.

    And then my first cell phone … how the cell phones of my friends looked …

    Just one word in your post unlocks a treasure house of knowledge that, even if it seems trivial to some, is the most valuable in the world.


    Because it makes possible more than just memory exercise. It opens up ideas for even more Memory Palaces.

    The lack of vivid imagery is precisely the complaint so many make. That is solved by understanding how one is visual and then massaging that muscle so that it works. The Memory Palace is both the storehouse and the dojo/gym where all the work is to be done. And it is done at the highest possible level when we act as the scientist of our own memory laboratory.

    And so I hope and work towards you being right that the majority will come to embrace the glorious, ancient technology of the Memory Palace. It’s only going to get more powerful and more useful the older it gets! 🙂

  3. Vladimir says:

    Hi Anthony,

    Thanks for the article.

  4. Betsy says:

    I tell people that anyone can develop a good memory, yet they don’t believe me! Could it be due to mental laziness? I don’t know….

    • Thanks for this, Betsy.

      I’m sure mental laziness is involved in some cases. In others, it could be Digital Amnesia.

      Another reason is that people don’t have accountability, which is one reason why I developed this monthly print newsletter program with a book called The Memory Connection.

      I wasn’t sure if it would be successful or not, but the response so far has been great. I’m confident that this form of continuous training is a new way to help people find their way to memory techniques no matter what might be holding them back.

      Thanks for your post and look forward to your next one soon. We all appreciate hearing from you! 🙂

      • Khawaja says:

        Dear Sir can one memory palace be used for multiple purpose

        • Thanks for your question.

          Yes, you can reuse any Memory Palace, but there are many considerations. Some people do it with ease, but others struggle. A lot depends on the purpose, your level of skill and the distinctive nature of the information.

          For example, you can get what I think of as “borderblur” if the imagery is too similar. You can also experience what some memory competitors call “ghosting.” When it comes to re-using a Memory Palace for knowledge, I prefer to call this the “Ugly Sister Effect.” If you search this site for it, you’ll find a whole episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast about why this happens, why I prefer this term and how to deal with the issue.

          At the end of the day, give it a try and see how it works for you. If it’s too much of a pain, make and use more Memory Palaces. I find this approach to be the better one because it exercises more levels of your memory overall.

  5. Sameepa says:

    Hi Anthony,

    Thanks for the article,

    I ‘ve been using this techique since 5 years it really works well, like I can still remember what I read 2 years back.
    I created more than 150 memory palaces with a sketch but now I’m running out of my familiar places
    I completed all the places I’m familiar with.
    I ended up using same place again and again which created a mess
    So I started visiting new places and then coming back to memorize stuff in that place but this is not efficient because I’m not fully familiar with the place
    What I’m I supposed to do?

    Please help me.

    • Hi Sameepa,

      Thanks for your question.

      Yes, re-using Memory Palaces can create a mess. It’s possible to get better at doing so, but I’ve found that the benefits are usually very low. It works well for memorizing cards, but not really for knowledge based projects where you want long term memory of the material.

      In terms of finding new Memory Palaces, ongoing inventory exercises are useful. If you haven’t taken my free course, please start there. It walks you through an inventory exercise using a very powerful tool everyone knows.

      If you still can’t find ideas for developing a full Memory Palace Network (and then another and another), please consider visiting new cafes, museums, bookstores, etc.

      You can also explore options like movies and tv series and search this site for tutorials on that practice.

      At the end of the day, everyone can find more Memory Palace options. It’s just a matter of developing doing so as a habit and having an organizational structure for the task, ideally one that also helps generate the MP networks. That’s what the free course helps you do and you’re free to post more questions if you have them along the way.

      • Dan White says:

        As Sameepa wrote, I’ve had limited exposure to different places that I am really familiar with. So I thought about it a lot, and came up with a way to expand on successfully using what I am familiar with. Typically when people memorize a place or object, they use one orientation or point of view (P.O.V.) My thought is that it may be usefule to create more than one P.O.V of a place or an object for reuse as a “memory palace” (what I refer to as a memory retention anchor or MRA.) For example, a house that I grew up in had several very distinctive windows, which you could see only some from a street view, others from a backyard view and so on. But I can use all because even the hidden ones I know are there. So my MRA for that object can labeled as from different P.O.V. allowing me to reuse the anchoring object. I’d be interested in whether anyone else has used this technique or something like it.

        • Thanks, Dan.

          Yes, there’s something like this in my full program and in Bruno. But there’s also training on how to find endless Memory Palaces even if people have access to limited places.

          The best thing is to be able to combine both, so thank you for sharing your experiences and this concept.

  6. Gabriel says:

    Hi Anthony, thank you for all your posts, they all really give great insights!
    I’ve been into mnemonics since 2011 when I was studying mentalism, I read a lot about mnemonics, I mean, a lot! I’ve finished having kind of great knowledge about this but I never really needed to use it for real-life purposes. I used it for memorizing a deck of cards, sometimes I used for memorizing stuff for some exam at school, but now I finally have some incentive, I want to use MP for memorizing foreign vocabulary and for math equation too… The tricky thing for me is, I speak 3 languages (Portuguese, Italian and almost there with English), I have two similar doubts with different contexts.

    So, language first; when I come up with an image for a vocabulary sometimes it is easier to relate with a Portuguese word, other times it is easier with am English word. For example, the French word for “cake”, it’s “gateau”, its pronunciation is almost the same as the word in Portuguese for “cat” which is “gato”. The French word for “rabbit” is “lapin”, and my mind rapidly visualized a rabbit lapping himself. Now, it’s ok to do that? To mix languages? Or it’s better to choose a definite “mind language” and always use that language? What about composed words? I mean, when you use more than one image for the same word, like “to find” in French is “retrouver”, the first things that came to my mind were the Italian word “retro” and the Portuguese word “ver”. When I think about the word I remember what I did, but I’m afraid that in the long term if I do not use the word for a long time, I could then make some confusion. What do you think about this?

    For number, like a 00-99 major method, for some number, it is not that easy to come up
    with an image, but since I’m Brazilian but I’ve lived in Switzerland for almost 10 years, so
    for many years school and essays were in Italian. My mother language is Portuguese, but
    Italian kind of also is my mother language. So, I was creating a number system but some of
    the words were in Italian, some in Portuguese, and some even in English. I still didn’t
    finish for all the numbers, but do you think this could confuse my mind? Or with
    practice, this would not matter?

    Anyway, thank you for all the youtube videos and articles, I really make good use of them.

    Kinds regards

    • Thanks for this, Gabriel.

      You have a wonderful asset by speaking multiple languages. Use it freely. There are no “Memory Palace” police who govern these matters.

      Instead, let the results be final arbiter.

      Personally, I take every possible advantage of the other languages and snippets from languages I know. I might even draw upon a Conglang or sound poetry if it’s useful.

      As for confusion that might arise over the long term, that is only possible when you’re not using the Memory Palace technique correctly.

      You need to integrate:

      1. Proper Memory Palace creation

      2. Effective encoding with Magnetic Imagery (sounds like you’re doing great with that

      3. Recall Rehearsal that maximizes the power of the primacy effect, recency effect and serial-positioning effect

      Many people think the Memory Palaces they create are for permanent storage, but this is not what the technique helps establish. The technique is for setting up Recall Rehearsal so that we can move short term recall into long term memory.

      When it comes to the 00-99, “easy” is a state of mind, a mental judgment. Tying one’s shoes wasn’t easy in the beginning either. Some people just learn it. Others develop a mental attitude of frustration and make it take longer than necessary. I would start by eliminating anything that even remotely smacks of a judgment on the process.

      I know that can sound brutal. But here’s the important thing: We know that others use it and very successfully. What does our opinions of how “hard” or “easy” it is matter when it’s just a fact that it can be learned? It only matters if our mental attitude helps or hinders us. Only focus on the mental attitudes that help.

      In terms of the 00-99 confusing you in your mind, that sounds like you’re worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet. Why even build such a possible, imaginary future?

      I suggest you simply focus on mastering the skill with no regard for the future. You can’t control the future anyway, but you can prepare for it. Confusion might well be part of it, and it wouldn’t be much of a life if it weren’t.

      But when you practice the great memory tradition without judgments or deciding what counts as confusion in advance, you can just settle back and enjoy the process.

      So many people want to “optimize” every part of it in advance and avoid mistakes. Trying to do so is the ultimate mistake because it is not possible. We can only optimize it by encountering mistakes as we go. There is no refinement in advance and the desire to avoid confusion is understandable, but false. We will all encounter it even if we’re not using memory techniques.

      Embrace it!

  7. Adrian Austin says:

    Hi Anthony,

    I am still confused. Do I pick a station then build a mind map to what I want to learn because if you use every station your run out of stations to use. Surely each word does not get put on a station. I would run out of stations and would need hundreds of them.

    • Thanks for your question.

      I’m not sure why you are bringing the mind map technique into this discussion. You can combine mind mapping with the Memory Palace technique, but I would not do this for a goal like memorizing verbatim information.

      Every serious practitioner of this technique does eventually have and use hundreds of stations and this is not an issue when you know the skills.

      However, the longer you think about it before just diving in and starting to memorize, the more your brain plays a “numbers game” with a future that hasn’t arrived yet.

      The reality is that you will never run out of stations, nor will you run out of Memory Palaces. This will happen because you will learn a few different ways to reuse them.

      You will also learn a number of ways to maximize the space within them as you practice.

      And you will continue to develop new strategies to expand your technique. I can do 11-17 words per station, which leads to massive progress when dealing with large texts very quickly.

      Hope this helps and please read How To Stop Overthinking The Memory Palace Technique. I think it will do you wonders.

      Put the numbers game aside and dive in. Expect to learn it as you go and spend some time really seeping into the practice. The ancients did it and so can all of us. It’s fun and easy.

  8. Simona says:

    thank you for the article. And I have a question – is possible use memory palace for learning physics?

    • Thanks for stopping by, Simona.

      Yes, you can use a Memory Palace for remembering concepts and formulas in physics.

      To do so, you’ll want to develop a few more tools:

      * A Major System
      * A system for memorizing symbols used in equations
      * An alphabet list or pegword system, perhaps more than one

  9. Galen Graziano says:

    Hi Dr. Metivier!

    I have a question about memory palaces and obtaining degrees.

    I’ve already noticed how fast information goes into a memory palace. Even though there is a Recall Retention Rehearsal period afterwards, it seems to me that given a large enough network of memory palaces, and enough time and energy afterwards to review it all properly, obtaining a degree should not take 4, 8, or 12 years at all. It could probably be cut in half or in thirds at least.

    But since you’ve already obtained a PhD, I’m wondering your thoughts. I ask because with my work schedule, I simply can’t attend college right now, but I still want to get educated (I just don’t know what I’ll use the information for). My goal is to pick up a book, read through it once and understand all the knowledge in it (especially such textbooks as anatomy/medical/pharmacological books and science/engineering) books.
    I have no idea how many stations I’ll need though. So planning a memory palace with such a large goal is difficult to judge.

    I’m curious what your thoughts are?

    Best wishes,

    Galen Graziano

    • Thanks for this post, Galen. It’s a great topic.

      I think it’s important to approach this from the perspective of your goals.

      If you want to master these topics for personal reasons, you are good to go. No one can answer “how many stations” you’ll need because the journey will unlock things that are currently unknown to you. So the real goal is simply to be able to learn those things on demand – and when it comes to using the Memory Palace technique, you will always have options when you know and practice this method. It too always unlocks more possible locations and tools.

      But if there are reasons you are studying these topics where you will be required to have completed a formal degree, no speed of learning will magically manifest the required slips of paper.

      Where are these interests you’ve mentioned taking you and to what extent will formal education be required?

      If none, then the exact number of Memory Palaces in your Memory Palace Networks is not knowable and one would do well to just get started, ideally with all 26 of the recommended first network.

  10. Antony Onopko says:

    Hi Anthony,

    I appreciate you sharing this knowledge with all of us. So I sometimes wonder if that knowledge is being put to good use with my own version of the magnetic memory palace. I understand that everyone is each to their own. However, I wish to see if this would result in failure or success since you are the memory expert after all. ( Some of these questions may seem rather brainless, but I am extremely cautious of everything before I start. )

    Firstly, when I assign a part of a word its meaning; does that mean I have to make another meaning the next time I encounter that part of the word? Or does it just stay? For example, there is the word *hanshi*. With that being said, I created my own alphabet. Moreover, : han: would mean : freeze:, and * shi * would mean death. Out of these two words I would then create a story. So, for the next time I encounter : shi : do I have to associate a different meaning with it or can it always mean : death :.?

    The reason I am so worried about something that might be so obvious is that I am afraid of not providing enough variation in my stories. Thus, resulting in stories that have many similar elements to them. But at the same time, I am afraid of running away from an organized alphabet system that would have the possibility of leading into chaos.

    Secondly, would it be alright if one reused objects? One station might be a couch, but in a different part of the memory palace I might want to re-use that couch again.

    Next, is it acceptable to use video games/ cartoons in one:s memory palace. Or is it recommended to use stuff closer to reality? If they are both fine, which one is better?
    Also, for example there is the word morashi. Would it be better if I combined ra and shi or should I make an entirely new association- with rashi meaning : rash :.?

    Lastly, should I really try to associate with taste and touch. I can see the potential for making objects larger than life, vibrant, and using sounds/music, but I can:t see how taste and touch would work. Maybe it does, and I simply just have to go for it? Like, simply get better at memorizing the smells and touch? Would it do me good if I just relied on vision and sound, rather than touch and taste if I prefer to do so? Moreover, are the emotions, touch, taste, smell, etc, used to make vocabulary easier to remember or to also help with differentiation? As in, these vocab are sad, but those are happy. These are salty, but those are sweet.

    P.S, could you explain the applications of the primacy effect, recency effect, and the serial positioning effect? As far as I know, they mean that Humans can recall information in the beginning and the last of a list easier than the middle? Does this mean, I just have to study the middle part of my memory palace more?

    Antony Onopko

    • Thanks for these great questions, Antony.

      Let’s go through everything in reverse order:

      The Memory Palace technique already gives you Primacy, Recency and Serial Positioning Effect when you use the Magnetic Memory Method Recall Rehearsal patterns. This is because the technique ensures that each piece of information receives “equal doses” of what is called in memory science “active recall” or “decoding.”

      Without implementing these patterns, the forgetting curve is going to have a much easier time eroding many memories we establish, especially in areas like language learning.

      So the point here is not to focus on the general fact that we recall beginnings and endings easier than middles. It is to use the serial positioning effect in a way that renders the point moot because we are making everything “Magnetic.” Some space repetition softwares do an okay job of this kind of patterning, however, they are weak in many ways because they rarely help people engage in elaborative encoding or proper active recall based on elaborative encoding.

      Yes, taste, touch, smell, concepts – all of these Magnetic Modes will help a great deal because they create more connections – literally neuronal connections in the chemical bath of the brain.

      It’s easy to apply all the Magnetic Modes to any word, but it can take a bit of practice if you’re not used to doing it. We use the simple KAVE COGS formula to make sure that we do.

      Your examples look fine, and there are opportunities to reuse images. I wouldn’t necessarily do it in the manner that you’re suggesting, but a lot depends on the correct use of Recall Rehearsal during review. You can get away with quite a few things if you perform it diligently enough.

      But as a best practice, it’s important to arrange the information in ways that reduce cognitive load, and wherever possible use what we call Bridging Figures. They are not always possible to deploy, but they can be especially powerful with Asian languages.

      The desire to “reuse” Memory Palaces or Memory Palace elements is normal, but exposes something of a misunderstanding of what this technique is and what its power can be. Yes, they can be reused, but it’s so far from necessary, creates issues that can be avoided, and doesn’t develop your spatial memory abilities nearly as much as working with new Memory Palaces. I personally save reuse for raw practice, such as with random vocab, numbers or playing cards.

      Some people like to use games or other virtual Memory Palace sources. I personally do not, so recommend seeking out advice from those who do.

      I actually think at some level the topic is irrelevant because all space appears in the mind. It’s a question of how durable and useful the space being referred to is for the individual and some training will be required. My bias against using games is that I simply do not want to spend any more time on fantasy and technologically derived locations than necessary.

      But if were to, those “locations” are still appearing in the same consciousness as any other space, which suggests that all space is inherently “virtual.” This is partly a philosophical issue, so you may want to look into the problems of soft and hard solipsism for more insight on this aspect and how it impacts memory improvement efforts.

      As for variation and “stories,” you do not need to create stories, which sounds like a lot of hard work. If you’re working alphabetically, at most you will have vignettes, but even that is usually more than is needed. If you really devote yourself to this practice, variation will be inevitable because you’re drawing upon the source of all representation each and every time. Variation is guaranteed and you can substantially reduce the needed amount of elements, especially when you lock in all of the Magnetic Modes.

      Finally, there is no failure in memory training except in one regard: The failure to treat all of this as an experiment and to learn from the data running the experiments produces for the individual practitioner. If anyone fails at this, it is by their definition and by their choice.

      Does this set of responses help you out?

  11. Antony Onopko says:

    Hi Anthony,

    I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. I now have a much better understanding of this technique and all of my questions have been answered.

  12. Andrea says:

    Hi all, hope I am in the right place! Just started Anthony’s “Magnetic Square Minicourse”, and I am following instructions for Lesson 1. I have exchanged a few mails with Anthony and he comes across as a super nice person, so when I got an offer for the MSMc, I couldn’t say no!

    I am curious to learn more about his MS method, and as 4 words to memorise I have decided to pick the last tube stops before my office, so I remember when to start to get ready for getting off, without having to rely on an app! Just for the records, my stop is Blackfriars, and the 4 before that one are:

    1) St.James’s Park
    2) Westminster
    3) Embankment
    4) Temple

    Until tomorrow,


    • Great that you’re here, Andrea, and thanks for participating in this part of the course.

      Your goal of not having to rely on an app is a great one – well done!

      In fact, this is exactly the kind of goal that leads to so much improvement in life. Not only does it create more spatial awareness, but you’re establishing the foundation for later using each of those stations as a more complete Memory Palace.

      I look forward to your next post and thanks again for participating!

      • Andrea says:

        Thanks so much, Anthony! I will post my next lesson here, so I avoid cluttering your blog with too many entries!

        [MS 2 of 8]

        Done mini lesson 2:

        I have picked up a notebook, selected a room (my bedroom, probably the room I know best 🙂 ) and drew it as a box, with labelled corners – I have also congratulated myself for doing this: I felt a little silly for doing this, but I always trust the teacher, whenever I learn something new!

        I am very bad at drawing, but at least I can manage a box!

        Until tomorrow,


        • A box is all it takes to get started!

          Before you know it, you’ll have many and can even start getting into the advanced stuff, like the Magnetic Cube! 🙂

          • Andrea says:

            Thanks again, Anthony!

            [MS 3 of 8]

            Done mini lesson 3: I’ve done as Anthony suggested, trying different ways to “visualise” the corners, and the one that worked best for me is just imagining to be at the door, and looking at the corners simply by turning my “imaginary head”, pointing at the various corners.

            I’ve really enjoyed this exercise, because it kept things very simple: when approached in its entirety, the Memory Palace technique seems daunting to me (how to “visualise” clearly? what about the furniture? how can I possibly do this for 10s or 100s of places?), but when broken down to a well known room and 4 simple corners, it is very easy to manage, and it almost has a meditative/relaxing quality to it.

            I do appreciate that through this I will only be able to memorise 4 items, but as for many things in life, I assume first you need to master the basics, then you worry about the rest!

            Until tomorrow,


          • You’re doing great, Andrea!

            Yes, keeping it simple is the key – before you know it, you will have the choice to continue keeping it simple, or move on to more complex and granular Memory Palaces.

            Also, it’s not only four items, that’s just the beginning. You can later double and quadruple Magnetic Squares, or add furniture from the room, etc.

            But the purpose of this course is indeed to keep it simple.

            After all, if you can’t memorize four things reliably, how will it ever be possible to build up to thousands?

            Everyone can get there, so thanks for being part of the mission to take it one step at a time so the foundations can be built. Inspiring!

  13. MagicMemory says:

    For Day 1, There are 4 categories of info (membership numbers, credit card numbers, account and passwords, phone numbers) that I would like to remember. For the exercise, do you recommend that I choose 4 categories ( many numbers in the 4 categories ) or 1 category with 4 numbers.

    For Day 2, draw the square and name the 4 corners.. 🙂 , and hope the magic will happen soon!

    • This is great – thanks for stopping by to share your progress.

      For this beginning exercise, if you’re going to choose numbers, I would suggest shorter digits, or maybe just one credit card or phone number rather than four.

      For numbers, you’ll also want to add on the Major System.

      But we need to get comfortable with navigating the Magnetic Square first, so I look forward to your coming progress updates as you continue through the course. 🙂

  14. Andrea says:

    Sorry for starting a new thread, but the tool doesn’t let me do any more replies (I guess we reached the limit of nested posts!)

    [MS 4 of 8]

    Afraid I am a bit confused by this lesson, to be honest.

    I get to the point that says: “The next step is to take the 4 things you want to memorize and bring them together with the Magnetic Stations”; after this there is a section on how to select those words, which is interesting, but I already have them (I have the ones I have identified in Lesson 1, as that was the ask). I don’t understand if I have to do the associations now, or if it’s something that will come in the next lesson.

    Any help, thanks in advance!

    • No problem with starting a new thread. That is probably for the best on a module-by-module basis, even though I didn’t know the software had this limitation.

      (Note – I used to use a forum for previous cohorts of this course, but I wanted to see if this way would work better.)

      About this lesson, we are just prepping for the “weaving” phase.

      As a preview, the basic process is experienced by everyone differently.

      For example, I recently memorized some new Sanskrit. The word was “tesham.”

      At the appropriate spot in the Magnetic Square I’d identified, I “placed” Nikola Tesla driving a Tesla car over a Christmas Ham.

      Now, “weaving” it into that specific corner of the Magnetic Square is just one of many ways you can think of it. But at the end of the day, the words we use for the process matter less than the practitioner figuring out how to do it.

      And by trying to figure out how to do it is usually how it winds up “clicking” for people.

      Does this way of looking at things help you out at this point in the course?

      • Andrea says:

        Thanks Anthony, that clarified it and it helps a lot!

        [MS 5 of 8]

        I loved this lesson! As per assignment, below are some celebrities I came up with for the first 5 letters of the alphabet (some names may be misspelled!):

        A: Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Audrey Hepburn, Abraham Lincoln
        B: Bill Gates, Boris Johnson, Barack Obama, Bruce Lee, Bob Dylan, Benito Mussolini
        C: Charles Prince of Whales, Charlie Chaplin, Che Guevara, Cameron Diaz, Christopher Columbus
        D: Donald Trump, Dwayne Johnson, David Bowie, Dick Van Dyke, David Attenborough
        E: Elon Musk, Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth II, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Emma Watson, Emilia Clarke, Ed Sheeran, Eddie Murphy

        For the KAVE COGS, I’ve done it with my favourite actress (Lily James) from my favourite movie (Mamma Mia Here We Go Again – I’ve watched it 18 times, so I remember it quite well, despite my bad memory!)

        K = Kinaesthetic: I visualise Lily stroking a frightened horse during a storm to calm him down, and I feel the touch of the horse’s mane against the hand
        A = Auditory: I imagine Lily singing “Andante, Andante”, my favourite song in the movie
        V = Visual: I visualise the final song from the movie, with Lily and the rest of the cast singing all together with beautiful choreography and costumes
        E = Emotional: I visualise the scene where Lily is giving birth
        C = Cognitive: I’ll skip this one, because I didn’t really get it, from the example
        O = Olfactory: I visualise the scene when Lily is running into a field in the early morning, to gather oranges for making a juice, and I imagine the smell of the grass at that time of day
        G = Gustatory: I imagine the taste of the freshly squeezed oranges
        S = Spatial: I visualise all these scenes unfolding in my first corner

        Until tomorrow,


        • Thanks for this incredibly rich array of multi-sensory exercising. You’re doing great!

          Soon, you’ll be connecting these associations to what you want to learn. That is the great secret of the Memory Palace.

          After that, it’s just rinse and repeat – though ideally we want to have multiple Memory Palaces to really grow with the technique.

          Always, just take it one Magnetic Square at a time. 🙂

          • Andrea says:

            [MS 6/8]

            Hi Anthony, another very good lesson, thanks for that – I have a few questions on this one, any help/guidance much appreciated in advance!

            1) Once you link a celebrity to an object (like Catherine Zeta-Jones to the Zebra), is that celebrity “burnt” (i.e. linked for life to the Zebra), or can they be reused?

            2) While I get how to link the celebrity to the object, I struggle a bit with understanding how to link the celebrity to the Magnetic Square corner, as they are all “nondescript” – how do you do that?

            3) Another point I’m missing is why we need to link the celebrity to the corner, and then the object to the celebrity: can’t we just link the object to the corner directly? I appreciate the celebrity went through the KAVE COGS process, but in theory we can do that directly with the object, and “save” a step, no?

            4) Finally, for the last part of the exercise (using one celebrity for every letter of the alphabet, have them interact with one object that corresponds to a letter of the alphabet) – should they be linked to their own letter? So for example, for Albert Einstein, should I use an Apple (word coming to mind which starts with A, like Albert), or something related to Einstein (like Hair or Blackboard)?

            Thanks in advance,


          • Great questions, Andrea!

            Magnetic Imagery can certainly be reused. What we want to avoid is duplication errors, or what is sometimes called “ghosting” or the Ugly Sister Effect. If you are using appropriately distinguished Magnetic Squares, this should rarely be an issue.

            Magnetic Squares should not be vague in any way. As in the course, they are based on rooms that you know. The drawing should be a simple representation of a room you are familiar with. I’ll look back through the material and see if that point needs to be amplified.

            Where you’re trying to get is that you can walk into any room and instantly transform it into a Magnetic Square. Later, you can learn many more ways to transformation rooms into much more robust tools than the MS, but we need to start with the fundamentals.

            You can link anything you wish directly, though the important thing to understand here is that this is “imaginary.” Is there really any “linking” going on? If so, then work with it. I don’t link things at all. I just interact them with reference to space. What you do is totally up to you, and what you call it is also up to you. But where we want to get is to see that what we’re doing is actually beyond name and form. It is memory itself, and the name for memory is itself in itself.

            I know that sounds like a philosophical detour, but it is in fact the greatest memory secret of them all. There is no “linking” as such because that very notion is in memory, and what you are actually doing is something quite different. The point being: Experiment. Make it your own. But don’t get caught up too much in the wording of it or the idea that it has to be some exact process every time. It can’t be because it’s more like a stage play than a movie. There will be variations from corner to corner, wall to wall, figure to figure, etc.

            You could link Albert Einstein to his own letter if you wish. That is a cool idea to play with at a foundational level.

            Later in the game, however, I would not necessarily recommend this for two reasons:

            1) We’ve just discussed how that information is not what it seems. “Linking” is the illusion we want to eventually transcend.

            2) You can use double alphabets and double representations. These are more advanced techniques discussed in other trainings. For now, the long and short of it is that you should experiment, but avoid becoming locked into A = A to strictly because Einstein could also be “AL” and “EIN” and many other configurations.

            Does this way of looking at things help you out? 🙂

  15. Andrea says:

    Thanks so much Anthony, really helpful context and additional information!

    I have done [MS 7/8], and very happy with that: of course the fact I have only have 4 pieces of information stored made it very easy, but the mechanism is very clear, and I see how it can be applied to any number of MS. I have also been playing a bit with Anki, for spaced repetition, and I think that could work very well with the repetition method you are suggesting.

    Thanks again for all your feedback, which is really appreciated.

    Until tomorrow,


    • Thanks for this, Andrea.

      Yes, once you have the idea in place, you can apply it to Anki and link Memory Palaces to any number of spaced repetition softwares.

      The science shows that as long as everything is highly personalized, the learning process and long term retention will be much higher than repetition alone.

      Looking forward to your concluding remarks on the course and beyond!

    • Achal Dubey says:

      Hello, i know i’m late for this but i’ve been kind of stuck at a question in MS 6/8.

      In the lesson, we used celebrities to learn some words by making them interact with the words.

      My question is that if we were to make them interact directly with the words then why did we ran through all the modes in the previous lesson beforehand. We could have directly linked any mode of the celebrity with the word as we encounter them. Or was it that in this lesson’s example we used a pre-ran mode.

      For example, in the Case of Xylophone, Professor X was playing it. It was kinaesthetic mode right, what if when i pre-ran Professor X as in previous lesson, I use another kinaesthetic, I’m confused.
      We have to come up with an image in context of the word, right? So why did we ran through all the modes?

      Thanks in advance.

      • Great that you’re here, Achal.

        It’s possible to approach this in many different ways. I chose the one that seemed most immersive, but obviously it won’t be that way for everyone.

        I’m not sure what you’re confused about precisely, but if you take Professor X playing a Xylophone, knowledge of the modes beforehand should help you go through all of them. But if you aren’t aware of the Magnetic Modes before hand, we have to stop the example and go back and learn them all.

        Does this way of looking at things make sense?

  16. Andrea says:

    [MS 8 of 8]

    Reached the end of this short, but very interesting, journey. I have started to apply the principles that Anthony has explained in different areas, such as remembering all the tube stops from home to office (rather than only the last 4), remembering a shopping list, remembering the names of all the main cities I am travelling through in a Virtual Walking Challenge I am doing with a friend (Route 66 on foot), and many others.

    Another nice variant I’ve introduced is using a place I have to go as the actual “magnetic square”, to remember what to bring with me (say for example the gym or the swimming pool): I love this, because the room is coming “for free” (it’s the place I am actually going to), and I don’t have any problem with “ghost memories” or reusing, because the list of things I want to remember is specific to that place, and therefore, to that Magnetic Square.

    I must say I’m enjoying the process a lot, as it makes remembering things a pleasant memory exercise, rather than a daunting challenge. May be one day I will do Anthony’s full MMM course, to see how this can scale up and be extended, but for now I am very grateful for all he has created and shared with us.

    Wishing you all great success and lots of fun in the process!

    One comment for Anthony: I noticed that the site you are using is not sending notifications when a new reply to a thread you have contributed to is posted, even if you add your email address when posting; this is a bit of a bummer, because unless someone goes there continually to check, they may miss out on replies. Just wanted to let you know, in case nobody reported it yet.


    • Thanks so much for your thoughts on the course and for sharing this application, Andrea. Remembering things to bring is yet another possible application. Wonderful!

      It’s great that you don’t have issues with ghosting. It would be lovely if that was the case for all of us. If you encounter it with higher volumes of information, there will be options for you though.

      In terms of the notifications issue, that is not ideal. I’ll look into it.

      These days, there are so many problems with corporations deciding through algos which emails reach whom, so it might be an issue beyond my control. But I’ll see if there’s an issue with this aspect of the site, and if so, hopefully can resolve it.

      Thanks again for being part of the course and talk soon! 🙂

  17. Aman says:

    Afternoon Sir. As you know, I’m taking a break from the Harry Kahne stuff to get the memory palace and card stuff down.

    Anyway, regarding the memory palace, I am starting MY work by memorizing stories from the Aesops fables book.

    The story i am starting with is “the frogs asking for a king”

    Must I draw the exaggerated images in the memory palace?

    I’ll send you an email showing the drawing i did, for the first line i drew 3 sad looking frogs cutting grass with a grass cutter ( the frogs grieved(grrrr), and then I drew a long ruler with the word established on it inside a no entry sign (having no established ruler).

    For the line “they sent an ambassador to Jupiter to entreat the king”, I drew the rapper Ambassador treating a character named king from beyblade (the ointments name was N treat(entreat), and Ambassadors hat was made to look kind of like Jupiter and its ring).

    I don’t know, for each line to be remembered word for word its a lot of pictures to draw, and this is one of the shorter stories in the book.

    How much drawing is involved?

    • Great progress!

      I only draw images when I’m feeling tired or down.

      Otherwise, all of this can be done mentally.

      • Aman says:

        Ok Thank YOU for your response. First of all, I’m not sure if this is right or anything, as you yourself made a video on the method of loci on its own….. But I don’t know man, I know the name is not important, but I love method of loci as a name. It’s stuff of legend.

        Anyway, regarding my first memory palace, I’d give my first experience 5/10.

        “GOOD PARTS”

        -exercise 3 naturally came to me when coming up with images. I was naturally “out of my own way”, as the character king from beyblade just sprung up in my head (same with Jupiter from sailor Moon).

        “BAD PARTS”

        -I only remember each sentence in my own words (not word for word sadly). I’m not sure if this is good or not, as this was one of the shorter stories in Aesops fables.

        “INTERESTING PARTS (I guess)”

        -I was able to use some harry kahne influence and pick any order at random and remember the sentence (eg out of my 9 stations I’d remember it as 192837465…. and other orders).

        But I don’t know man, I’m glad that imagery can only be mental! I will try one of my old psychology text books today.

        Will then let you know.

        • Method of Loci is a perfectly acceptable alternative to Memory Palace.

          Let’s get you to 10/10. Every memorizing experiencing can be that incredible and more!

          • Aman says:

            Yeah, but must it specifically be remembered word for word?

            I did it again yesterday and remembered each sentence from an old psychology book…… But it was in my own words.

            Anyway, will try meditating with the method of loci today.

          • The answer depends on the goal.

            For my TEDx Talk, I wanted to memorize it word for word.

            My images were not necessarily word-by-word. Sometimes I had 3 images for up to 17 words.

            But everything comes down to what the words are and the nature of your goal.

            The MMM is all about flexibility and getting the goal accomplished relative to your current level of skill.

            More skill = more options.

  18. Aman says:

    Ok Thank you for the response.

    Firstly sorry for the late response, now that I have comments on three of your pages (cards, loci and kahne)…. I forget! (Yeah, shouldn’t be forgetting!).

    Anyway, regarding my goal, I judge memory relative to my high school/university standards….. in that lets say there’s a paragraph style exam worth say 10 marks, and the overall exam is worth 70 marks total….. Yeah I’d forget stuff from my textbook, but even if I try writing stuff up as articulate as possible…… it wasn’t in the book, so I’d thus get it wrong. And I’d fail a few exams, and mostly I’d get like 60s.

    So yeah,as of now, even days later I still remember my three memory palaces ….. so I think I’m good (though I’ll still try getting word for word).

    Anyway, I’ll comment on the cards page soon…… got some good results out of that.

  19. Aman says:

    Can you use your fingers (Palm facing you) as memory palaces?

    When looking at your fingers, there are lines. This amounts to 14 blocks (2 on both your thumbs, three on the rest).

    Can these be used as palaces?

  20. Alexander says:

    Hello Dr. Metivier,

    I am here as a participant in the Magnetic Square correspondence course. Because I have recently begun learning the Ukrainian language, I will choose the words for the four seasons of the year to memorize first. Ukrainian is very unrelated to English, so working on my memorization abilities will be crucial for this journey.

    Thank you for the opportunity to dip my toes into this method!

    • This is wonderful, Alexander!

      I learned a bit of Ukrainian myself recently. I don’t know if you saw the video about that on YouTube, but I shared my very first session with a Ukrainian tutor. She’s fantastic if you’re looking for someone.

      The great thing about all languages is that no matter how unrelated they may be in terms of grammar and certain sounds, there is almost always some kind of mnemonic hook we can use in our Memory Palace Networks.

      The trick is practice with the techniques. Even the rustiest minds can get moving smoothly once the key methods or in motion.

      Enjoy and I look forward to your progress updates. Thanks for being involved!

      • Alexander says:

        Here I am again, having completed my first step in the memory journal. (Though it still needs a cover)

        I believe your video with Kateryna was how you got into my YouTube algorithm, because it popped up while I was researching Ukrainian language resources. I’ve been following her updates and hopefully I will end up taking some lessons with her too.

        • This is great, Alexander!

          Wonderful that you’re learning Ukrainian and perhaps a flag on the cover would be in order, at least for this particular journal.

          I’ve seen many different kinds of covers, though, and what matters above all is that you find it inspiring and useful.

          Enjoy this journey and talk soon!

          • Alexander says:

            I’ve done some mental traveling of my square’s corners, and will continue to do so in and out of order throughout my day tomorrow until I receive the next step.

            My ability to mentally visualize has always been exceedingly vivid, so when I think about the square in reference to the room it represents, I can’t help but fill in all kinds of remembered details. I’m not sure if this will help or hinder the process in the long run.

            I’m excited to finally be putting these techniques into practice. I’ve always had a “good” memory, but I’m seeking to use my memory efficiently and with purpose.

          • Thanks for this, Alexander.

            As we learn, I think it’s fair to expect things to occur that both hinder and help. The trick is to be open to both and then experiment with weeding out the obstacles while strengthening the advantages.

            One thing I’ve learned too is that something that seems like (or even decidedly is) an obstacle on Tuesday, might play out differently on Thursday. This is why it is useful to retry various things that didn’t “work” or seemed to create distortions a few more times. I’m not suggesting that we “force” them to work, but teasing them a bit can be the key.

            Another reason this is important, is that some things are “knacky.” They need fiddling in order to finally slide into place.

            In the Read with Momentum live cohort course, I showed the attendees my pinky-counting with cards, which these days looks pretty good. There’s a YouTube video where I show it too. Rest assured, it took me not just a few tries to finally get the knack for this particular skill, but years. I could always do it poorly from the get-go, but I’m glad I kept at it so that it finally clicked and I learned to do it invisibly while talking.

            Although I’ve never seen anything in memory training take that long, there certainly are a few things that some people abandon too soon. The breakthrough is often closer than you think. And nothing is more fun in my experience than memorizing all the names in a room with a smattering of small talk details about people as you are listening and talking at the same time. It’s really just a knack and knowing how to set that room up as a Magnetic Square from the instant you enter it.

            Looking forward to your next post!

  21. Khan says:

    What is the purpose of changing the sequence of the journey and expanding the interior of a memory palace?

    • I generally do not advise changing Memory Palaces in these ways. It’s generally best to set them up in the most optimal way from the get-go to avoid having to do such things later on.

  22. Mario says:

    Hey there! Excited to learn this technique of memory. I’ve heard of the memory palace about 7 years ago but Never have I tried to actually learn it until Today. I will try to remember 4 words in hebrew as that is the language I am studying and the recent push and interests to embark on this memory journey. Wish all the best.

    • Great that you’re here, Mario!

      I remember studying Biblical Hebrew in university very well. Great language!

      • Phil G says:

        Just starting lesson 1 of the magnetic square lessons. I’ve already got a couple of memory palaces based on properties I know, but they’re really not optimised. I’m looking forward to memorising more rich information with less loci. My 4 items to memorise are the big bosses at work.

      • Mario says:

        It is! Thank you again for creating this program and allowing us to learn from you.

  23. Johannes says:

    Hello, I’m doing the Magnetic Square course. I’m interested in learning more biblical Hebrew and how I would be able to use the Square method. For the 4 words, I could take the four directions of the compass in Hebrew to test it out. Other than that, I’m also interested in memorising scriptures and I’m exploring how to simplify the process so that it can be used by children. I have already made great progress, but maybe there are better methods. I look forward to learn more.

    • Welcome, Johannes. Mario also mentioned that he’s learning Hebrew, and since I studied it myself back in university, we’re all in good company.

      Memorizing scriptures is by far one of the most high margin activities available to us when we have memory techniques on our side. I in fact was just out memorizing a few lines while waiting for my wife outside a store.

      And of course, I used a Magnetic Square to do it.

      Enjoy and I look forward to your progress updates along the way!

  24. DJ Ross says:

    Selamat Pagi – day 2 and I have my Square ready. Planning to start by memorizing common greetings in Indonesian!

  25. Alexander says:

    Just checking in on day four of the Magnetic Square course. I don’t want to share my whole list of wants/needs re: what to memorize, but I thought I would share a little about my goal of learning Ukrainian. It began as a move of solidarity, and as I started my studies I fell in love with the music of the language and culture it comes from. So in this way learning the language is a “want.”

    But I also have a goal of volunteering there after the war to help in some way, so this pursuit gives me a lot of purpose in learning the language. So I would say it has become a “need” as well.

    One thing you’ve said that’s really stuck with me is that we can’t leave information we want to memorize floating in space without anything connecting to it. That was oftentimes my experience as I was learning French vocabulary years ago. The idea of having a way to navigate to information reliably makes a lot of sense to me.

    • Thanks so for this, Alexander. Bringing our want and need together is a powerful outcome whenever possible.

      Yes, mnemonics can work without a spatial reference. But it’s not nearly as refined or reliable. Enjoy how it enables much faster progress and cool tricks like being able to add entire phrases to the original word in the Memory Palace Networks you’ll eventually command.

  26. Phil G says:

    Hey Anthony, I hope you are well.

    I’m on lesson 2 of the Magnetic Square course. You mention labeling each corner. I wasn’t sure if you meant each of the 8 corners including ceiling and floor or simply the 4 corners at the intersection of each wall. I’m guessing it’s 4 seeing as we’re talking squares not cubes.

    Thanks again, Phil

    • Thanks, Phil.

      You can do either, but for the purposes of this course, we want to make sure we can memorize 4 in order to make 40 and 400 possible.

      To that end, there’s an element of “Know Thyself” each of us has to bring. Once the fundamentals are covered, it’s possible to explore stations at an inch by inch level for memorizing certain things. This is how some of the record holders deal with pi, for example.

      Does this way of looking at things make sense?

      • Phil G says:

        Absolutely, I get it. I’m reading Memory Craft by Lynn Kelly and I love the way she’s mapped out her neighborhood with historical dates, while also managing to insert more dates and facts, or more detail as she wants. Great stuff :o)

  27. Phil G says:

    Absolutely, I get it. I’m reading Memory Craft by Lynn Kelly and I love the way she’s mapped out her neighborhood with historical dates, while also managing to insert more dates and facts, or more detail as she wants. Great stuff :o)

    • Yes, Memory Craft is great.

      Reading it finally got me exploring more outdoor Memory Palaces, which I previously never liked.

      The Memory Palace for my TEDx Talk is almost 100% outdoors.

  28. Rafael Andres says:

    I imagined a magnetic square (my bedroom) and I imagined Lee priest (a retired bodybuilder) in different stations, station 1 was him doing dumbbell bicep curls against the wall (Kinesthetic) station 2 was him supinated wrist curls and saying: “next time someone asks me how does it feel to compete against those big guys use the word tall a big guy with the same measurements as a small guy is the smaller man, is pathetic!!” (auditory because of the talking also Lee priest was a short bodybuilder) station 3 Lee Priest in a poster posing after getting a tattoo on his face (Visual since is just an Image) in the last station I imagined him defeating Ronnie Coleman in a competition (Emotional, Ronnie Coleman admitted that that was his most painful defeat because Lee was the smaller guy and he was the big guy).
    The method of traveling the square was teleporting like in different Crash bandicoot games, from station 1 to 2 Lee teleports like In crash 1 transforming into a yellow light and you hear a woosh sound, arrives and leaves into the second station by beign materialized by a bunch of falling energy rings (kinda) third station enters and leave by exiting and entering a sphere portal and in the fourth station it looks like a camera is recording him from one angle to the other (kinda like in crash team racing since there is no crash bandicoot 4 for PS1 and I wanted to use the methods of teleportation form the crash bandicoot games that I have Played, using crash 1,2,3 for the stations 1,2,3 is super easy to remember and crash team racing for the fourth since it cam after the PS1 trilogy)

    • This is excellent, Rafael!

      You’ve got a great sense of how to identify powerful associations and place them in space with multi-sensory associations. Wonderful specificity too!

  29. Mario says:

    So thankful for you support and guidance. With this method, I think i can start remembering the hebrew language more efficiently. Although, what is your take on objects in the room; for example a chair, bed, a light fixture, etc.? How many objects can we have in one room as well?

    • My pleasure, Mario!

      You can definitely use tables, chairs, beds, etc. In fact, you can often have more than one Magnetic Station on them.

      However, the rule of thumb is that it should be remembered furniture, not memorized furniture.

      The more you have to manage, the less of a Memory Palace it becomes and we always want to use Memory Palaces, not “Memorized Palaces.”

      In terms of how many stations you can have, that’s up to you, but I would focus on outcomes, not volume. Memorizing 8 words at a regular clip is going to work out a lot better over the long run than being irregular due to having to manage irregular Memory Palaces that have to be memorized.

      The benefit of having fewer stations is that you can then add phrases to each individual word with much greater ease. But that’s harder to do with a lightbulb.

      In all things, the important thing it to experiment widely with different approaches so you can develop your own “mnemonic style”.

  30. Miguel says:

    Could I duplicate every Magnetic Square that I create if
    add in the walls several landscapes there? Like a big picture?

    • Great questions, Miguel.

      Yes, there are many things you can do like this. For example, you can take a famous painting that has many stations in it and stick it on the wall of a Memory Palace.

      You can even have paintings within paintings.

      The trick is to make sure you aren’t overwhelming yourself or giving yourself journeys to memorize. That would make it a “Memorized Palace.” Fun, if you like that kind of thing, but ultimately more work to create and maintain.

  31. Joshua says:

    Hey Anthony,
    I have been watching some of your videos and I have been wondering what is more effective: a memory palace or a mind map? I know they both use loci learning and visualization. The main difference I found between them is that with the mind map, you can make connections between ideas whereas in the memory palace you cannot. I would love to get your thoughts and opinion on this.

    • Thanks, Joshua.

      Ultimately, I feel that it’s best to combine them in a variety of ways and not focus too much on comparing them.

      It is possible to use a mind map as a Memory Palace, but as you may have seen in one of my videos, the mind map is very limited for such purposes.

      So if the traditional Memory Palace technique has an advantage, it is scale.

      And I’ve seen many ideas connect in Memory Palaces very easily, as well as spontaneous “a-ha!” moments that are very rewarding. That can happen with mind mapping too, but I’ve personally experienced it less often.

      In sum, I normally use mind maps for generating and organizing ideas and the Memory Palace technique for memorization and understanding.

  32. Irina says:

    GREAT THREAD and article!
    Starting with memorizing a short prayer
    Thank you!

  33. Lukas says:

    Good evening/morning sir,

    I have a couple of questions to ask,
    First, what is a sub-journey?
    Second, why is avoiding crossing your own path important?
    Finally, how can I differentiate and use 9 chairs that look the same?

    • Thanks for your question.

      If a main Memory Palace journey involves the micro and the macro stations, a sub journey would be something where you add a small Memory Palace to a larger one. For example, I sometimes place a small 3-station Pencil Memory Palace inside the pocket of a Bridging Figure as a sub-journey.

      Path-crossing creates confusion and aspects of the journey you have to remember. This skill, art and craft is about the Memory Palace, not the Memorized Palace technique.

      Space itself usually differentiates chairs. Chair A cannot be in the same place as Chair B even if they are stacked. If you need different levels of differentiation than spatial orientation on its own, you can use associations to distinguish. This can be done either through using an Alphabet Mnemonics System (a.ka. pegword method) or something like a 00-99 PAO.

      I sometimes do these things and one is not better than the other. Generally, though, I would say that the 00-99 PAO has a touch more power.

      At the end of the day, they are all worth learning to use.

      • Lukas says:

        What is a micro and macro station? And how can I use them?

        • A micro station is an individual element in a room or part of a Memory Palace: like a corner, wall, chair, bed, or even an individual book in a bookcase.

          A macro station is the room as a whole. You would typically place only one piece of information in the room, rather than designating multiple pieces of information to a room using micro stations.

  34. Lukas says:

    What is the purpose of changing the sequence of the journey and expanding the interior of a memory palace?

    • Thanks, Lukas.

      I don’t advise changing journeys after they are set up. One certainly can do this, but for tips on that, I do not know.

      Rather, I would recommend formalizing a particular Memory Palace strategy and sticking with it so you can rely on predictable outcomes.

  35. Lukas says:

    What can I do to fill up the remaining numbers in PAO? I cannot think of any initials that can be put on those remaining numbers.

  36. faxedasto says:

    I have been watching some of your videos and I have been wondering what is more effective: a memory palace or a mind map? I know they both use loci learning and visualization.

    • Thanks for asking about this.

      Ultimately, the answer depends on your goals. One doesn’t have to be considered superior to the other, but in some cases, one will be superior.

      For example, I would never dream of using a mind map to try and memorize something like my TEDx Talk. The success of that talk has everything to do with the rapid ease and functionality techniques like the Memory Palace create.

      On the other hand, I would never dream of using a Memory Palace to help generate ideas for my books. But I do use mind maps regularly for that purpose, and they do help me remember the different parts that emerge during my planning due to the loci-based nature of mind mapping.

  37. Grant says:

    Hi, I’m taking the Magnetic Square course and this is day one.

    My ultimate goal is to learn data science, and to do that I am going to have to learn and revise a *lot* of topics including relearning Math from high-school level up. It’s been a very long time since I learned all that, and this time I want to learn it deeply, and remember it.

    But first things first, the four things I want to remember are the common SQL commands I keep forgetting.

    Looking forward to seeing what memory techniques can do!

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