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Have you been looking for Memory Palace examples?
If so, they can be tough to find.
And some of the details in a classic text like The Art of Memory by Frances Yates make it all the more so. As she admits, she never actually used the techniques she spent so much time describing.
And good visual examples are marred because many come to the memory tradition through Sherlock Holmes, which badly misrepresents it with the term, “Mind Palace.”
Plus, people use terms like “peg word system” and “Method of Loci” when looking for Memory Palace training, and it can all get a bit confusing.
Although we can’t cover every type of Mind Palace, get this:
On this page I’ll give you 5 powerful Mind Palace examples you can use to improve your memory training practice.
Now that you have enjoyed that broad overview of Memory Palace Training Exercises and know what to expect, let’s properly define the Memory Palace technique.
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Why Nearly Every Memory Technique Serves
As A Method Of Loci Example
This point might be hard to grasp at first, but this is important:
The Memory Palace, sometimes called the Method of Loci, is based on the same core principle that governs all information.
This principle is space.
You see, your brain encodes information chemically in the brain.Each neuron and neural network in your brain exists in space - the space of your brain.Click To Tweet
And according to Stephen Kosslyn, there’s a kind of one-to-one correspondence between information out in the world and where your brain stores it in the brain.
In other words:
Your Brain Is A Mind Palace Book
Hear me out:
Imagine that your brain really was a book.
And each page of that book is covered in words.
Now imagine that each page in that book is a neural network that binds all of its words.
Likewise, the neural networks in your brain bind the neuronal chemicals that store you memories.
Of course, the brain and memory are much more complex than any metaphor or analogy can express.
And when you see historical examples like this…
…it can be extremely frustrating!
But never fear. We’re going to make the process much, much simpler for you today.
Because all of this leads to the same conclusion:
If Your Brain Is Like A Computer…
It’s More Like A Fancy, Streamlined Kindle Than A Laptop!
Think about it:
If a book is an information storage and retrieval device that uses the space of pages, then the computer version of books do pretty much the same thing.
This fact means that your Kindle app also stores each word in space on a hard drive and a screen.
And so if you think about how books and apps relate to your memory…
The Ultimate Mind Palace App Is Your Brain!
Isn’t that exciting?
I sure think so. And that’s why I produce so much Memory Palace training for the world.
It’s also why I help people simplify the process so it doesn’t look so freakin’ complex like the Camillo example.
So let me ask you…
Do You Have A Memory Palace Sherlock Would Admire?
We’re going to get back to the all-important point about space in a moment. But first:
To create a proper Memory Palace in the space of your brain, it’s important to move beyond fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes and get the right training:
Next, turn your brain into a Memory Palace app by studying from the best types of Mind Palaces.
1. The Bird’s-eye/3rd Person Memory Palace
This kind of Memory Palace involves looking down through the roof on a building. It’s as if you’re looking down at a floor plan.
As you can see, I’ve drawn this image by hand.
This step is important because it trains your brain to think about the space a little bit differently – from a new perspective that helps develop your mental rotation skills.
This drawing refers to this space in Berlin:
As you can see, it looks very different. Yet, with practice, you can use this simple technique to memorize anything, including vocabulary, or an entire speech.
In fact, my friend and fellow memory expert Jonathan Levi did just that after I showed him how to do so for his TEDx presentation:
I recently gave a TEDx presentation myself from memory, so please check back here soon for the video.
Basically, the process is simple:
- Select a location suited to creating a Memory Palace (usually a familiar building, but parks and other locations will do)
- Get out a sheet of paper, ideally in a Memory Journal devoted to Mind Palace creation.
- Draw the Memory Palace.
- Strategically structure your course through the Memory Palace.
- Practice it mentally.
- Use it to memorize something by drawing upon the tools of Magnetic Association
If you’re stuck on what locations to use, How to Find Memory Palaces will help.
If you need help with creating the imagery, these elaborative encoding exercises should be useful to you.
The cool thing about that TEDx picture above is that I’ve already used the process I just described to turn the theatre into a Mind Palace. And it works great!
2. The 2nd Person Memory Palace
In this kind of Memory Palace, you look at yourself or a Bridging Figure move through your Mind Palace as if through the lens of an external camera.
This is not a replacement for drawing the Memory Palaces, but a different way of thinking and experiencing the navigation process.
3. The 1st Person Memory Palace
Using this kind of Memory Palace, here’s what happens:
You imagine yourself in the Memory Palace. You then imagine yourself seeing the journey you are following through your own eyes.
You can also pretend to be a character in a video game, series or movie and see through the eyes of that character.
For example, using an outdoor Memory Palace, I could imagine being this Giordano Bruno statue and see parts of Rome I’ve created as Mind Palace as if through his eyes:
4. The Virtual Memory Palace
At some level, all Memory Palaces are Virtual Memory Palaces.
You are creating an imaginary construct. This construct is based on a building or area you’ve seen in real life. You are navigating it “virtually” in your imagination.
That said, when you’re basing a Mind Palace on a location you’ve seen with your own eyes, you seriously reduce cognitive load.
Think about it this way:
When you last moved into a new home, did you have to work hard to memorize the layout?
Probably not. That’s what makes calling it to mind so easy.
But if you’re using a video game as a Memory Palace, not only do you have learn the layout in a completely different way.
You also have to re-create that layout using more mental resources because you’ve never really been there.
This not may not be true for all people.
But I think for most us, Virtual Memory Palaces will cost more time and energy than they are worth.
That said, Idriz Zogaj shares some wisdom on the practice that you might find useful.
5. The Magnetic Memory Palace
This kind of Memory Palace lets you fuse all the first four approaches together into one seamless Memory Palace strategy.
Recall Rehearsal also makes memory practice feel a lot like a Memory Palace game!
In fact, when you use the Magnetic Memory Method tools of…
- Sea shelling
- The Pillar Technique
- Ample use of Magnetic Bridging Figures
- Recall Rehearsal
- The Big 5 of Learning (Also called the levels of processing)
Everything gets much easier. That’s because it becomes more fun.
Not only that, but the Magnetic Memory Palace, when used as part of a full Memory Palace Network, makes Recall Rehearsal faster and easier as well.
(Recall Rehearsal is a fast and fun “memory game” way to get any information into long-term memory quickly.)
As a bonus, there’s also a way to turn your Memory Palaces into Mind Maps and vice versa. These mind mapping examples show you how.
It all makes for great Memory Palace training exercise don’t you agree?
The Best Memory Palace For Studying For
School Or Large Learning Projects?
Now, you might wonder, which of these Memory Palace approaches are best for studying for learning.
There’s no perfect answer, but here’s the very good news:
Memory techniques are best learned through experimentation and activities like completed these sensory memory exercises.
And I would suggest that you learn to use a Magnetic Memory Palace as quickly as possible. Then learn How To Renovate A Memory Palace.
The first three options require too much time and energy. You’ll spend more time visualizing your Memory Palace and your journey through it than necessary.
The Ultimate Truth About Memory Palace Examples & Exercises
Always remember that memory champions simply don’t have time to visualize their Memory Palaces.
They might “see” glimpses, but there’s something quite different going on.
For example, memory expert and memory athlete Alex Mullen can memorize a deck of cards fast.
He’s also very good with medical terminology.
But there’s no time for adding undue cognitive load to the process.
And anyone can learn to reduce the need to visualize their Memory Palaces and journeys with just a bit of practice.
Practice Using Your Brain And You’ll Be The
Best Memory Palace App On The Planet
There are a lot of Memory Palace software programs available. Memory Filer is one of the more interesting ones.
But, even as the creator of this app admits, all memory apps present a deviation from developing true memory skills.
What kind of skills?
The Giordano Bruno memory skills of legend.
For thousands of years people managed to memorize a textbook without apps or programs.
In fact, it might be precisely because computers have created Digital Amnesia that people no longer pick up these high level memory skills more often.
Why Real Memory Palace Training Is Always Organic
For research purposes, I’ve spent a lot of time in Memory Palace training with apps.
This activity has always been interesting, but ultimately always a waste of time.
When you train your memory to use a Memory Palace with an app, you’re training in a digital environment.
And if you want to remember names at events, that will give you a bit of an advantage.
The only examples that matter involve the practice memorizing names at real events – unassisted by technology.
And I have found that training for names using a Memory Palace reduces my skills instead of increasing them.
And little wonder:Real-life events do not take place on apps - they happen in the world!Click To Tweet
Just ask Jesse Villalobos about how he got a promotion, featured on this Magnetic Memory Method Review.
The Best Mind Palace Examples For Language Learning?
If you want to learn a language, you might like to use a Memory Palace strategy.
There are many ways to proceed, but I’ve found the best involves creating a Magnetic Memory Palace Network around the alphabet.
The alphabet is an interesting mental tool that exists in space. The letter B falls to the right of the letter A, R falls to the left of S and so on.
In other words, the alphabet is a fixed linking system that everyone knows by default – exactly like you know the layout of your home. This understanding makes memory training far more powerful than the old fashioned “method of loci” will ever be.
And that’s why it’s so easy for each letter of the alphabet can serve as a kind of mnemonic peg system you attach to a building.
How To Practice The Memory Palace Technique
I suggest that you start with just one Magnetic Memory Palace Network first.
Then create another one until you fully feel the effects of spatial memory working its magic in your mind.
You’ll begin to sense exactly why the Memory Palace is the most powerful technique and why all the other techniques, including the Major Method, are all spatial in nature.
If you don’t know how much information to memorize, roll a dice.
Magnetic Memory Method student Adolfo Artigas has a 100-sided die he uses, and it makes it fast and easy to practice the Memory Palaces you create without having to think about how much information you’re going to focus on.
We’ve got a video about how he does that for mental relief while attending university classes in our detailed training on note taking using memory techniques.
That’s all for now, but I hope that these Mind Palace examples have given you some food for thought and ideas to model for your own memory improvement practice.
For more examples, see Improve My Memory: 3 Memory Palace Success Stories.
Then let me know in the comments below if you have thoughts or questions.
You got this!
Sounds like exactly the type of mental improvement I have been interested in finding.
That’s great, William. I look forward to helping you further through the course. There are a few more variations I think you will find very helpful oce you have the in operation, particularly in the advanced section of the Masterplan.
Please enjoy and talk soon! 🙂
You said a memory palace network of 26. In the memory improvement kit you said one can start with 10.
But what if one can’t get hold of that many?
Due to circumstances I’ve only been able to get 3 (with no real means of getting more).
What can i do?
Is this enough to still move forward in the practices?
The Memory Improvement Kit suggests ten as the path to not merely 26, but ultimately hundreds.
You can get started with the three that you have, but I suggest a solid review of the training. I’ve never met anyone during a private training session who did not have access to dozens of Memory Palaces. I’m not sure it’s technically possible, but when people aren’t following the steps or completing the exercises, they my be locking themselves out of the simple realizations that drive progress in this martial art of the mind.
More exercises may be needed, and there are plenty in the MMM Masterclass for the serious practitioner.
In all things, treat this as a marathon, not a race. You’ll get there, and movement will help unlock full vision of the path. Take it one S.I.P. at a time:
Study the techniques thoroughly and consistently
Implement each new thing you learn
Practice with information that improves your life
That is the path of the master of memory.
Enjoy the journey!
I don’t seem to learn things very quickly. In fact I’ve been struggling with trying to get this for for a couple of weeks now and don’t seem to be any closer than I was at the start, and then I hear stories of people who start making real progress in that time.
So, I was wondering, does this happen often, or am I the first?
As for the memory palaces it’s complicated.
Casey, please don’t let others distract you from your mission.
Kevin Richardson took a year off after he started. His incredible return to mnemonics for Japanese will inspire you.
But even if you’re not the only one, others are not the thing to focus on.
It sounds like some mental strength exercises will be useful for you.
How fast you learn isn’t nearly as important as the depth of learning you engage in.
Top performers all have complex lives. But they don’t let the complexities get in the way. If “it’s complicated,” then you simply have to use your brain power and strategic thinking to persist until you achieve your goals. It really is that simple and you are not particularly alone. No one is.
Keep moving forward.
Wow, how do you do that?
You seem to say exactly what I NEED to hear and get me thinking, to open my mind and eyes that much more.
Thank you 🙂
No matter how long it takes, I want to learn this.
You can do it!
So right now I’m trying to remember each planet and some facts around it, but I don’t know how many facts I can store. An a example would be Neptune in the fridge, I wouldn’t know how to put any text based facts in it. Is it even possible to store multiple facts in just one appliance?
Thanks for your note, Dre.
It has been suggested by neuroscientists like Dr. David Eagleman that we have an entire zettabyte in our memory. That’s more than enough to memorize nearly any amount of facts within a lifetime.
In the beginning, I would suggest you memorize one fact per station in a Memory Palace.
Later, you can learn techniques in the MMM Masterclass that will let you store between 11-17 facts per station. At least, that’s where I’ve maxed out. Others are undoubtedly capable of more.
Be willing to just get started with what you’ve got and the experience of learning the techniques will open more insight and perspective as you go. Memory training is like nearly every other skill (painting, music, etc.) in this regard.
Thank you for the reply! I just have but one more question, do you ‘review’ or repeat facts everyday, like you mentally walk through your memory palace and you pick a station to review the facts in it?
No, review does not need to happen every day. I initially do it daily only if it’s needed and relevant to the product. There are multiple patterns you can follow and individuals need to study these and try a few out as they develop their “mnemonic style.”
In other words, it’s not about “picking” a station, but rather using the best possible review pattens to aid the information into entering your long term memory with the least amount of effort and hassle. Do it right and there’s no hassle at all.
I was wondering, you mention a memory palace network but I don’t quite understand how you move from one palace to the next (especially in a linear fashion without crossing your own path).
Now it seems simple enough to move from station to station within a palace, but how do you move from one palace to another to navigate that one?
How do you make that transition?
Thanks for this, Casey.
There are different ways to think about the answer.
First, I don’t teach the Memory Palace technique in a way the normally requires jumping from one Memory Palace to another.
If you want to do that, then you need to think about the Memory Palace Network and create it in the context of particular goals.
Frankly, I think you’re making it harder than it needs to be if you’re creating memory systems that require “travel” between Memory Palaces.
Far better is to create compressed and condensed collections of self-contained Memory Palaces that are complete in and of themselves for use that lends itself to Recall Rehearsal.
There are certainly other ways to do it, and so I’ll ask more mnemonists going forward how they think about this question. So far, I get the feeling that they think about it much more like I do, but it will be interesting to find out.
Thanks for the compelling question! 🙂
Do you think you could give help me out with imagery?
I grew up quite isolated and never really had any interests growing up so i don’t seem to have much in the way of associated imagery to work with, and I’ve been struggling to come up with stuff.
For example, I’m trying to memorize one of my favorite short stories (it only has 17 sentences), but I can’t seem to come up with anything to associate the information with in my mind to place in a memory palace to retrieve latter.
Thanks for this, Casey.
The free course covers the needed exercises for this skills. You can also look for “visualization” and “imagery” using the search function on the site. I’d give you a few links, but there’s a ton to choose from and you should follow your interest.
This mission with the short story is interesting. How do you think it supports your overall goals for learning and memory?
thanks for the advice.
I’m a little embarrassed that i didn’t think of the search bar my self, and i stumbled upon the “3 Powerful Visualization Exercises [Step-by-Step Walk-Through]” page after i left the message (i am shaking my head)
as for the short story, and where it plays into my goals, i thought it would be good practice, it’s structured, and linear (plus i really like it, so i thought that might help) so i thought it would be a good place to start.
see, my overall goal is to get an education, but school work is hard for me, so i thought I’d practice on something a little more straightforward, get some practice in…
-& working with memory palaces
then move to the school work once i began to get the hang of it.
it was a stepping stone.
(plus i just really like the story and would like to be able to recite it whenever i want without the need for the book 🙂
Those are good reasons.
I would only suggest you not use it as a deviation from working with real information for too long. The ancient author of Rhetorica Ad Herennium warned against seeking easier things when the goal is to remember harder things.
Learn to remember harder things first might sound counterintuitive, but it’s the way I’ve always done it. I believe it’s the way all the real successful people with memory techniques start with more ambitious material too.
I was wondering, in the free memory kit you mention about different ways to go through your Memory Palaces for exercise. I get snagged on this part.
Thanks for this question, Casey.
The free course assumes – and requires – you to have information you want to memorize. Then use the Memory Palace technique to memorize it and understand these instructions through implementation.
Please do so with the material you’ve mentioned memorizing.
I was wondering if you could further explain how to make imagery and place it in a memory palace? I saw your third video on this but could use some more examples. How does the person, action, object technique work relative to what you are trying to learn? For example, if was trying to learn the definition of truth: the quality or state of being true. I would first place the word truth in a memory palace in a station, let’s say, the first station which is a closet. Then how would I make additional imagery to add this word (truth) and its location (the closet). Let me know if could I use something random, for example, Batman fighting the Joker? Or would it be better to have Batman fighting truth. Should truth be the object? Also, would I do this in my head by visually placing it in the memory palace combined with the word truth in a way? Or would I have to write it in the memory palace or next to it or draw it? Also in the your video for the 5 systems you need to memorize any mathematical or scientific formula, you mention an alphabetical image system. Could you explain this to me? Does alphabetical mean it is a bunch of alphabetical person, action and object images made from A-Z alphabet based on the first letter of the person? Lastly, what would be the process to make a system for associations to remember things like asterisks, tildes, ampersands and whatever you need? This email has a lot of detailed questions so take all the time you need to answer it. Thanks and I really appreciate your hard work here!
Thanks for these questions, Joshua.
In the Magnetic Memory Method, we avoid “making” imagery. That’s just too much work.
It’s also way too much work to use a PAO for concepts and vocabulary, except in rare cases. Some people use number systems for vocabulary regularly, but I only do that when absolutely necessary because there are usually much more direct ways when you’re not inventing or making associative-imagery.
Also note that associative-imagery, a.k.a. Magnetic Imagery is not strictly visual. That too is too much work, not nearly as effective as Magnetic Imagery. And Magnetic Imagery combined with other tools of the Magnetic Memory Method obey principles discovered in memory science related to active recall and using primacy effect, recency effect and serial-positioning to reduce the impact of the forgetting curve.
In terms of associations for symbols, these matters are covered in the numbers course in the MMM Masterclass. Actually, one of our best course participants just sent a bunch of the Magnetic Imagery he uses and gave me permission to share them in the course. I’ll be updating it soon with his contributions. Please stand by and thank you again for your questions.
Ok, so I would just put truth in the memory palace station (closet) alone without any complex imagery. Then I would just have to make truth in the closet and all other stations with keywords have conceptual, olfactory, gustatory, kinaesthetic, auditory, and visual aspects that correlate to my imagination to make it a truly magnetic memory palace. Or at least as many of these as possible. Is that right? Thanks
That’s not necessarily how I would proceed. I rarely use closets, for example, and I don’t think about the process as “putting” anything in Memory Palaces.
I would also probably not put a word like “truth” un-encoded in a Memory Palace.
Speculative examples probably won’t get you nearly as far as personal experimentation with the techniques.
Think of memory techniques as driving down a highway at night. You don’t need your headlights to show everything in order to reach the destination.
No matter how much I learn about memory through study and practice, my own practice remains like that. We don’t even know what the universe is yet, but that doesn’t stop us from continually exploring it through dedicated experimentation.
Plus, you’re going to need to the procedural memory piece of the puzzle, ideally sooner than later.
As the memory scientist John Seamon put it, procedural memory has to be experienced and cannot be described.
Again, ideally sooner than later. Happy experimenting!