9 Signs You Need Memory Training, Memory Techniques And Mnemonics

9 Signs You Need Memory Training Magnetic Memory Method PodcastA lack of memory training plagues every nation. It’s true.

And as far as I know, no country on the planet includes dedicated memory training in its educational programming.

The result?

We have all experienced unnecessary pain and frustration thanks to forgetting precious information.


But That’s Not The Biggest Problem For Seekers Of Real Memory Training!


The biggest problem is that we don’t always recognize the signs related to our memory problems.

Without that critical insight, we can’t make proper decisions about taking memory training.

(Worse, you might wind up wasting time on memory training software that you really don’t need if you have a solid understanding of mnemonics and other memory techniques.)

Here’s the good news: I know the signs that you need memory training. And I have the solutions, none of which involve wasting time on tedious memory training games or the fraud of photographic memory training.


Let’s go through each of the 9 signs you need memory training in detail so you have a better grip and know exactly what to do. You’ll find a tip included with each sign that will help ease each problem. Work on improving just one issue per month and well within a year, you will be the owner of a superior memory you’re proud to call home.


Sign You Need Memory Training #1:
You Can’t Remember Names


You know the scene:

Two seconds after hearing someone’s name and shaking hands, you’re looking into the eyes of a stranger. And now instead of paying attention to the conversation, you’re paddling around the pond of your mind …

“Was his name Ross … or Roger … or Tom?”

The feeling is tiring and exasperating. Most of us have grown so accustomed to it that we laugh off our forgetfulness instead of getting memory training to take care of the problem.

Mnemonic example of an Magnetic Image to help you memorize the name Lars for memory training

The fix is simple: Learn and practice the simple art of association.

When you meet someone named Lars, instantly see Lars Ulrich from Metallica drumming on the top of their head with drumsticks made of “lar”d. If you meet a Betty, see Betty Crocker pouring flour into her ear while midgets “bet” on how Betty is going to react.

The associations don’t have to be celebrities. One John you already know can help you remember the name of another.

Associations are just the beginning of memory training for how to remember names, a quick tip that will serve you well.

There are other memory techniques you can use to memorize names for which you have no immediate association. Here’s a simple process:

Quick Memory Training Steps For Memorizing Names (N.A.M.E.):

  1. Notice the name
  2. Associate a mental image or total match with the name
  3. Memory Palace – locate the image or association you make using the Method of Loci
  4. Express the name by mentally and verbally repeating



Sign You Need Memory Training #2:
Your Mind Goes Blank During Exams


Stress and pressure cause havoc on memory. The higher the stakes, the more we quake in our boots, especially after weeks of diligent study during which we’ve dreamed of a great post-exam future.

In addition to taking basic memory training based on the principle of association, you can add relaxation to your memory exercise. A lot of people skip this step in memory training (assuming it was included at all), but relaxation is one of the most critical tools in remembering.

Meditation before studying, including progressive muscle relaxation, can be repeated before sitting for your exam. Reproducing the same calm physical state will help your memory in exams a great deal because you will have reduced fight-or-flight syndrome.

In some cases, you can also get access to the examination room and study in it. That way you’ll be entering a familiar environment.

And as Scott Gosnell talks about in this interview about mnemonist Giordano Bruno and memory techniques, you can even use that room as a Memory Palace.

Put relaxation and a Memory Palace together as part of your memory training profile and you’ll never need to sweat through an exam again. And here’s more info on avoiding 17 other student fails related to your memory. I got you covered.


Sign You Need Memory Training #3:
Your Memory Gets You In Trouble At Work


There’s nothing worse than having your boss mad at you because you still can’t remember simple data points or you need your password reset for the umpteenth time.

But countless are the ways having reliable memory skills at work can keep your boss off your back. A good memory based on solid memory training can make you the boss.

Your work undoubtedly involves a lot of numbers, so you’ll want to learn the Major Method. It lets you quickly associate images with numbers so that they’re easy to recall. With a bit of practice, you’ll be rattling off not only budgetary figures but also the complex formulas used to manage them in no time.


Sign You Need Memory Training #4:
You Struggle With Dates, Appointments,

Birthdays & Anniversaries


When you think about it, putting together the day, month, year and hour of the day is a lot of information. Sometimes we get it all together right away, but usually … not.

You now have a link to the Major Method, but you’ll also benefit from having a mnemonic calendar in your mind.

To get started with this aspect of memory training, associate an image with each day of the week. For example, for Friday, see a giant frying pan, an opera-singing satellite for Saturday and a massive Ice Cream Sundae for Sunday.

Once you know the Major Method, you can interact any combination of hours and minutes with any day of the week. You just need to create vignettes or stories using your imagery.

Magnetic Memory Method Free Memory Improvement Course


Sign You Need Memory Training #5:
You Start And Give Up On Language Learning

Goals Due To Poor Memory


People around the world dream of learning a second language, but so few ever do. There are a lot of moving parts involved in language learning, and that means multiple bumps on the road.

But the biggest barrier to entry is memory. You can’t practice a new language without a growing profile of information stored in memory and available for access. And contrary to popular belief, repetition a.k.a. rote learning is not enough on its own.

Rather, you need a dedicated means of creating memories and actively helping your brain access those memories. To do that, this memory training video about The Big 5 Of Language Learning is highly recommended viewing:

Sign You Need Memory Training #6:
You Find It Hard To Concentrate


Concentration might not immediately seem like a memory training issue. But in reality, it’s the crux of memory because remembering and recalling information requires focus.

The beautiful thing is that developing your memory automatically increases concentration and focus. Plus, the better you get at one, the better you get at the other.

One great and very light concentration exercise was suggested by Dr. Gary Small. He talks about noticing four aspects of a person you see on the street and then recalling those details a few hours later.

That’s great as a memory training exercise, but as a concentration exercise, practice noticing four details of EVERYONE you see. You’ll find it difficult at first, but soon you’ll find that you’re much more observant of the world around you.

Even better, this increased concentration will spill over into other areas of your life, including paying attention to the details of conversations.


Sign You Need Memory Training #7:
You Suffer From “Senior Moments”


There’s nothing worse than walking into a room and then forgetting why you went in there.

The reason this happens seems to involve an overwhelm of new stimulation. When you move from one room to the next, for example, you’re suddenly bombarded by new:

* air quality
* light levels
* sounds
* textures

… and potentially people and a whole host of other variables that hold zero connection to the reason you entered the room in the first place.

To combat senior moments like these, try closing one fist tightly while repeating the reason you’re leaving the room. Do this with emphasis as you cross the threshold of the door when you’re first facing a rush of new information.

You can also get your body involved during study by using these note taking tips.

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how quickly senior moments disappear from your life once you start using this unique memory training technique.


Sign You Need Memory Training #8:
You’re Constantly Afraid Of

Alzheimer’s & Dementia


You have every reason to be worried about brain diseases that rob you of your memory. Alzheimer’s is one of the biggest threats besides brain trauma and no one in their right mind wants either.

Although there’s no hard and fast proof that memory training prevents such conditions, it’s a worthy investment because you live in the here and now. Plus, it’s more likely that people serious about their overall brain health will also eat foods that improve memory. That’s an even surer path to protecting your brain as you age.

Once you’ve felt the power of memory improvement, you’ll be inspired to play higher order brain games and do all kinds of things that not only ward off Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The memory training activities help you experience an incredible life so that even if you do face those conditions in the future, you’ll have enjoyed an amazing mental life until that time.

Always remember this: Memory is the now. Always, and yours can be the greatest.


Sign You Need Memory Training #9:
You Kick Yourself For Not Doing The Exercises

In That Memory Training You Bought


You know you need memory help when you’ve started taking memory training, but never follow through.

However, you have indeed started investing in memory training and that’s a great sign that you can pull through. You just need to create a plan of action based on those memory training books and courses.

Then, commit to reading the entire book from cover to cover or watching all the videos. A lot of people want interactivity and learning by doing is super-important when it comes to memory training exercises.

By the same token, it helps many others to have a global overview. The art of memory has some technical aspects and it really helps to go through everything before getting started.

Either way, complete the exercises.


All. Of. Them.


The reason memory training resources come with exercises is so that you can see the techniques in action and get results. But if you don’t do them, you won’t fully understand the techniques and your skill set can’t build.

It’s as simple as that. So crack open that memory training book on your shelf. Read it from cover to cover and then do everything it says. Yes, it requires a bit of sacrifice, but it will be the best time, energy and money you’ll ever spend.

Heck, this doesn’t even have to cost you a dime. Libraries still exist, you’ve got my Free Memory Improvement Kit and the Internet is filled with information.

No excuses. Take action and you’ll be rewarded.


We All Need Memory Training


Believe it or not, even the most accomplished memory champions need help with their memory. Even of the most impressive winners are no better than anyone else without memory training.

And we all need to make memory training, memory exercises, memory techniques and mnemonics an ongoing part of our lives. And just as with any aspect of physical fitness, we need to maintain our gains.

Luckily, just like going to the gym, memory training is fun. It makes you feel great and you can experience a rush of accomplishment whenever you want simply by using the tools your memory training has given you.

In sum, effective memory training involves your diligent attention to each of these steps:

  1. Learn to remember names. Every word is a name that points to either a person, action, object, concept or other important feature of life. This skill is the most important of all.
  2. Learn what to do when your mind goes blank. Memory training that involves meditation and relaxation is important to achieving skills in this area quickly.
  3. Learn how to memorize numbers. Creating a 00-99 PAO based on the Major System is also great brain exercise.
  4. Use your ability to memorize numbers to also remember dates and historical facts. You have many opportunities to train your memory in this way every single day.
  5. Learn a language using memory techniques and be consistent. Without consistency, it is difficult to experience the full benefits of memory training.
  6. Explore memory training practices that improve concentration and focus. Using memory techniques to recall information while meditating is a great means of experiencing consistent results.
  7. Combat “senior moments” by involving your body in the process of remembering information and the things you want to do.
  8. Tackle your fears of Alzheimer’s and Dementia by taking action with consistent memory training and tracking your progress in a memory journal.
  9. Be kind to yourself when you procrastinate. Review your goals, set a date on the calendar and get back on the horse. You’ll be glad you did.

If you’re ready to give memory training a try, or if you’re already on the road, take a second to leave a discussion post and let’s get busy remembering everything and anything we want.

12 Responses to " 9 Signs You Need Memory Training, Memory Techniques And Mnemonics "

  1. Alex says:

    So true, Anthony. Our memory is our life.

    If you’re a hunter or gatherer, you need literally to know what’s going to bite you. That’s why we have memory, and why we have always had ways and means to improve it.

    Today, memory for names, faces, numbers and words is merely an extension of our primal memory, because this, too, can make or break us in the business and social worlds.

    In a recent interview, I truly impressed the panel because I knew (memorized) more about the past, present and future of the company`s business than they did. I knew about the executives. I knew names and birthdays. I knew sales figures. I knew market statistics. Knowledge (memory!) is power.

    If you can remember important stuff (like your anniversary, what your partner was wearing on the first date, what you ordered and where you went,) then you have self assurance.

    Why not then invest time and money in one of your greatest gifts, your memory?

    As far as teaching mnemonic techniques as part of the curriculum, I believe that Mongolia has started to do just that, according to a recent article I read: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/mongolia-using-mental-athletics-as-a-nation-building-exercise/article31297331/

    Good for them; I am sure they will harvest many cultural and social benefits by investing in their children’s education.

    • Great to hear about your triumph at this interview, Alex!

      Thanks too for sharing this great news article. I’ve reached out to them to see if I can get a representative on the podcast. That would be amazing. Let’s hope it comes together! 🙂

  2. Bjoern says:

    Hey Anthony,
    I Did. I started with the Master Class, because my Spanish vocabs didn’t stick. Flashcards served me well in the beginning but I got bored and didn’t want to waste all my time looking into my smartphone.

    I read the ‘Use your Brain’ and it is brilliant. I bought the Mind Map and Speeding Reading books and they are waiting for me. So if anyone wants to start.. buy this book! It’s short and brilliant ( Inspired by your Podcast btw). The reading part is really impressive. Unbelievable that I haven’t been taught this in school (I had issues with reading German all my life before..)

    Memory Palace are powerful at work. I put my tasks in the drawer or somewhere else and later just decode it back. At the moment I am preparing Mindmaps for my verbs to learn the different tenses in Spanish.


    • Great to hear that you’ve gotten such good results with Memory Palaces and are now heading into Mind Mapping.

      I’m excited to hear how speedreading will go for you in German. I imagine that all the principles are the same, but I know that we have a special advantage with the techniques in our mother tongues.

      Mind Mapping for Spanish will be exciting too. Mind Mapping for language learning came up recently in the Learn German Memory Hacks Facebook Group too. The discussion really opened my mind up to the possibilities of combining a Mind Map with a Memory Palace to drive home a lot of vocabulary and phrases fast. I’m going to try it and will report on my results soon. 🙂

      • Bjoern says:

        A combination of Mind Maps and Memory Palaces must be powerful.
        I chose a mind map because I wanted to experiment with it and it allows me to make connections to past – present – infinitive – future.. and so on in on map for one verb.

        My plan is to experiment with a memory palace for a group of Spanish words ( close by, near, far, left… ). But I haven’t started yet. If you are interested I can tell you my experience with my verb based mind maps later.

        • It would be great to hear how this goes for you! I think grouping distance and direction words altogether is a fantastic idea – especially since you can deliberately place things like over, under, left, right and center all in the actual places they would need to be on the Mind Map to make sense.

          Onward and looking forward! 🙂

    • Alex says:

      I think the power of mind maps inside mind palaces is vast.

      Mind mapping is a visual construct to assist with understanding often quite complex themes, so if we can harness the mind-mapping technique and then use memory pegs (Major method or other peg methods) on the branches or end points of the map itself, we have an extremely memorable and powerful way to command information.

      Another way to harness mind mapping is to turn the mind map itself into the memory journey. We often handcuff ourselves and stick only with our apartment or our bedroom or some physical place we know. But our imaginative places are far more powerful. Why not live our mind map through a memory journey?

      For example, I like to learn German words. I use visual word books (like Das Bildwörterbuch from Duden — but there are others for other languages, which are often bilingual) or tour books (Lonely Planet or similar) and place my words in locations I have never been but imagine (airports, art galleries, cafés.) Why not? In that way I can quickly learn new words and phrases, and take an imaginary tour as well. Adding a mind map to the mix can really add impact!

      The knack is not to overthink or worry about whether we’re doing it right. If we’re doing anything and it’s working, the odds are great that we’re doing it right!

      Kind regards.

      • Yes, I think that you’ve hit it on the nail: Not to overthink and worry about things.

        The reason why I constantly go on about meditation and relaxation for memory techniques and all creativity. Being relaxed helps reduce the critical judgments and overthinking. Just about anything worth learning is best learned by doing and in order to get that knowledge, you’ve just got to dive in.

        For myself, I’m going to start doing a few Mind Map/Memory Palace hybrid experiments and am excited by the possibilities. For people serious about getting the fullest possible edge on Mind Mapping, I highly recommend 101 Top Tips For Better Mind Maps By Phil Chambers. I’ve got a video about it here and it really packs a punch.

        Thanks as ever for your great contributions. It’s cool too to learn that you use Virtual Memory Palaces. Very interesting territory! 🙂

  3. Alex says:

    Virtual mind journeys are very powerful indeed, and some may find them even more powerful than static or “reality-based” mind palaces.

    The reason why we use familiar places (whether we contrive them or they exist physically [reality based],) however, is because of the emotional charge they impart.

    Emotions are senses that we need to use to assist us to memorize whatever we wish to recall (dates, names, facts, stories, jokes, etc.)

    I can remember stupid stuff I have done 40 years ago, and I still feel the sense of shame. But I also remember the euphoria of the first kiss. I remember the birthday party when I was six years old, who was there, what games we played, and the beautiful birthday cake my sisters baked. Emotions are key to memories.

    So when we harness all of our senses and emotions in our mind journeys or memory locations, we can lock in memories and go back to retrieve them in the present.

    We have many more than five senses; we just don’t have names for all of them. However, we can use every one of them in our memory places whether they be virtual or reality based!

  4. S. Ackermann says:

    It got my attention when you said that I need memory training if I usually upset my boss because there are basic things that I fail to remember and most often forget easily. My boss mentioned jokingly that I have the memory of a goldfish. I know that was intended as a joke, but it is also true. Anyway, I do not want to disappoint her, so I will be sure to practice before I undergo the training that she wants me to undergo.

    • Thanks for this comment.

      Your boss should look into the research on goldfish memory. This is a fallacy and there is no evidence to support it.

      Nonetheless, it is good that you’re seeking memory training and will practice these techniques. Hopefully that will help everyone in your business use effective business practices better as well.

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