How to Remember a Long List of Things (Video)

Do you need to remember a long list of things at work — a to-do list, a procedure, a protocol? In the video below, Dave Farrow, 2-time Guinness World Record holder for Greatest Memory teaches us how to remember a long list of things. Although the video is [Read more...]

Memory Technique for Learning a List

Are you looking for an easy memory technique for learning a list? Whether it’s a shopping list, a to-do list, or a list of people you want to invite to a meeting, you can stretch your brain a little by using a memory technique instead of writing the list down or entering it into your smartphone. Here are 2 techniques to choose from thanks to our friends at Mind Tools.

Memory Technique for Learning a List

use the link or story method as a memory technique for learning a list

use the link or story method as a memory technique for learning a list

The Link Method is one of the easiest mnemonic techniques available. You use it by making simple associations between items in a list, linking them with a vivid image containing the items. Taking the first image, create a connection between it and the next item (perhaps in your mind smashing them together, putting one on top of the other, or suchlike.) Then move on through the list linking each item with the next.

The Story Method is very similar, linking items together with a memorable story featuring them. The flow of the story and the strength of the images give you the cues for retrieval.

Example:

You may want to remember this list of counties in the South of England: Avon, Dorset, Somerset, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, and Surrey.

You could do this with two approaches, the Link Method and the Story Method.

You can have a look at the 2 examples here.

Interestingly, the author comments at the end of the article that both methods are slightly unreliable because it is easy to mix up the order of the images or even forget some of the images in the sequence. Personally, I have had great success with the Link method. The key to its success is ensuring that you create links that are silly, illogical, action-oriented, and larger than life.

Have you ever tried either memory technique for learning a list? Tell us a little about your experience in the comment section below.