25 Foolproof Techniques To Enhance Your Memory

Posted by on July 24, 2012

Whether you are an average person wanting to reduce forgetfulness, a university student studying for finals, or an academic thrill seeker wanting to perform mental feats, this list will unlock doorways into your own memory that you’ve probably never witnessed before. These 25 fooproof techniques to enhance your memory have been specially listed, from the basic methods that you can learn overnight to advanced methods that may take weeks to perfect. Although we’d love to explain detailed examples of each technique step-by-step, we didn’t want to make a post so long that it would bore you to death. So, have a tab open for Google, and get ready to memorize like you’ve never done so before!



Chunking is perhaps one of the oldest methods in memorization. It works by breaking down one long complicated bit of information into smaller “chunks” that are easier to remember. Take a phone number, for example. The number 7773451869 can be better memorized by separating it into three parts: 777-345-1869. We can also apply this method to memorizing patterns categorizing groups with similarities.



“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.” If this sounds familiar, then alliteration is no stranger. Alliteration is the repetition of a same letter or sound at the beginning of closely connected words. This method is most prominently seen in tongue twisters, plays, and poetry. Despite its silly sounds, this method did trigger retention in a study conducted by Brooke Lea of the Department of Psychology, Macalester College.



Try finishing this: “I do not like them Sam-I-am, I do not like…” Whether you are a Dr. Seuss fan or not, “green eggs and ham” would have immediately come to mind. Nursery rhymes and songs engage children during elementary school. And, guess what? It’s the same for adults. Whether we are memorizing a poem by Edgar Allan Poe or singing aloud with the radio to our favorite pop artist, we’ve witnessed rhyming in action. Perhaps, it is the play on words that allow us to make memorizing a few sentences fun.


Acronyms and Acrostics

What do USA, MLK, and LOL all have in common? They are all acronyms. Acronyms are simply words derived from the first letters of whatever phrase is being memorized. Each symbol in an acronym serves as a mental cue for another word. Turn this sequence into a sentence and you have an acrostic. These techniques are extremely common. For example, the acronym above depicts the colors of the rainbow in order. Whoever Roy G. Biv is, I’m sure he’d appreciate that you can memorize the colors of the rainbow without looking it up.



Repetition can be the most effective memory method, but only if you know how to use it. Our brains naturally default to specific neural pathways that allow us to recall certain information more quickly with repetition. Essentially, we convert short term memory into long term. And yes, this method also applies to muscle memory in sports. But in many cases, we simply don’t have all the time in the world to spend on repeating every single bit of information we need to know. While repetition is the most effective method for long-term memory, it is number 21 on this list because most people rely on repetition only as a mindless, monotonous, and time-consuming exercise. But if you combinine a variety of techniques below with repetition, and after conscious review, it will most certainly be a powerful tool.