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Computers are not secure. Paper is not safe. They suffer from breakdowns, power failures, hacking, getting lost, and a host of other problems. Even though everyone knows that external methods are not foolproof, people STILL put all of their personoal information onto their hard drives and loose leaf papers. So what if you could keep your credit card numbers, bank accounts, PIN numbers, and phone numbers absolutely secure? You could sleep better at night, that's for sure. There is an easy way to remember passwords and all your other personal information using simple memory techniques. 

By using basic mnemonics, you can turn your mind into a kind of biological hard drive that you will always carry with you. And the more you input into your mental hard drive, the better you get at doing it and the more information you will be able to retain. So let's look at 2 different memory techniques which you can immediately apply to help you remember phone numbers, PIN numbers, credit card numbers, and more today! 

Technique #1 – The “Memory Palace”

The absolutely most basic and most necessary memory technique is an ancient technique called a “memory palace”. It is very easy once you get the hang of it, and if you use it enough, it becomes second nature. Follow these steps to make your own 10 part memory palace.

  • Imagine the home where you grew up as vividly as possible.
  • Starting outside take an imaginary walk towards your home and into your home, going into every room one by one. Remember to keep it all as vivid as possible – the first time you set up a new memory palace like this, your foundation needs to be as firm as possible.

  • Do it one more time, but pick out 10 unique points on your trip through your home (for example 1= front of the driveway, 2= outside the front door, 3 = foyer, and so on).

  • Go through your route one more time from step 1 to 10. Once you can go through 1 through 10 smoothly and with no mental hesitation, see if you can do it in reverse – from 10 to 1.

Once you have 10 places that are connected logically in your home that you can vividly imagine and run through step by step, you have your first memory palace!

 Technique #2 – The Number Image System

Once you have your memory palace you are ready to fill it with images. One of the easiest ways to remember numbers is to associate the numbers 0-9 with whatever you feel those numbers look like (any image works as long as it reminds you of the number). Here is what I use:

  • 0 – a soccer ball

  • 1 – a candlestick

  • 2 – a cobra

  • 3 – a seagull

  • 4 – a sailboat

  • 5 – a hook (Like Captain Hook's hand. I don't know why.)

  • 6 – a yin yang symbol

  • 7 – a bent pipe

  • 8 – a baby rattle

  • 9 – a rat with a long tail

With these numbers I can combine them to make any long number. If I want to remember a 7 digit phone number with a 3 digit area code, all I have to do is put the 10 number images into the 10 places of the memory palace I've built around the home I grew up in.

For example, if I want to remember the area code 123, I put a candle, a cobra, and a seagull into my driveway, front door, and foyer. I have to make the images vivid so I can remember them though. For example:

1 – I'm dripping candle wax slowly onto my driveway trying to cover the whole thing.

2 – There is a cobra wrapped around the handle of my front door, preventing me from touching it.

3 – In my foyer there is a trapped seagull flapping his wings and flying into everything, knocking everything down.

 And that's it. When I want to remember that particular number, I just have to mentally walk through my memory palace. Your home is a REALLY easy memory palace because you know it very well. Just fill it with very vivid images and you can't help but remember what you put there. People have incredibly strong mental visual ability, and mnemonics taps into people's natural talents. Give it a try.