Memory Hacks

The best way to memorize something is to do something we call “anchoring”. This is done by connecting your intended memory to a visual or relative aspect of your brain. There are a number if ways to do this, here are a few:

Envision the Future

Visualize yourself in a future situation, doing or remembering that thing at that time. For example, if it’s a rainy day and you’re driving with your headlights on, picture yourself arriving at your destination and turning them off. If there’s something you want to take into the office tomorrow, picture yourself leaving in the morning with that specific item in hand.

The Empty Room

Great for lists. Start with your favorite room (bedroom, office) completely empty. Then, add things to remember into the room. Make each item significant! Example: You need to go running, imagine someone on a treadmill. at full speed. If you have to buy chips, imagine a huge pile of chips on a table.


Great for detailed grocery lists. Connect each item on the list to a numeric quantity. Then combine the two. 1 = bun, 2 = shoe, 3 = tree, 4 = door, 5 = hive, 6 = sticks, 7 = heaven, 8 = gate, 9 = vine, 10 = hen. Example: 4 Bananas = imagine a door with a banana trying to squeeze through, 7 Apples = A huge apple falling from the sky. This method is great when combined with the Room Method mentioned above.

Play on Words

Literally, make a play with the things you’re trying to remember. I had a friend trying to remember that Harrisburg was the capital of Pennsylvania. So he imagined a Pencil, being struck into his Vein and yelling Ya! Then he imagined hair all over the arm for Harry. Sounds crazy but it worked!

The brain loves creativity and visuals, use them! I have used the methods above and they have all worked well for me. I once remembered a shopping list of 14 things without any paper. My mother didn’t believe I could do it!


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