My successes and failures with memorization techniques.

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Visualization, The Major System, and Memory Palaces

Visualization was one of the fundamental aspects of the memory techniques described in the book. The idea is pretty simple — our brains are best suited for remembering pictures, not words or numbers. So, in order to better remember words and numbers, we should convert them to images first.

Memorizing Pi

I decided to try the techniques by memorizing the digits of pi. Pi is an irrational number with an infinite number of digits, and it’s also the most popular number for memory enthusiasts to test out techniques on.

Memorization in the Real World

As excited as I was with my success memorizing pi, I wanted more. Memorizing pi was kind of fun, but it didn’t seem to have any real-world application. I didn’t have any actual reason for knowing 320 digits of an arbitrary number.

Six Years Later

My experiments with memory techniques were fun, but the truth is that these days I rarely use the techniques at all. I’ve forgotten all of the digits of pi that I memorized, and don’t even remember the major system very well. I never use memory palaces anymore.

I’m a lawyer and teacher from North Carolina. I write about sobriety, mental health, running, and more. Buy me a “coffee” at

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