Get Creative with Mnemonics

You can trick your mind into remembering anything with the right tools and techniques

Mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall. In fact 'Mnemonic' is another word for memory tool and in essence is any learning technique that aids our information retention or memory retrieval. Mnemonics are often used to help us recall larger pieces of information, especially in the form of lists: like characteristics, steps, stages, parts, phases. But they can be used for all manner of things.

Mnemonics can be simple but interesting phrases, poems or songs but can also be visual such a memory palace (I'll chat about those in another post).

We probably all remember a mnemonic from school or college, whether it be for the spelling for a word using an unusual phrase ( necessary = never eat cake eat salad sandwiches and remain young), or how many days are in each month using a simple rhythmic poem (30 days hath September, April, June and November. All the rest have 31, Excepting February...)

The key to getting your mind to remember the mnemonic is to make it interesting. The more creative you can be the more likely it is that you will remember it. Of course, repetition to reinforce the mnemonic will help you remember it.

Remembering long strings of information such as facts and figures can be tricky, but by weaving the information into a vivid mental shorthand you can increase your likely hood of remembering it.

Using mnemonics is a technique where you can have some fun and get creative in order to expand your memory.

Here are some tips:

  • Be Creative. Use humour, rudeness, disgust - exaggerated and emotive images and words are more likely to sick in your mind.

  • Be Vivid. If using colour, vivid images will be easier to remember than drab ones.

  • Use symbols and signs. Everyday symbols (red traffic lights, road signs, pointing fingers, etc.) can be great visuals to use in creating mnemonics.

  • Don't forget to use sounds and smells. The more senses you tap into the more you might remember.

Give it a try.


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