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# Never forget a number again! A memory technique I use.

Tried it and love it.  15%  [ 3 ]
Good idea, but too much trouble for me.  30%  [ 6 ]
Too long to read.  20%  [ 4 ]
Tried it and hate it.  10%  [ 2 ]
I've seen better ways to memorize numbers.  5%  [ 1 ]
Go buy a PDA.  20%  [ 4 ]

ocalhoun
This is based on a different technique, but I like it better because it produces more compact and varied results.

First of all, we need some numbers that need to be memorized:
\$1207.74
1501 Lime St.
834692750

I developed a key where each number is related to a letter:
0:N
1:L
2:D
3:M
4:T
5:S
6:B
7:F
8:H
9:P
Once you use this technique a few times, this key becomes ingrained in your memory and impossible to forget. You could make your own key if you want, but make sure all of the letters are common consonants, no vowels or rarely used consonants.

Then I convert the number into it's letters:
\$1207.74 : LDNFFT
1501 Lime St. : LSNL Lime
834692750 : HMTBPDFSN

Then (the hardest part) I convert the letters into words:
LSNL Lime : LooSe NaiL, Lime
HMTBPDFSN : HaM TaB PoD FuSioN

Then (the most important part) I convert the words to vivid mental images:
Loadin' fifty: Putting a clip into a .50 caliber rifle
Loose nail lime: A nail loosely stuck into a lime
Ham tab pod fusion: 2 pods full of tabs with pictures of hams on them being fused together
(It doesn't matter if the mental images are absurd, in fact that makes them more memorable. They should also ideally have a part of them that reminds you of why you need to remember the number in the first place.)

Then the number is locked in memory for good.

To retrieve the number, the mental image brings up the words, I filter the unused letters out of the words, and convert the letters to numbers.

The first two numbers were ones I used to test this technique. I memorized them about 2 weeks ago, haven't used them since, and still remember them clearly. The other number I just typed randomly to show that nearly any combination of numbers can be made into words.

Why not try it? You can use it to memorize all kinds of things like PIN numbers, SSN numbers, phone numbers, anything. And you can take it from me, it really works. Sure it sounds like a lot of trouble (especially when you're first getting started), but once you get used to it, you'll find it's actually an easier way to remember numbers.
m-productions
wow that looks really confusing actually... however, I guess i cant judge it until i try it lol. what made you come up with this?
ocalhoun
I was reading a book on such things which suggested basicly the same thing, except using whole words instead of letters. I developed this to make it more efficient.
snowboardalliance
Sounds like a lot of work. I personally think that if you just think the number over and over in your head a few different times it sticks. Maybe it's just me though
tribe
Sounds like a ton of work.
Can I ask you a question which is bugging me after reading that.

WHY the hell do you need to develop a number->letter key? Can't you just remember the number in your head instead? I see no need for this; but if you want to do it; go right on ahead.
Agent ME
That'd be hilarious to see some write an amusing story based on using that technique with a 1024-bit key like those used with RSA encryption.
dray101
 snowboardalliance wrote: Sounds like a lot of work. I personally think that if you just think the number over and over in your head a few different times it sticks. Maybe it's just me though

Here, here. In the time it takes you to do all that, if you had to, you could just write it on your hand etc.
catscratches
Or repeat it over and over again till you learn it. That's much easier since you also don't have to get back to the number from the words. Ok, what does I Am BasTarDish mean now again... Hmmm... Which letters were the ones important. i aM a BaSTardiSH maybe, no wait...

Seems more confusing than helping, but I can't judge before I've tested, and I'm too lazy for that
qscomputing
This is a technique used by memory experts, although the letters used are different and there is a set of mmemonics for the letters eg:

2 -> N because N has two down-strokes
3 -> M ditto
4 -> R because R is the fourth letter of four

etc etc

Also, letters that sound similar or are linguistically related tend to be on the same number - B and P for example.

I'll have a look and see if I can find the book that this is referenced in...
Traveller
 qscomputing wrote: I'll have a look and see if I can find the book that this is referenced in...

People have been using combinations of numeral-to-letter replacement along with "ridiculous association" for years. If nothing else, it's in The Memory Book, by Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas, and has been around even longer than that. Try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mnemonic_major_system for more detail.

As a side note, I never use bookmarks. Instead, I just remember the number of the last page I was reading. I have no formal, consistent method, but just use either the patterns of the numerals and/or mathematical relationships. For example, right now, I am on page 131 of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, by Philip K. Dick. In this case, the symmetry of the number is enough, and I associate it with having that particular book in my hands: as soon as I pick up the book, that page number will come back to me. In other cases, just a simple equation helps, such as 5+3=8 for page 538. Whenever I "bookmark" a page this way, I also "say" (not necessarily out loud) the particular mnemonic I've chosen in order to give it a little more reinforcement. I have been doing this for more than 30 years, even when having more than one book going (e.g. in my mid teens, when I read The Fellowship of the Ring and Watership Down at the same time).

People come up with all kinds of different mnemonic devices and, even though I am not a pragmatist, the use of various tricks to remember things is often a question of what actually works for each individual. Occasionally, I'll find something I would like to remember, where the numbers and/or ridiculous association come to mind. For most things, however, I usually find myself remembering the intended datum better than the concocted mnemonic.
Hogwarts
 Traveller wrote: Instead, I just remember the number of the last page I was reading. I have no formal, consistent method, but just use either the patterns of the numerals and/or mathematical relationships. For example, right now, I am on page 131 of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, by Philip K. Dick. In this case, the symmetry of the number is enough, and I associate it with having that particular book in my hands: as soon as I pick up the book, that page number will come back to me. In other cases, just a simple equation helps, such as 5+3=8 for page 538. Whenever I "bookmark" a page this way, I also "say" (not necessarily out loud) the particular mnemonic I've chosen in order to give it a little more reinforcement. I have been doing this for more than 30 years, even when having more than one book going (e.g. in my mid teens, when I read The Fellowship of the Ring and Watership Down at the same time).

Actually, that's pretty much the same way as I remember them. There's practically always a way to remember the number. There's always something about the number - It's symetrical - Two numbers add up to another - They're in sucession and so on.

It also works for larger numbers, too. Some random numbers:
17379

First off, they're all odd numbers.

That alone is almost enough to remember it - Something extremely simple to help you remember it.

But also.. a 737 is a type of plane. Need more?

They increase as they go along if you ignore the 3. The 3 is in the middle of 737. The 737 is in the middle of the number. The 1 and 9 are the lowest and highest lowest odd numbers, too.

You could forget one thing - yet you'd still be able to remember the number (although perhaps my example was over-complicated...)

By the way, welcome back Traveller.
shifarafi
Sounds like tons of work for a single number to memorize, I think it needs lots of practice, any how its good work. Thanks to Hogwarts. I will try it.

- MdRafi
crimson_aria
looks confusing. but maybe I'll try it. thanks
truespeed
All memory experts employ a similar method,instead of remembering the number,they associate certain numbers with objects,and when they have a group of numbers,they put them objects into a storyboard in their head.
BugBear
Looks alot more confusing than remembering the actual number or something. :S maybe it works but you'll most likely always have a couple numbers that are wrong i believe.
jynxanims
Pen and paper for the win, lol. Yeah, some may be good at that gobbeldy-goop, but seems too tough. I just repeat the numba's in ma' head. Sometimes it works...
m00tmuffin
I agree with the other posters...seems to be a lot more trouble then it's worth, hehe. Seems just easier to pound in small numbers (like SSN/phone/etc) into your head, write them down enough so that you really get stuck with them and whatnot...and do it that way, rather then make up a crazy system to figure them all out with. Phone and SSN numbers are super hard to memorize, at least for me, but that's just my take. Interesting, though!
regards
Your method looks pretty good, but makes me confusing the same time. Honestly, I would rather choose to remember the original word instead of the made-up word. I have tried it a few times, remember several articles. I found that the made-up words are usually longer, and hard to memorize. Sometimes I remember the made-up words, but I don't know which letter(s) are made-up by me. I usually use several minutes to remember the real word. It has made me more difficult to memorize the words. But, ocalhoun, I'm not challenging your method.

Regards
hofodomo01
I supposed if you had a really long wireless network key or something...impress your buddies by memorizing the password lol.

Otherwise, yeah, I'd go with the "write it on your hand" thing.

Or maybe a couple hundred digits of pi will do as well...
Zombie
Thats kinda neat man but now you've gotta remember the letters. I guess that would be helpful if someone wasn't very good with numbers, but it's a lot of work. Here's my technique... say the number over and over in your head, then make up a song with it. For example:

Number: 9834027
Song: Mmm Bop!
darvit
 Zombie wrote: Thats kinda neat man but now you've gotta remember the letters. I guess that would be helpful if someone wasn't very good with numbers, but it's a lot of work. Here's my technique... say the number over and over in your head, then make up a song with it. For example: Number: 9834027 Song: Mmm Bop!

That was kinda random, but that's almost how I remember long numbers. Sort of. Well, this is how I do it:

• I repeat them over and over again [as a result, they'll take on a bit of a tune/rhythm],
• Then, I remember how they look like and how they are arranged [mental image, perhaps?],

... and then that's it!
Zombie
You're right, that was kind of random. Sorry
But seriously, if you ever want to remember the number 8675309, a certain song would come in real handy.
j_f_k
hmmm there's no doubt that there's a market for a good technique to memorise numbers I currently rely on mobile phone/organiser but they are a pain in the neck to use sometimes or not handy etc.

This is an interesting technique I you've thought of it yourself and not simply found it somewhere they you're clever - definately - well done. For me however I think the technique is too much effort, and its easier to remember numbers.

It's not suitable to remember numbers quickly for the short term possibly OK to remember permanent numbers that you want to remember like your bank account number or mobile phone number or pins etc however still smacks (to me) of too much like hard work.
erlendhg
That, I think could be really good, but I think it might be a bit too hard - for me, at least

Keep up memorising
TurkishGamer
Its just too much work. I would rather memorise the old fahioned way. BY just keeping the number in your head.

I have seen this on other sites as well. I tried it a couple of times, but its just too much work.
Well, I think that this is to much to do, i'll keep doing it just the old fashion ways ^^;. Learn, learn, and learn more
skygaia
it sounds good. but I think it takes long time for me to practice it.
Ducksteina
That's too complex and time-consuming for me.
I don't have problems remembering numbers at all, so I don't need this technique.
Remebering vocabulary is a lot harder for me, but there's nothing you can do but learn them.
ashish2005
Well that is a complicated and confusing method for me but I think that once someone is used to it, he or she can easily use this method to remember numbers. Remembering numbers and anything else is really hard for me. I forget everything from birthdays to phone numbers and even names. I cannot even use that neat method of yours because I know that I will forget the words too. I just use the reminders feature of my mobile phones to remember important things.
[FuN]goku
looks kinda complicated tbh .... hmmmm idk.... i just repeat a number over and over until i can remember it clearly then that always worked for me.....
Blaster
Its a decent idea but i would rather just say the number in my head a couple of times or just even right it down. But I have tried this before for other things and it really does help if you understand it. But you have to do what is right for you.
justnewbie
Wow, sounds like a nice trick to memorize numbers. It would prove useful at times, but to convert them through these phases are somehow quite time-consuming, unless you really want to memorize some important numbers, like your PIN or your girlfriend's phone number.

Though, if you're a chinese, you won't find much problem to remember numbers as the numbers in chinese pronounce something that means something else. It's the same trick, but more direct and fast. But anyway, great ideas!
OutlawSpirit
i guess if u get the technique down it could b useful.. but it looks complicated and hard work, id rather write the number down somewhere haha
Kaisonic
I guess it just varies from person to person. Personally, I find it easier to just memorize the numbers instead of having to go through all those conversions. Of course, they probably become second nature once you get used to it, and might even become easier than memorizing the numbers. Meh.
xxjpxx
LOL, it looks like its alot of work.......i have my own technique XD......which i will share to you

Use a cellphone to save your numbers or a notebook in your pocket.....you will never forget a number for sure XD
missdixy
Looks very difficult....repetition works for me. Saying it over & over or dialing it over & over. I can usually picture myself dialing/saying it in the past so it's easy.
JonathanCharles
 tribe wrote: Sounds like a ton of work. Can I ask you a question which is bugging me after reading that. WHY the hell do you need to develop a number->letter key? Can't you just remember the number in your head instead? I see no need for this; but if you want to do it; go right on ahead.

I agree wit u....
cybersa
I have great memory.
So,i save it on my pda.

Edited:
I have great memory in my pda.
LOL
sudipbanerjee
It is too long for reading and confusing also. I will never try it. It is better for me to memorise the number
ProfessorY91
Hah! Most excellent. It's not as difficult as you think to reverse the process, a matter of minutes, actually. Naturally, something like this is horribly inefficient for remembering many phone numbers at once, particularly if you're in a situation where you're expected to provide some sort of amiable social interaction in the next few minutes (make that ten). But, if you've been given an alarm code of some sort or something like that, absolutely fantastic technique. Interestingly enough, memory seems to function by creating associations between known things. This is directly exploiting that process. Very impressive.
deanhills
I'm lucky. Numbers read like letters to me. They always have a special meaning to me. If I don't use a number then it does fade a little, but generally they seem to stick because they mean something to me. I.e. x, y or z's number.
ankitdatashn
Ocalhoun thanks for sharing this with all of us,
Let me try it and then ride on my memory bus,
This trick appeals to me a lot,
It's like as f I've hit the jackpot!