Visual Memory Strategies: The Journey Method : Smart Memory Power

Visual Memory Strategies: The Journey Method

Memory Strategies¬†I’ve decided to do a series of posts on a number of useful memory strategies and this is the first. It’s one of my favourite memory strategies as it’s pretty simple and very visual.

It involves your imagination and it works thanks to associating what you want to remember with a journey that’s already familiar to you.

Visual Memory Strategies

1) Your Own Memory Palace

This is a pretty straightforward and is based on a more lengthy method of remembering, known as The Journey Method. It’s also referred to as Loci (pronounced Lo-Si), from the Latin meaning ‘places’. This particular memory strategy is also known as The Memory Palace.

For this more simple version, you’ll need this list of 20 words:


The idea is to cover the list on the right and then look through the items on the left and remember them…

However, don’t do it yet.

First, you need to plan a route around your house or apartment. The journey around your home needs to have 10 ‘stops’ on it – 10 different places that you can stop to remember or see something. The places need to be in a logical sequence.

For example, I can start outside my building (1), proceed up the stairs to the 2nd floor landing (2), then I go to my front door (3), open it and go into the shower room on my right (4), then go to my room (5), then to the desk in the spare room (6), then over to the window (7), then head to the bathroom (8), on to living room (9) and finish in the kitchen (10).

Obviously, yours will be totally different.

Whatever it is, make sure it has 10 stops. Now, walk that journey, stopping at each point. Here’s where you get imaginative…

At each stop, picture the corresponding item on the left-hand list.

So, outside my building is an elephant. I go in and up the stairs to the landing, where a giant apple says hello to me. I go to my front door which is lit by candlelight. I go into my apartment and into the shower room but can’t get in as there’s a bicycle in the way. I go to my room and there’s a toy plane practising stunts over the bed. I go to the spare room and Johnny Depp is sitting at the desk, writing. I go to the window and see a woman shaking a blanket out of her window. I go to the bathroom and there’s a tree growing in the bath, in the living room is a swan watching TV and in the kitchen is Michaelangelo’s David statue.

Sounds mad, doesn’t it?

Well, the more crazy the image, the more you’re likely to remember it. That’s what’s fun about memory strategies like this one.

See how many of the words on the left side of the list you can remember without looking back at the list. 6 or above is great going for a first time. If you can do all 10, go and do something else and then come back after an hour or two and see how many you can recall on your journey around the Memory Palace in your mind.

For a more in-depth and visual look at this memory strategy in action, watch this video featuring a World Memory Champion remembering huge amounts of information with the help of the Journey Method.

Leave a comment in the comments section below and let us know which memory strategies you use.

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Category: Memorization Techniques, Memory Exercises

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I'm James Gladwell, chief contributor and editor of I'm fascinated by the human mind and I set this site up in order to help people increase their memory power, while I learned how to improve mine. Feel free to leave a comment on the site and let me know how you think I can make the site better.

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