A memory palace is simply the method of loci but a phrase that sounds a lot cooler 🙂
This is the core to memorizing anything. All the world class memory athletes are using the method of loci or a memory palace to remember anything. Here is a short video description of a memory palace or the method of loci :
In 1966 Frances Yates in the book ‘The Art of Memory’ discusses the Memory Palace. The memory palace concept is that you have a palace memorized in your brain. However, it doesn’t really have to be a palace or even a building it could be a route along a street that you are familiar with. To create a memory palace you simply walk around your home or the route on the street and number stops along the way. These stops are referred to as ‘files’. You will also hear this referred to as a ‘Journey’.
On each stop you place whatever you wish to recall. Let’s say that you wish to memorize the presidents of the USA. Then you number 44 stops on a journey in this memory palace. And on each stop or file you turn the name of the president into a picture and visualizing it on your file. For example, Washington may be a washing machine. Adams may be ‘A Dam’ and as you go you visualize a washing machine on your first stop and a dam on your second. This is how you use a memory palace or the method of loci to improve your memory and learn how to memorize anything
My suggestion to you is to get a piece of paper and draw a map of your home numbering 5 pieces of furniture in each room. Why 5? Well, if you select 5 in one room, 6 in the next 8 in the next and 3 in the next and then you need to know the 15th spot instantly it would take a bit of thought. However, if you have 5 in a room it makes learning the numbers and jumping to a specific number very rapidly. If you must do more than 5 in a room then I recommend 10 but no more. Keep it a standard number of 5 or 10 files in each room.
So there you have it. If you want to memorize anything and improve your memory the key is to build a memory palace or implement the method of loci. This is the building blocks of all world class memory athletes and you can use it as well for anything from memorizing your grocery to list to pi to 80,000 digits 🙂