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by instafo | June 6, 2017

Memorization Techniques to Improve Short-Term Memory

Are you the type of person who forgets your keys, appointments, people’s name, or materials needed to learn for work or school? If you’re categorized as a human being, you certainly must have.

Every day we encounter these short-term memory issues of forgetfulness – and wish we could simply remember everything. You may even tell yourself that it is not possible and that you will always be forgetting things.

However, you should beg to differ. Why? Because there are three memorization techniques that will be covered to dramatically increase your short-term memory capacities.

Memorization Technique 1: Visualize Ridiculous Story

Do you have a multitude of upcoming tasks all at once on a single given day?

Create a story about it! You do not need to write it down, although that would increase your memory retention.

How? It’s pretty easy, quick, as well as fun:

1. List all the locations you have to go to and every task to be done.

2. Place them in chronological order of when they will occur in a “made-up ridiculous story.”

3. Be bold and creative: the more over-the-top the story is, the more you will remember it.

– 7:00 a.m. wake up

– 8:30 a.m. bring kids to school

– 9:30 a.m. doctor’s appointment at Central Plaza

– 2:00 p.m. lunch before work

– 4:00 p.m. pick up kids from school

– 5:00 p.m. dinner with kids

Here is an example of the entire day made into a normal story:

You wake up at 7:00 a.m. to bring the kids to school for 8:30 a.m. Once that is completed, you must get to the Center Plaza at 9:30 a.m. for your doctor’s appointment. Once the appointment is over, that meeting at work you must attend starts at 2:00 p.m., which gives you plenty of time to eat before. You must return to the kids’ school at 4:00 p.m., and do dinner when they get home around 5:00 p.m.

Or you could visualize that normal story as a memorably ridiculous story in your mind by visually going over-the-top:

You wake up watching the classic movie Seven (to remind you of 7:00) as a ritual before getting kicked (for “kicked” to rhyme with “kids”) out of the bed by a giant “ape that is dirty” (to remind you of 8:30 with the sounding of “ape dirty”). A school bus drops by (to signify “once you drop the kids off school”) and give you “knives that are dirty” (to remind you of 9:30 aka “knives dirty”) to stab the dirty ape at the “center of its heart that is made of pizza” (to remind you of “Central Plaza”), then a “doctor in white lab coat” crawls out of that pizza heart. You take the doctor to eat at a giant restaurant shaped like a tooth (rhyming with “2”) that only serves hard teeth to eat (to remind you of “eating before 2:00”). You pick up a fork (rhyming with “4”), but as your fork touches the bowl of teeth, they magically turn into kids (to remind you of “picking up your kids at 4:00”). You take those teeth-kids outside when it’s already dark and serve them flaming fire (rhyming with “5”) to eat (to remind you of “dinner at 5”).

Note: You simply have to substitute everyday mundane or no-meaning words into larger than life tangible objects or associations that rhyme/shape the same to trigger the reminders. Literally play the story like a movie in your mind.

You can apply story creation to any area that doesn’t require extensive explanations; hence, why this is extremely effective for day-to-day tasks.

Memorization Technique 2: Relive to Recollect

This memorization technique consists of visually reliving what you did in your head in order to remember something.

As you practice this, the details should become increasingly more vivid so to be able to recollect all the objects in a room (if that serves you any purpose)!

Let’s take a common scenario everybody can relate to: having to locate where your car key is.

1. Have a clear image of the room you usually leave your key.

2. Project yourself walking into the room and searching for your key.

3. Target where your keys are usually located.

4. Visualize yourself grabbing and feeling the key in your hand.

This is a relatively simple example, but the mechanical act of retracing the steps of your key will pave the way for your subconscious to remember where you last place them (or unintentionally misplaced them when your conscious was distracted).

Memorization Technique 3: Involve Multiple Senses

Do you often miss meetings or appointments, resulting in having to reschedule them? Then involve your senses. Huh? It is not as abstract as it sounds.

Involving your senses as much as possible triggers a cognitive reaction in your brain that reinforces the importance of the information you are trying to remember.

  • Kinesthetic Reminder – Write down the time and date in a planner or on a piece of paper, instead of in electronic format because the physical sensation of writing with your hand offers kinesthetic benefits that can retrigger memory when reenacted.
  • Auditory Reminder – Tell someone, such as a friend or a family member, that you have an appointment, and make them bring it up out loud the time and date. Do it once a week leading up to your appointment.
  • Visual Reminder – Think outside of the box: have a picture of the building location of your appointment. Insert it into your daily agenda. Whenever you refer to it, you will have an actual image of your appointment. Or, you can always opt for good old sticky Post-it notes.

It may all seem excessive at first, but there is nothing greater than having your aligned senses working together to facilitate memory. They have been a part of us for thousands of years for human survival, so surely that is testimonial that we can count on them even for memory usage.


You now have the tools to improve short-term memory quickly and efficiently. With the power of these three memorization techniques on your side, you can now have control over your memory success at home, work, and school!

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