How to Memorize: Photographic Memory

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Memorize Phone Numbers and More

Quick Notes - Memorize Numbers:
  • Convert numbers into vivid images.


How many times have you frantically searched for a pen needing to write down an important phone number. Maybe it's a phone number you heard on the radio while your driving in your car. Perhaps its a long but important password you need to keep at all times. How about a girl or guys phone number you met out at a bar or on the beach? We find ourselves writing numbers down every single day, what if you could remember a long number and remember it the instant you heard it? What I'm about to teach you will wash out any need for a pen or paper. Although this article may be rated a bit more advanced than some of our others, anyone can learn this and use it on a daily basis with just a little bit of practice.

The Phonetic Alphabet - Remembering Numbers

To be able to remember a long number, you must first learn the phonetic alphabet. Each number in the phonetic alphabet (0-9) symbolizes a sound:

0 - has a Z, S or a soft C sound
1 - has a T or D sound
2 - has a N sound
3 - has a M sound
4 - has a R sound
5 - has a L sound
6 - has a sh or ch sound
7 - has a K, hard C, or hard G sound
8 - has a F, V, or ph sound
9 - has a B or P sound

After you can recite the phonetic alphabet smoothly, it is time to start associating your numbers to words or images. The reason why we have such a difficult time remembering numbers is because a number does not stimulate the photographic part of your brain like an image does. In addition to this, the more bizarre an image you create, the easier it is for your mind to remember it. Lets begin with an example of converting numbers to images:

Lets start with the number 219 (lets pretend you just got off the phone with your hotel and this is your room number).

2 = N sound, 1 = T or D sound, 9 = B or P sound

With shorter numbers like 219, you can try assigning a peg word to each number:
2 = Noah, 1 = Tie, 9 = Bee (notice that these peg words contain the appropriate phonetic alphabet sounds and no others)
Now you can tie these three images together. Noah (from Noahs Ark) is trying to Tie (with a rope) a Bee (bumble bee) to the deck of his ship.
Although this may not make too much sense, it is a very strange picture to create in your mind and it will allow you to easily remember the number 219. Be sure to vividly create this image in your mind - even for just a split second - and you will never forget it.

Once you get the hang of creating peg words for each number, you can start to group these numbers together to create less words for larger numbers:

Lets try the number 323580

Instead of creating 6 different peg words, we can group these numbers in pairs (or even by three) to create less words. For instance: 32-35-80.

32 = MooN, 35 = MaiL, 80 = FaCe (note that the UPPER case letters are the sounds for one of the numbers in the pair).
Now picture this: The MooN walking around your neighborhood delivering MaiL with a big smile of it's FaCe.

Using the phonetic alphabet is the easiest way to remember a long list of numbers, however it does take some practice. Try going through the phonetic alphabet a few times before you go to bed each night this week. Then try creating a list of your own peg words (which will help you create an image in your mind immediately upon hearing a number). With just a short amount of practice you can use this technique for the rest of your life!