How to Memorize: Photographic Memory

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How to Memorize the State Capitals

Quick Notes - US State Capitals:
  • Use a memorization picture link strategy to recall the state capitals in order.
  • Create an outrageous image for each capital based on the capitals sound or spelling. Example: 'Montgomery' might be thought of a 'Mountain of Gum' based on its similar sound and spelling.
  • To memorize in order link each image you've created to the one that follows it creating an extremely bizarre story.

Memorizing all 50 state capitals is not as hard as it seems. In fact it can be done within a single hour, memorized forwards and backwards in whatever order you desire.

In this lesson we are going to use a basic link strategy that will allow you to recall any of the state capitals given the state.

You will find that linking the 50 states with their capitals is fairly simple. Just as simple, is memorizing the States and their Capitals in a particular order, however this will be addressed in a different lesson.

Memorize State Capitals

The secret to memorizing the State Capitals is to link each capital to their respective state based on an outrageous image you create. The best way to explain this is to begin with an example. In alphabetical order, the first U.S state is Alabama. Alabama's capital is Montgomery. You now need to create an image for each of these words and link them together. For Alabama, you might think of a giant man named AL (Alabama) and he's standing ontop of a big MOUNTAIN (Mont) made of GUM (gomery). So Alabama you think of a giant man named AL (AL = Alabama) and he's standing ontop of a MOUNTAIN made of GUM ("Mountain" of "gum" = "Mont" of "gomery" or Montgomery). Every image you think of you will need to close your eyes and actually picture this crazy image. Picture Al standing on a mountain made of gum and he is reaching over grabbing a handfull of gum off the mountain and shoving it in his mouth. Remember, the crazier the picture you create, the easier it will be to remember. It is extremely important that you see this picture in your mind (even only for a split second) so it burns into your long-term memory. If you dont create the picture in your mind and you dont see that image, you will easily forget it. The great part about this linking system is that it easily allows you to memorize the state capitals in a short amount of time, you will never forget them, and it's FUN to learn!

Below is a list of the States and Capitals along with a few more examples to get you started with learning all of the 50 State Capitals:


Alaska and Juneau:

The first thing I think of when I hear Alaska is the Alaskan King Crab. The capital Juneau sounds like the Month "June" with an "O" at the end. You can leave out the "O" sound because your true memory will recall that the Capital is not just "June".

Your Two Pictures: (Alaska = Alaskan King Crab) (Juneau = June)

Picture this: A 300 foot Alaskan King Crab is laying on the Sandy Beaches of Alaska in June sipping on a drink filled with June Bugs.

Arizona and Phoenix:

Arizona sounds alot like "Air Zone". When I hear the Capital Phoenix I imediately think of the Phoenix Bird.

Your Two Pictures: (Arizona = Air Zone) (Phoenix = Phoenix Bird)

Picture this: A beautiful colorful "Phoenix Bird" is flying through the sky enjoying it's day when a big airplane comes through it's "Air Zone" and squashes the bird right on it's windshield. Picture being the pilot seeing this big colorful bird covering your windshield and you can't see anything else in your "Air Zone". By the way, the bird somehow lives...strangely enough.

Arkansas and Little Rock:

Arkansas reminds me of "Noah's Ark" and the capital Little Rock reminds me of...well a "Little Rock or Pebble".

Your Two Pictures: (Arkansas = Noah's Ark or big boat) (Little Rock = Little Rock or Pebble)

Picture this: Take yourself back thousands of years on "Noah's Ark" with all of the animals sailing across the flood, all of a sudden you hit a tiny little "Pebble" and your giant boat crashes and sinks, good thing for you the flood has passed and your safe, however your boat is a mangled mess lying next to this tiny "Little Rock" that caused a giant boat to sink.

Now that you have an understanding of how to memorize the state capitals, try creating your own images with the rest of the states and capitals. After you can create an image linking the two together, you will never have to use flash cards or write them down a hundred times until they are burnt into your mind. Using your photographic memory is the easiest, fastest, and certainly most fun way of learning anything!

States Capitals States Capitals
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Montgomery
  • Juneau
  • Phoenix
  • Little Rock
  • Sacramento
  • Denver
  • Hartford
  • Dover
  • Tallahassee
  • Atlanta
  • Honolulu
  • Boise
  • Springfield
  • Indianapolis
  • Des Moines
  • Topeka
  • Frankfort
  • Baton Rouge
  • Augusta
  • Annapolis
  • Boston
  • Lansing
  • St. Paul
  • Jackson
  • Jefferson City
  • Helena
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • Lincoln
  • Carson City
  • Concord
  • Trenton
  • Santa Fe
  • Albany
  • Raleigh
  • Bismarck
  • Columbus
  • Oklahoma City
  • Salem
  • Harrisburg
  • Providence
  • Columbia
  • Pierre
  • Nashville
  • Austin
  • Salt Lake City
  • Montpelier
  • Richmond
  • Olympia
  • Charleston
  • Madison
  • Cheyenne