Four Of Our Favorite Mnemonic Devices
Four Of Our Favorite Mnemonic Devices And Why You Should Practice Using Them

Four Of Our Favorite Mnemonic Devices And Why You Should Practice Using Them

Four Of Our Favorite Mnemonic Devices And Why You Should Practice Using Them

“An elephant never forgets.”

Oh, if that was true for many of us! In the wild, elephants show their long term memories in their behavior. From a young age, male elephants join herds, and when they meet an elephant they do not know, they become aggressive. An African bush elephant shows this behavior for the entirety of their life, which is roughly 60 to 70 years. Pretty amazing when you think about it, but the rest of humanity needs a tool to help them recall information required to operate in day-to-day life. A mnemonic device is a fancy name for memory tool. You’ve probably used some of these devices before without evening knowing it what it was called. Here are our favorite mnemonic devices and how to use them.


To better recall information, try breaking it down into smaller pieces to help it become more digestible. People will use this mnemonic device to help remember phone numbers, accounts, or even complex AI-generated passwords. You can also use chunking as a way to create a list of items. For example, when grocery shopping, you may not be able to remember everything on your list. But, if you break it down into categories like fruits, vegetables, meats, and so on, you have a better chance of grabbing everything without having to go back later that evening.

Musical mnemonics

Copyrighted in 1835 by Charles Bradlee, the alphabet song teaches children the letters of the alphabet in order, using a catching tune! Anything you need to learn can be set to a beat and sung aloud. Either you can make up your own jam, or use a popular song and swap out the lyrics for the information you need to remember. You won’t be able to belt out a tune in the middle of a lecture hall, but as long as you can follow the song in your head, you’ll be able to recall information needed to pass your final exam.


Do you remember back when you took your first algebra class and needed to learn the order of operations? Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction? Also known as, “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally?” By taking the first letter of each word in a sentence and creating an acronym, it becomes much easier to remember how to solve problems correctly. You also see this in music when you first learn how to read sheet music. “Every, Good, Boy, Does, Fine” matches the order of line notes on the treble clef. To recall information in a particular order for something more involved, you’re better off using our favorite mnemonic device. 

Method of Loci

Our number one choice for a mnemonic device is the Method of Loci or sometimes referred to as a memory palace. In a previous post, we outlined that the Method of Loci is a memory technique first used by the ancient Greeks. Most of the time, people use the Method of Loci to remember a large amount of information. Think of a law student studying for the BAR exam or anyone in medical school. The way this mnemonic device works is by associating items you need to remember with items in a place you are familiar with. For example, take a path around your house you do every day; after you get out of bed in the morning, you go to the kitchen to make coffee, then to the garage to feed the dog, and so on. If you can walk that path in your mind without thinking too much about it, it is the perfect path to use for your palace. When you go to create your memory palace, you’ll take that path and associate pieces of information to each location.  

Mnemonic devices are great for professionals who need to remember a lot of names! If you quickly forget names, sign up for our How To Remember Names Effectively course. You’ll discover how politicians and other high-level executives recall names easily. Click the link to learn more today.

What about you? What’s your favorite mnemonic device? Let us know in the comments!

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