Jan 192012

Mnemonic techniques were originally invented by the ancient Greeks.

But what are mnemonic techniques really? Any learning system that supports the recall of information can be defined as a mnemonic technique. For that purpose information needs to be shifted from the short term memory to the long term memory. To improve this process mnemonic systems are used to make this memorization easier.

Mnemonics are often verbal, such as a very short poem or a special word used to support a person remembering something, particularly lists.

But a mnemonic system can alternatively also be visual, kinesthetic or auditory. Mnemonics rely on associations between easy-to-remember constructs which can be connected to the hard-to-remember facts. This is based on the observation that the human mind much more easily remembers spatial, personal, surprising, physical, sexual or humorous or otherwise meaningful information, as compared to abstract neutral information, which has „no direct meaning“ for the learner.

Some call those techniques “tricks” even though it is just a way of actively follow the brains natural way of learning. Not only using our linear left brain hemisphere, but also involve right brain action. Used the right way the power of memory can be improved impressively. And who wouldn’t need that in days of massive information overload.

Your skill level will improve dramatically as you will be able to recall important information pieces instantly. And when it counts. Naturally the brain works best with using associations with past knowledge, connection with already established old skills, dramatic exaggeration, colourful and sensual images in the brain.

If you keep practising those skills  – which are a learning task too at first, since it is a new skill – the reward will be amazing. That will save hours of learning later and a lot of wasted energy.

And you will also get a much deeper and better understanding of the facts you are implementing in your head. Because you have been dealing with them actively.

So establishing skills in mnemonic techniques and therefore supporting the process of how to learn new information is the best and most important investment you could make before even starting the learning process. It is like using driving a Ferrari instead of a  Ford to “drive”  to your destiny.

I will go into more details of using mnemonic techniques in a later article.

To your learning success,




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