The mind palace is real.


Fans of  ‘Sherlock’  would have observed  the title character  used his ‘mind palace’  to   solve cases.  The mind/memory palace is memory technique not only used by Sherlock, but also by contestants  in memory championships. It is also a memory technique you can use as well.

The memory palace (Method of loci )  uses visualization to organize and recall information.  The concept is to memorize the layout of building(palace) that  you are familiar with, for example your house. When you want to remember a list of items you visual the items  at different locations  within the palace. When you want to recall the items, you literally ‘walk’  through your palace to the location your items.

 For example, you want to remember your shopping list- eggs, milk, butter,  sugar,  and coffee. With your house as your memory palace you imagine have walked to your front and have stepped  on some eggs.  You then walk to your  foyer and someone has poured milk on your head.You enter your kitchen and  slip of butter on the kitchen floor. You walk into your dining room to  see your  children pouring sugar on the dining table.You  walk into the living room to see your spouse drinking coffee.

I got inspired to use the memory palace after reading Moonwalking with Einstein. The memory palace is not limited to  shopping lists.I have used it to help me remember things like the Zachman Framework  or the Architecture Development Methodogy(TOGAF), to name a few.

Here are some things I have learnt while creating memory palaces:

  • It is best to use  memory palaces you are familiar with.
  • You can have infinite number of memory palaces
  • Walk through your palaces  periodically,this will help solidify your memory
  • There is no limit on how to use your imagination to store information in your memory palaces.