Boost Recall by 50%+ Using Mnemonics

A mnemonic is a way of organizing  information to make it much easier to remember. Mnemonics are memorable representations we create to speed up learning. They are powerful and have been shown to work in a wide variety of settings.  I am surprise they are not used more often.

There are several different types of mnemonics.  For an excellent (and short) overview see the Nine Types of Mnemonics For Better Memory. The article covers using music, names, expressions, models, rhymes, note cards, images, connections and spellings to create more memorable representations of information.  One of my favorite examples is the name mnemonic:

“ROY G. BIV = colors of the spectrum (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.)”

I learned this in grade school and have never forgotten it.  The name, ROY G. BIV, sounds like a real name but it is unique making it very memorable. Each letter in the name can correspond to only one color so you can quickly reconstruct the entire spectrum, especially if you write the name down on a sheet or paper.

Creating good  mnemonics can be a bit tricky. Just the act of trying to create a mnemonic engages us with the content and therefore speeds learning. It can make the task of memorizing more fun and if you create a powerful mnemonic you have something important to share.

Interested to hear from readers that developed their own mnemonics.  Some good ones for remembering important facts about the brain would be especially appreciated.