Designing Mnemonics: Imagination, Association and Location
The three fundamental principles underlying the use of mnemonics are imagination, association and location. Working together, you can use these principles to generate powerful mnemonic systems.
Imagination: is what you use to create and strengthen the associations needed to create effective mnemonics. Your imagination is what you use to create mnemonics that are potent for you. The more strongly you imagine and visualize a situation, the more effectively it will stick in your mind for later recall. The imagery you use in your mnemonics can be whatever you like, as long as it helps you to remember.
Association: is the method by which you link a thing to be remembered to a way of remembering it. You can create associations by:
- Placing things on top of each other
- Crashing things together
- Merging images together
- Wrapping them around each other
- Rotating them around each other or having them dancing together
- Linking them using the same color, smell, shape, or feeling
As an example, you might link the number 1 with a goldfish by visualizing a 1-shaped spear being used to spear it.
Location: gives you two things: a coherent context into which you can place information so that it hangs together, and a way of separating one mnemonic from another. By setting one mnemonic in a particular town, I can separate it from a similar mnemonic set in a city. For example, by setting one in Wimbledon and another similar mnemonic with images of Manhattan, we can separate them with no danger of confusion. You can build the flavors and atmosphere of these places into your mnemonics to strengthen the feeling of location.[boilerplate about-pueblo]