Tl;dr — I wrote a book
I love to learn little life hacks, tidying-up techniques, and mnemonic devices. I’m not one of those, “I must optimize all aspects of my life!” kind of folks, but if I can find a better way to tie my shoes in the morning, then I’m all for it.
A number of years ago I learned about the Major Memorization system — a handy way to essentially link numbers with ideas in a way that once practiced a little bit, allows you to remember numbers and dates and sequences and all sorts of things by remembering not the digits themselves, but to the fun, weird, memorable images that you’ve linked them with.
With this technique, strings of numbers go from being these cold, lifeless scratches to vibrant stories that you can remember even years later.
My credit card is no longer just numbers — it’s a tale of railroad and Roman emperors. Remembering flights and gate numbers link the terminals to caves and cubes. My library card is a particularly weird story that I couldn’t shake even if I wanted to.
You might think that in today’s world, with a smartphone in your pocket, that you wouldn’t need to remember precise numbers, much less long account numbers. I’m partial to this argument too — believe me.
But it’s not about remembering just long strings, it’s really about training your brain to think of numbers differently — and this helps with short-term memory too! License plates, order numbers, world statistics to bring up in meetings — they all become connected and the same, and most importantly of all, they are at your fingertips at all time, whether you have a full battery or not.
Over the last couple of years, I set about to just make myself a library of 100 (technically 110) sketches that would help me remember all numbers from 00 to 99 (and some more for remembering the base digits of 0–9).
This way, I can decompose any string of numbers into these pairings, and it’s the pairings that tell a story.
I’ve had a poster of these sketches on my wall for awhile, and I would constantly get asked about it.
I decided to finally put down into a book not only all of the sketches, but also the idea behind how the system works, and how you can put it to use.
Just this week, I wrapped it all up, sent it off to the book binder, and the proof came back and looks great!
I’m excited to offer this book to the general public. I’d love to hear your feedback and to get your (high-praise) review in Amazon as well! It’s been a fun little side project to-date. And my first book!