Quick Memory Tricks

There are many ways to boost your memory-power, but sometimes it’s easier just to take a short-cut. Here are a collection of memory short-cuts you can use in everyday life that don’t require you to use your memory at all!

If there are a set number of things you need to remember to do, place the same number of coins in one pocket. Then when it comes time to count off each thing, move each coin from one pocket to the other, until you’ve remembered every item from your list. 

  • If you need to remember to take something with you when you leave the house tomorrow morning, place your keys on top of the item.
  • If you are in bed and need to remember to do something in the morning, throw something on the floor, and when you wake up you won’t be able to ignore it, and hence it will remind you. 
  • If you are introduced to someone who you aren’t sure if you’ve met before or not, and don’t want to appear rude, just say “Good to see you.” It’s an ambiguous greeting that could be used whether you’ve met them before or not and should give you time to figure out if you have!
  • Create a credit-card sized cheat-sheet: put a credit-card on a piece of paper or card, and draw around the outline. Cut it out. You now have something that you can write on that fits neatly into your wallet or purse. You can use this to keep any key bits of useful information that you might need in a hurry whilst you are out of the house. For example, the percentage fee that different shops will charge you on your different credit cards, or the phone number/web-URL you need to use if you loose your mobile phone. 
  • Similarly, use a small piece of paper as a bookmark, then as you progress through reading a book, jot down key ideas or character descriptions that you think you’ll be likely to otherwise forget. This is particularly useful for complex books or those with many characters. 
  • Colour-code your keys to remember which key is for which door. 
  • Mark out on your calendar in advance reminders to do those tasks that are boring but need to be done regularly (e.g. checking your car tyres, defragging your computer, getting an eye check-up). 

If you have a mobile phone with a camera there are many ways you can use it to ease the load on your memory:

  • Take photos of products in shops that you want to check out the prices of online, or that you might want to remember to buy in the future.
  • If you have a complicated technical set-up e.g. a range of exact settings in some software on your computer, or a complex system of leads plugged into a device, take a photo of it in case you ever need to re-set it up again.
  • Take photos of your meals to remember them (e.g. if you are tracking your diet, eating out or eating on holiday and want to remember what you’ve eaten).
  • Take a picture of your fridge if you don’t have time to write down a shopping list before you go out. Then you don’t need to remember which items need buying.
  • When putting items in storage, lay each selection of items out on the floor first and take a photo before putting them in the box/bag, along with either the box/bag or the label for it. Now you won’t have to remember what’s in each box, or where you stored something. 
  • Photograph serial numbers, insurance codes and membership numbers to save worrying about remembering where you kept them. 
  • Take a photo of your DVD/blu-ray shelves or those of your family then when you are in the shops you can remember which films you already own. 
  • Take a photo of a business card when someone hands it to you, so that you don’t have to remember where you’ve stored it, or have to remember to type up the details. 
  • When you’ve taken some important notes on a scrap of paper, or a whiteboard, take a photo to avoid having to worry about remembering them. 
  • Take a wide photo of your car in a car park to remember where you left it.