How to Memorize Numbers

Are you tired of having someone tell you something like a pin code or phone number and it instantly goes in one ear and out the other? Well… lucky for you there is a pretty easy way to hack your brain to remember numbers as easy as you would remember a crazy story you saw on the news. How you may ask… by turning those numbers into a crazy story!

The first thing that you need to do is develop a list of code words for each number. So for example your first five code words could be…

  1. Tie
  2. Knee
  3. Ham
  4. Oar
  5. Hill

So, if you were to use this system to memorize something like the pin number for your debit card… lets say it was 2134…

First you would create a mental image relating to your card. This will be the “trigger” that sets off the story for you.

In this case the trigger would be your card.


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Then could would imagine a knee smashing it to pieces.




The knee would probably be bloody so a Tie is wrapped around it as a bandage.



The person whose knee it is is then very hungry after this ordeal and starts to eat a big piece of ham.



When all of a sudden they are knocked unconscious by someone swinging an oar and hitting them in the head.  IMG_2324


Now when ever you see your debit card this story comes to mind. All you have to do is decode the story and you have your pin number.

Our brains are not good at remembering abstract things like phone numbers and pins without heavy repetition. Instead we are really good at remembering things through association as well as imagery. That is why we can remember the plot to a movie we saw once 10 years ago and not our credit card number. Using this system you can create a mental story once and then remember it forever. The crazier the story the better it will stick in your mind.

So what is the next step? Make your list of code words and remember them… I know that sounds easier said than done but luckily there is something called the Major System to help with that. The Major System is a way to convert numbers into sounds which make words. Using the Major System you can easily remember code words for 100s of numbers. Check out this introductory article on The Major System!


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