Accelerated Learning and Life Skills


How to Remember Important Dates and Numbers

I have been finishing up the memory techniques chapter from my book so memory has been in my mind a lot lately (no pun intended). I therefore wanted to share with you a quick and powerful technique for remembering date and numbers:

An easy way to remember numbers is to make a sentence with the number of letters in each word representing a number. For example, you can remember the first 15 digits of pi, which are 3.14159265358979, by using the following sentence: “Boy I need a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.” (Boy = 3, I = 1, need = 4, a = 1, drink = 5, …, quantum = 7, mechanics = 9) This can be very useful for remembering phone numbers, PINs, and important dates.  For example, the PIN for my Wells Fargo bank card is 4235, which I remember with “Show me the money”. (Mental note to self: be sure to change my PIN.)

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When remembering years, it is customary to drop off the 1 from the year and use 10 letters for the number zero. For example, here are a few dates of personal significance to me and how I remember them:

1542: (the year that Juan Cabrillo explored the California coast): Coast Juan CA
1906: (the year of the great San Francisco earthquake): Francisco earthquake struck
1945: (the year the first atomic bomb was built as part of the Manhattan Project):  Manhattan make bombs
1955: (the year Einstein died): Einstein’s final hours

Notice that the words that I use are related to the actual date in some way. This is important because you need to remember the sentence or phrase you created in order to remember the date.

You will find that the more you use this technique of letting the numbers of letters in each word represent a number, the easier it will become. You also can use this technique for things like your checking account number, your credit card number, your license plate, your friends birthdays, … If you are having any trouble with this, email me your credit card number and I will help you create a memorable sentence that you can use :)

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