Mind Mastery: 15 Proven Memory Techniques | October 2023 Edition

Frustrated person studying

Your Brain’s New Best Friends: A Guide to Proven Memory Techniques

Memory is critical to learning, academic achievement, and personal growth. It helps us in many areas of life, from remembering math formulas to remembering names at social events. Throughout history, humans have developed methods to improve memory and adapt to changing conditions. This article provides a list of 15 scientifically proven memory techniques, updated as of October 2023.

The evolution of these techniques shows our never-ending quest for cognitive improvement. In this article, we will explain the techniques and give you tips on how to use them in your daily life.


Chunking is more than a memory technique. It’s a way to optimize our brain’s natural limitations. Breaking information into small, simple parts helps you remember it more easily. Chunking makes sure our memory doesn’t get overwhelmed, allowing us to remember more in an organized way.

Want to use chunking in your daily learning? Let’s say you’re dealing with a string of numbers or a long list of words. Instead of trying to memorize everything at once, divide the information into smaller groups. For example, a phone number with ten digits like 1234567890 can be easier to remember if you break it down into 123-456-7890. When studying, organizing similar words or ideas together like this helps with remembering them later.

Notepad with a pen laying on it


Repetition is the mother of retention. Repeating information reinforces memories by strengthening neural pathways in the brain. This leads to improved memory retention over time. Repeating things helps your brain make stronger pathways and improves memory retention.

However, repeating things mindlessly can lead to burnout. To use repetition effectively, try spreading it out, mixing up the material, and testing your recall. Instead of just repeating words, you can review them periodically, mix them with other material, and quiz yourself to test your memory. This way, repetition will become a helpful habit instead of a tedious task.

Semi-transparent brain with glowing pathways
neural strengthening through repetition

Mnemonic Devices

Mnemonic tools help you remember information better by connecting it with things you already know. You can use acronyms, rhymes, or pictures to help remember information.

Let’s delve into a few examples. You can remember the order of math operations using the acronym PEMDAS (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, Addition and Subtraction). Pictures and symbols can also be effective; forming a vivid image linked to a term or concept can leave a lasting impression on your memory. Mnemonic techniques can not only improve your memory, but also makes the learning process more enjoyable.

Underwater scene with glowing plants and math symbols in bubbles
PEMDAS: Mnemonic Mastery


Visualization is the canvas where your memory paints pictures. It’s about creating mental imagery for the information you wish to keep. When you picture things in your mind, you make data easier to remember.

How can you harness visualization for better recall? Start by connecting abstract ideas with vibrant images. For example, if you need to recall a formula, imagine it as a scene or object. The more distinct and colorful your mental picture, the more effectively it will stick with you. Through practice, visualizations can help you produce clear mental images and enhance your memory.

Person visualizing sunlit meadow with flowers in thought bubble.
Power of visualization


Association is the thread that weaves memories together. When you connect new information to what you already know, you create a memory network that helps you remember things more easily. The power of association lies in its ability to create meaningful connections in your mind.

How can you make strong associations? Begin by connecting new information to personal experiences, known facts, or even funny or unusual connections. For example, if you’re learning a new language, associate new words with familiar images or sounds. The key is to make associations that are meaningful to you, because they’ll be the hooks on which your memories hang. As time goes on, associating things can become natural, improving memory and making learning enjoyable.

Illustration of vintage telephones, books, old-fashioned cameras, glowing orbs, and metallic devices linked
Association: Linking Memories Together


Spacing, or spaced repetition, is a memory sharpening technique rooted in the science of forgetting. It’s about revisiting information at increasingly longer intervals over time to strengthen memory. The beauty of spaced repetition is that it aligns with our brain’s natural forgetting curve, making memory retention more efficient.

How do you maneuver through spaced repetition for optimal retention? Start by reviewing the material soon after you learn it, then increase the intervals between subsequent reviews. For example, review the material after one day, then three days, a week, and so on. Spacing helps you remember things for a long time and saves time when you review. This makes your study time way more effective.

Calendar with dates marked


Sleep is the unsung hero of memory consolidation. While you sleep, your brain works to store memories from the day, moving them from short-term to long-term memory. Quality sleep is not a luxury, but a necessity for strong memory function.

How can you improve sleep quality to support memory? To improve your sleep, try keeping a regular sleep schedule, establishing a bedtime routine, and creating a sleep-friendly environment. These practices can pave the way for better sleep, which in turn supports memory consolidation and cognitive function. Practicing good sleep hygiene is an investment in your memory and overall cognitive well-being.

Woman sleeping on a couch


Exercise isn’t just a physical endeavor. It’s a way to strengthen your cognitive abilities. Regular exercise helps blood flow in the body, including the brain, improving memory and thinking. It’s a two-way dialogue between muscle and mind that leads to a stronger memory.

So how does one incorporate exercise into their routine? It doesn’t have to be a huge effort. Simple activities like brisk walking, jogging, or even stretching can make a difference. Make it a goal to move every day, whether through a structured workout or just an active lifestyle. Over time, the benefits of exercise on memory and cognitive function will manifest, fostering a sharper mind in a healthier body.

Man on a jog outdoors


Mindfulness is an anchor in the turbulent sea of modern distractions. It cultivates a state of active, open attention to the present, which in turn enhances working memory and attention. Mindfulness meditation in particular has shown promise in strengthening these cognitive skills.

Start with short daily meditation sessions. Focus on your breathing, and when your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the present moment. When you practice mindfulness, you become more aware and focused, which help improve memory retention. The journey of mindfulness is an inward journey that leads to a calmer mind and a stronger memory.

Man meditating outside


Nutrition is the fuel that powers the engine of cognition. Although small in size, the brain consumes a significant amount of energy from food. Some nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and B vitamins, can boost the brain and help with memory and other cognitive functions.

How can you incorporate a brain-healthy diet into your daily life? Start by incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense foods such as leafy greens, berries, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish into your meals. Stay hydrated and consider reducing your intake of processed foods. Over time, a healthy diet can lay the foundation for better memory function by providing essential building blocks for your brain.

Salad bowl: lettuce, avocado, green beans, and and beetroot

Multisensory Learning

With multisensory learning you’ll use different senses to help remember things more effectively. It’s about creating a rich learning experience that includes sight, sound, touch, and sometimes even taste and smell. The multidimensional nature of multisensory learning builds a robust network of memory traces.

When you study or try to remember new information, use visuals, sounds, and hands-on activities. For instance, by watching tutorial videos or listening to podcasts, you can gain a better understanding. Multisensory learning helps us remember more and makes learning more enjoyable.

Man listening through his headphones

Active Learning

Active learning is not a passive absorption of information, but an energetic engagement with it. It’s important to stay mentally active while learning by asking questions, analyzing, and applying new knowledge. This active engagement creates a deeper understanding and a stronger memory trail.

Start by asking questions, discussing concepts with peers. Then, try using what you’ve learned in real-life situations. Transform your learning area into an exciting place where curiosity fuels the exploration of knowledge. Over time, active learning can become a habit, leading to improved retention and a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Under

students outdoors reading and discussing learning material


The concept of “teaching to learn” or the “Protege Effect” is a powerful tool in the arsenal of memory techniques. When you teach others what you’ve learned, you reinforce your understanding and retention of the information. It’s a confirmation of your understanding and a way to identify areas that need further clarification.

You don’t need a formal setting. Explaining concepts to a peer, a family member, or even an imaginary audience can be beneficial. Organizing information in a clear, teachable way strengthens neural pathways, making it easier to remember.

Woman at whiteboard teaching


Self-testing is the mirror that reflects the strength of your memory. By regularly self-testing, you not only measure your recall, but also strengthen your memory through the act of recall. It’s an active process that strengthens the connections between the neurons involved in memory.

How do you implement effective self-testing strategies? You can make flashcards, take quizzes, or explain concepts in your own words without using the source material. The challenge provided by testing strengthens recall and reinforces memory. Use testing not as a form of judgment, but as a tool for growth and better retention.

Person filling in test

Digital Tools

There are a variety of digital tools available to help you improve your memory. Spaced repetition software, memory apps, and online platforms offer clear ways to improve memory retention. They bring the science of memory enhancement to your fingertips, making the process more accessible and engaging.

How can you use digital tools to improve your memory? Explore apps like Anki or platforms like Quizlet that use spaced repetition and active recall techniques. Use these to organize, review, and test your knowledge. Over time, these tools can become helpful allies in your effort to improve memory recall. They offer a structured and efficient approach to mastering memory.

Person behind laptop


These 15 proven memory techniques reveal the potential to transform your memory. The range of strategies is broad, from the simplicity of chunking to the digital realm of memory-enhancing apps. Incorporating any of these techniques in your daily routine can significantly improve your memory and cognitive performance.

Embark on this adventure of mind mastery by adopting these techniques. The journey of memory enhancement is not a one-time effort, but an ongoing pursuit of continuous learning and growth.

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