Chapter 1

Memory

In classical Greece, Mnemosyne—usually translated as “Memory” — was considered to be the mother of History, Music, Astronomy, and all the other Muses. Memory is fundamental to learning and knowledge, so we've placed our chapter of memory-enhancement techniques first. They include how to build memory on previously memorized environments (Hack 2, “Build a Memory Dungeon”), how to use technology to remember most efficiently (Hack 4, “Space Your Repetitions”), and how to draw old memories that you thought you had lost back to the surface (Hack 5, “Recall Long-Ago Events”).

Boosting your memory will help you both gather new information and track where you've been in your life, bringing your past with you into the future. Our goal is to help you hold onto all the intangible treasures your academic pursuits and life experience bring you.

Hack 1: Remember to Remember

Ever use a fancy mnemonic only to forget that you memorized anything at all? Prospective memory is remembering to do something in the future. Learn to cue your prospective memory in ways that go far beyond a string around your finger.

The traditional method to remind yourself that you need to remember something (and a staple of clip art collections) is a string tied around your finger, but there are many ways you can improve your prospective memory – or remembering to remember. We'll explore two very different ways to cut that string while retaining its effectiveness, as well as how to harness the humble ...

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