Using the Loci Technique to Remember a Birthday

Part of the Improving Your Memory For Dummies Cheat Sheet

You probably don’t forget your own birthday, although sometimes you may want to, but you may forget the birthdays of people who expect you to remember. The Loci technique is a method of associating locations with important information to help you remember an important date, like a birthday. For example, suppose the birthday you want to remember is November 4. Using familiar locations, here are the steps:

  1. November: In most temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, deciduous trees lose their leaves by November. Your first loci clue is bare trees on the way to work.

  2. Four: You pass four barns during a stretch of your daily commute. So after you notice the leafless trees, the four barns cue you to remember that the birthday is on November 4.

  3. Birthday present: The crass commercial billboards along your route remind you to buy a gift.

Of course, you may have to change your location cues if you move to the treeless desert or if the four barns are torn down to accommodate 600 new houses.

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