Memory Skills to Develop Every Day

Did you know having a good memory is somewhat made up of learning to remember well? People who seem never to forget anything probably use certain techniques, whether they know it or not, to remember information. Memory skills don’t have to be totally strange or outlandish. Some memory skills are pretty basic, and they can help you develop your brain over time.

Your brain, after all, is like a muscle. The more you work at improving it, the stronger it will get. Memory skills can help you learn to remember things more often or to recall memories in clearer detail. Here are just a few memory skills to start practicing and developing today.

  • Write it Down! The more ways your brain has access to information, the more likely it is to be able to recall that information. Instead of just listening to something you want to remember – or telling it to yourself – write it down. Keep notecards around so you can jot down notes to yourself. Since your brain will go through the action of noting those pieces of information, actually writing them, and reading them after you’ve written them, you’re more likely to remember. If you make writing things down a habit, you may not even need to look at what you’ve written all that often, so long as you go through the action of writing and reading it.
  • Repeat Information. This is another of those super basic memory skills that it’s easy to forget. When you meet a new person or learn a new fact, repeat it to yourself a few times. It’s a proven fact that repeated information is stored with stronger connections in your long term memory, meaning it’s easier to access later on.
  • Focus. Focusing doesn’t seem like one of those memory skills you need to work on, but in today’s multi-tasking, distracted world, it really is. Pay attention to things you need to remember, whether it’s the way to a friend’s new house or where you parked your car. Letting yourself go into auto-pilot mode is a surefire way to ensure that you don’t remember information later on.
  • Make Visual Associations. It’s true that most people are visual, and lots of memories are visual, too. When you try to remember phonetic or auditory memories, they may just not come out as easily. Visualization is one of those memory skills that it may be difficult to get into the habit of using. However, once you build these memory skills, you’ll start automatically tying information to visuals, which can very much help with memory recall.
  • Figure Out What to Remember. One of the basic memory skills that people seem to forget about is to choose what you really need to remember. It’s hardly necessary anymore, for instance, to memorize phone numbers if you have a cell phone with a phone book application. Of course, this gets a little dangerous if you misplace your phone, but, still, beyond a few essential numbers, you shouldn’t try to cram them all into your brain. Your brain can only handle so much at once, so instead of trying to memorize every piece of information, write down or type up lists of those things you don’t need to have immediate access to.
  • Rhyming and Acronyms. Our memories often work well with words that seem to go together. Make acronyms of lists you need to remember, or rhyme people’s names with information about them so you can remember them more easily. Alliteration can be grouped with these memory skills, too. For instance, if you meet someone named Ben who has a beard, remember him as Ben with the Beard. You’d be amazed at how much simple word memory skills can help.