the memory palace is a technique to improve your memory to superhuman levels1
average people can memorize 10,000+ digits of Pi, recall hundreds of objects, and remember pages of poetry lines using it.
while often used for silly feats like these, I use memory palaces almost every day, in my personal life & work, to keep a virtual notebook inside my head.
on this page I explain the technique, tips to improve your use and many handy ways to apply it
if already you're familiar with memory palaces, you can skip ahead.
in a nutshell, a memory palace is about visualizing your thoughts as objects along a path, as if it were a real memory. our brain is much better at remembering things this way.
let's say you want to remember four things to bring to the beach with your friends: (1) a beach ball (2) a tube of sunscreen (3) a pair of sunglasses, and (4) a beach towel.
visualize the following in your mind as clearly as possible.
 imagine the front door of your home. in the doorway you see a 🔴 life-sized giant beach ball.
 walking in past the door you come across a 🛁 bathtub full of sunscreen in the living room (or whatever room follows in your house).
 continue to your bedroom, where Justin Bieber stands wearing a pair of cool-looking 🕶️ sunglasses.
 step in your bathroom, where a naked person stands wrapped in a 🧖 beach towel!
now, retrace this path a few times to recall the four items to bring to the beach!
if you visualized these mental images clearly, you should be able to remember these items for a few days
you may even remember some of the objects if you revisited your memory palace months in the future
in general, you can use memory palaces to store any kind of information in different imagined locations
as you use memory palaces, you develop some tricks that help your mind remember better. here are a few I use:
be creative with your images. images should be detailed, exaggerated, funny, gross, colorful, etc. -- anything memorable -- this will make the thoughts easier to remember
images shouldn't be abstract ideas, but concrete. something like "email", is hard to visualize, instead think of "mailbox", "letter", or "a mailman wearing chainmail armor"
personifying objects is a handy tactic. e.g. instead of "celery" imagine a tall, lanky celery dude with arms, legs, and leaves for hair.
the best locations for memory palaces will be your home, workplace, family & friends houses, etc. if you write all locations you visit down, you are likely familiar dozens or hundreds of places
you can use levels from video games you're familiar with as memory palaces
you can come up with imaginary memory palace locations, e.g. an medieval castle with a giant drawbridge & gate out front where the path begins
now that you're familiar with memory palaces, I will give a few examples where you can use them:
When falling asleep:
For remembering what to do next: