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BLOKES System

 Contents..

Imagine that you need to remember 3 items in order - for example, on your walk, you want to handle some chores:

doctor's prescription

buy a train ticket

buy wrapping paper

Pause a moment to imagine each of those items: this is a visual memory lesson - so focus on images more than written words!

The BLOKES system is a way for you to use images of parts of your home or other familiar places as a mental storage place for items which you need to recall. If you need to recall 5 exam facts in order then you imagine each fact's image at the first 5 places of your home. Various names exist for this type of system:

Roman Room System

Memory Palace

System of Loci

Peg System


but, in this context, all these labels mean that you think of a familiar place and recall the object which you needed to memorise.

Here is an example system but you can decide for yourself which visual objects to use and in which order they occur; for instance, the order in which your eyes notice the items in your living room might dictate the order in which you list the items here:

The BLOKES system uses 60 familiar places arranged into 6 'rooms' which each contain 10 items:

Bathroom

Living room

Office

Kitchen

Entrance

Sleeping quarters


Note: Their first letters spell the acronym: 'BLOKES'.


Bathroom [B room]:

bath

wall tiles

shower partition

mirror cabinet

electric light

toilet

bin

mat

radiator

sink


Living Room [L Room]:

sofa

tv

hi-fi

loud speaker

coffee table

rug

pot plant

wooden chair

book shelf

painting / poster


Office [O Room]:

keyboard

monitor

filing cabinet

brown wooden cupboard

electric fan

leather armchair

wall clock

calendar chart

fire exit sign

line of lever arch files


Kitchen [K Room]:

washing machine

draining board

electric / gas hob

wash basket

mop

kettle

saucepan

food-mixer

kitchen table / dining work surface

smoke alarm


Entrance hall [E Room]:

Coat rack

Door mat

Umbrella rack

Shoe rack

Hat / Cap hanging up

Key hook

Powerpoint

Letter box

Phone / Phone entry system

Briefcase


Sleeping quarters [S Room]:

dressing table

chest of drawers

cuddly toy

pillow

laundry basket

wardrobe rail

portable tv

wall poster

slippers

toy / figurine / jewellery box


For your list of things to do on your walk, associate each chore with one of the places in sequence:

bath: in the bath tub, imagine your doctor's prescription

tiles: on the tiles, imagine the train ticket

shower partition: on the shower partition, imagine the wrapping paper

So, by visiting your well-known imaginary bathroom in its well known sequence of places, you can recall your chores in sequence!


Later, if you have a list of exam prompts to learn, you can imagine each exam image at one of the room places. You will revisit the room places in your well-learned sequence and thus recall your exam images in their correct sequence too.

As an exercise, you could extend the system to 100 items by inventing 4 other groups of 10 places. eg. 1. 10 places in your neighbourhood (even just a small area along a road), 2. 10 shops or 10 parts of local shops, 3. 10 places in your town or city, 4. 10 places in your local park or natural space.


The list of places which you travel through in a sequence does not need to be rooms. It just needs to be something that you can imagine and be able to visualise something beside it.

For instance, here are 50 sketched items which could be used as loci peg locations too:

Further reading about those 50 'prop' images

This way of storing facts in sequence by imagining them at a pre-memorised list of places is known as a peg system or a room system. I would say that a pre-memorised sequence of people is a peg system also.

Why only imagine one item or one story at a 'peg' location? There is clarity that way but it is not a hard rule; if you have the luxury of time, you can imagine more items at a peg location: a story relating to the facts needing recall can be extended; or you can have more items at the location which are not interconnected by a story: the time you spend revising allows you to remember that they are the items that belong at that place.

Some people combine the peg system approach with the story approach; so, at one memorised location, not just one item but several items are memorised because they occur in a single story which takes place at that peg location.