is copyright Michael Curtis 2010-2021

Story System


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!

In the next article, I will use an approach for memorising these items in order: a peg system; but in this article, the story method will be used:

If you can remember the first item (doctor's prescription) then you can imagine a story that involves the other two items; but not in any random order: the story needs to introduce those items in the same sequence as the list occusrs.

For example, I need to get my doctor's prescription and that involves buying a train ticket so that I can travel by train to see the doctor. I remember that it is the doctor's birthday; so I wrap the ticket in wrapping paper as an attempt at a birthday gift. If I can remember the bizarre story then I can remember the prescription, the train ticket and the wrapping paper.

Realising that a story is a way to remember a list of items, you might then believe that a good way to remember a huge list of facts (such as revision notes) is to imagine them occurring in sequence in one big story. This is more challenging than the 'peg system' approach which yuo will read about in the Blokes System article.

There is also the challenge that occurs when the fact that needs memorising is hard to visualise. Eg. the year 1793. It is hard to memorise! In this course, I present many ways in which hard-to-visualise items can be represented as images; they can then occur in a story or occur as a single item at a peg location.