What is a Mnemonic Device: Turn Right onto the Memory Lane!
Updated on December 4, 2023
4 min read

What is a Mnemonic Device: Turn Right onto the Memory Lane!

A mnemonic device is an instrument granting access to the brain’s natural ability to encode, store, and retrieve needed information. Instruments are memory techniques a person may utilize to enable a better encoding system in the long-term memory, which aids the recall of desired information.

Not a single day goes by when we do not squeeze our minds to retrieve data stored in there, somewhere, so we should make friends with mnemonic techniques that fit our needs. Whether we are scholars, working professionals, elders, children, or simply knowledge lovers. A way to easily reference and learn would be of tremendous benefit!

Even if we tend to forget where we placed our keys, which comes first – multiplication or division, the birth date of a dear person to us, and other memory-related things allow me to re-introduce some helpful pearls of memorization. Memory is a relatively newly-old problem, one, we might tend to ignore, or might we say – forget. Diving into the world of memory, we can embrace that changes to the way we encode and recall information have changed. Having a smartphone cannot be the smartest thing about us, so again, let’s enable the gift of memory we all possess.

It is of tremendous importance to regularly harness your mind and intellect. Memory and cognitive functions will probably wane if you do not train your brain. In the modern world full of data that surrounds us, being able to sort the information for its encoding efficiently is a critical skill. Although encouraging, activities for growing your brain power can also be somewhat confusing. But to have this keenness to learn more and take up mind challenges easily, one should explore available memory techniques and choose a mnemonic device that fits learning needs best. It also allows anyone to grasp complex issues and memorize any information quickly, whether it is a scientific fact, a new foreign language, or a grocery list. So get ready to hurdle your thinking barriers daily, as any cognitive decline is preventable.

Mnemonic Device: Understanding This Tool

A mnemonic device is a thinking aid and well-designed tool for transforming complex information into something simpler to encode and retrieve. And if it sounds quite simple, in reality, it requires training and intense concentration, focusing one’s mental effort toward sharpening the mind and renewing memory power. While everyone strives for self-improvement, some individuals lean more toward more straightforward strategies and quickly become frustrated without achieving fast results. Humans want to gain the desired level of performance and productiveness with minimal time and effort. However, to stave off signs of mental decline, writing inspirational quotes to act will not be enough.

To be able to improve memory, there is no need to leap forward quickly. Consistency and continuity are two critical ingredients for re-framing your thinking, reinforcing your attention, and fortifying your memory to defend it from inaccuracies and incorrect recall of data. Thus, exploring the mnemonic definition and possible memorization patterns, your responsibility is to compose a workable tactic that comprises multiple brain-based exercises.  Recognizing your learning styles, it is pivotal to be geared towards not a temporary advancement but towards long-lasting mental benefits. Remember, your brain must be intellectually fed day by day, however, with a chance to pause and refresh.

Mnemonic Device Examples: Which One To Choose?

Mind journey through palaces

The Method of Loci, as an all-encompassing memory tactic, is something you should definitely try. Of course, such phenomenal ability to design an endless amount of palaces by Sherlock is probably partly artistic fiction. However, reproduction of scenes and projecting oneself in some types of crises, scenarios, and events are possible if practicing this method. Moreover, those who participate in the memory world championship cannot even imagine their training session without mind palaces which allow the mind to wander through the darker recesses of our memory. Let’s briefly unlock the algorithm of its creation. Building your palace is the first step in the algorithm of actions. Palace is a certain place, route, room, or object where you will “download data” and everything you need to remember. For exercising, try your room. Close your eyes and imagine it in detail. Select all individual features to connect information with them.

Route planning is the next action. If you strive to remember certain facts where the sequence does not matter, you can safely skip this point and move to the next one. If the sequence is paramount (e.g. you have to memorize European countries by area and size or the chronology of some historical events), think over the route where you will mentally walk. In the example with the room, you can move clockwise, starting your journey from the window, and then imagine everything that comes your way ( chairs, paintings, flowers.etc.).

And finally, you have to determine the places where your memories will be stored. It is definitely one of the most versatile mnemonic device examples, as it can be applied for dealing with almost anything, for example, encoding arrays in C programming, learning the correct sequence of heart surgery or human anatomy, or memorizing shopping lists. Thus, if you need to buy bananas and chocolate to cook tasty muffins, in order not to forget about these items, you can put them on your nightstand or in the flowerpot. Do not be afraid of bold locations. The more absurd your palaces are, the easier it will be to remember them, and such memories definitely will not be faded.


Grouping information into easy-to-remember chunks makes your brain capacity limitless.  It is a proven way to keep in mind daily information, such as the telephone number of close people (3-4-1-4-3-2-1 can be encoded as 341-4321). Long monotonous texts also can be chunked. Is it hard for your to hold a long speech, and are you terrified because there is a risk that you may forget something important while speaking in front of a big crowd? Don’t panic — just chunk it and process it piece by piece for its successful retrieval even in the most stressful situations. So if you wonder how politicians can give long speeches without prompts and actors flawlessly remember long lines, ask yourself if they engaged in chunking.  

Train your brain to associate

The most productive way to memorize something is to associate. Creating vivid images and connecting them with something we must put into long-term storage will break all the limits of our memory. If you are afflicted with the issue of memorizing the names of people, you know how embarrassing and awkward the situation can be. But you can train your brain to be ready to associate names with well-familiar things or objects. For example, it can be your favorite perfume, brands, dishes, etc. Make sure the information is comfortable for you. Don’t choose bewildering or perplexing things for your future paired associations, as thus, you will be problematized even more. However, strong associations endorse faster and fuss-free recall. New concepts related to well-known information will firmly stick to your memory. And since association exercises don’t impose any strict rules and principles, you can launch your imagination and memorize almost anything, from the names of all US presidents to the periodic table elements.

Acronyms and acrostics: Can you come up with your own?

Abbreviations are shorter versions of longer phrases, lists of vocabulary, names of organizations, etc. Acronyms are an abbreviation example and a type of well-recognized mnemonic device. For making English Language Arts shorter, you can use the ELA acronym. Roy G. Biv is a quite well-known acrostic for ensuring kids remember the colors of the rainbow since each first letter corresponds to a color name. Unlike a set of seven colors, the fun and catchy phrase will be easier to encode and keep in memory longer. And let’s be fair, the colors of the rainbow are something that even adults may forget. There is a phrase to memorize planets. It is called the planetary mnemonic technique. “Every Good Boy Does Fine” phrase allows learners to grab the names of musical notes. Myriads of acronyms have already been invented. But that doesn’t mean you can’t invent your own unique abbreviations. Just activate imagination and creativity, and new short forms for information that must be memorized will appear.

Songs and rhymes

Practically, all methods of mnemonics, in one way or another, trigger our associative type of memory. It’s all about reshaping the type of information. Something like converting PDF files to DOC or mp3 files to mp4 for more convenience of use. For example, instead of remembering numbers, you mask them as images, forcing your brain to remember them. The main task is to “encrypt” information in such a way as to facilitate its memorization, recall, and reproduction. If you are a music lover, then encoding details with the help of songs will be an extremely engrossing mnemonic device. It is about acoustic encoding. The simplest example is how children can learn the alphabet through a song.

Ways to use devices and techniques

Significant mind growth and improvement are only possible with the right mnemonic device, as well as a deep understanding of its mechanism of sorting, associating, or encoding. Probably, for memorizing all countries of the South American continent, acronyms are appropriate. It is also will be a smart idea to connect countries with objects in your virtual palace, while associations are perfect for grasping some facts about the human body. The key ingredient to success is constant repetition and information reproduction, no matter whether it is a mind map or chunks.

Mnemonic devices and memorization

Memory leaks are something that anyone might be facing with time. However, there are ways to release your natural brain potential. Learning how to memorize fast will definitely cement understanding of even the most difficult topics. Fueling your brain with energy and health is possible with methods of visualization, virtual walking through the recesses of one’s mind, or rhyming.


There is no more effective way of memorizing than the palace of mind.

What is an example of a mnemonic device in psychology?

Our brain has a particular memorization pattern. You can incorporate multiple techniques for aiding your memory power and even avoiding premature brain aging.

What is the difference between mnemonic and acronyms?

One of the most useful techniques for encoding and recalling data is the creation of acronyms. It is a type of mnemonic.  

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