How to Improve Your Memory

Story System Strategies

A close cousin to the link method is the story system, in which you link the items you want to remember in a story. Using our previous grocery list, you could create a story like this: The cabbage picked up a jar of pickles to throw at the potato, who slipped in a puddle of orange juice and landed on a mattress made of bread.

You can see that the story system, unlike the link system, links all of the items in an integrated narrative. This can make it much easier for you to remember all of the items, since the items occur in a logical framework instead of in an unrelated association of pairs. On the other hand, it takes some time and creativity to weave together a story that incorporates all the items in a list. Some people simply aren't good at making up stories, and even those who are may find it difficult if the list has more than a few items, because the story becomes rather complex quite quickly. In addition, like the link system, the story system makes it difficult to recall items out of sequence.


On the next page, learn about the method of loci, one of the oldest memory aids and favorite of ancient thinkers such as Cicero.

To learn more about the various aspects of memory, see: