Top Techniques to Remember Numbers or Digits

Top Techniques to Remember Numbers or Digits

April 17, 2012  |  Memory Techniques

Numbers that are involved in almost everything we do throughout the day. We’re constantly retrieving and recalling numbers or digits. You need to be able to remember numbers when you dial the telephone, when you use passwords for your ATM, when you compute expenses, when you count, and so much more. Dealing with numbers can be easy or difficult, and you may either love or hate numbers, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re a part of your life.

To cope with today’s hectic lifestyle, we all need to remember lots of numbers, and if we don’t, often we end up disorganized and confused. In general, numbers and digits may be hard to remember because they are abstract. For instance, if you think “paper” you can instantly visualize a sheet or a ream of paper. But if you think “1256” you’ll probably have a hard time visualizing that number, and because visualization is one of the best ways to link memories, you’ll probably also have difficulty in assigning it to memory.

How to improve memory for numbers and recall? That’s a question many people ask themselves. Interestingly, it may not be as difficult as you may initially think. That’s because there are several memory techniques that you can employ strategically to do to improve your memory for numbers. Here are some of those techniques:

Use your senses

Visual and auditory senses can be of help. For instance, “2689” can be easier to retain in your memory if you say it out loud as “twenty-six eighty-nine.” Breaking the number down into smaller units makes it easier to remember, and bringing in your voice and your ears will help create memory links. You can also visualize the number by writing it down several times; again, bringing in the act of writing will help your brain store the memory firmly. It will also help to create a vivid image of the number  in your mind to facilitate better memory retention.

Associate the number with other things or ideas

You can associate “2689” to an address, zip code, or a date. You might think of “26” as your age and “89” as your father’s age. You can also associate the numbers with personal experiences and memories. If those experiences are hard to forget, the number will be as well.

Convert number into words

Of the three memory techniques described here, this one may require more thought and effort. That’s because you will have to transform or translate numbers into words. Some people assign the numbers on the telephone dial to letters. You may have your own methods that work better for you. If you assign A=1, B=2, and so on, the number ‘521’ can be translated into ‘EBA,’ which in turn can be translated into ‘Everybody Bought Apples.  Because this is a memorable phrase, you’ll be able to remember the number, too.

If you’d like to find more information on how to improve memory, you might consider investing in memory software. One recommended system is the Ultimate Memory because it contains many other memory techniques that will help you remember numbers and digits more effectively and easily.

About the author

ABDERISAK ADAM is an author, blog writer and a PhD candidate in the institution of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. He is also the owner and webmaster of www.study-habits.com, a website dedicated to the discussion of study techniques in the context of higher education. Adam is the author of a number of publications including 'The Study Guide PRO'. You can connect with him through Google+, Linkedin or by submitting a form.


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