The Loci Technique for memory enhancement

3 min readMar 28, 2022

The major problem with learning we deal with is the lack of retention. We consume mountains of information and yet when it comes to performing or reproducing what we have learned, our memory fails us. Now, there are several memory tips and tricks which may help in sharpening our long-term memory. Methods such as using mnemonics, using flashcards, making jingles, and rhymes are simple examples that assist in improving memory.

Read about Flashcards and how to use them.

An example of a very effective memory technique would be the Loci Technique. This is a very popular technique, much popularised through television series like Sherlock, wherein the titular character uses it for superior recall. Although the technique may seem dramatised and difficult when seen on screens, it is quite an easy method to follow.

The word ‘loci’ means location or place in Latin. This technique is named so because it entails placing each object that is to be remembered in a particular location. The individual embarks on an imaginary journey on which they place these objects in distinct places so that they can be easily remembered.

  1. Your Memory Journey

Essentially, it requires that the individual visualise the particular place they are going for a journey. The place can be as small as a room or as big as an entire floor of a building. What is important here is to choose a place where you are comfortable, a place you are well-versed with. Good examples of places would be your room, your classroom, or even your favourite cafe where you spend a lot of time. It is essential to remember the layout of these places distinctly, where the door is or how the furniture is arranged.

Slowly, as you proceed further with the technique, you can build a whole journey. Let’s say from your room to your living room to your dining room and so on. You list down the rooms; let’s take, for example, all the rooms in your house you wish to visit on this journey methodically. Now, every time you go on this memory journey, you will visit these rooms in the same order to maintain uniformity.

2. Memorise

The next step involves memorising the items which are to be recalled. It can be a simple grocery list or a simple list of words, which is preferred at the beginning of your practice. Once again, this list of items must be memorised very methodically and following a particular order.

If there are ten items on that list, the items must be memorised in order. The next step is placing these items in your chosen place of the memory journey. For example, let’s say the first item on your list is a banana. You may place the banana on the bed. To remember it better, you may visualise it as a big banana lying down on your bed. Then, you place the next item elsewhere in the room and so on.

Here is another technique to make learning easier: The Feynman Technique

3. Recall

This is the last step of the technique. If you have memorised the items, then the remaining work is retracing your route through your memory journey.

With each item placed in a particular location in your memory space, you would be able to visualise your list in order. This takes practice and a calm mind.

This memory technique is particularly useful in remembering lists, although it can be extended to other information. So, declutter your mind, and step by step, try to visualise this entire memory journey.

It is also a fun and personalised way of recalling things, so begin your memory journey now!

-Anushka Das, content writer




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