Improving Your Memory: The Count System

The Count System is one of the easiest mnemonic techniques to help you remember numbers. You simply turn a series of numbers into a phrase. Each word in the phrase is composed of a word that has a specific number of letters.

For example, the phrase “a rolling stone gathers no moss” maps out to be: 175724 because:

  • a = 1 letter
  • rolling = 7 letters
  • stone = 5 letters
  • gathers = 7 letters
  • no = 2 letters
  • moss = 4 letters

By the way, did you know that the Discovery Channel’s MythBusters proved that a rolling stone gathers no moss? This became the longest MythBusters experiment on record—over six months long. Check out episode #31 from 18 May 2005.

Here’s another example. The title of my book “Standing Naked in the Shower” maps out to be: 85236, my old zip code in Higley, AZ.

  • standing = 8 letters
  • naked = 5 letters
  • in = 2 letters
  • the = 3 letters
  • shower = 6 letters

Of course the real challenge with the Count System is to create a memorable phrase out of whatever numbers you need to memorize. However, if you don’t have a dictionary built into your brain, or can’t tell a synonym from a word that means the same thing, then you might want to try a different number-to-word system. In my next post, I’ll talk about my favorite number-to-word system, the Major System.

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