Published: Thu, 12 Oct 2017
The Journey Method
When it comes to a highly effective, powerful, and moderately easy memorisation technique to use, the journey method is hard to beat.
Here we will teach you to use this technique yourself to quickly achieve impressive results.
The journey method is just how it sounds, as it relies on imaging a journey in order to store and quickly recall memories.
Like the linking method discussed before, the journey method requires imagination and association to make it work – so we recommend you read our guides on those before you try the journey method.
- The technique starts by you selecting a journey that is very familiar to you, such as the trip to work, school or a local shop. You need to know this journey very well, so that you already remember all the different parts of it.
- When you have this journey in your mind, you need to identify landmarks at different stages of the journey. These should be particular distinct sights that stand out to you as you go along the route – a few examples could be interesting buildings, the houses of people you know, certain features like a big tree, a fountain or a park.
- These familiar landmarks are the important steps that you will use to create strong mental images that you can easily recall.
- The next step is to attach the items or concepts you want to remember to these landmarks. This uses association and imagination. You need to change the mental pictures of the landmarks so that when you think of your journey, you can see each of the concepts you need to remember as you pass by each landmark.
- For abstract concepts, such as academic theories, you will need to think of an object, word or person that represents that concept, and then use this to associate with the landmark.
- To help you make the associations between the landmarks and the things you want to remember, it can be helpful to include some type of interaction.
As an example:
If you are trying to remember the components of the GDP function for a macroeconomics exam, C + I + G + X – M. Then you can use the journey method to relate each different part to the landmarks in your journey.
G represents Government spending, so if there is a shop in your journey then you could imagine seeing the Prime Minister spending money in the shop. For M, Imports, you could imagine a plane flying past and dropping a cargo container on top of one of your landmarks. Because the Cargo container would damage the thing it was dropped on, you can remember that it has a negative impact, and so is a deduction in the GDP function. You could even create links between these by imaging that the plane was delivering the items that the Prime Minister had ordered in the shop.
By building up these associations and links you will have more information that can prompt you to recall the different parts. The end result is that all the parts will be coded into your journey and you should find it easier to remember them all by imagining all the different parts of your journey. You can use different journeys for different sets of information you need to remember, and you can also start coding the information into your journey from any point along the route, not just the start. However, you should always try to keep the landmarks in your journey in the same order, so that you can remember them more effectively. Having a few different journeys in mind that you can use will help to stop you mixing up things by having too much different information associated with the same landmark.
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