Eleven memory tricks you should be using every freaking day

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Have you ever run into an old friend or found a dusty box of toys in your parents' attic that provoked hidden memories you forgot you even had?

The human brain is a complex and labyrinthian database and your standard, on-the-fly methods of memorization are akin to buying a $3,000 MacBook and using it to exclusively play Minesweeper. Unlocking the hidden potential in your mind isn't as simple as taking a limitless pill, despite what Bradley Cooper will tell you, but these 11 methods will help jump-start your memory, improve your cognitive retention, and hopefully make sure you never forget that guy in accounting's name ever again. Is it Don? Maybe Dan. I'll just call him "dude." It's way too late to ask.

1. Music makes remembering easier

Isn't it weird that you could remember every word of "The Real Slim Shady" when you were 11, but have trouble memorizing a four item grocery list? Using music (not LISTENING TO MUSIC, but incorporating knowledge into song) is one of the most applicable ways to get knowledge to stick to the gooey insides of your brain. Think of all the little ditties you learned in grade school that you can still belt out. How many days does April have? You know, don't you.

How it can work for you: Putting your grocery list to the tune of "Billy Jean" will make sure you leave with everything you need. "...she said that I am the one, that needs to pick up Capri Sun."

2. Create a "palace" for your memories

Considered an advanced form of memorization, the Method of Loci has you create a "palace of memories," by visualizing a mental space, like a house, where each room contains a nugget of knowledge. By "walking through" the house, you can "collect," and therefore, recall, items you need to memorize. Use your own home, or a place you know exceedingly well, and "store" the items/info you need to remember in each room. It's all about leaning on and exploiting spatial memory, where your brain devotes a large portion of power.

How it can work for you: Your friend asked you to bring beer, tupperware, ketchup, and Monopoly to his party. Using this method, you visualize your own home, with the items placed strategically throughout. Inside your front door, the floor is drenched with beer. When you reach the kitchen, there is tupperware overflowing from your sink. In your bathroom, someone replaced the soap with ketchup. Then, when we get to your bedroom, your girlfriend is playing Monopoly in bed. This tour of memories, a story or sorts, will make it more difficult to forget something due to the vivid, easily relatable cues it brings to the surface.

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