Memory Pack by Andi Bell
This post is an overview of Andi Bell’s Memory Pack, published in 2000.
I bought the Memory Pack because I saw some videos of Andi Bell and wanted to learn more about his techniques. Here are the videos:
The Memory Pack is out of print but I found a copy online. It consists of a 72 page book, some memory cards, a memory game, and a small beanbag.
The memory book has some interesting tips in it. It explains a two digit system for memorizing numbers that isn’t based on phonetics, but on different kinds of associations. For example, the number 06 is a die with six faces, 33 is an LP record, and 88 is a piano because pianos have 88 keys.
Most of my system for memorizing two digit numbers is phonetic, but I borrowed Andi Bell’s image for number 88 because I like having an image of a piano in my memory system and it fits well.
There are two sets of cards included: 100 cards for numbers between 00 and 99, and another set of cards for names and faces. Since I already have my own images, I didn’t use the number cards. I’ll probably use the names and faces cards for practice at some point.
One seemingly obvious, but very useful, tip that I got from the Memory Pack was that “whenever you try to retain to be recalled later, pay attention to detail all the time.” Some of the examples were also useful.
The Mnemonic Beanbag
The beanbag is a great idea. The idea of the beanbag is that people notice things that are out of place. To use the beanbag you think of something you have to do in the future, and then throw the beanbag across the room where you will stumble across it later. When you see the beanbag out of place, you will remember the thing that you have to do. Another example of the technique is thinking of something you have to do the next day while laying in bed about to fall asleep. You could throw a pen across the room, and when you saw the pen in the morning out of place it would remind you of that task when you woke up next morning.
I like Andi Bell’s example on memorizing history where a locus is assigned to each decade and mnemonic images for historic events are added to them. Example:
- Locus 1: 1000 – 1009 C.E.
- Locus 2: 1010 – 1019 C.E.
- Locus 3: 1020 – 1029 C.E.
One could keep adding multiple images to each locus to store multiple events for each decade.
Finding It Online
The Memory Pack is available online for under $20 USD. The pack doesn’t cover memorizing playing cards or alternate number systems like the person-action-object (PAO) system so I wouldn’t use it as the only source of information, but I think it would appeal to an enthusiastic beginner who wants to see multiple ways of doing things. I’m glad I bought it and I enjoyed reading it.