Linking markers

It is not enough to remember details, it is very important to connect the details with each other. There are several  levels of linking markers.  We start from examples of low-level visualization and related linking, and end with high-level visualization and related linking of markers. We start from creating short and simple stories, build up associations and complex visualization, and end up with creation of whole virtual words adapted to retention for hundreds and thousands of details.


How do I link makers?

Anthony Dillon 

The impression i am getting is that i have to read the text, choose out unusual words that stand out and turn them into images since that is what the brain likes the most and then go back and turn those images into a story or do i try to force myself to create the story at the same time?

Nathan M 

I can create markers pretty well now, still struggling in choosing what parts now and then. My problem is linking them together. I see you said the story method is too long to connect markers together effectively for speed reading but I can’t seem to find where you explain how you should link them.


You do a sort of a story, but one that does not have to make sense. More of a comics, then a story. You can see the flow visually, but you cannot actually vocalize the story behind it.

Most authors recommend placing the objects in familiar environment, the loci or memory palace method. This way you can imagine a huge house or museum, and then you memorize your itinerary and the objects you see. I could not personally use it, since I am challenged this way (I cannot find food in my own refrigerator). So I developed my own strategies.

When I was training Anna asked me to create an image per page, per paragraph, per sentence, per detail I want to remember and to draw these images on a page near the titles I give to the article, the sections, the paragraphs etc. Eventually I stopped drawing, but the brain continued marker generation.

The simplest way to link objects, is to create some sort of funny physical interactions between them, I call it the “three stooges” style. It includes a lot of breaking-through, sitting-on, running-into etc, where you get a chance to memorize parts of objects meeting each other in various points. This is the method I initially used. It allows to create links very fast with no effort, but the resulting imagery very soon looses all uniqueness.

The method I recommend to the readers/students of the course I call “cartoon” or “storyboarding”.  You start with creating the general mood of the story-book, during the preparation stage. Usually I go with some sort of ‘dark’ setting, maybe steampunk or iron men environment. Then I start creating images one by one, giving each section/paragraph an image. Each detail of the paragraph is carefully planted on various active personages and the setting. Larger parts of content get more space than the smaller ones. Various sections are then link by some sort of sinister plot. Maybe hugging bears or sitcoms are more suitable for your style. The storyboard method also boosts your creativity and encourages unique markers.

The third method I use I call “hyperlinking”. It is inspired by website design. You can enjoy something similar on TV big history series. The method uses very simple markers but very complex links between them, where most of the information is carried by links. Using this method I can learn whole disciplines and areas of knowledge, but I would not use it for a single article.


The impression i am getting is that i have to read the text, choose out unusual words that stand out and turn them into images since that is what the brain likes the most and then go back and turn those images into a story or do i try to force myself to create the story at the same time?

Your brain should create markers – images, which should in turn be related to each other like comics or web site etc. When I was training I was asked to create an image per page, per paragraph, per sentence, per detail I want to remember and to draw these images on a page near the titles I give to the article, the sections, the paragraphs etc. Eventually I stopped drawing, but the brain continued marker generation.

Is creating a story effective? Does it count as markers?

For the game you have posted for this chaper I do the following. I feel its not quite what you suggest but find it really hard to make markers for the objects in the game using one to two words.

My example… (the BOLD being the words to remember)

I enter my kitchen, step on the floor covered in 10c COINS, I see a giant PINEAPPLE chopping up rotten TOMATOES, I hear this horrible yelping midget DOG spot a LEMON and throw it to shut it up but it breaks the Japanese porcelain FIGURINE which was hopping around the lounge like a RABBIT. etc etc…

is that sort of thing useful or is it too much work, should really be condensing it down? I have used this technique to memorize lists and lists of stuff in previous attempts at improving memory, but I am not sure if that will work for what we are doing here.


  • There are many methods for remembering stuff. The story method is very useful if you have very high density of information, however it is a bit slow. Try actually visualizing stuff to remove vocalization and improve speed of learning. For example, I often create visualized comics, e.g. quickly changing chains of images that have certain story behind them.

  • As Dr. Gold mentioned, it is very effective, as you said it works well for lists and things you have to remember. However for reading it will indeed prove way too slow. Still, if you have to remember a lecture and go on stage, this is a great way to remember the key points. In fact, one of the Ted talks we link to discusses this exact technique.

  • OK cool, I guess my thoughts then are that I can create images for the different things such as dart board, white cat, etc, good markers for them, but without that story i was creating I find it difficult to link them all together enough that one leads to the other.

    If I can clarify the comic idea, that would be taking a marker say for the dart board which for me would be a mate playing darts in my garage and him losing constantly and the dispair in his voice, taking that image and giving it a link to say a white dog which my marker would be my pet dog max. I can link these two together as I lived with my mate before but do i need to do that extra link? Is just the two markers I have described enough linkage to keep them all in the mind?

    Thanks again.

  • Always link, if you have time make more than one link. The links allow navigation between markers, like between pages on a website.


    Homework game, how to better use markers with the game?

    I played the game and made markers for each img. This worked well until lvl 3. I felt this problem was coming from not having a connection between the clusters of images. They were all standalone for me.

    So I made a story following chronologically to img’s and markers to each img. Example a ‘can’, ‘bowling pin’ and ‘baseball glove’ becomes: I saw a can and put a bowling pin in it, and then I proceeded to throw it with my baseball gloved hand. This worked perfectly without a single mistake from lvl 3 to lvl 10, took me 30 min’s to do so.

    I actually realized/wondered halfway (lvl6) that I was actually using modified version of the memory palace. I feel that it’s a good way for totally unconnected information. This story technique is ineffective for logical information. With practice I hope I can use place markers and logically connect them to the big picture.

    But with the unconnected images in this game how I am supposed to do that? Should I make up a big concept/marker to place all the Images with markers in? Like I make individual markers for ‘can’, ‘bowling pin’ and ‘baseball glove’ then connect those markers with my image ofa standard American dad in a movie who eats ‘can’ food and plays ‘bowling’ and ‘plays throw ball’?

    Dr. Lev Gold 

    Depending on level of visualization you will get different results.

    Low-level visualization: Put a pin into the can and then put the glove on the pin. Notice that putting the glove on the pin like you would put it on a hand is fun to visualize and creative, so easier to remember.

    Middle-level visualization: Smash the can between the pin and the glove. Here all 3 object interact with each other very graphically and in physical vicinity. Notice that taking one element out of the picture destroys the connection, therefore the connection is strong.

    High-level visualization: You are a knight, with a can on your head, a pin as a sword and the glove on the hand holding the pin. Now each of the objects can interact with anything in the landscape around you and each other in multiple ways.

    Andrew Blake 

    Ooo awesome. I think I get it.

    So Low-level is simply objects 1-2-3-4.. in order, basically the way I did it.

    Middle-level is connecting multiple markers together in a cluster 3-3-3 so on.

    High-level is me being the starting point (Knight), my knightness I defined by a few items in my possession. I’d then use my items to interact with other object clusters. Like fighting a cat with sunglasses and a rose behind his ear my pin.

    Hmm I notice there is multiple ways I can proceed if I visualize myself as a Knight. The most logical way as I see it is to connect an individual story to each of my possessions. So my markers would branch out like a tree. Me the Knight as the trunk of the tree and my possessions as big branches. From my big branches would extend small branches of marker clusters. That way it would be a clear way to move around the markers without messing up. I imagine this would be a strong and fast, but limited in speed. Because I don’t use my possessions together.

    There is another way that might be faster. But I wonder if this is harder to do. Instead of making branches, I’d make the entire environment in one go. Me as the knight and with my possessions. I would then interact with a cluster of items, each item having a cluster of items. Example: I’d fight a evil army. Evil cat, Evil Butterfly and Evil Lemon. The evil Butterfly would be carrying a weapon! An umbrella with a tomato on the end. So on.

    When I think more about it. The latter I feel is what you meant by High-level visualization. The first I am limiting myself again to the system of markers. Well, actually in all fairness both systems are good imo. The effectiveness depending on what you try to remember. Same at the different techniques the memory champion contests use. As we are trying to learn markers for remembering details in this course. I should go with the latter method?

    Dr. Lev Gold 

    High level visualization may involve remembering hundreds or thousands of detail in the correct order by generating a whole virtual world. Typically it is used for remembering very complex stuff with 100% retention level. The complexity of visualization required to remember thousands of details may be compared with creating world of warcraft game from scratch.

    Linking markers

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2 Replies to “Linking markers”

  1. I would love to know more about hyperlinking! When you say that the links carry the bulk of the information, what do you mean? Could you give me an example? Thanks!

    1. This is a great question!
      I am about to issue a number of articles that relate to the material of the advanced course, and some of them will deal with various linking methods and data structures.
      In addition, we are starting to organize a workbook with various examples and exercises. This is a tedious job, and will take us several months to complete. Stay tuned 🙂

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