PAO Example

This is a PAO system reported to be used by one of my students. I think you may find it helpful. I preserve the language of the student and some of his mistakes. Do not hesitate to improve.

I have created a distinct PAO system for the modern era, which I refer to as the millennium PAO system. Unlike the conventional 2-digit method, my system utilizes 3-digit representations for both individuals and objects. This approach provides a higher level of detail and distinction in memory associations.

To craft this system, I dedicated considerable effort to curating a comprehensive roster of 1,000 distinct individuals. These people have been intelligently grouped into coherent categories, resulting in characters that are easy to envision. My focus was on ensuring that the connections between individuals and their associated objects remain logical and intuitive.

Within my framework, I adhere to a 2-digit PAO structure, where each person corresponds to a specific action and interacts with a designated object. This synergy creates memorable associations that enhance the effectiveness of the system.

For instance, let’s consider the number 730 in my millennium PAO system:

  • The action assigned to the digit 73 is “racing.”
  • The object linked to the digit 30 is “roses.”

Now, the person associated with 730 is Rehana Brooke. To remember this, I imagine Rehana Brooke engaging in a “racing” activity, zooming into a pile of “roses.” This forms a standard PAO image that aligns with the memory cues I’ve established.

PAO Table Creation

Let’s say the number is 374:

  1. Split the number: Split the 3-digit number into the first two digits (37) and the last digit (4).
  2. Use the Major System: Convert the two-digit numbers into images using the Major System. In this case, 37 could be “clown” (C/K for 3 and L for 7).
  3. Access the “Person” table: Based on your practice, “clown” might correspond to a specific person in your memory palace, like Albert Einstein.
  4. Access the “Action” table: The last digit determines the action. Here, 4 could be “playing” (B/P for 4).
  5. Access the “Object” table: The action in conjunction with the person might give you the object. For example, “Albert Einstein playing” could lead you to “violin” in your mind.

Combine them: Finally, you visualize the image: of Albert Einstein playing the violin. This image helps you recall the original number 374.

Some General PAO Example

1. Complex Historical Event:

Event: The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, a tense standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union over the placement of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba.


  • Cuba:Cuban musician (represents Cuba) playing the conga (drum, co referencing 1st digit of 62)
  • Missile:Missile launching from a tank (represents “missile” and rhymes with “tank”, 2nd digit)
  • Crisis:fire engine (represents “crisis”) rushing to put out a fire shaped like a question mark (represents the uncertainty of the situation, “6” resembles a question mark)

Visualization: A Cuban musician playing the conga drum while a missile launches from a tank. A fire engine rushes towards a fire shaped like a question mark.

2. Multi-Part Scientific Process:

Process: The water cycle, which involves evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.


  • Evaporation:magician (represents transformation) making water disappear (evaporation) into a hat (represents the atmosphere, 1st digit)
  • Condensation:Tiny water droplets condensing (2nd digit) on a cloud (represents condensation)
  • Precipitation:Rain pouring (represents precipitation) from a cloud (3rd digit) back to the ground

Visualization: A magician makes water disappear into a hat. Tiny water droplets form on a cloud. Rain pours down from the cloud.

3. Character with Complex Traits:

Character: Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist from “The Hunger Games” trilogy. She is skilled in archery, fiercely independent, and driven by her love for family.


  • Katniss:cat (represents “Kat”) shooting an arrow (represents “Niss” and her archery skills, 1st & 2nd digits)
  • Everdeen:A young woman (Everdeen) wearing a green shirt (represents “green” for her connection to nature, 3rd digit)
  • Fiercely Independent:A lone wolf standing on a mountaintop (represents her independence and strong will)

Visualization: A cat shoots an arrow. A young woman in a green shirt stands on a mountaintop next to a lone wolf.

4. Lengthy Daily Routine:

Routine: Wake up at 7:00 AM, exercise for 30 minutes, shower, eat breakfast, and head to work by 8:30 AM.


  • 7:Seven Dwarfs (7) waking up with an alarm clock (represents wake-up time)
  • 0:A perfect circle (represents “0” and completion of exercise) after 30 jumps (represents exercise duration)
  • Shower:A showerhead spraying water (represents shower) with seven (represents shower duration) bubbles (bubbles represent time units)
  • Eat:A person eating (represents eating) breakfast with four (represents breakfast duration) eggs (eggs represent time units)
  • 8:bus (represents work) leaving at thirty (represents departure time, “3” from 8:30) past eight (represents the hour)

Visualization: Seven Dwarfs wake up to an alarm clock. A person completes 30 jumps and forms a perfect circle. A showerhead sprays seven bubbles. A person eats four eggs. A bus leaves at 30 past eight.

Limitations of the PAO System:

While the PAO system offers a valuable tool for remembering information, it’s important to acknowledge its limitations:

1. Time and Effort Investment:

  • Creating and memorizing PAOs:Requires significant time and effort, especially for extensive information.
  • Maintaining a PAO dictionary:Demands ongoing effort to update and expand as needed. This can become burdensome for individuals with limited time or memory capacity.

2. Risk of Errors and Confusion:

  • Linking the same person, action, or object to multiple digits can lead to incorrect encoding and inaccurate recall.
  • The more information to encode, the more complex and intricate the visualizations become, increasing the likelihood of errors or confusion during recall.

3. Individual and Cultural Variability:

  • The effectiveness of the PAO system can vary depending on cultural background. Visualizations may hold different meanings or lack relatability for individuals from different cultures.
  • Individual preferences and experiences can influence the effectiveness of specific PAOs. What works well for one person might not resonate with another.

4. Ongoing Maintenance and Adaptation:

  • Maintaining and updating a PAO dictionary is an ongoing process.
  • As knowledge expands, individuals need to adapt their existing PAOs or create new ones, adding to the maintenance burden.

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