Useful strategy resources


Find out how well you remember faces & names compared to other people, and do your bit for research at the same time! Washington University has put their 10-minute test online to get a wide sample of people. (You can find out more at Futurity)

A new game for those of you with iPhones: Memneon. The jury's out on whether it would actually help you improve your attention (see my recent news item on the type of game that does in fact seem to help working memory), but you might find it a fun way of passing the time -- and depending on what your problem is, it's always possible you find it helps you! I'd love to hear from you if it does.


Information on mnemonics and their applications

Information on mnemonic techniques from the University of Amsterdam Psychology Dept

List of links to mnemonic articles

List-learning strategies:

Method of loci

Pegword method

Link method

Story method

Keyword method


Verbal mnemonics:

Coding mnemonic

a slightly different variant on the usual technique:

Examples of pseudonumerology:

American Presidents
Periodic Table
Geological Timescale

First-letter mnemonic

Remarkable marbles has examples of a variant on acrostics that construct a mnemonic phrase or sentence using initial sounds rather than letters. There's also a phonetic mnemonic generator to help you come up with them.

maths and science mnemonics

medical mnemonics


The Art of Memory [a German site]

Visual learning techniques


StudyBlue is a free application that allows you to make flash cards and holds them in the cloud for you to access anywhere. it can also be synced with Evernote.[flashcard-type software] [flashcard software]



Getting organized

Habitica is a free habit building and productivity app that turns your to-do list into a game. Rewards and punishments motivate you and you can compete with friends and join interest groups who'll help you achieve your goals.

Todoist is an online productivity app, and the basic version, which will satisfy most readers, is free. It aims to help you manage your projects, by forcing you to think about the tasks and subtasks, deadlines and priorities. Then it will help you track them.

Some more “to-do” apps: Nozbe, Nirvana, and Toodledo, and WorkFlowy (“To call WorkFlowy a list-making app undersells its surprising versatility”)

FastCo discusses a new app that supposedly will help you 'tame' your email: Mailbox

Those wanting some guidance in apps that help you remember your ‘to-do’ items, might like to check out this New York Times article.

Here’s another web app aimed at helping you cope with the information deluge: Miitla (Mind It Later), which allows you to save interesting pages or items and return to them later. The useful aspect is that you can create categories and annotate items to remind yourself why it was worthy of saving. Of course, I can do all that by simply bookmarking, given my bookmarks are organized into folders and I can tag each bookmark, and that is essentially what this app is — a new bookmarking tool that many may find easier to use.

Here’s an information management tool. Now that I’m the proud owner of a Kindle, I was delighted to find a widget (dotEPUB) that enables me to very easily turn a long web article into something I can read on my Kindle. You can also make it so it turns articles to ePub format, which you can read on other devices such as the iPad.

If you’re wondering about getting some digital help with remembering, the New York Times have an article on note-taking apps

TidyLists is a free and simple to-do application for managing your to-do lists.

SpiderScribe is an online brainstorming and mind-mapping tool that lets you organize your ideas by connecting notes, files, calendar events, in free-form maps. You can also collaborate and share those maps online. It's in beta at the moment.

Thoughtboxes seems to be aiming to do both: "Thoughtboxes gives you the simplicity and structure of lists with the flexibility of mind maps." It offers itself as providing the means to both brainstorm ideas and keep track of tasks.

Strike is a game-type app to help people get through their "to-do" lists.

Diigo is particularly for gathering information on the web. It enables you to highlight and annotate pages on the web, share them on multiple devices, share them with other people.

Evernote basically helps you take notes, tag them, and organize them. Scott McLemee, who writes at InsideHigherEd, has a nice article on what you can do with it at. But it's not just of use to academics and researchers; read a story about how a person with TBI uses Evernote to help him cope with short-term memory loss.

I was thrilled to hear about Readability (from David Pogue's great Technology column in the New York Times). A very useful tool to enhance your web browsing experience, it picks out the content of a page (removing ads -- my particular hate is reserved for those awful ads showing terrible teeth; I will leave a page rather than face them!) and makes it more readable. You can specify the size of the font, the width of the column, the look. The beauty of it is that you just have it as an icon on your toolbar, which you can click to turn any page you don't like into a "Readable" format; most of the time you probably won't need it -- but it's there when you do.

Tests and puzzles

Think like a Computer! A Guide to Number Sequence Puzzles