Categorized PAO

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
#1 10 February, 2017 - 17:21
Joined: 2 weeks 6 days ago

Categorized PAO

I’m in the process of memorizing my first complete 0-99 PAO list and the way I’m building and memorizing seem to be a bit off the beaten path so I figured I’d post here and maybe it’ll help someone else also. This may get a bit lengthy but I’ll try and be as succinct as possible.

I tried a few times building a list using Dominic and Major methods but had trouble coming up with people or good words for each letter combo. I was shoehorning various things in that KINDA worked but were a bit of a stretch. Wasn’t happy with it.

What I settled on was a categorized PAO list. I have 110 numbers, 0-9 and 00-99. 0-9 people are:
0 - Woody (Toy Story)
1 - Snow White
2 - Harry Potter
3 - Buffy (the vampire slayer)
4 - Wolverine
5 - Fat Amy (from Pitch Perfect)
6 - Ronald Reagan
7 - Julia Roberts
8 - Thomas Edison
9 - Waitress

That’s my catalog of sorts. 00 - 09 are all Pixar characters, 10-19 Disney and so on. 60s are all politicians and world leaders, 70s are actors, 80s historical figures and 90s are professions (astronaut, fireman, judge, etc.)

You may also notice that all the evens are men and odds are female, that is consistent through the entire system. Not being constrained by the number - letter combo made it much easier to come up with 5-6 men/women for each category that had an easily memorable action - object.

Once I had the list of men and women for each category I ordered each sex-category (roughly) by age, or at least the age of the image I was using of them. So the 5 women in order for each category youngest to oldest, same for the men. Then just put them with whatever number they fell into. The 0-9 above are kind of the most iconic people for each category.

So what this means is at the end, some peoples numbers are fairly obvious. 69 for instance is going to be a leader of some kind and the oldest female, Queen Elizabeth II. 52 is going to be a male from Pitch Perfect.

Now I have the 0-9 and 00-99 list built, for the memorizing part, I’m experimenting with what I’m calling micro-palaces. Instead of using a house, room, office, park, etc. for the memory palace, I have 00-09 on my coffee table in a 2x5 grid.

00 - 01 - 02 - 03 - 04
05 - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09

I also have some of the characters interacting with each other to a small extent to help the linking. So for instance 07 is Merida (from Brave) shooting a bow and arrow at Carls balloons at 08 (Up). Sometimes the positioning also works out. Wall-E is at 04 and Eva at 09. I find having that small memory palace makes it easy to find new ones. The 30s are all on my desk at work. 40s on a friends desk. 50s on the table the wife and I ate breakfast at at a diner this morning. Easy to find new ones and easy to see the entire thing in one shot without having to slowly walk through. Also, knowing that 00 is upper left, 04 upper right, 02 in the middle, makes it easy to get to 06 for instance.

Lastly, another hobby of mine is development and I’ve done quite a bit of database work. I put together a FileMaker DB of my list that allows me to study any particular category and it can also quiz me by asking the coding for 03-25-18 or what are the numbers for Pinocchio jumping into a pool of jello (not an actual combination). It’s a neat little design and I’ve got it on my phone so whenever I have a few minutes I can pull it out and get some practice in.

So that’s how I’ve done it and it seems to be working well so far. I’m still tweaking the list of action objects a bit but for the most part it’s pretty set and the learning is going quick with the micro palaces. Let me know if there are any questions or if this was helpful.

15 February, 2017 - 11:51
Joined: 2 weeks 3 days ago

Yep I started using a similar system. 00 - 09 mythology, 10 - 19 superheroes etc. It works really well with chucking numbers into groups of 8 so characters are interacting across my Loci with actions and objects. Let me know how you get on... Wouldn't mind sharing my system if youre curious about it.

16 February, 2017 - 05:55
Joined: 2 months 18 hours ago

I would appreciate of you would share your system Mentat_VII. I am once again restarting to build my PAO from scratch (newbie on my 4th attempt to get it right!). So any ideas are welcome. Thanks!

16 February, 2017 - 17:44
Joined: 2 weeks 3 days ago

Well it's very similar to OP's system in most ways with a few minor differences. When I originally adapted it from PAO I thought I had created something special. I'm not surprised someone else discovered it too. The human mind naturally categorises and groups information so in a way these category systems take advantage of that.

Basically, each double digit from 00 to 99 is a character, and each character has an object. The first digit in each double determines their category (superhero, villain, wrestler etc.). The second digit identifies the character (e.g. 1= superhero, and 3 = C, so 13 = Captain America). The first double digits then interact with the second double digits to create an action WITH the object (creating a more vivid image). So from here we can imagine 1312 being Captain America throwing a baterang (12 = Batman or his object/ action). Now when your next 4 digits enter the mix we get a two character interaction: 13127077 (7 = male video game characters, 0 = Ocelot, 7 = Grey Fox). So 13127077 is Captain America throwing a baterang at Ocelot, who deflects it with Grey Fox's ninja blade. Place this in a Loci/ Memory Palace abd you've created a solid memory for 8 digits.

What I like about this system is that it takes advantage of our tendency to categorise things while expanding the digit span of the PAO from 6 to 8 digits while simultaneously making a stronger connection due to the object and action fusion.

Hope this was helpful. Let me know what you think.

17 February, 2017 - 02:04
Joined: 1 year 9 months ago


I would appreciate of you would share your system Mentat_VII. I am once again restarting to build my PAO from scratch (newbie on my 4th attempt to get it right!). So any ideas are welcome. Thanks!

I posted mine on the forum a long time ago, feel free to use it for any inspiration you need. :D Instead of posting it again, you can find it here:

Learn memory techniques for free! Just click the "Sign up" button below to create an account and we'll send you an email with some tips on how to get started.

Related content: