So it has been a few weeks since finishing my PAO, many hours later I’ve got it up and running well. Speed is coming along. But now that I’m using it effectively, here are few things I’d wish I’d done differently.
To those coming behind me, who want to build their PAO, here is my advice:
- It is normal to struggle to build your 2 digit PAO. I had real trouble finding 100 people who were memorable and I had connection too. In the end when I was about 10 short, I just crammed 10 people that I kinda knew about into the PAO. That was a bad idea, connection seems to be key. You will be using this the rest of your life, take time to build out your PAO people.
- Using the Major system to pick the people was just…a waste. Now that I’m using it, I don’t pronounce anything in my head, I just image the PAO. The Major system did nothing for me but handicap the order that I put in people to the PAO. (I even saw someone using Major system for actions and object, which is an aweful idea, adding another burden to remember WHAT the P does and what O it does with with. Go with logical AO for the P) It does nothing for speed or recall. It kinda helped on memorizing it, but that was slow and ultimately overridden but another method, and I’ll address that in #3.
- I struggled for days memorizing it. But an hour after I read someone recommended putting it into a dedicated memory palace I did. But I had to make a big palace, 100 loci. I used a video game map, Once I walked thru it, BAM! They they all were, settled into their places within the hour. I’ll address optimizing this in #5.
- But I get ahead of myself. The P of PAO are going to be key for speed. I now wish I’d grouped them by decade. 0-10 should have been generics, ie. Astronaut, Doctor, Baker, Butler, Soldier. 10-19 Sports figures, 20-29 Ex girlfriends, 30-39 Star Wars people, 40-49 Harry Potter folks, 50-59 old college professors, etc… This should increase speed in using it. And also make it easier to use 1-40 for Cards, with 4 suits, Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades (by alpha) all clubs are generics, Diamonds sports figures, ex girlfriends are Hearts, etc. To make it extra fast take care on your memory palace layout.
- So when I’m recalling cards now, it is sometimes faster to pull by location. So if you make sure your first 41 locations (remember there is a 00 that goes before 01 where the card deck starts at Ace of Clubs) are grouped with each decade (suit) in a common area. Like 1 big room or 2 rooms with 5. Don’t put 21-23 in the same room with 18-20. Keep the breaks clean, isolate the decades (1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40) cleanly in their own areas. Speed is key on cards and helps with numbers.
- Dedicate this memory palace to your PAO. Never reuse it. That will keep it clear of interference.
- Be logical on the AO. If you have a P of a Juggler (06), and you are remembering Bill Gates (King of Diamonds) juggling Han Solo’s Blaster, then you quickly remember the ‘A’ is the Juggler 06 and the ‘O’ is Han Solo. Don’t do something weird and have Juggler flying spaceship and Han solo tunneling in minecraft. You will have to do extra cross-tabling recall if you abandon logical actions.
And with that I’m done. I wish someone had given me this advice a month ago.