BUILDYOURMEMORY.COM / A mnemonics and memory improvement resource
Mnemonics and memory / Build Your Memory
roman room statue

How memory operates
Why we forget
Observation and memory
Using mnemonics to link together memories
Mnemonics to master a foreign language
Mnemonics to remember numbers - The number/rhyme system
Mnemonics to remember your dreams
Advanced number mnemonics - Pegging
Mnemonics for quotations
Mnemonics to remember abstract symbols and letters
The Roman Room or journey system
Mnemonics to remember names and faces
Mnemonics for rememberring appointments - The Mental Diary
How to combine the systems - The Mental Database


How to remember appointments – The mental diary

If you are a busy person, who’s average week is crammed full of appointments, meetings with business associates and a variety of social gatherings etc… Or even if you are just someone who gets out a lot. Then I believe that you will benefit greatly from reading through the rest of this chapter.

For in this chapter, I intend to outline a system that will allow you to commit to memory (with relative ease), a full weeks schedule, in just a few short minutes. The system is a straightforward one, which makes good use of the link and the peg systems, which were outlined earlier on in the course of this book.

If you do decide to learn the following system, then you will soon find that you will no longer have any need for an appointments book, an Outlook Calendar or even a filofax.

The system is known as ‘The Mental Diary.’ And this is how it operates.

The Mental Diary

In order for you to construct a mental diary, you are required to first transform all of the days of the week, into non-abstract (and thus easily visualisable) entities. This is easily done with the aid of the peg system.

For example you could assign each day of the week with its own peg number. Such as:

Days of the week

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

In your mental diary, the pegs that you use to represent the numbers 1-7 should only be associated with the days of the week. You may even like to create a new set of seven pegs, in order to represent the days of the week. This is so that you do not confuse any images that you have stored away on separate occasions (using the first seven regular peg numbers), with the images contained in your mental diary. Here then are some alternative peg images that you may like to use, in order to represent the days of the week.

Some alternative peg images

All of the alternative peg images that I am now about to list, will stick firmly to the rules of the phonetic alphabet, which were outlined in chapter eight of this book.

  1. Monday is represented by the number one (Dye). This may be visualised by using the usual peg image of Dye. Alternatively, you could use one of the following images – doe, do, toe or tea.
  2. The number two represents Tuesday (Knee). This number may be visualised by using the usual peg image of knee. Alternatively, the number could be visualised by using one of these images – now, know or new.
  3. Wednesday is represented by the number three (Ma). Alternatively, it may be represented by any of these words – mow, me or moo.
  4. Thursday is represented by the number four (Row). It could also be represented by any of the following images – ra, ray or rye.
  5. Friday is represented by the number five (Law). Alternatively, it may be represented by any one of the following images – loo, lay or low.
  6. Saturday is represented by the number six (Shoe). Alternatively, the images – jaw, saw or Jew could be used.
  7. Finally, Sunday is represented by the number seven (Cow). It could also be represented by the images – key, coy or cue.

Now with your new peg images chosen, you are now ready to move on to the next stage.

The next stage in constructing your mental diary, involves finding a good way to visualise the time of day. This may be accomplished by using (again) the peg system. For example, if you wanted to remember the time – 8.00 am, then you could simply use your peg word for the number 8 (jaw).

If however the time that you wanted to recall was 8.00 pm, then there is obviously an immediate problem. This problem is easily rectified however, by simply using the 24-hour clock. Using this system, 8.00 pm would transpose to 20.00 hours. It could thus be recalled by simply visualising the peg word for the number 20 (noose).

Visualising minutes is done in practically the same way. The only difference being that, when you do attempt to visualise minutes, you would encase your image in flames. The reason for this is to prevent your hour image from interfering with your minute’s image.

O.k., so you now have an easily visualisable image for any day of the week, any hour of the day and any minute of the hour. The thing to do now is to try to integrate these images into one system.

This is how you do it.

The System

Imagine if you will, that you have arranged to meet a friend, say at 1.00 pm, at the local swimming pool.

Now the first thing that you would need to do in order to file away this appointment in your mental diary, would be to convert the day of the week, hour of the day and minute of the hour, into their respective images. These are:

Thursday   4   Row
30MiceMice on fire

Now you are meeting your friend at the local swimming pool. So your image could be one of your friend rowing a boat full of mice, in the local pool. The lights are dim and the mice are ablaze with flames.

The above peg image contains all of the information that you would need to know in order for you to remember the appointment with your friend.

To bring this image back to your conscious memory, all that is required is for you to think of your mental picture for Thursday. Then by the process of linking, you should be able to recollect the entire series of images.

By the way. I would just like to point out that, although this may seem a bit of a long-winded process when written down on paper, it is anything but that in practice. In fact with just a little time spent using this system, you should find that an image will begin to come to mind almost as soon as you hear the day and time that a particular appointment falls upon.

You must admit that this system does beat having to either write all your appointments down, or enter them into a personal organiser. Plus as an added bonus, using this system gives your memory a nice little workout.

Now to help to clarify the details of the above system, I will now give a few more examples of how it may be used in your day-to-day life. If you read through these examples (and concentrate on the images that I have provided), then you should come to realise just how simple this system is to use.


Imagine that you have an appointment with a business associate at 10.00 am, on a Tuesday morning, at the Crescent moon restaurant.

Now using this system, the first thing that you would need to do in order to insert this appointment into your mental diary, would be to transform the day and the time of the appointment into a set of images. These are;

Tuesday – 2 = knee and 10 = doze.

The meeting is at 10.00 am, so there is no need to memorise a minutes image. So to file away the above meeting in your mental diary, you could try visualising your business associate, with his knee sticking out from a hole in his trousers, dozing off high in the night sky, on a crescent shaped moon.

The above image is easy to visualise, and if you close your eyes and really try to see every detail of it, then it should stay in your memory.

Next lets say that your spouses birthday is on the coming Sunday and you need to pick up their present from the jewellers on Saturday morning at 11.45. Well the first thing that you would need to do, would be to transform the day and time that you needed to pick up the present a set of images. These are;

Saturday – 6 = shoe, 11.00 = dad, 45 – rail = rail on fire.

So to remember to collect your spouses birthday present from the jewellers, you might try imagining a large shoe full of sparkling jewellery. Your dad is holding this shoe. Now see your dad sat on a fiery railway track with your spouse. This image should remind you to do that particular little job.

If you wanted to remember to collect your car from the garage on Wednesday at 4.00 pm, then you would first transform this day and time into the below images;

Wednesday – 3 = ma, 4.00 pm – 1600 hours = dash.

So you could try visualising your ma driving your car on the wrong side of the road. Imagine everyone dashing out of her way to avoid being run over. That image should remind you to pick up the car.

Finally, if you wanted to remember that your books were due back at the library on Monday, then it is a simple thing to link the peg word for Monday (dye) to an image of your library books. For example, you might like to visualise yourself pouring the contents of a bottle of black dye, all over your library books. This image should be strong enough to be easily recalled.


To review any or all of the above appointments and things to do, just focus on each one of your peg words for the seven days of the week. Then with this done, you should find that this mental schedule will simply present itself to you.

With practice you should also find that the speed with which you are able to transform an appointment or schedule into a set of images and then link together those images into your mental diary, will increase quite dramatically.

In fact you should find that pretty soon you will be able to bring to mind a days shedule, in less time than it would take you to flick through a filofax.

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