The Link System (sometimes called the Chain System) is a very useful technique for learning a series of things in order. To use this system, you must create a visual image of adjacent items on your list. The visualization should have the two objects interacting in some memorable way.
For example, take this list: clown, banana, giraffe, and moon. You might start by visualizing a clown slipping on a banana, then visualize a giraffe with a banana for a neck, and then finish with an image of a giraffe with a neck so long that it can nibble on the moon. This chain of visualizations will help you remember each subsequent item. In this example, the only thing you need to remember is the first word “clown” and the rest will be brought to mind from the visualizations that you created.
This works because it’s much easier to remember an image than it is to remember an abstract word. The more vivid your visualizations, the better you will be at remembering them.
If you are worried about forgetting the first word of the chain, you can always link the last word back to the first word (visualize a clown standing on the moon). Now all you need to do is remember any item on the list and you’ll be able to get the rest from the circular chain.
Ok now Let’s practice! We have provided a list of objects to memorize and some example links for you to use if you want. You will have better success if you make up your own links. Spend at least 2 minutes visualizing these objects and links and you should have no problem remembering them.
Cheese, Giraffe, Batteries, Water, Space Shuttle, Rose, Tire, Saw, Grass, Moon
A giraffe eating a big cheese wheel.
Putting new batteries into your robotic giraffe.
Batteries getting shorted out and sparking when put in water.
A space shuttle flying underwater.
A miniature space shuttle buzzing around a rose.
A huge tire rolling down a hill and squashing a rose.
A tire with saw blades sticking out dangerously.
Using a saw to cut your grass.
Looking at a moon in a telescope and seeing it covered in grass.
After you have visualized your links, close your eyes and try to recall the entire list. See how easy it was? To prove the effectiveness of this technique, make up a different list and try to memorize it without using the Link System or any other mnemonic.