For years I have done a few memory tricks that really work. Today, I learned of a new one.

Here is the simplest one: People remember visual links to words. So if you have ten items to remember, this is how you do it.

For the first item visualize a magicians wand (number 1) and then the thing you are trying to remember in connection with that. Such as loaf of bread. So think of the bread perched on top of the wand. The more ridiculous the photo in your head, the better you will remember it.

Second is a swan (looks sort of like a 2). Say the item is apples. Visualize the swan floating on a sea of apples.

Three is three leaf clover. If item is coca cola, think of the clover as part of the coca cola logo.

Four is chair. Chair looks sort of like a four. Picture item sitting on a chair. Say, a ream of paper.

Five is five pointed star and you can ‘see’ that star printed right on whatever it is you are trying to remember. Let’s say it is paper towels. Just think of a roll of paper towels printed with stars all over them. Six is elephants trunk. There don’t you just see that elephant stuffing Quaker oatmeal into his mouth.

Seven is a flag, which is easy to design. Eight is an hourglass, and your item can be stuffed in the hourglass. Nine is a pipe. Think of smoking a pipe and out of it is coming ??? Ten is a bat and ball. Just hit that quart of milk out of the park.

If you want to test this out. Let someone give you a list of ten items. You number them, write them down and then hand the person the list. They can either ask you the item and you will say the number, or give you the number and you can tell them the item.

Once you learn this, you will never forget it. And don’t worry, when you make a new list, the old list will just fade away.

If you want to test this out, just think of the numbers for the first five items I named here and I bet you will be right. First items are apples, paper towels, bread, coca cola, ream of paper.

Today I learned an even easier method, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. Before you try to memorize a few items that you have to pick up at the grocery or hardware store, clench your right fist for about ninety seconds. Then when you want to recall what you have ‘remembered’, clench your left fist.

Some researcher on brain response discovered the connection between fist clenching and brain memory. Certainly worth a try, and next time I will try this before I go to the grocery store.

I think this would be good if you are going to bake something and just before you read the recipe, you do this. Then, as you are adding ingredients, they will just pop into your head. I’ll have to try that. Sometimes it is hard to remember if you added the salt or the soda.

Of course an even easier method would be to put all the ingredients out first, and as you use them, put them away. (Unless you can’t even remember that)

I notice that TV cooks put each item in a little dish and then just dump the contents into whatever they are cooking. You do all your measuring at once. Voila!