Use Your Memory, by Tony Buzan

Posted by Jan Lawrence

I first discovered Tony Buzan when undertaking a psychology experiment at an Open University summer school in Durham about 6 years ago. The experiment was about memory and involved ways of distracting people who were trying to remember about 20 different objects, which had nothing at all in common. To our amazement 2 of the eighteen or so people taking part in the experiment not only remembered all the objects correctly, they also recalled them in the correct order.

When asked how they were able to do this, both said they had read a Tony Buzan book. Intrigued I immediately rushed out and bought ‘Use Your Memory.’  I found it fascinating, as it was full of detail about how the brain and memory work and how to put this knowledge to practical use. One of the memory techniques described involves linking whatever it is you are trying to remember to a setting or journey you are familiar with. This could be your own home or your daily journey to work. The trick is to then link or hook whatever you are trying to remember to familiar objects in your story. With a little practice this works very well, but the results improve even more when you bring emotions into the story. This technique helps with everyday items like names and dates but can also help you remember facts and figures for meetings and presentations. Buzan also explains the relationship between your emotions and your memories. If you think about this yourself you will find that your most vivid memories were highly emotional events, both happy and sad. He again explains how this knowledge can be used practically.

The Buzan Mind Mapping techniques are also of great use. I have used them very successfully to help to improve my understanding of organisations or structures that I previously found complicated and confusing. They are also a very effective way of taking notes at a lecture or a meeting. I have also found them to be an invaluable aid when making presentations or any other situation where you need to remember a lot of detail and how it links together. Whatever your need or interest, it is hard to image that you will not benefit from investing in a Tony Buzan book.

Contributed by Alastair Taylor