How to remember Birthdays and Anniversaries

Courtesy of Phil Chambers

One such method is The Major System. It may seem a bit odd

to start with, but stick with me. You represent each digit

by a letter code, combine these to make words that you can
imagine as pictures. (Memories are essentially pictures in
your head).

Here’s the code

0 = s or z
1 = d or t
2 = n
3 = m
4 = r
5 = L
6 = j or sh
7 = k
8 = f or v
9 = b or p

So to code the number 21, you convert it to ‘nt’ and add a
vowel that has no meaning to give ‘net’. You can see a picture
of a net easier than visualising 21.

This takes care of the number part of a date but what about
the month?

You can represent months as numbers (January = 1, February = 2,
etc) but this starts to get complex as you’ll have to make
up words involving 3 letters. (eg 21st February = 21/2 = ntn
which becomes ‘Indian’). I think a better method is to
represent months by more direct associations and then use
these to ‘modify’ the images generated from the number part
of the date. Let me explain…

January = ice and snow (in the northern hemisphere – If you
are in Australia you could use a barbecue).

February = associations with Valentine’s Day: Hearts,
chocolates, roses, etc.

March = marching soldiers or March hares or Spring flowers

April = rain (April Showers)

May = dancing round a maypole with ribbons and bells

June = sunshine (once again only in the Northern hemisphere)

July = American associations (from Independence Day being 4th
July): The statue of liberty, the star spangled banner, etc.

August = Roman associations (August is named after Augustus
Cesar): Classical columns, togas, etc.

September = Autumn leaves

October = Halloween associations: Witches, ghosts, pumpkins

November = Guy Fawkes Night associations (in England):
Fireworks and bonfires.

December = Christmas associations: Christmas trees,
decorations, cards, presents, etc.

As you will start to notice, memory systems tend to be very
culturally specific and one person’s associations do not
generally correspond with someone else’s. It is always best
to come up with your own associations but let’s work with
mine as a guide for the time being.

Going back to our example of 21st of February this can be a
NeT  scooping up chocolates (for Valentine’s Day).

21st June (My Birthday) would be catching the Sun in a NeT.

To remember who each date refers to, just make an additional
association. So for my birthday imagine me wielding the net.

Once you have learned two digit codes from 01 = soot to
31 = mat you can code any date and easily remember all the
birthdays of your friends and family.