In an earlier article, you learned that a Link would help you remember simple errands and appointments for the following day. That idea alone will suffice for many people. However, you may have to remember more specific appointments, by day and time, and for the following week.

It’s easy enough to do; you already have the necessary knowledge. The problem is familiar to you—how do you picture a day and time? The solution is just as familiar. Set up a pattern that enables you to\ create a picture for any day and time; to make the intangible tangible.

In patternizing day and time, we’ll consider Monday the first day of the week. Since it is the first business day of the week, this makes more sense to most people. If you’d rather consider Sunday the first day, simply do so and change everything accordingly; it won’t matter once you understand the idea. Otherwise, go along with us. Monday is the first day, Tuesday is second, and so on to Sunday, the seventh day of the week.

mnemonics to remember appointments

Thursday at 7:00 can now be thought of as a two-digit number. Thursday is the fourth day, so the first digit is 4, to represent the day. The second digit represents the hour— therefore, the two-digit number is 47. Within this pattern, 47 can represent only the fourth day (Thursday), seventh hour (7:00).

Ordinarily, it would be just as difficult to picture 47 as it would be to picture Thursday at 7:00. But you have a Peg Word for 47 that can be pictured—rock. And so, within this pattern, rock must represent Thursday at 7:00.

The Peg Word knife could represent only Tuesday (second day) at 8:00. Lily must represent the fifth day (Friday) at 5:00. Even if you don’t know the Peg Words, the sounds give you the necessary information. This will work much more smoothly, of course, if you do know the Peg Words. Try a few yourself—mentally transpose these Peg Words to day and hour: name, chain, knob, net, dish, Nero, coal, mower.

There are a few minor problems remaining. How do you handle 10:00, 11:00, and 12:00? What about A.M. and P.M.? What about minutes? And, how do you use the Peg Words?

Let’s take care of 10:00, 11:00, and 12:00 first. Remember our discussion of playing cards—just as there is no zero of hearts, there is also no zero o’clock. So, use the s sound to represent 10:00. Mouse will represent Wednesday at 10:00; toes, Monday at 10:00; rose, Thursday at 10:00; nose, Tuesday at 10:00; case, Sunday at 10:00; and so on.

It is necessary to make up a word for each day of the week at 11:00 and 12:00. There are two ways to handle this: the first is to stick with the pattern and use a word containing the proper sounds. The word mitten, for example, is Wednesday at 12:00 (312); and rotate (411) could represent only Thursday at 11:00.

Here is a list of words from which you can select. Make up your own, if you’d rather.

How To Use This Memory System

Select the words you want, and use them. After a few uses, they will be like Peg Words—for this pattern. You’ll know them because you’ve used them.

Here’s another way to handle 11:00 and 12:00: Simply consider 11:00 and 12:00 as 1:00 and 2:00, but without using the basic Peg Words since you’re already using them. Use any other word that fits phonetically.

For example, the Peg Word mat represents Wednesday at 1:00, but the words meat or moat could represent Wednesday at 11:00. The Peg Word moon represents Wednesday at 2:00—use man or moan to represent Wednesday at 12:00. Once you select the words, they will work perfectly well. You’ll know that the basic Peg Words represent 1:00 and 2:00, and that any other words that fit 1:00 and 2:00 (for any day) would represent 11:00 and 12:00.

how to memorize appointments

If all your appointments were made on the hour, you’d be all set to apply the system —by associating the appointment itself to the word that represents the day and hour of the appointment. If you had to go to the library on Saturday at 1:00, you’d form a ridiculous association between library, or books, and sheet. That’s all.

Why not make that association now? Then we’ll list some more, just to show you how it works. Later, we’ll get to the minutes, and to A.M. and P.M. These hypothetical appointments will be given to you haphazardly, since that’s how appointments usually come up. Form the associations, because we’re going to test you.

On Tuesday at 9:00, you have a dental appointment. Transpose the day and hour to the Peg Word, knob, and associate that to dentist. Perhaps the dentist is pulling a doorknob instead of a tooth out of your mouth. Or a gigantic doorknob is your dentist. Be sure to see the picture.

Monday at 2:00, you have a meeting at the bank. Associate tin (first day, second hour) to bank. Perhaps you’re depositing sheets of tin instead of money; or the bank tellers are all large tin cans.

Saturday at 8:00, you must remember to leave your car at your garage for repairs. Associate chef to car. You might see a gigantic chef’s hat driving a car, or a car is wearing the chef’s hat.

Wednesday at 5:00, you have to pick up a pair of eyeglasses. Associate mule to glasses. The silly picture of a mule wearing gigantic eyeglasses would do it. See that picture.

Friday at 2:00, you have a luncheon appointment with Mr. Vaikovitch. Associate lion to, perhaps, vague witch. See a lion about to eat a witch, only the witch starts to fade; it gets vague. Or, a lion is trying to wake a witch.

Thursday at 10:00, you want to remember your karate lesson. Associate rose to karate. Perhaps you’re giving a gigantic rose a karate chop, or a gigantic rose is using karate on you.

Tuesday at 5:00, there’s a meeting of the volunteer fire department. Associate nail to fire. Perhaps a gigantic nail is starting a fire. Be sure to see this picture.

memory improvement and brain training

Now try this. Go over your Peg Words for Monday—tot, tin, tomb, up to toes. (If you still don’t know the Peg Words, turn back to the list and read them. Picture each one as you read.) Now, when you come to a word that has been associated to something else, you’ll know it instantly! You’ve only got to try it to see that this is so. Just now, when you thought tin, that should have made you think of … bank.

After you’ve done Monday, go over Tuesday’s words—net, nun, name, etc. Then Wednesday’s, Thursday’s, Friday’s, Saturday’s, and Sunday’s. Think of the words up to zero (10:00) only, since there are no 11:00 and 12:00 appointments used in the example. If you do this, you’ll probably remember all the appointments!

Just exactly how would you apply this idea? Well, assume it’s the following Monday. In the morning, go over Monday’s Peg Words; there are only twelve. You’ll be reminded of the things you must do that day. During the day, while you’re having lunch, walking, etc., simply go over those words. You’ll have a constant reminder of your appointments. If you’d rather know what it is you have to do the next day, go over Monday’s words on Sunday night. That’s all there is to it. No more looking for your appointment book, which you probably left at home or at the office anyway.

For the minutes, simply add one word to the Peg Word picture. If you have a plane to catch on Friday at 5:20, lily is the Peg Word that represents Friday at 5:00. You could make 5:20 lily nose—nose tells you the minutes. There’s one problem here; next week, how would you know whether it’s lily nose or nose lily? (If you thought it was nose lily, you’d go to the airport three days too soon!)

The problem is easily solved by not using a basic Peg Word to represent minutes—use any other word that fits phonetically (just as with the idea for 11:00 and 12:00). For the above example, use noose or niece. A ridiculous picture of a gigantic lily with a noose around its neck, flying like an airplane, would do it. This solves the problem because you’d know that the basic Peg Word always represents day and hour, and any other word always represents the minutes.

Frankly, we rarely use the minute idea. Our appointments are almost never that precise. All we really need is a reminder for a quarter, a half, and three-quarters past the hour. We use a standard to represent each one. A twenty-five-cent piece always represents a quarter past the hour, a half grapefruit represents half past the hour, and a pie with one large slice gone (three-quarters of a pie) represents three-quarters past the hour. Use these standards, or make up your own.

The standards work for us, because even if we want to remember, say, a 6:19 appointment (an airplane departure or a television taping), we’ll consider it as 6:15. The worst (or best) that can happen is that we’re a little early for the appointment. If the appointment is for 2:38, we consider it as 2:30.

The A.M.-P.M. question is really a hypothetical one. You usually know whether any particular appointment is A.M. or P.M. If you really had a luncheon appointment with Mr. Vaikovitch at 2:00, you’d hardly assume it was 2:00 A.M.! You’d also know that your 9:00 dental appointment is in the morning, unless you have a very unusual dentist.

You can, however, make the association as definite as you want to. You can use aim to represent A.M. Or, you can use white to represent day (A.M.), and black to represent night (P.M.). All you really need is one of them. To remember that an appointment is in the morning, get white into the picture; if white isn’t in the picture, then you know it’s a P.M. appointment.

In the example of bringing your car to the garage on Saturday at 8:00, you could have pictured the car being sparkling white, or aiming at something, to remind you that the appointment was at 8:00 A.M.