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This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Michael Parker.

Personally I find that creating strong, visual bookmarks related to the information I’m trying to remember very effective.

Visual memory is very strong and was essential to our survival at one time. Being able to recall images allowed us to navigate easily through our surroundings, hunting and remembering which plants and fruits were edible and which were poisonous.

A visual bookmark is a sharp, vivid image which encodes all the components you need to remember. The sillier and stranger an image is, the stronger your memory of it will be. We use this to our advantage by creating visual bookmarks.

I have used this technique while learning languages. My wife is Turkish, and I’ve been attempting to learn Turkish for many years. Using this technique massively increased my recall of vocabulary.

Example: Eagle in Turkish is kartal. So I imagine an eagle, perched on a traffic light, holding a tape measure in its mouth and measuring the height of the cars, the eagle then exclaims “that car is tall!”It’s not perfect, but it’s close enough to work for me.

Another example is the word for tortoise, kaplanbar. My wife has a friend whose surname is Kaplan, so I simply imagine him working behind a bar which has a tortoise-mascot placed in view.

Once you can create vivid images, you can use them to encode lots of data, meaning that all you need to do is bring up the image in your head and you have access to a wealth of information.

Another popular memory technique is the method of loci (memory palace/mind palace).

A mind palace is a mental technique which allows you can store thousands of facts and memories, ready to be plucked out when needed. It can sound a little far-fetched, but is actually really effective for remembering and being able to recall lots of information. The idea is based on solid research about how our memories work; it's also the technique most commonly used by memory champions.

This works by filling a spatial memory (i.e. a building or location) with the information you want to remember.

Mnemonics, songs and rhymes are used often in schools and as such are usually the first memory methods most people encounter e.g. My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nachos can be used remember the order of the planets.The idea behind mnemonics is that you use the first letter of the each object of the list and create another word from it, usually a sentence or some other grouping of words that has a context, rather than just Mercury, Venus, Earth and so on.

Songs and rhymes also create very sticky memories. Just think for a moment about how many songs you know the words to. I guess that number is pretty high and when you consider it, is a quite impressive list. Both rhymes and songs have a rhythm which is fantastic for holding memories together.One rhythm I remember from school was "divorced executed died, divorced executed survived" to help recall what happened to each of Henry VIII’s 6 wives.

Another rhyme to remember the same information is:

"King Henry VIII,

to six wives he was wedded.

One died, one survived,

two divorced, two beheaded."

There are more advanced and complicated memory methods to improve your memory, such as the Major system or the mnemonic major system. It's very similar to creating visual markers, except your associating each image with a number.

Find a method that works for you and practice, practice, practice​!