Peg System


It is a memory aid that works by creating mental associations between two objects in a one-to-one fashion that will be applied to remember information. Typically this involves linking words to numbers and associated with them. These will be the pegs of the system. These associations have to be memorized one time and can be applied repeatedly to new information that needs to be memorized.


The numbers 0 to 9 could be associated in a different way. It will depend on how your brain perceives the numbers. You can use the shape of the number and associate with images or you can use images that rhyme with the numbers or you can mix both together. For example:


(how the numbers 

looks like)


(how the numbers 

sounds like)

0 Egg   hero  
1 stick   gun  
2 swan   shoes  
3 Mcdonalds   tree  
4 Yacht   door  
 Shape  Sound
5 Wheelchair   hive  
6 Cherry   bricks  
7 Axe   heaven  
8 snowman   gate  
9 balloon   wine  
10 fork with plate   pen

It’s important to say you can create your own rule and that doesn’t need necessary be a shape or rhyme, it can be anything you can associate with.

How that works? Let’s say you want to remember a shopping list with ten items. The items are:

1. Tomato 6. Cookies
2. Milk 7. Bread
3. Apple 8. Pasta
4. Chicken 9. Butter
5. Salad 10. Shampoo

Then the next step is associate the number representation to what you want to memorize but with “crazy” associations. It is always easy to remember weird facts than simple ones: if an elephants enter your house you will remember much more than if you friend enter your house for example. The crazier is the associations, easier will be to remember.

Let say for example:

  1. Image you are cooking and put a stick into the tomato sauce to stir and make sure it tastes good
  2. Then you see a swan in a lake but there is no water there but milk. The swan is swimming in a lake full of milk
  3. You decide to go to McDonald’s and eat an Apple pie
  4. You are on the Yacht and you eat Chicken because is light and it doesn’t make you feel sick
  5. There is someone sitting in the wheelchair but the person is sitting on a cushion made  of salad to make more comfortable
  6. Imagine your favourite cookies with a shine cherry in the middle.
  7. You brought some bread but it is so hard you have to get an axe to break it
  8. There is a snowman and someone instead to use a scarf  put pasta around its neck
  9. There are a lot of balloons but when you pop them, a lot of butter came off on your face
  10. You decide to clean your plate and fork with a shampoo


Let’s create another shopping list. And you have to buy those ingredients:

1. Orange Juice  6. Sugar
2. Salt 7. Flour
3. Eggs 8. Oil
4. Cow 9. Juice
5. Chocolate 10. Cookies

Using sound association instead shape you could have something like that:

  1. Image your gun has orange juice instead bullets and you decide to shoot everybody with orange juice.
  2. You went to the beach with your shoes and there is a lot of salt and now you have to clean it.
  3. Image a tree full of eggs instead fruits.
  4. You open the door and there is there is a big cow  mmmuuuu.  You remeber you have to buy some meat.
  5. You decide to take some honey from the hive but instead, there is only chocolate there.
  6. You like sugar in blocks like bricks. It is the best way when you are drinking coffee.
  7. Image heaven. It is probably white like flour.
  8. Image a gate it is making a lot of noise. You decide to put oil to see if the noise get better.
  9. You like to add juice to your wine. It tastes so much better, like sangria.
  10. When you were a kid you like to put the pen in the cookies holes.


As I said before, you don’t need to use those images. They are only my suggestions. If for you the number 8 reminds you an hourglass, then use it as an object. You object can be any association. If the number 3 reminds your brother because for example, he was born on 3rd, use it as an object. The object was only a convention to start but you can use places, people, actions, wherever you feel comfortable using. Try to play with this techniques and tell me later the results.

If you want to practice more. You can go to random word generator website.