Tips for Training Your Memory
By Robb Zbierski, Freedom Personal Development

When it comes to remembering someone’s name, facts and information we need, or even key points of a presentation, there is an effective strategy you can employ for storing and recalling that information quickly. This proven memory-training technique is the F-I-G method, which stands for File-Image-Glue. Here’s how it works.

Create a File

Just like a computer or a filing cabinet, your brain is designed to store and retrieve information in a systematic way. Using the F-I-G method, you create a mental filing system. When conducting memory training sessions, I suggest the “body” file — which means using one’s actual body as a filing system. When you have to remember something about your travel schedule, for example, a useful technique could be placing that information mentally on the sole of your foot. Sounds silly, perhaps, but by “filing” the information in a physical spot, your brain now has a system for recall.

Picture an Image

This means creating a visual representation of the information you need to recall. Your memory thinks in pictures, so whenever you can deliberately convert words or names into a mental picture, you are more likely to recall them. If you need bread, eggs and milk from the grocery store, it’s helpful to picture those items. The same technique can be employed in your professional world. For example, spend a few moments to turn the key points of a presentation into mental pictures that represent the main ideas you want to communicate.

Apply the Glue

Glue is how you affix the information (the image) into the file (the specific place in your brain or on your body). Glue, in this case, is what we define as action and emotion. The more vivid the action or emotion and the more senses you involve, the stronger the glue.

To practice the F-I-G method in your everyday life, start by using it to remember a person’s name. Let’s say you are introduced to a woman named Robin. In this scenario, let’s use her nose as the file. Her name already lends itself to an image, so picture a robin. Lastly, apply the glue — imagine that first spring robin pecking at her nose.

This technique takes only a few seconds to implement. With a little practice, you will be surprised by how quickly the F-I-G method can become habit and will improve your ability to remember and recall information.

Robb Zbierski is a professional speaker, instructor, personal coach and memory training expert with Freedom Personal Development. For more information, visit

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