Accomplishing Great Feats: Memorizing Numbers

By Katie Corbett


I’m often curious about what it takes to be successful and enjoy reading about successful people. I’m always interested in finding ways to accomplish more and do things better next time.


When I read “Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise,” by Robert Pool, I was excited to learn that it is possible to memorize numbers. I encountered the next trick in a course I took about doing mental math, and am including it here.


Basically, each number will stand for a phonetic sound.


1: Stands for the T or D sound.

2: Stands for the N sound.

3: Stands for the M sound.

4: Stands for the R sound.

5: Stands for the L sound.

6: Stands for the CH, SH or J sound.

7: Stands for K or the hard G sound, G as in “gust”.

8: Stands for the F or V sound.

9: Stands for the P or B sound.

0: Stands for the S or Z sound.


By remembering the name “Tony Marloshkovipz” you could easily recall this system; write it out in numbers, taking out the vowels, and you’ll notice everything is, literally, in order. Notice that no vowel sounds are represented. Neither are sounds for H, W or Y. This is because you will be able to insert them where it makes the most sense and create words to help you remember numbers.


I was recently trying to recall the number 124. The letters replacing 1 could be T or D, the letter replacing 2 would be N and the letter replacing 4 would be R. I decided to go with DNR, since that would be easy to remember.


There are whole catalogs of words that can represent 2-digit numbers, giving people the ability to memorize long strings of numbers. The system I explained above could be enough to help you memorize pins, birthdays and phone numbers.


Try plugging in some of your favorite numbers and making words to help you remember them. You never know when this trick could come in handy.


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