Learning Strategies to Work Smarter

While research over the past decade has uncovered a whole host of highly effective metacognitive learning strategies with immediate benefits when used, very few of these techniques have become mainstream. Worse yet, many well-known techniques like active recall practice or note-taking are incorrectly applied, leading to massively wasted efforts.

Understanding vs. Skill

Many learners fall into the trap of rote memorization before developing understanding. Additionally, many hold the false belief that understanding is equivalent to the skill (or the ability to apply knowledge). This is simply not true and leads to further confusion about the optimal learning process. Memory without understanding has low utility, but understanding without recall limits applicability to skill development.

The Power to Use Memory on Demand

Memory is something we rely on all the time but are rarely taught how to use it consciously. The method of loci (a.k.a. memory palace, memory journey, etc.) is a simple two-step process: 1) generate visual images that represent the information to memorize, and 2) mentally visualize those images at locations (or loci) along a route. It allows practitioners to consciously encode and systematically access information, and has been used to accomplish astonishing feats (e.g., memorizing 70,000 digits of Pi).

How Memory Maps Works

Memory Maps deconstructs the learning process into phases that are easy to follow without any special skills, and applies the most powerful metacognitive learning strategies to each stage appropriately to ensure maximum benefit from your effort.

Step 1: Clarify Purpose
  • Developing clarity of your learning objectives, motivation, and relevant supporting knowledge are among the simplest, yet most inconsistently applied, set of metacognitive learning strategies. Reconnect with your untapped potential as a highly capable learner and prime your state for optimal engagement during the learning process steps to come.
  • Understanding and skill development are two distinct aspects of the learning process and should be treated as such. Devise and work toward objectives for both of these aspects separately.
Step 2: Outline Source Material Headings
  • Preview the structure of the learning material and generate a topical outline to orient yourself to the content, and estimate the route length you’ll be needing.
  • Memory Maps takes advantage of outliner style note-taking to make it easy to organize information into sequences that are more tailored for encoding in memory journeys.
Step 3: Plan Journey Route
  • Memory Maps is built on Google Maps which means the world is at your disposal. Choose a route and create memory journeys anywhere in the world where there is Google Street View coverage.
  • Choose your starting location and preview your route.  Tools such as map view, compass overlays, and waypoints help orient you so you can form a mental model of the space as if you were actually there. 
Step 4: Build Understanding
  • Simply typing a reproduction of the course content has been shown to be ineffective for learning. We live in the digital age where access to the world’s information is at your fingertips. Stop wasting time taking notes with little to no learning value that you’ll likely never look at again.
  • Instead, Memory Maps helps you to stay focused on your learning objectives and actively build deeper understanding by prompting you to find and evaluate the aspects and relationships that encapsulate the key concepts you’re after.
  • Open any web-based source material (e.g., video lectures, ebooks, interactive applets, etc.) directly in Street View and navigate as you learn. Be astonished with how easy it is to maintain context as your mind effortlessly forms spatial associations with the route. No longer mentally confined to your study space, explore the world with a sense of adventure during each learning session.
  • Source material not available online? No problem. Use Memory Maps like any other note-taking app when following along with analog source material such as books or in-person lectures.
Step 5: Prioritize and Restructure
  • Skill mastery requires much more than understanding alone. Memory practice focused on performance can help supercharge the rapid skill acquisition process by offloading basic information recall tasks from valuable working memory, freeing your mental capacity up for other aspects of skill execution.
  • Memory Maps helps you to identify, prioritize, and structure the information which is most valuable to commit to high performance memory in service of your skill objectives.
Step 6: Create Memory Journey
  • Encode to memory the information you need most using the highly effective Method of Loci (a.k.a. memory palace technique). Choose locations (or loci) along your journey route, generate associative images, and visualize them to validate effectiveness.
  • Making memorable, associative visualizations has always been a major challenge for using this powerful method. Our unique process guides you step-by-step from the ideas you want to memorize to the scenes you should visualize.
  • Leverage the power of machine learning to 1) auto-suggest memorable, engaging visualizations for your ideas, 2) remind you of relevant past associations that can be reused, and 3) keep you in flow during the encoding process.
Step 7: Practice Recall
  • While mnemonics drastically increases memorability, the information still needs to be practiced to develop the performance to support skills or to consolidate into long-term memory. Memory Maps has you covered with active recall practice.
  • Practice for accuracy and speed or at optimal intervals for long-term memory with spaced repetition.  Only focus on what needs attention. Metrics related to your progress help you understand how your abilities are developing so you can stay focused only on what needs attention.
  • Take recall practice on the go to efficiently utilize free time with Memory Maps on mobile. 

Enjoy Memory Maps for roughly the price of a textbook per year and also benefit from:

Additional Features


Powerful and smooth global search gives you another way to find the notes, journeys, or source material you seek.


You own your data. Export notes and journey data in several formats including CSV, Markdown and JSON.

Journey View

See your entire knowledge base at a single glance. Explore all your journeys on the map and edit directly from the data table.

Practice Groups

Combine journeys into practice groups to interleave content optimally for your learning goals.

"Memory Maps represents a paradigm shift. This software is going to change our definition of human potential."

-Dr. Boris Nikolai Konrad
8x World Memory Champion (Team)

Supercharge Your online Learning Experience