3 Areas You Can Upgrade Your Memory

Today, I am writing as a contributor to the Christian Writers Blog Chain. The theme for August is “Memory.” If you are a Christian author or writer, be sure to check out Christianwriters.com to network with others.


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’re trying to recall a business prospect’s name?

It just won’t come to you. You stumble and falter over the name. Trying to hide the fact from him that you can’t remember his name.

Being forgetful is not fun. But there’s hope. You can upgrade your memory!

Brain Image

Image by Andrew Mason

The path to upgrading your memory will not always be easy. There will be times when you get frustrated and want to give up.

I’m here to tell you not to give up! Keep pushing towards the goal of improving your memory. You can do it and I’ll let you know how I’ve done it.

  • How To Remember A Name: I’ve made this a goal of mine. To become better at remembering names of people. There are days when I’m on my A-game and nail names like crazy. There are also days when I fail miserably. As I practice, it only gets better.How do I do I nail names of people I’ve just met into my memory? When I meet a new person, I like to say their name multiple times during the conversation. This creates a link to the name in my brain. I also try to relate the new person with a name from my past. It’s even better if they look like a friend with the same name. You’ll be able to recall names with more accuracy if you implement these two tricks.


  • How To Remember Important Dates: Technology has made it a lot easier to remember important dates. Birthdays, anniversaries, annual parties. They can all be put into your smart phone or computer calendar as a repeating appointment. The electronic calendars will remind you hours, days, weeks, or even months before the important dates.


  • How To Remember What You Read: Reading is a great way to learn new skills. We’ve got books that cover any topic we can imagine. But it does no good if we fly through a book and can’t remember what it taught us.Begin by taking notes as you read. Anything that pops out. Write it down verbatim. Once you get comfortable doing this, begin recognizing the thoughts you get as you read. Scribble those thoughts down in a journal. They’re new insights you’re getting from the information you’re putting into your brain. Lastly, start implementing what you’re reading into your daily life. If all you do is take notes and create new thoughts, the information won’t last. It won’t change your life. You must begin to implement those ideas into your life.

Start slowly and apply the tips to one area of your life at a time. Once you get the hang of it in one section of your life, start on the next. Before you know it you will be a memory wizard.

Question: What could an improved memory do for you in your job, relationships, or life in general? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Remembering people’s names makes a huge impact on people, I agree. I work with large groups of people, particularly kids, forming choirs for performances. The earlier I learn everyone’s names (as in 60+ people at a time), the more comfortable they feel with me and respect they show me. I’ve already put in effort to learn who they are; it gives them the confidence that I know my area of expertise just as well. Thanks for the tips!!!

    • Heather, that’s great. I bet your choir members feel important when you call them by their name.

  • Joe, this is excellent advice as always! I love my “electronic memory” as I would forget oh so many important dates and people without!!

    • I know. The advances in technology has helped increase our capacity to keep more things organized. But do you ever feel like I do and think that it’s hindered our capacity to actually remember dates, events, etc?

  • I love my google calender – that’s basically my ‘organizer’ esp on the home front. We just sync with my hubby and it really helps on the home-front.

    • That feature of Google Calendar is awesome. Being able to share your calendars with others is a lifesaver.

  • Tracy Krauss

    Thanks for the tips. I have found that writing things down is a great way to remember them. It is something I recommend to students trying to learn lines for a play, for instance, and I do it myself when I have to memorize something. There is something about the physical act of writingit down that helps lodge it into the memory. Unfortunately, in today’s society, this is becoming a lost skill set – even in schools where everything is photocopied or presented with technology…

    • Excellent point Tracy. I’ve heard there’s a science behind writing down facts and having a better retention rate. Has to do with muscle movements and the thought it involves.

  • Remembering names is a big struggle for me. My wife jocks about meeting over 5 times before I remembered her name and even one time I had forgotten we had already meet. I have applied some of the points you mentioned and am getting better at remembering names. This was a great post.

    • Oh boy! That’s not an impression you want to make. Thankfully she got over it, right? Remembering names can be tricky. Continue working on it and you’ll see improvement.

      • She thought it was funny and got over it. She said yes to dating and getting married:) Thanks man!

  • Thanks Joseph. Good tips. I think I’ll use the writing-what-you-hear method in my Sunday School Class.

    Memory is a terrible gift to lose. My struggles with my memory began in my late 30’s. Of course, fear of Alzheimers set in immediately. I can honestly say that God has answered my prayers. Rather than losing ground, I have gained ground and maintained. Some of God’s answers for me came through family support, physical exercise, proper nutrition, and mental stimulation.

    Mental stimulation is actually very fun. Nerdy games, creative writing, crossword puzzles, and lively conversation have all helped my memory.

    God is so good.

    • Terrific testimony Sandi. Glad to hear you’ve made progress with your memory. That could be a terrifying situation to be in.

      What types of nerdy games do you use to help improve your memory?

  • Bil Jones

    Thanks Joe for the good tips. I definitely have to do a lot more writing down these days.

    • You’re welcome Bil. Have you found writing down things to improve your retention?

  • Jack Brown

    right Joseph i’ll try to remember all that 🙂

    • Haha, just remember: Take notes, repeat facts or names, and use technology! (-;

  • Terrie

    Great tips! I am awful with remembering names. I have experimented with your suggestion and it does work, especially association with someone familiar. Taking notes is what I do best – it seems I always have a pen and paper ready when getting instructions. Peace and Blessings:)

    • Glad to hear that these suggestions have worked for you.

      You said that you’re great at note taking. Do you have a plan for reviewing the notes?

  • The added benefit to repeating the persons name over in conversation (as long as it’s not too much) is that you make them feel good. I once had a dean who always remembered things. She’d come to my class and ask each student there name, academic major and interests and then she’d repeat it back to them. At the end of class she could remember everything. People feel good when you rephrase what they tell you. It make them feel cared about and it helps your memory. Win/win.

    • So true Dan. People love to hear their names. It makes them smile, makes them feel good. Good catch!

      Wow, your dean seemed to have had this principle down to a science. Did it make you want to continue with that school?

      • I’d have loved to stay at that school, a very small private 2-year college in Indiana, but had personal matters that led me away. It turned out that dean Dianne was having issues with an unethical president and left the same time as I did. We still stay in touch on Facebook.

  • I ALWAYS use the first one. It’s goes like: ” Hi, I’m Mike. What’s your name?” (They say name) “Ok. Nice to meet you… “Name…name…name…name…name…name (under breath of course)

    • Haha, it sounds like we’re similar in that regard. Do you have any other tips?

      • Nah…that’s about as far as my genius goes lol!

  • Carol Peterson

    The older I get the worse my memory. It’s words I can’t remember anymore. That makes it tough when you’re a writer. (grin)

    I loved your advice. I write everything down, especially names of people I’ve just met. It’s as if I can’t remember anything unless my hands and brain have worked together. Then it’s solid. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

    • Glad that writing everything down helps you remember. Why do you think that helps you remember things better?

  • I often struggle with remembering names. Faces, I rarely forget but those pesky names. Oh! I find associating a person’s face with something humorous often helps me recall one’s name. Thanks
    for your helpful advice! Blessings.

    •  Good tip Stephanie! But I would guess you couldn’t make it too humorous. Wouldn’t want to crack up laughing at someone.

  • Good tips, Joe. I think being able to remember better leads to increased confidence and ease in both business and social settings. You don’t feel the need to bluff your way through a conversation then ask someone off to the side, “So, who was that?”

    I use that first tip when I meet someone new. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll recall the person’s name next time we meet, but at least I’m trying to get the name and face connected in my head. I also use the calendar and notes in my cell phone, along with a notebook in my purse, to keep up with things I need to do, places I need to be, etc.

    I also do some note taking, but that’s mostly at church on Sundays when I take sermon notes.

    •  Traci, thanks for taking the time to comment! At least you’re making an effort at remembering. Sometimes it just takes longer to recall names and facts.