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How to Remember Birthdays

Learn how to remember birthdays in this Howcast video about memory techniques featuring memory expert Barry Reitman.


Hi, I'm Barry Reitman, author of "Secrets, Tips, and Tricks of a Powerful Memory" and I'd like to discuss how to remember people's birthdays or other important dates. I'm going to suggest that you start a small system of your own. I'm going to give you one that I use to remember each month. You can certainly replace my pictures with yours. That's okay.

What I use for January is a party hat. New Year's Eve, January. For February, a valentine, a heart, maybe with an arrow going through it. Valentine's Day is always February. March, I think the easiest thing is to picture a parade and people marching and so on. April, showers. May, flowers, and June, bride.

Now, the second part of a birthday that you want to remember, of course, is the number. Throughout this series there are a number of ways to remember numbers. Let's use the rhyme system. So if my friend Paul, my picture for the name Paul is to pull. I pull on a feature, perhaps a large nose, and I pull down on it, or a beard and I pull down on it. Pull. I see myself pulling on a facial feature. I know it's Paul.

And Paul's birthday is March 19th. Well, that's March 1, 9. In my rhyme scheme, which you'll see in one of the other videos in this series, number 1 is bun, a hamburger bun, and number 9 is a glass of wine. So I'm going to picture a sandwich. And you know what? It's not a ham sandwich, or an egg sandwich, or a bacon and egg sandwich. It's a wine sandwich. I'm going to see a glass of wine turned on its side, two pieces of bread holding it together. So there's my wine sandwich, number 19, March 19th.

I'm going to put it all together. March, a marching band. And there's a marching band going by, and there's my friend Paul. And he's trying to walk in front of the marching band, and I have to pull him away. And it's tough to get his attention. Do you know why? Because he's eating a wine sandwich.

Does that sound stupid, dopey? That's what makes it work. If you see that picture, and you're used to using those pictures for the months, and your pictures for the numbers, in this case the rhyming scheme, and you know you're pulling on Paul, Paul, pull, you put it all together and you can't forget Paul's birthday is on the 19th of March.

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