Snack Hack # 20 – Ribbing’s Bike Memory Technique – 2 minute read

Welcome back to the Snack Hack series. These posts aim to bring some easy and actionable tips and tricks into your everyday life. Today’s hack is a nice, simple and memorable one. It’s a memory technique you can implement from everything from your shopping list to a meeting at work, it’s all just dependant on your creativity.

This technique is called the Ribbing’s bike and comes via memory big gun Mattias Ribbing. The idea is to picture a bike. Any bike. Make it a memorable one though. Now enlarge it in your head and imagine it as big as an SUV, standing in front of you. Think of 10 tasks you need to remember, things like picking up a file from work, dropping off your dry-cleaning, resoling your winter boots, picking up the food shopping, whatever.

Now assign an image to each thing, something vivid, with sharp lines, which Ribbing claims stick in your mind better than amorphous shapes. “For example, visualising a sun,” he said. “That’s not really good because it’s not a fixed outline.”

For each task, take the first image that comes to mind (a pair of boots, a bag of food shopping, suits on a rack, whatever), enlarge it and hold onto it. Then you’ll begin putting each object on a different part of the bike, mentally connecting the two, so something like “front tire” is synonymous with food shopping.

When you visualise a bike, you place an image on the front tire, then move slowly back to the spokes, then to the hub in the center of the wheel. The technique plays on the power of having a visual association to whatever you’re trying to remember.

Ok, hope this is something that may come in handy. In an age where we rely so heavily on our phones for information, it pays to be able to rely on our most secure and reliable piece of tech; the one in your head.

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