It’s technically Saturday now, but here’s the second review I promised. This review is of a very helpful book about remembering names. This book is called 7 Simple Tricks to Remembering Names: How to Recall Names of People You Meet by Travis Tyler.
Remembering people’s names can be difficult. We make new connections almost every day, whether they’re business or personal. You have to remember names of co-workers and possible professional connections, names of friends’ friends and friends’ families, the names of your partner’s friends and family, your neighbors’ names, it can all be overwhelming. Fortunately, 7 Simple Tricks to Remembering Names by Travis Tyler gives solid advice for solving this dilemma (or at least make it easier to handle).
Tyler presents, as the title says, seven tips to remember someone’s name: repetition, image linking, spelling it out, information grouping, mnemonics, fictionalization, and what the author calls the “memory palace.” There are seven chapters, one for each tip, as well as an introduction and conclusion. Along with the tips and a brief explanation of each, each chapter includes at least one humorous illustration to help the reader visualize the concept of that particular tip.
This book might not sound exciting from this description, but it is a very useful tool and an engaging read. Tyler writes in a very conversational tone; he even notes when he’s gone on a tangent and returns to the topic at hand. I found that this voice made a relatively dry subject interesting and a quick read (36 pages) even quicker. He also avoids, for the most part, using any highly-technical terms. In fact, the most formal he got in his conversation was while discussing some poetry theory as part of an explanation for a trick. (As writers, we’ll have no problem understanding that!) Otherwise, the book is easy for anyone to read.
I think my favorite tip is the repetition tip. For me, that tip is the easiest way to get something to stick in my mind. Of course, as a more visual learner, I might also find the image linking or spelling it out tip helpful as well. The repetition tip, however, seems like a simpler method and easier to use when you have a hard time concentrating and splitting your attention well enough to visualize something while also talking with the person whose name you want to remember.
Admittedly, some people might think that this book contains nothing new. I knew most of the tricks, although three in particular caught me as creative new methods: spelling it out, the memory palace, and fictionalization. I won’t describe these methods—you’ll learn about them when you read the book—but I will say that these are not methods I’ve come across before. All three are especially helpful for visual learners, and the latter two are best for those with active imaginations. The memory palace definitely won’t be for everyone. However, those of you whose brains run 24/7 and need a bit of help with organization (like me!) might want to give this method a try not only for remembering names but for your overall memory.
In fact, many of these tips could apply to more than just remembering names. That’s one of the beauties of this book. While Tyler specifically discusses remembering names, he also goes on the occasional tangent talking about how these tricks can be used for improving memory overall. The true heart of Tyler’s work isn’t just remembering names; it’s about learning how our brains store information and using that to direct which things we want to remember most.
Overall, I think that 7 Simple Tricks for Remembering Names by Travis Tyler lives up to its name and more. It’s simple, easy to read, and intriguing. Tyler more than tells readers the tricks; he explains why they work and for whom they might work best. Obviously, this book isn’t something you can just read once and then be done with it; you will need to refer to it as you try different tricks and realize which methods do and do not work for you. I would not only recommend reading this book but also keeping it close at hand, in case you find yourself in need of a new way to forge accessible memories.
You can buy 7 Simple Tricks for Remembering Names by Travis Tyler as an eBook on Amazon.