Having trouble recalling which password goes with which online account? No worries. Even brainiacs forget this stuff. They just know how to kick-start their craniums, says Scott Hagwood, author of Memory Power. To limit future brain hiccups, try these tricks to remember:
"It doesn't matter how good you are at remembering things," Hagwood says. "Even experts can forget information if it's delivered too quickly."
Brain booster You need to control the flow of information. If you're being introduced to a big group - at the kitchen tea your future mother-in-law is throwing for you, for example - pause at the third person. Comment on her name, outfit, or resemblance to a celebrity. As others join in the banter, mentally review the names of the other two people you just met. Repeat with every third person.
If you walk into a supermarket without a shopping list, chances are you'll forget at least one thing you came in for. Mental lists can dissolve when you're faced with so many choices.
Brain booster Take the time to visualise each item you need to buy. "The more unusual the image, the more easily the information can be recalled," says Dr Shane Bush, a neuropsychologist. Imagine Daniel Craig holding the milk in one hand and a loaf of bread in the other, wearing nothing but boxer shorts made of your favourite cereal. Bizarre? Maybe. Effective? Definitely.
The brain can only handle so many numbers. So "combine them into units," says Dr George W Rebok, a professor in the department of mental health at the Johns Hopkins University in the US.
Brain booster Divide a long string of numbers into sections that mean something to you. (Phone numbers are already grouped, so regroup them.) Look for three- or four-digit patterns and link them to your lucky number, your birthday, whatever. Once there's an association, the digits become less random and will be easier to remember.
Remember little things about your new partner - his mum's name, his footy team - and you'll impress him. But that laundry list of information can be difficult to sort out, particularly when you're a few drinks into the night. (This applies to work clients and new acquaintances, too)Brain booster Use the room technique. Pick a room that's familiar to you. As he's telling you things about his life, imagine him doing them (OK, mum was a bad example) in different parts of that room. Such as, kicking a football in an Essendon singlet in the kitchen.