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Almost all memory techniques involve visualising some unusual situation like imagining your front door dripping with custard (this is how I know my front door key is the yellow one on my keyring).

For any given set of things to memorise - I can imagine that it would be better to generate your own images (because they would be more personal to you and thus more memorable), but I can also imagine that it would be better to have someone else think of it and tell you about it (because it would be more unusual and distinctive to you and thus more memoriable)

Is there any research or notable sources that come down on this one way or the other?

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Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin would be a book that has a section about memory and how different people have different contexts used to be able to build up their ability to recall data. The key here is to know one's own passions and ideas so that the data can enter the long-term memory better than if someone tries to hand you the data.

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything would be another book that covers various memory techniques that may be useful to consider.

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