The guy who recited 20k numbers of pi by memory alone used a system where he converted numbers into consonants and then grouped words or sentences together to remember a huge amount of numbers.

Here's how it works:

1:  t, th, d   (single downstroke) Ex: Take, THe, Dog   
2:  n   (two downstrokes) Ex: Nose  
3:  m   (three downstrokes) Ex: Money   
4:  r   (the last letter of “four” is “r”) Ex: Road
5:  L   (you have five fingers on your Left hand) Ex: Life, driLL   
6:  j, soft g, ch, sh   (“J” is a near mirror-image of “6”) Ex: Jelly, CHips, garaGe, SHoe  
7:  k, hard g, c, or x  (“7” side-by-side with a mirror image form a sideways “K”) Kite, Goat, Cat, eXcel   
8:  f, v, ph    (“8” is similar to the lower-case cursive “f”) Ex: Flame, eFFect, Vest, graPH   
9:  p, b    (9 is a mirror-image of “P”) Ex: Pen, Ball  
0:  z, s, soft c or x   (0 signifies “zero”) Ex: Zipper, Scarf, eXample, iCe

Vowels don't count, double consonants only count once, and you go by the pronunciation rather than the spelling. H, q, and w don't count, and x is listed here but it can get confusing with words like excellent, so it's best to use unambiguous words. I hope I explained it well enough!

I like phi better than pi, so for this I'll be using phi. You can use whatever numbers you want, but phi is the most irrational number and we can do this forever or until we're bored.

Anyway, the goal is to come up with sentences that make as much sense as possible, so it becomes easier to remember them.

Here's what I have so far:


They shot off some map of a fake rope fiber.
If ravens are alive, show off my room, Jill.
She may fight to cook.
Nice mice bit a cop; face leakage.
An efficient mall; rare fashion.
Nick's lunch is rich; no vat of poison.
Rare picks... coon skins are tough.
Be my petite maker for a gal or save face.
Cool move, chief bought kale in a teenage sham.
My fashion—an animal.
My shop might keep my tough sausage, so I cash a check.
Nacho meal.

They = 1
shot = 61
off = 8

...and so on. You can see some of these don't make much sense. Have fun!

Here's a place to get all the numbers you'll ever need: http://www.goldennumber.net/phi-million-places/

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    $\begingroup$ "phi is the most irrational number" Huh? How can a number be "more" irrational than any other irrational number? $\endgroup$ – KSmarts Jan 27 '15 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ @KSmarts - You could have looked this up rather than gone "huh?"! :-) There's even a question on SE. Start with the second answer. The convergent of a real number's continued fraction that stops just before a large term is a better approximation than one that stops before a smaller term. The c.f. for $\phi$ is just a string of 1s, so all the convergents are as bad as they could be. In this sense it's worst at being approximated by rationals. Of course you are free to define what makes numbers more or less irrational differently if you wish! $\endgroup$ – h34 Jan 27 '15 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ @Psybin - You have described the Major system, invented by Pierre Hérigone in the 17th century and used in one form or another by most serious memorisers today. It's what I use to remember phone numbers. If people are going to write lines as you suggest, each line should be for a fixed number of digits and should give a striking and silly image that preferably engages more than one sense and if possible involves movement (cf. Aristotle's energeia). Never mind "as much sense as possible"; much better to make it as wacky as possible :-) $\endgroup$ – h34 Jan 27 '15 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ Just to gloss my last point: which is more memorable, a farmer rode a horse along the road or a singing horse in a beret handed out some ice cream? $\endgroup$ – h34 Jan 27 '15 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't know what the system was or any details about it, so thanks for that! And you're right, the more bizarre, the more memorable, so I guess my weird sentences are actually better than something bland. When I get some I'll change the rules up a bit. $\endgroup$ – Psybin Jan 27 '15 at 20:48

Good lines here are what works well for the person doing the memorising. And the first stage in fixing them in your memory is to make them up yourself. It won't do to use someone else's efforts, at least not when you're trying to memorise something quite long.

That said, people who are seriously into memorisation use prepared lists for numbers up to 100 or 1000 or 10000 and then string them together to make stories.

Here's a quick go at the first 24 digits:

Teach to a fish: "Moo, moo, baa!"

Fie! Fie! A car above a pear!

Fury! Phone a shore elf!
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