Things made meaningful become easier to remember


During the learning process, our mind builds connections between the new information and the things we already know. This is why connecting new information to the things we are familiar with makes it easier to learn. Therefore, to make things easy to remember, they have to be made relevant.

Photo by Element5 Digital / Unsplash
  • Case studies and real-life examples can help to understand the relevance of the topic. It can also be a good exercise to describe an everyday situation - real or imaginary - where the phenomena studied is present.
  • When reading a book, taking notes about the core content or drawing a mind-map can help to connect the information in a meaningful way. Drawing the connection between facts and categorizing them typically help to process the information.
  • In an online course, assignments that require the course participants to apply what has been learned to real life, help to make the topic relevant. Testing, which action is correct in a specific situation or asking how one could solve some common issue will help to connect it to everyday life situations.
  • When a topic feels abstract, writing down the implications can help to connect it to more ordinary topics. Try to describe how do the things under study affect to other things, and what is their role in the big picture.

Our brain is wired to filter out the relevant from trivial, and therefore we tend to forget the facts we did not connect to things that are meaningful for us. The easiest way to help yourself to remember new facts is to make them meaningful.

Take a topic you want to learn. In which situations the information is useful for you?

How can your team share learnings from everyday situations?