Until Wednesday, I didn’t know my daughter’s cell phone number. Yes, she’s had this number for a year. Yes, I’m lazy, choosing to depend on my own cell phone directory. And yes, memorization is not my best friend.

But I should know my daughter’s cell phone, right? If I needed to reach her using someone else’s phone, I’d be up a creek.

So I memorized it. And it was easy, and even a little fun. That’s because she and I both noticed a relationship between the last four digits in her cell phone number. Here, see if you notice it, too.


See anything interesting in there? We did. First off, I noticed that 6 + 2 = 8. I crowed about that for a little bit, until my daughter asked how I was going to remember the 1. Suddenly, it hit me like a train. Duh.

16 = 2 • 8

Cool, huh? And you might even notice more interesting connections. (Share them in the comments section if you do.)

My point is this: Simple math can help you remember important details, like your phone number or license plate or even Social Security Number. Whenever you need to memorize a number, look at the math.

Here are a couple of additional examples. Do you notice any patterns?



These connections can also be geometric — for the more visual of us. Consider this house number: 2684. Ring any bells? If not, picture the touch pad of a telephone? Now do you get it? (When you press the numbers in order, you create a diamond.)

Believe it or not, these little tricks are great ways to keep your budding Einstein’s math brain humming over the summer months. You can even play road-trip games just by noticing patterns.

So share your mathematical mnemonic tricks in the comments section. How has simple arithmetic or geometry helped you remember a number? I’ll bet every one of you has a story to tell.

What patterns do you notice in 491-625 and 1587? Share in the comments section.

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