Remembering Your Passphrase

An effective way of remembering your passphrase is to use a mnemonic technique called “linking”
  • Write down passphrase using a pen and paper and keep it in a secure place.
  • Do not save it on your computer.
  • Remember you won’t be frequently typing it in. Practice reciting your passphrase until you have it memorized.
  • Below you will find some techniques to help you memorize your passphrase. These are called mnemonic devices; our brains are naturally good at quickly memorizing images and stories, whereas attempting to free recall a list of words can be very difficult. A mnemonic device is a technique used to help you remember one thing, by remembering something else that is easier to remember but reminds you of the original thing you are trying to remember.
  • Do your best to memorize your new passphrase. Now your money is in your mind!

Mnemonic Technique – "Linking"

  • An effective way of remembering your passphrase is to use a mnemonic technique called “linking”
  • Using a pen and paper (it’s advised you do not save your passphrase anywhere on your computer) write down the passphrase in a vertical list format
  • Create a phrase/image that links the pairs of two words together. Do your best to vividly imagine the images (Visual Aid).
  • Spend some time (~5 minutes) reciting the passphrase words using the phrases/images you came up with.
  • Try to recite the list in 10 minutes // 30 minutes // 45 minutes // 2 hours
  • Try to recall the list when you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day for the next week
  • Refresh your memory at least once a month to ensure you don’t forget
  • Additional Reference: http://www.memorizeeverything.com/lists/

Mnemonic Technique – "Poem"

  • An effective way of remembering your passphrase is to use a mnemonic technique in which you create a poem using your passphrase words.
  • The 13 word passphrase “brother pupil wet clerk maple gown warm immune spin sugar danger warfare absurd” was randomly generated
  • A “poem” to remember this passphrase may look something like this:

    My brother, the pupil
    wet the clerk.
    Her maple [colored] gown
    Kept her warm and immune.
    ——-
    Spinning sugar
    is not dangerous
    in warfare,
    but absurd.

  • Although the poem does not make much sense and sounds kind of ridiculous, it is just “real” enough that our minds can easily remember it. Considering the passphrase is randomly generated and contains 128 bits of entropy (it would take 1 billion billion years to brute force (guess) this passphrase) it is well worth the effort of remembering this silly poem.