How To Be A Walking Calendar



Becoming a walking calendar is a pretty easy trick now that you’ve learned how to use the Number Rhyme System and The Month List.

If you haven’t read the previous articles in this series, you may want to take a few moments to look over them as we’ll be using those systems throughout this article.

How To Use The Number Rhyme System To Remember Important Numbers

An Easy Trick For Remembering Birthdays And Dates (The Month List)

Over the weekend, I was signing some paperwork, and at least three times I had to ask the clerk what the date was. On the drive home, I decided I would revisit an old trick I learned in grade school and commit the calendar year of 2009 to memory.

I know this sounds like a tedious and time consuming task, but stay with me for a bit – it’s actually really easy.

Whether you’re setting up meetings, dates or appointments, you can use the walking calendar system to recall the date for any day of the year. It’s a pretty cool party trick to boot.

Here’s how it works.

First, find the date of each month on which the first Sunday falls.

Here are the dates for the first Sunday for each of the 12 months for the year 2009:

First Sunday of January: 4th
First Sunday of February: 1st
First Sunday of March: 1st
First Sunday of April: 5th
First Sunday of May: 3rd
First Sunday of June: 7th
First Sunday of July: 5th
First Sunday of August: 2nd
First Sunday of September: 6th
First Sunday of October: 4th
First Sunday of November: 1st
First Sunday of December: 6th

Now, with a little bit of math (it’s just simple addition and subtraction), you can figure out any date in the year.

Here’s one example:

September 15, 2009

The first Sunday in September falls on the 6th. By adding 7 (for a week), we know that September 13th is a Sunday. Now you have a reference point and you can quickly work out that Monday is the 14th, and Tuesday is the 15th.

Let’s try another one.

May 23, 2009

The first Sunday in May falls on the 3rd. Add 21 (for three weeks), determining that the 24th is a Sunday. Now, work backward from your reference point to see that the 23rd falls on a Saturday.

So, what you’re doing here is taking the date of the first Sunday and adding however many weeks to it until you get close to your target date. It’s okay if you go over because you can work backward or forward in this system.

Let’s do one more before we move on.

December 19, 2009

The first Sunday in December falls on the 6th. Add 14 (for two weeks) to see that the 20th falls on Sunday. Now, move backward one day and you’ll see that the 19th is a Saturday.

Alright, so how do you do this all in your head?

Take a look at the table below. I’ve laid out the dates for the first Sunday of each month. I’ve also laid out the exchange word for each month from The Month List. And finally, I’ve listed the exchange words from the Number Rhyme System that will replace the numerical date of each of the first Sundays.

Mental Calendar


For each month and its first Sunday’s date, create a mental image of the month and date, forming an association for each month to commit the dates to your memory. Here are example image reminders for three of the months:

January: Imagine putting on your new winter jacket (January) and walking out your front door (4) to a huge wall of snow.

February: Imagine yourself shooting one of those super soaker water guns (1) and instead of water coming out, it gushes candy hearts (February).

July: Picture a huge bee hive (5) outside your bedroom window. It starts shaking wildly and instead of bees rushing out of it, fireworks (July)begin to shoot out.

Those are just three quick examples. Be sure to use the exchange words that work best for you and create reminder images that are vivid, odd, and full of action.

Take a few minutes to do all twelve months and comit those images to memory. Then go through each month and see if the date of the first Sunday pops into your mind. Once you’re able to easily recite all twelve, you can use the calculation method we learned earlier in this post to figure the date for any day of the year.

Let’s try Valentine’s Day.

February 14th, 2009

From the reminder image above, you should recall a super soaker water gun (1) shooting out candy hearts (February). So, the first Sunday of February falls on the 1st. Now, add 14 (two weeks) to determine that the 15th falls on a Sunday. Work backward to figure out that the 14th is a Saturday.

We’ll do one more together and then you’re on your own.

July 23rd, 2009

Think again to the remind image for July. You should recall a bee hive (5) with fireworks (July) shooting out of it. So, the first Sunday falls on the 5th. Add 14 (two weeks) to see that the 19th is a Sunday.

Now move forward like this: Monday is the 20th, Tuesday is the 21st, Wednesday is the 22nd and the 23rd is a Thursday.

There is a little work on the front end with this method, but give it a couple of days and you’ll be reciting dates in mere seconds.


And for those of you who want to take your calendar abilities a (large) step further, I suggest Luciano Passuello’s post on the Human Calendar method over at LiteMind. It’s quite a bit trickier than the one above, but if you can get it down, you can determine dates for any year – past or present – insted of just the current one.

Photo Source

Erin Matlock About the author, Erin Matlock
Erin Matlock is and advocate, speaker and advisor working in the brain health and mental health markets. Catch up with her at

7 Comments On This Post

  1. Hello i would like ask the codes for the years for example years in 1990 until 2000 thanks

  2. Hi Matthew,

    Good to see another fan of Dominic O’Brien. His talent is absolutely amazing, and his teaching style is always entertaining.

    I started out with a basic (and limited, I admit) calendar trick because we’ve not covered the number-shape system yet. As you mentioned, it is a good alternative for those who don’t take to the number rhyme system.

    As for starting on Sundays, that’s how I learned the system – and it seems to work well. (I’m one of those people who likes my weekly calendars to begin on Sunday.) However, you can really use any day you like.

    Good to see you here! :-)

  3. Wouldn’t it be easier to use Dominic O’Brien’s system from Quantum Memory Power? Number rhyming only works for auditory learners (about 20% of the population). His system gives you the option of using rhymes, shapes, or a combination of the two. Better yet, incorporate a utility-based option, and you’ve covered auditory, visual and kinaesthetic. Much better for adapting to other brains.

    OTOH, I like your starting point with the Sundays, which Dominic was fuzzy on. That make it easier to work forward.

  4. Thanks for sharing this information I like it and I gain some knowledge about your topic..

  5. Hey Mark,

    No apologies! :-) It can be a bit confusing at first – especially if you haven’t read the first two articles which outline the Number Rhyme System and The Month List.

    With mnemonics, it’s best to build slowly so you get used to working with the exchange words. But once you have it down, it really is an easy trick.

  6. WoW! That is really confusing. Sorry.


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