What is a Peg list?

A peg system is a mnemonic technique for memorizing lists. It works by pre-memorizing a list of words that are easy to associate with the numbers they represent(1 to 10, 1-100, 1-1000, etc). Those objects form the “pegs” of the system. Then in the future, to rapidly memorize a list of arbitrary objects, each one is associated with the appropriate peg. Generally, a peglist only has to be memorized one time, and can then be used over and over every time a list of items needs to be memorized.

taken from Wikipedia

The short version: you spend time in the beginning learning a list of words that you later use as anchors for memorizing OTHER things. By working on this memory skill, not only are you able to memorize lists in day-to-day life (like grocerys), it helps you with your normal memory as well.

Here’s an example. Let’s pretend your peg list has these items as it’s first five:

  1. gun
  2. shoe
  3. tree
  4. door
  5. hive

and the list you need to memorize is:

  1. tomatos
  2. milk
  3. bread
  4. toothpaste
  5. toilet paper

You’d go through the list and form the silliest pictures you can relating one to the other.
For example:

Bullet against tomato on Flickr

and so on (stepping on a jug of milk, a tree with loaves of bread hanging from it, etc.)