In addition to Attention and Repetition techniques, association and visualization techniques can be used to ensure the data that needs to be retrieved from the memory, has actually gotten in there in the first place. These techniques can be used to help with long term memory as well as short term memory loss.
Raw information stored in your long term memory is like books stored in a massive library. It is easier to place and retrieve a new book in the library, if you know to which other existing books is this new book associated to.
Similarly, it is so much easier to commit new material to memory, if we find a way to associate it to the information already existing in our mind.
Indexing information in such a way also makes it that much easier to retrieve it from memory, should the need arise at a later point in time.
Say a friend tells you her birthday is March 8.
After thinking about it for a second, you realize that it is one day earlier than your spouse's birthday, Feb 9, but in the subsequent month.
So you found a way to associate your friend's birthday which you just heard, to your spouse's birthday, which was already stored in your mind.
establishing this link, a random date now got extra significance, which
makes it a lot more easier to not only register and retain it in your
mind, but also retrieve it at a subsequent time.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So by picturizing your scenario, you could potentially save yourselves from memorizing several words instead!
You could even make a movie out of the information, by tacking successive pictures together in a sequence that makes sense.
Visual memory is stronger than its verbal counterpart. By adding the visual element to your information, you are making it so much easier for it to be absorbed into your long term memory, as well as for retrieving it later.
A good example for using Visualization memory techniques is for remembering directions to a particular place.
Instead of remembering something like "Take left at third light, right at second STOP sign, fourth house to your right", try to picture its location relative to your current position.
Observe the details in the picture for a second, like traffic lights and STOP signs.
your mind is clear on this picture, going to your destination becomes
so much of a second nature, without actually remembering verbal details
of the directions given to you.