How To Write Down Your Pin

Around the start of this year I was in a pub a few pints down and had just ordered another one. I’d burnt through all my cash for the evening already but sober Joe had taken the debit card out. Typically muscle memory would kick in at this point and I’d enter my pin - that evening it did not. After thinking about it for a while I confused myself so much it took two weeks to remember it.

Now if I’d had my pin written down somewhere this wouldn’t have been a problem but that would mean writing down a rather important number where anyone could find it.

I was thinking about this recently and came up with a very easy way to write down short numbers that keeps them hidden. It’s very simple. The first digit tells you what number to remove. Cross off both of those and then whatevers left is your secret number.

A Quick Example

Say you had a 4 digit PIN number you wanted to remember. Say, 2659. First think of a number from 1 to the length of your secret plus 1. In this case that’s 1 to 5. Write it down first:


That tells us we’ll need to remove the number three along from the start. So write down numbers up to that point.

3 2 6

Then pick another random number from 1 - 9…

3 2 6 2

…and then write the rest of your PIN.

3 2 6 2 5 9

Simple. To get your pin back just mentally cross of the first number and the number it is pointing at and your there.

3 2 6 2 5 9

This works so long as you don’t need to write down more than 9 digits. For numbers longer than that you just can use the first two digits. So 13242… would mean remove the 13th number. Alternatively you could bounce along. So the first number you choose would point to a number to remove which would point to another until you land on a zero. You can make it as complicated as you want so long as you remember your method!