We all have an awful lot of information stored in our brains. So much, in fact, that getting it out and into a form that’s tangible and which can be acted on is rather tricky.

Or is it? If you’ve never heard of a brain dump but have endless thoughts and ideas swimming around in your head, it could be your knight in shining armour. Certainly, it’ll help stave off periods of procrastination!

Definition of a brain dump

A brain dump is pretty much what it says on the tin.

Brain dump is the process of unloading all of the thoughts and ideas from your brain and onto paper.

This can be done on paper with a pen or onto a notes app on your smartphone. In fact, you can dump the contents of your brain onto pretty much anything you like – the idea is to get those ideas out and put them in front of you so that you can start organising them.

A brain dump should eventually leave you with a number of actionable tasks and projects you can either undertake soon, mark for the future or delete entirely.

What tools do you need for a brain dump?

The good news is you don’t need any fancy apps or tools for a brain dump – you’ve probably got all the tools you need right on your desk.

As previously noted, you simply need a piece of paper, notebook or the notes app on your phone.

There’s just a couple of rules to bear in mind.

  1. Make sure you always have whatever it is you take notes on with you at all times.
  2. Avoid having lots of places on which to write down your thoughts from your brain dump. One or two is enough.

How to use a brain dump

Brain dumps are simpler than you might think and actually pretty addictive once you get going.

The idea of a brain dump is to not forget ideas. We often forget good ideas. With brain dump you simply grab your note taking device or medium of choice and start to write down all of the ideas and thoughts that come into your head.

It’s sensible to regularly review your brain dump and add to it; try and avoid writing just a few things down and leaving it to fester.

How brain dump works

When undertaking a brain dump, the idea is to capture your thoughts and ideas, so you don’t forget them.

Once you’ve got those thoughts on paper, you can sort through them by undertaking the following actions:

  1. Schedule tasks that you want to undertake on your to-do list.
  2. Archive anything that doesn’t need to be done right away in a ‘future’ list.
  3. Delete anything that’s unnecessary or unimportant.

Benefits of a brain dump

As with anything related to productivity, your mileage with this will vary. However, I look at brain dumps as though they are RAM memory.

When you undertake a brain dump, you’re basically freeing up your brain’s RAM. Just like a computer, having too much stuff in your memory banks can slow you down and be detrimental to productivity.

It’s also worth bearing in mind the main benefit of a brain dump, which I’ll leave you with today. It ensures those brilliant ideas that are rolling around in your head don’t get forgotten.

So, are you ready to start brain dumping?