Bullet Journal Brain Dumps - How To Set Up A Brain Dump In Your Bullet Journal

If there is one thing I know about bullet journalers it’s that we love anything to do with list making or doing a brain dump. Today I am teaching you what and how to use a brain dump in your bullet journal.

What Is A Brain Dump

A brain dump is exactly what it sounds like. It is word vomit on a piece of paper so you can get all your tasks, upcoming events, must do’s, and things you want to remember out of your brain.

The idea of a brain dump is a way to clear your mind so you can better organize your thoughts. I’m going to sound a bit hipster here – I have been brain dumping since before it had a name.

I found it was the only way I could remember to do everything that I needed to do while simultaneously stopping my brain from feeling overloaded. I now use my bullet journal to do brain dumps and it is a life saver.

Before we get started here is a list of my recommended supplies.

Recommended Products

Setting Up A Brain Dump

There is no correct way to set up a brain dump page in your bullet journal. It can be a couple of different ways.

A To Do List

Monthly spread with master to do list

A master to do list is a great way to write down all the things you need to do as they come to mind. Keeping a master to do list over the course of a week, month, or just ongoing can help you to complete all your tasks.

Organized Dump

Bullet Journal Brain Dump Setup - Organized Brain Dump

An organized brain dump is where you might section off things into categories. This could be research you want to explore, movies you want to see, quotes you want to remember, projects to work on, ect.

The organized dump works best for those who often just sit and brainstorm. You can quickly jot down ideas before they are lost in your brain forever.

The Random Dump

Bullet Journal Brain Dump Setup - Random Brain Dump

Finally, you can use something like a random dump. This allows you to just word vomit on the page with zero organization and you can come back to it at anytime to pull from it or add to it.

The random dump is successful for people who are pretty organized anyways and just need a place to record their thoughts.

When To Brain Dump

There never is a set time that is right for doing a brain dump. Some people do it every night while others might do it whenever they start feeling overwhelmed. I personally try to do brain dumps at least weekly.

I find doing a brain dump often really helps to keep ideas flowing. As a creative it is necessary for me to keep my brain flowing with new ideas. If you don’t rely on coming up with new ideas often you can probably brain dump a lot less.

There is one exception to this and that is anyone who has a high stress job. I’m not just talking about air traffic controllers here. If you have people who rely on you or a boss that is demanding you have a high stress job.

A daily brain dump is an effective way to help you keep control over your productivity, time, and sanity. The brain dump allows you to put extra thoughts, notes, or additional tasks down and off to the side so you can focus on finishing the task you are working on.

How To Brain Dump

How you brain dump is up to you – it can be purposeful or on a whim.

Purposeful Brain Dump

A purposeful brain dump is where you put notes to paper and there is nothing else you are working on at that time. The goal here is to get all your tasks and reminders on paper so you can pick one thing to focus on.

This type of brain dump is best to be done with either an organized dump or a master to do list.

On A Whim Brain Dump

The on a whim brain dump is when you are hit with an additional task or idea while you are working on something else and you quickly jot it down. Being prepared for an on a whim brain dump is absolutely essential at all times.

As you continue to practice brain dumping you will start relying on that notepad or that page in your journal where you can jot down what’s going on. This type of dump is best with a random dump page because you can always go back and add it to your organized dump or master to do list later.

Where To Setup Your Brain Dump In Your Bullet Journal

I find it best to create a new brain dump page every month. A lot of my organization and actual task management is done on Trello due to the nature of my work so I always have just a random dump page in my journal.

During my purposeful brain dumps about once a week I will sit down with my random dump page and start adding things to my daily to do lists.

How you setup your brain dump pages is completely up to you. You can add a small box in your weekly layouts, use a daily layout, or have specific pages. I recommend trying them all out and finding out what works best for you.

Why To Use A Brain Dump

There are a lot of benefits to using the brain dump method to organize your thoughts. The first being maintaining your productivity. The habit of brain dumping keeps you working on just one project at a time without losing your flow.

The second benefit to using a brain dump is you can use it for your mental health. When you keep ideas, tasks, and everything you have going on locked up in your brain you will quickly burn out and feel overwhelmed by it all.

Writing down your thoughts, ideas, feelings, rants, raves, and anything else you have up there will allow your brain time to let go. This keeps you from burning out or ending up in the dreaded fog.

The final benefit to a brain dump is you are more likely to remember what needs to get done. The action of writing out tasks, events, and ideas helps to create a signal in your brain that this specific piece of information is important and needs to be remembered.

Recommended Products

How often do you use a brain dump? Let me know in the comments below. Do you have bullet journal spreads you would like shared? Email them to [email protected] and they may be featured on an Instagram post and/or to the blog. Please leave your IG Username so I can tag you in the posts. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your Bullet Journal boards.

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