Brain Dump Bullet Journal: How-To and Free Printable!

How to Use a Brain Dump in Your Bullet Journal

Everything You Need to Know about a Brain Dump

  • Do you feel like you can’t remember tasks and to dos?

  • Do you walk into a room to get something and completely forget what it was you meant to grab?

  • Do you forget appointments or meetings?

  • Do you find it difficult to remember simple names of things?

  • Do you want to improve your mental clarity?

You’re not losing your mind…you’re just overtasking it!

For some reason, we think that we are smarter if we try to keep all information in our heads. However, brains don’t work that way and can get easily overloaded with lots of bits of information and ideas.

It doesn’t have to be that way - you can have a clear mind so that you don’t forget all of the thoughts, plans, meetings, and lists that you need to keep organized.

This article will show you how to do that!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for more information.

It’s called brain dumping.

Why do you need a brain dump?

Let’ say you have 100 water balloons you are taking to a picnic. You can’t drop a single balloon because they are all equally important for a balloon game later that day.

To get them to the picnic, you decide to pick up all 100 balloons and carry them in your arms.

What do you think happens?

Some of the balloons slip from under your arms, some can’t take the weight of the other balloons and they burst. Those balloons cause other balloons to explode, too.

Before you know it, you’ve dropped or burst most of the balloons and you’re left with tiny pieces of rubber that can’t be made back into water balloons.

Those balloons are the same as the thoughts you are trying to stuff in your head and it can’t hold them all!

However, what if you placed all of the balloons into a garbage bag?

Now, all of the balloons are in a safe place. It’s easy to move them to the picnic and access them when it’s time to use them.

In fact, it’s now so much easier to move them, you have an extra hand available for carrying the picnic basket as well as a blanket.

When you arrive at the picnic you leave the balloons in the bag until it’s game time.

Before the game begins, you organize the balloons by color so you can pass out one color to each team.

That’s the same way we will use a brain dump for your thoughts and ideas!

Moving the ideas that are in your brain and putting them on paper will provide a safe place for you to access the information later and organize as needed.

What is a brain dump journal?

A brain dump journal or a bullet journal brain dump page is a place were you can store information in a safe place so it doesn’t get lost.

You’ll use a brain dump to jot down anything and everything on your mind.

Brain dumping or “thought dumping” is a method of getting out all of your thoughts, ideas, meetings, goals, worries, problems, questions,…anything and everything actually. Put it down on paper so it’s not cluttering up your brain.

5 Brain Dump Benefits

#1. Reduces Stress

By getting everything down on paper, it’s now in a safe place where your mind doesn’t have to remember or worry about it.

#2. Creates Mindfulness

A brain dump declutters the brain to help clear your mind past events or future plans so that you can live in the present.

#3. Organizes Your Thoughts

When thoughts and ideas are locked in your head, it’s easy to make sense of it all. A brain dump allows you to see things on paper and then create groupings, see thought processes, and put ideas into action.

#4. Helps You Focus

Since your mind no longer having to be responsible for all of those plans, ideas, and random thoughts your mind is finally able to focus on the task at hand.

#5. Provides Perspective

Things seem so much more complex in our minds. Problems seem bigger and tasks seem more difficult. When you put your thoughts on paper, it allows you gain perspective on a project or problem and help you prioritize your tasks.

Next up, we’ll do a brain dump together! I’ll give you an example by doing my own brain dump so you can see how the process works.

Brain Dump Exercise

Prepare

  • Set aside 15-30 minutes

  • Find a quiet and relaxing place

  • Turn off electronics and the tv

  • Set a timer

  • FREE Download - Brain Dump Worksheets Free Printables are at the bottom of this article - designed to work with this tutorial.

Step 1 - Brain Dump

Unload everything you think of and DO NOT EDIT.

You may use one page or ten pages.

Take as much space as you need to get all your thoughts down on paper.

You don’t have to write everything out in detail. You can use bullets and short phrases.

Also do not organize your thoughts at this time. Just get EVERYTHING down on paper. We’ll edit and organize later.

So what should you be writing down?

Everything that is on your mind. Here’s a few examples that are on my mind today.

  • Health concerns (Write questions for the doctor)

  • Grocery items needed

  • Trim and paint my nails

  • Make new Pinterest graphics

  • Schedule graphics/posts on Tailwind

  • Schedule a newsletter

  • Finish Daily Planner printable

  • Email Linda re: job search

  • Dust and vacuum this weekend

  • Plan July blog posts

  • Pay for email provider

  • Buy shower gel

  • Log appointments in planner for next week

  • See movie Yesterday (add to bujo Movie Tracker)

  • Pay car insurance

  • Create July bujo page spreads

  • Finish reading current book

  • Get passport

  • Write on my bujo gratitude page

  • Do laundry

  • Map out schedule for new client

  • Plan dinners for this week

  • “Take one day at a time” quote to planner

  • Call my sister

  • Pick up photos tomorrow

  • I need a haircut (schedule appointment)

  • Check Dad’s electric bill

  • Fix zipper pocket in Traveler’s Notebook

Those ideas just flowed out of my head. As you can see they are all over the place but if feels REALLY good knowing I got everything down on paper and out of my head.

Once you feel like you’ve gotten everything on paper, move on to the next step.

Step 2 - Organize

Take a look at everything you’ve written down.

As I look over my brain dump, I notice many of my thoughts fall into specific categories: home, health, self care, work, and friends & family. I’m sure you’ll see the same thing with your brain dump.

Here are the categories I came up. Then I placed each of my thoughts under one of those categories.

Home

  • Grocery items needed

  • Dust and vacuum this weekend

  • Buy shower gel

  • Log appointments in planner for next week

  • Pay car insurance

  • Get passport

  • Do laundry

  • Plan dinners for this week

  • Pick up photos tomorrow

  • Fix zipper pocket in Traveler’s Notebook

Health

  • Write questions for the doctor

Self Care

  • Trim and paint my nails

  • Schedule haircut appointment

  • See movie Yesterday

  • Finish reading current book

  • Write on my bujo gratitude page

  • “Take one day at a time” quote to planner

Work

  • Make new Pinterest graphics

  • Schedule graphics/posts on Tailwind

  • Schedule a newsletter

  • Finish Daily Planner printable

  • Plan July blog posts

  • Pay for email provider

  • Create July bujo page spreads

  • Map out schedule for new client

Friends & Family

  • Email Linda re: job search

  • Call my sister

  • Check Dad’s electric bill

Wow…I had so many thoughts and tasks in my head.

But when I organize them, they fall into five easy-to-digest categories.

What was in my head and felt overwhelming now feels achievable! Let’s move on to step 4.

Step 3 Plan & Take Action

Now it’s time to open your bullet journal or planner and take action on each of them.

That doesn’t mean you need to tackle everything today.

What it does mean is that you can do one of the following:

  • Add it to today’s to do list

  • Put it on a to do list for a later date

  • Schedule appointments and add them to your planner

  • Assign task due dates

  • Block out time in your schedule to accomplish task

  • Batch items that can be done in the same time block (emails, phone calls, etc)

  • Make grocery/shopping list

  • Schedule worry time

  • Schedule self care time

As I mentioned before, you can keep a brain dump journal or create a page in your bullet journal. It can be a blank page or a decorative page.

I’ve rounded up 9 brain dump page ideas and examples to get you inspired.

The first bujo brain dump is Step 2. You’ll notice the brain dump ideas are organized into categories but action items have not yet been assigned.

This page is ready for Step 1 the brain dump. I love how this bujo page is decorated with a map, dotted line, and paper airplane for inspiration.

Reach for the stars! This bullet journal brain dump features clouds decorated with dangling stars as the header…this page is ready for all you can throw at it.

This bullet journal page features a brain dump and much more! It has June and July monthly calendars at the top and then a currently loving section that includes: loving, feeling, dreaming, planning, reading, writing, watching, going, and exploring slots.

A brain dump page doesn’t need to be filled in one day. As you can see from this bullet journalist below, she used several dates throughout the month to focus on brain dumping - it’s and easy and effective way to get your thoughts on paper.

This bullet journal page is ready for you to unload! There’s even inspiring prompts such as ideas, goals, and tasks to help you fill out the page with ease.

A task dump page is waiting for your tasks and assignments. I decorative paint can reminds you it’s time to get stuff done.

A next level brain dump is called mind mapping. As you can see from the image below, this brain dumper colorized the categories and then linked the tasks together based on their relationship to one another.

Brain Dump Free Printable Worksheets

Do you want to reduce stress, create mindfulness, organize your thoughts, focus better, and have clarity and perspective? You can in just a few minutes!

It all starts with a brain dump. These worksheets take you through the 3 step brain dump process: Brain Dump: Brain Dump, Organize, Plan & Take Action.

Get mental clarity and focus for the most productive and creative day possible!

Enter your email address below and then check your email for Brain Dump Worksheets Free printables!