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Brain Dump Worksheet PDF (Free Printables)

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A simple brain dump worksheet…

Trust me, that’s all you need in order to declutter your mind.

Do you ever find it hard to focus or sleep?

Maybe you feel constantly bombarded with new thoughts, ideas, or things you need to do.

If that’s a yes, then it’s time for a brain dump.

But first, what is a brain dump?

A brain dump is a technique used by busy moms (and other busy people in general).

Basically, you write down all your thoughts on a piece of paper or on a brain dump template (such as the one I’m sharing with you below) so that you can declutter your mind.

The idea is that once you get everything that’s been on your mind out of your head and onto paper, you’ll be able to see which tasks require your attention first.

By brain dumping, you can get rid of all the clutter that’s been building up in your mind for days, weeks, or months so that you have more mental space and clarity when it comes time to do whatever needs doing next.

Brain dumps work on any type of task: projects at work, tasks around the house, errands, etc. There are no limits to what gets dumped!

And if it’s something that has been weighing heavily on your mind? Then, chances are, there might be an answer waiting for you if you take just five minutes out of your day to brain dump everything about it.

I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to give your full attention to a task when you have a ton of things on your mind that you can’t stop thinking about.

After all, David Allen said it best.

Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.

David Allen

How often should I do a brain dump?

If you’re wondering how often you should do a brain dump, there’s no right or wrong answer.

A brain dump should be completed whenever you feel overwhelmed or need to clear your head. It can also be used as a periodic self-care activity that you do every morning or every night.

If you’re finding it hard to sleep at night or feel as though you are lacking clarity, I’d say it’s time to print a brain dump template and start writing.

How do you write a brain dump?

It’s simple: take out your brain dump worksheet and a pen or pencil and start listing everything you can think of about the topic at hand or category/area of life that you’re focusing on.

Include everything from major concepts to smaller details.

Don’t worry about grammar mistakes either – just write down what you’re thinking. You might be amazed at what you come up with!

If nothing comes to mind right away, try closing your eyes first and try to relax. Take a few slow, deep breaths so that you feel calm before starting the process.

Include things you MUST do, should do, might do, want to do, and any new ideas you can’t stop thinking about.

For example, if you are a mom and you need to make your child a dentist appointment, write it down. Pay a bill? Prep some meals for the week?

If you’re still feeling stuck, prompts can be helpful. We’ve listed a few of these below.

Write it ALL down on a piece of paper or on your brain dump printable.

Also, please know that it’s completely okay to write down things you know you can’t possibly do in one day.

The point of a brain dump is to get everything that’s on your mind out of your head and onto some paper. I can’t stress this enough.

The goal is NOT to create an insanely long to-do list that you will never realistically finish.

The goal is to clear your mind.

A clear mind makes it much easier for you to focus on your priorities.

Speaking of priorities – that is step 2.

Once you have listed every single task or thought you can think of, you may want to choose 1-3 main things to focus your attention on first.

You may want to write these tasks down in your paper planner or a printable weekly planner.

Then, you can save the rest for later.

Brain dump journal prompts

If you’re not sure where to start with your brain dump, here are some journal prompts to help you get started:

  • Things I need to do today
  • Things I need to do this week
  • Things I need to do this month
  • Things I need to do this year
  • Things I want to do in the next 5 years
  • My goals for the month/year
  • A project I’ve been procrastinating on
  • Things I need to buy
  • People I need to call/email
  • Things that are stressing me out
  • Things I need to research
  • Places I want to travel
  • Holidays/events I need to plan for
  • Books I want to read
  • Movies I want to watch
  • Recipes I want to try
  • People I need to catch up with
  • Activities I want to do more of
  • What decisions do I need to make?
  • How can I simplify my life?

You can also try the “what are three things/goals” technique. Here are some examples:

  • What are three things that are causing me stress at the moment?
  • What are three things that I would like to accomplish in the next week/month/year?
  • What are three things that I’m feeling scared or anxious about?
  • What are three things that I need to do this week?
  • What are three things that I want to do for fun this week?
  • What are three goals that I want to achieve this year?

How to use these brain dump templates

We have 4 separate brain dump PDFs to choose from.

So, how do you use these? Simple! Decide whether or not you want to print multiple copies OR print once and laminate your template so that you can use it over and over again.

If you do want to laminate your brain dump printable, self-laminating sheets make the process incredibly easy.

You will also need to grab some dry-erase markers. I recommend getting markers with a fine point.

brain dump worksheet

The laminating sheets I personally use (and the ones I used for the example above):

Free printables to make brain-dumping simple

The first 2 worksheets were designed specifically for busy moms. As a busy mom myself, these are the 4 main categories I tend to use:

  • Kids
  • Home
  • Work
  • and ME (you)

If these don’t work for you or you want to do a brain dump with different categories or prompts, there are 2 blank versions also.

All printable templates also have a section at the bottom where you can write down your top 3 priorities (your top tasks to focus on first).

Design #1: Ink-friendly worksheet for busy parents

If you are a busy parent and you aren’t a fan of all the colors, this template was created with you in mind. There are no colors at all – all you’ll need is black ink to print.

Download this brain dump worksheet PDF.

Design #2: Colorful template for busy parents

If you prefer a little pop of color, you may like this design instead. It has some color, but not so much that it will drain your ink.

Download this brain dump printable PDF.

Design #3: Blank brain dump PDF – minimalist/no color

Add your own categories to this one. Just as the previous ones, you also have space at the bottom for writing your top 3 priorities once you’ve listed everything on your mind.

Download this brain dump printable.

Design: 4: Blank brain dump worksheet – pink, blue, and green

With this one, you can print something basic, but still cute since it does have more color. And, you still have the additional freedom since you create your own categories or prompts if you want.

Download this mind dump template.

I hope this has shown you how easy it is to do a brain dump!

If this sounds like something you could benefit from, I urge you to take five minutes right now and try it out.

Don’t forget to pin this mind dump template for later!

Tania Combrink

Sunday 20th of October 2019