Download my free brain dump printable to organize the many thoughts that are taking up too much space in your head.

Free Brain Dump Printable to Organize Your Thoughts

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brain dump printable
brain dump printable

Free Downloads, Printables, Productivity

SARAH PETERSON

The brain dump printable has become a necessary weekly activity to keep my often hectic, crazy, overbooked life from driving me crazy.

Sometimes I wake up at 4 am and think about everything I have to do, and I can't quiet my mind and fall back to sleep. That's precisely why I designed this printable.

Like all my printables that I create to help me maximize happiness, organization, mindfulness, and productivity, I always share them with you here for free!

I designed this worksheet to be an open space for whatever needs arise. Unfortunately, I've found many brain dump printables offer only a single blank list—no way, that's not enough for me.

I need a way to brain dump by category. I need a printable design that helps me organize all thoughts, details, and to-dos into specific buckets. This printable includes an intentional layout to give my brain a break, and I hope it does the same for you.

Learn more about the brain dump, why you should make brain dumping a habit, and how to use my brain dump printable below.

brain dump printable

What is a Brain Dump?

A brain dump is a simple exercise where you take all the thoughts, ideas, and tasks clogging your mind and write them down (dump them!) on paper.

The 2 MAIN PARTS of a brain dump

Part 1: gather all your thoughts.

Part 2: write them down.


brain dump printable

WHY YOU SHOULD DO A BRAIN DUMP

There are lots of benefits of making a brain dump a consistent habit!

It declutters your mind and allows for better focus

Mind clutter, like physical clutter, can make you feel claustrophobic, chaotic, ungrounded, and distracted.

If you feel it's hard to focus, it might be because too many thoughts bounce around your head all day.

Brain dumping helps us eliminate excess thoughts and focus on the most important ones.

IT HELPS YOU PRIORITIZE TASKS

The best part of a brain dump is seeing everything in your mind is now on paper. It helps you visualize, categorize, and of course, prioritize all the things that are tugging on you.

After brain dumping your thoughts on paper, all your essential tasks will become more apparent. When you write it all down and can see everything in one place, it is harder to miss the pressing priorities!

IT HELPS YOU FEEL LESS STRESSED

You can try to ignore all your mind's thoughts, but there is no solution like facing what is going on in your head. There is often so much to do we can feel doubled over with stress.  How will it all get done?

Brain dumping is a way of taking our thoughts and doing something useful with them instead of letting them hang around and build up stress.

You'll feel lighter, sleep better, and immediately feel more productive once your brain dump is out of your head and on paper. Read here how brain dumping can actually help you manage anxiety!

IT HELPS YOU SEE THE BIG PICTURE

A brain dump will help you understand precisely where you're at—it will make you a better planner, a more productive person, and more efficient at all work and life tasks.

When you do a brain dump each week, you'll be able to better create a roadmap to all the things you want and need to accomplish.


brain dump printable

HOW TO DO A BRAIN DUMP

Here are the steps I suggest taking in doing a thorough, high-impact brain dump!

IDENTIFY WHERE YOU WILL PUT YOUR THOUGHTS DOWN

I recommend doing your brain dump in the same place every week! Find a designated tool where you write down your thoughts, ideas, tasks, etc.

Make sure it works for you—if you hate writing in a notebook, record your thoughts digitally. Here are some different ideas of where you can brain dump your thoughts:

  • journal, notebook, or diary
  • note on your phone
  • Microsoft or Google doc
  • Airtable (my new favorite tool)
  • Notion template
  • printable worksheet

FIND 20 MINUTES OF QUIET TIME

Give your brain a peaceful atmosphere to produce both big and small thoughts and ideas.

Find a serene place like a park bench, the library, or a quiet nook of your home where there is nothing to distract you.

Turn your phone off and limit any other distractions.

WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING THAT COMES TO MIND

Everything in your brain must go! No thought should be left behind. If it weighs on you, it gets written down, no matter how trivial it seems.

Here are some ideas of what you can write down:

  • errands to run
  • people to call or email
  • social obligations to see through
  • returns to make
  • appointments or meetings to schedule or attend
  • upcoming events
  • bills to pay
  • things to research
  • paperwork that needs to be submitted
  • deadlines to be aware of
  • projects or goals that need progress

HIGHLIGHT YOUR TOP PRIORITIES

A highlighter marker will make your priorities clearer if you write on paper. If you're writing digitally, make the font bold, a different color, or a larger size.

If you make the top priorities of your brain dump list highly visible, it reminds you what's most important every time you look at it.

FAVORITE HIGHLIGHTER markers

These highlighters are the best!

CROSS OFF ITEMS AS THEY COMPLETE

Crossing off completed tasks is the most gratifying part! When you finish a brain dump, it automatically can act as a master to-do list. So enjoy crossing off every big and small item you complete.

A tip I have for quick to-do items, whenever I'm waiting for the microwave to finish, or something in a pan to cook, I always use that time to do a quick thing on my list, like fold some laundry, send a payment, or file some paperwork.

Mastering your quick to-dos makes your overall list much more manageable.

REPEAT THE FOLLOWING WEEK

I suggest doing this entire process all over again every week. It allows you to dump new thoughts that accumulate in your brain onto paper. It also keeps you actively involved with items on your list that you want to accomplish.

Whatever the case, repeat when necessary. If you feel your thoughts start to overwhelm you, do a brain dump immediately!


brain dump printable

HOW TO CATEGORIZE YOUR BRAIN DUMP PRINTABLE

I designed my brain dump printable so that you can divide the many sides of your life into individual squares and create mini lists for each. This layout helps you go through each area of your life and not miss anything.

(Pssst, you can add your unique category headers in the blank spaces at the top of each square!)

The square for each life category also allows you to write more actionable items on your list instead of one huge goal, which can feel overwhelming.

For example, let's say you have a "my online business" square on your printable. Instead of adding a big, overwhelming task like "launch website," try breaking your tasks down into more manageable items like "take new brand photos" or "write copy for about page."

You're more apt to take action on something if it's bite size.

Here are some category ideas for each square on the brain dump printable (scroll to the bottom of the post to download it!):

  • Work/Business/Clients
  • Marriage/Relationship
  • Kids
  • Social
  • Home
  • Errands
  • Finances
  • Self-care
  • Events
  • Hobbies/Passion Project/Side Hustle
  • Pets
brain dump printable

DOWNLOAD THE FREE BRAIN DUMP PRINTABLE 

Feel free to enter your info into the form below to get instant access to my free brain dump printable. 

I hope this printable helps your brain as much as it's helped mine!

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brain dump printable
brain dump printable

Love making lists? Then definitely check out my free happy list printable, a 65-page workbook designed to help you reconnect with your happiest self!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I'll receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. Please read full disclosure here.

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July 24, 2022

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Hey, I'm Sarah!

Designer, DIYer, & Deep Googler

I've always been infinitely curious on how the things I love are created. Whether it's the recipe of a decadent soap, a beautiful piece of jewelry, or a jaw-drooping, drool-worthy interior... I have an persistent need to figure it out... and do it myself!

Learn more about me

SOLID PERFUME STICKS

LABEL MAKER

"LOVE" ART PRINT

FAUX FUR BLANKET

FLAUNT PHONE CASE

PERFUMIES.COM

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anthropologie

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The coziest blanket you'll ever find. So good I gifted them in different colors to my beloved wedding guests!

Currently using this--it's the perfect shade of radiant orchid pink, and I love the square corners!

Fiberclay PLANTER SET

SHEEPSKIN rug

PLANTER (for DIY CANDLE)

IMITATION Pothos

Bisley FILE CABINET

michaels

etsy

amazon

michaels

container store

Scatter a cute planter set from Michael's around your home--it will make your decor feel cohesive.

I throw these everywhere... the floor, my work chair, the couch. They are 100% worth every penny.

I love to turn planters  into large DIY candles. It's my favorite gift to give... Everyone loves a huge multi-wick candle!

Shhh... When I want my plants to cascade more, I add in an extension like this while they grow.

I used two of these sleek Bisley cabinets under this delicious slab of wood to DIY my dream desk.

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Sign up for alerts, it's almost impossible to purchase these beauties before they sell out!

These are the only pens that let me write neatly. There's something magical about them! #01 is my fave size.

The fanny pack has officially changed my life for the better. No more big bag shoulder and back pain!

The most beautiful handmade accessories around. (I wore MG "Burst" earrings for my wedding!)

Make money on clothes you no longer wear, and find designer goods (with tags still on!)

Storm Cloud Wall Art

Tillandsia AIRPLANT

FLORAL Macbook case

Distressed Mirror

GLUE GUN

anthropologie

amazon

etsy

anthropologie

amazon

Living in LA's perpetual sunny and 72 degree weather has made me LOVE clouds because I so rarely see them!

The most low maintenance plant on the market. Find a cool planter and plop it in. Mist every 2-3 weeks.

I've cracked too many screens in my lifetime to not protect my devices. Love this feminine floral hard case.

A mirror that looks like a moon? Make it a full moon everyday in your house!

Everyone (and I mean everyone) should go through life with a trusty glue gun by their side.

uline hair detangler

Silicone ALPHABET MOLD

fave white tee

THERMAL LABEL PRINTER

e6000 GLUE

amazon

amazon

amazon

amazon

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The best detangler I've found. I throw the travel size bottle in my gym bag, travel bag, and beach bag.

These ABC molds allow for ample DIYs. Jello, melt and pour soaps, crayons... the fun really will never end!

My favorite white tee. I've bought about 18 of them by now. Best cut v-neck, long in the body, high quality. (Why not get a few.)

Print a lot of labels and tired of buying ink for your printer? Get this thermal printer and never buy an ink cartridge again.

This is the glue that holds my life together. No really... I use it for everything.

Sigma 35mm 1.4 lens

Caudalie BEAUTY elixir

Candle Making Pitcher

singer sewing machine

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amazon

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replica surfaces

100% my most favorite portrait lens. Do yourself a favor and add it to your cart immediately.

I take this face mist with me while traveling and instantly feel more refreshed and awake after a few spritzes!

Never buy a candle again! Use this to DIY your own (they smell better, burn longer, and save money).

This is the sewing machine I used to DIY my wedding dress! Easy to use, I recommend it to any level sewist.

I use these surfaces to shoot styled stock, product, and brand photos that need clean, realistic backgrounds.

PLANTER (for DIY CANDLE)

amazon

I love to turn planters into large DIY candles. It's my favorite gift to give. Everyone loves a huge multi-wick candle!

LABEL MAKER

amazon

When in doubt, label everything. I'm amazed at how long this little machine's batteries last.

"LOVE" ART PRINT

society 6

Got this one after my husband popped the question. It's how I feel when I'm with him!

FAUX FUR BLANKET

anthropologie

The coziest blanket you'll ever find. So good I gifted them in different colors to my beloved wedding guests!

FLAUNT PHONE CASE

FLAUNT.COM

Currently using this--it's the perfect shade of radiant orchid pink, and I love the square corners!

Fiberclay PLANTER SET

michaels

Scatter a cute planter set from Michael's around your home--it will make your decor feel cohesive.

SHEEPSKIN rug

etsy

I throw these everywhere... the floor, my work chair, the couch. They are 100% worth every penny.

IMITATION Pothos

michaels

Shhh... When I want my plants to cascade more, I add in an extension like this while they grow.

Bisley FILE CABINET

container store

I used two of these sleek Bisley cabinets under this delicious slab of wood to DIY my dream desk.

HANDMADE CERAMICS

calLahan ceramics

Sign up for alerts, it's almost impossible to purchase these beauties before they sell out!

MICRON black PENS

amazon

These are the only pens that let me write neatly. There's something magical about them! #01 is my fave size.

SOLID PERFUME STICKS

PERFUMIES.COM

Change the way you wear and carry perfume with these perfume sticks that fit in your pocket!

Fanny Pack // BELT BAG

shopbop

The fanny pack has officially changed my life for the better. No more big bag shoulder and back pain!

SCARF NECKLACE

mignonne gavigan

The most beautiful handmade accessories around. (I wore MG "Burst" earrings for my wedding!)

THRIFTED DESIGNER SCARF

thred up

Make money on clothes you no longer wear, and find designer goods (with tags still on!)

Storm Cloud Wall Art

anthropologie

Living in LA's perpetual sunny and 72 degree weather has made me LOVE clouds because I so rarely see them!

TILLANDSIA AIRPLANT

AMAZON

The most low maintenance plant on the market. Find a cool planter and plop it in. Mist every 2-3 weeks.

FLORAL Macbook case

etsy

I've cracked too many screens in my lifetime to not protect my devices. Love this feminine floral hard case.

Distressed Mirror

anthropologie

A mirror that looks like a moon? Make it a full moon everyday in your house!

GLUE GUN

amazon

Everyone (and I mean everyone) should go through life with a trusty glue gun by their side.

uline hair detangler

amazon

The best detangler I've found. I throw the travel size bottle in my gym bag, travel bag, and beach bag.

Silicone ALPHABET MOLD

amazon

These ABC molds allow for ample DIYs. Jello, melt and pour soaps, crayons... the fun really will never end!

fave white tee

amazon

My favorite white tee. Best cut v-neck, long in the body, high quality. (Why not get a few.)

THERMAL LABEL PRINTER

amazon

Print a lot of labels? Get this thermal printer and never buy an ink cartridge again.

e6000 GLUE

amazon

This is the glue that holds my life together. No really... I use it for everything.

Sigma 35mm 1.4 lens

amazon

100% my most favorite portrait lens. Do yourself a favor and add it to your cart immediately.

Caudalie BEAUTY elixir

amazon

This face mist instantly will make you feel more refreshed and awake after a few spritzes!

Candle Making Pitcher

amazon

Never buy a candle again! Use this to DIY your own (they smell better, burn longer, and save money).

singer sewing machine

amazon

This is the sewing machine I used to DIY my wedding dress! Easy to use, I recommend it to any level sewist.

photography backdrops

replica surfaces

I use these surfaces to shoot styled stock, product, and brand photos that need clean, realistic backgrounds.