Filofax series: Creating a functional planner, the “brain-dump”, part IV

Hi, welcome to another installment of the Filofax series where we have covered a few sections that are basic to creating a functional planner. So far we have talked about three of them:

1. A dashboard

2. A calendar – yearly, monthly weekly and daily

3. A notes section

Today we will talk about the very well known but not very well understood “Brain-dump”. I was first introduced to this concept through Miss Vicky Bee, a planner lady that’s on You tube and offers great advice to putting together functional planners. Basically, here she talks about how to make your brain dump work for you. But WHAT is a brain dump shall you ask? “A brain dump (sometimes spelled braindump, or brain-dump) is a complete transfer of accessible knowledge about a particular subject from your brain to some other storage medium, such as paper or your computer’s hard drive.” It is the place where you will store all of your ideas, thoughts, lists, knowledge, information and overall “things” that you keep in your head but need to start allocating into lists, to dos, or weekly goals.

Your brain dump can be a notebook, a piece of paper, a list, a booklet or an entire section in your planner that will help you keep your mind clear but also, the place that is accessible to that information and that you can access whenever needed. The idea is that this information will then transform into the following:

  • Actionable steps that you need to take to accomplish your goals
  • to do lists
  • tasks
  • weekly tasks
  • reminders
  • objectives
  • dreams!

A brain dump will help you empty your mind onto a piece of paper so that you can make spaces for those things that really matter and so that you can focus on what is important. The real life, basically.

I carry a braindump in my Filofaxes, and also sometimes on various pieces of papers that I then transfer to my braindump section in my Filofax.

I won’t cover the steps to do a braindump here but I will prepare another post for that in the near future.

In my case, I carry a small notebook, field notes size in the back of my planner where I can also store my thoughts, I also insert lists that I write on the go and of course, have my own section with a divider and everything for when I can actually sit down and work on my braindump.

How do you use your brain dump? Do leave me your comments and thank you for reading!



4 thoughts on “Filofax series: Creating a functional planner, the “brain-dump”, part IV”

  1. I love the idea of a brain-dump. I also know that as a brain-dumpER, I suck. I understand the theory, but my brain has this compulsion to immediately slot things into their proper homes. Very frustrating. i’m so focused on the proper placing, I completely lose everything else. UGH!


    1. Hi Carla, I used to feel the same way until I realized that the “philosophy” behind a braindump is to let go. Empty your brain and store it all in one place for you to place it into the different categories later on. It will help. Try to think about it differently, thinking that you just need to empty your brain and you can allocate it to wherever it belongs, at a later point in your day. 🙂 Thanks for your comment, Carla!


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