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What is Braindumping?

Smartpedia: Braindumping describes the unloading of thoughts and ideas – by writing morning pages and task lists or by working together in a team.

Braindumping – unloading ideas

Braindumping is about unloading ideas. A brain dump describes the transfer of thoughts to a medium such as paper, sticky notes or a computer program. The transfer of thoughts leads to a mental relief and at the same time to a reusable documentation.

There are three main variants of braindumping:

  • Morning pages: As the name suggests, the thoughts are written down in the morning, ideally directly after getting up. It is an individual possibility to derive ideas from often unstructured and sometimes also relatively senseless thoughts.
  • Task lists: This kind of braindumping is more structured than writing morning pages, because the focus is – as the name suggests – on tasks that actually need to be done. Meaningless thoughts are not documented with this Braindumping variant.
  • Braindumping in the team: Also here each participant writes down its thoughts or ideas regarding a task or problem definition defined in advance – ideally one idea per sticky note – in a fixed time ( timebox). The ideas are then presented and discussed. This generates new ideas, which are also noted down and recorded on a flipchart, for example.


Braindumping with little notes

The first two braindumping variants are purely personal and individual. Braindumping in a team involves the unloading of thoughts and ideas within an organised framework – similar to brainstorming or brainwriting.

Tips for braindumping

Here are some simple tips that can help with documenting thoughts:

  • Thoughts and ideas are fleeting. They appear briefly and then disappear again quickly. That is why it often makes sense to document them quickly, ideally immediately. Use the materials you have at hand: Pen and paper, the voice or video recording function on your mobile phone or sending an SMS to your mobile number. Anything that helps is useful.
  • In the online age, many teams and organisations use messengers for easy, documented communication. Messengers are of course also suitable for documenting the brain dump.
  • If necessary, define categories such as professional or private, positive or negative, etc. to immediately structure your thoughts and ideas if necessary.

By the way, there is no generally valid tip on frequency; it is advisable to gather your own experience here, although this naturally applies to practically all methods and applications. 

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