Printables/ Time Management

How to Complete a Brain Dump with Free Trigger List

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This printable Brain Dump Trigger List will help you process all of the thoughts in your mind and get them out onto paper. Using a trigger list makes the process of doing a brain dump easier, and you’re able to clear all of those tasks, to-dos, and thoughts out of your mind.

What is a Brain Dump?

A brain dump (also called a mind sweep) is a method to get all of the thoughts, ideas, and to-dos out of your mind onto paper or typed on your computer. It’s a great way to create a rapid log of all of the thoughts in your mind.  Getting all of these things out of your mind and into a safe place will allow you to focus on bigger tasks without these nagging distractions. It’s a great way to unload all of the things that have your attention. Many people struggle to get started using a brain dump so I’ve created a Brain Dump Trigger List to help. Before you start you need to understand how to do a brain dump.

What is a Trigger List?

A trigger list is a great tool to use when you are completing a brain dump or mind sweep. It will help to “trigger” memories or tasks that you might not be thinking about. This list might include things about your home, job, errands or projects that you would otherwise forget about.

How to Complete a Brain Dump

It’s a pretty simple habit to start. Grab a piece of paper and find a quiet place. Start writing. Every thought, to-do, reminder, question… write it all down. Don’t try to stay organized, just dive in!

By taking just 10 minutes to clear out your mind you will instantly feel a weight lifted. All of your worries, thoughts, and tasks will be recorded in a safe and reliable place. Taking the pressure off your brain to remember and remind you of all.the.things!

Brain Dump Trigger List

Using a Brain Dump Trigger List

When I sit down to do a brain dump I can usually write down dozens of things that are on my mind. Sometimes I even set a time to set a limit to this practice, but there are days when I feel a little stuck or overwhelmed; I need a little help to get everything out of my mind.

To help myself when I get stuck, I’ve created a Brain Dump Trigger List. I keep a copy in my planner and I look at it whenever I need a little direction to get my brain dump done. Using the Trigger List can really help you to get every little thing out onto paper.

We often allow these little (sometimes big) thoughts in our minds take over and the thoughts weigh on us, often making it hard for us to move forward. Getting everything out – dumping it on paper – can be such a relief!

Things I love for printing these printables

A GOOD PRINTER I recently purchased the HP ENVY 6055 printer and I love it. The print quality is excellent and I signed up for HP Instant Ink and get automatic ink delivery. I signed up for the 50 pages/month plan and pay just $2.99/mo. Color, black and white, and photos all cost the same and are included in your printing. Ink, shipping, and recycling are included. If you purchase an HP Printer you can sign up and get 1 FREE MONTH FREE INK – clicking here.

QUALITY PRINTER PAPER – I may be a paper snob but I love good quality paper. My favorite paper for printables is this one. It is super bright white, smooth, and a nice thickness so you don’t get too much bleed through. If you want a more premium paper I highly suggest trying this super-premium presentation paper. It’s lovely!

LAMINATOR – I’ve had this laminator for over 10 years and it’s as good as new. It is super affordable too!


PAPER CUTTER – I love this paper trimmer because it’s thin and doesn’t take up too much room. It’s also safer if you have little hands around.

ADHESIVE TAPE – This Tombow adhesive applicator puts down tiny dots that have a great grip. You don’t need to use too much which makes it an affordable choice.

Get Your FREE Brain Dump Trigger List

I hope you find that doing a Brain Dump gives you some clarity and it becomes a habit that really helps you. If you’re looking for more inspiration to take control of your productivity be sure to check out my Time Blocking 101 post and these other great productivity posts:

Looking for More Productivity Posts?

I would love to know how you process your brain dump. Leave a comment or head over to my Instagram and let me know!


  • Reply
    August 15, 2020 at 9:05 am

    This is fantastic I never thought of using a trigger list!

  • Reply
    February 26, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    I just sent you the printable. Let me know if you don’t receive the email.

  • Reply
    April 8, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Donna I couldn’t download the trigger list. Would you be able to send me a download link? I really love this idea!!


    • Reply
      April 14, 2021 at 8:14 pm

      Linda, I just wanted to check and make sure you received your trigger list email.

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  • Reply
    July 10, 2021 at 1:48 am

    Hi Donna,

    I tried to download your trigger list several times last night and never received it. Is there anyway you could send it to the email attached to this comment?

    Please and Thank You!

    • Reply
      July 18, 2021 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Shaye! I just sent you an email with the Brain Dump Trigger List Printable. Please let me know if you don’t receive the email.

  • Reply
    Brenda Nicholson
    August 19, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    A trigger list is a great idea and one that’s new to me. I’ve done brain dumps for a long time but have trouble prioritizing my list.

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    Hey Donna