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Updated: Jan 4, 2021

What is a Brain Dump?

Brain Dumping is essentially what it sounds like!

It is the transfer of all your knowledge and ideas of a particular subject from your head onto paper. This activity can be done individually or as a group. Brain Dump empties the head and ensures all creativity comes out.

Brain Dump

Brainstorming session

Brain Dumping can be performed during a brainstorm session. Often than not, many participants have already thought about possible solutions and ideas they want to pitch during a session. Having pre-made ideas and solutions can often steer projects into a specific direction, meaning that other ideas may run the risk of getting left behind. This approach stagnates the brain from digging further for more creative and better ideas that may not be obvious at first glance. Brain Dump is an excellent solution to give everyone equal chances to contribute and weigh up ideas and solutions.

Brain Dump Rules

It’s an easy method that stimulates the minds of all participants. It allows them to let go of all ideas in their heads and dump it onto paper. The rules are simple and work best in three phases:

1) Start with pen and paper

Firstly, get a large piece of paper and a pen for every participant. Every participant sits separately and gets the chance to think. The topic can be chosen, but it can also be very general. For example: ‘what can we do to surprise our customers pleasantly?’ Generally, 10 minutes are enough to give everyone the chance to write down all the ideas that come up.

2) Review together

After the first phase, it is time to discuss all ideas with each other in the group. During this phase, it can be helpful to find space. As you walk through the room, everyone gets a chance to read their ideas aloud and listen to others as they move around.

3) Innovative ideas

In the second phase, everyone got the chance to share their thoughts and explain them when necessary. The group will now make a selection and filter down the most innovative ideas. After a short period of reflection, participants will have the opportunity to think about the ideas, and develop it further if needed.


Most people have a head full of thoughts from a busy working day, which keeps them from thinking about other things. With Brain Dump, they are forced to do this and write down all kinds of things. In groups, each participant knows that their contribution is taken seriously. Also, they can listen to the ideas of others freely, without the fear of their ideas disappearing in the bin.

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