When Was The Last Time You Took a Mind Dump?

Brian Barela

A “Mind Dump”: setting aside time to type out everything you are thinking about doing, so that you can more freely organize and focus on one task at a time.

The perfect time and environment for you to focus and work intentionally rarely presents itself; however, I would suggest that you can create it through hard work and intentionality.

The more often you can get tasks out of your head and into a central place, the more productive you are going to be.

Here’s how LifeHack describes a mind dump:

“Anything and everything is fair game: what you have to do, what you’re thinking about, hopes, dreams, goals, and whatever else comes into your mind. Set a time limit – say, 20 minutes – and everything that enters your brain immediately must exit your brain and get typed out.”–from lifehack.org.

I use two places for mind-dumping:

1. A Task Management Tool

I use Things, a software program for Macs at this point. It provides apps for my desktop, iPhone, and iPad, as well as WiFi syncing–meaning that as long as both or all of my devices are sharing the same wireless connection, my tasks will sync up with one another without the devices needing to be plugged in.

I use Things Inbox for mind-dumping, and like the quote above include more than just tasks–it’s extremely freeing to have a place to write out everything that I’m thinking about.

2. Your Email Inbox

Last week I posted about using your inbox to capture and manage your tasks. I recommend emailing yourself a mind-dump, but storing it somewhere visible or easily accessible (for example, starring it in gmail)–but not in your inbox.

Remember the purpose: “The point is to reset your brain, update your productivity system, and write out all the things that have been taking up the valuable (and limited) space in your brain.”–lifehack.org

Sync Your Brain And Your System Using a Mind Dump [lifehack.org]

By Brian Barela | Posted: Feb 04, 2011
Category: Time & Task Management | Tags: | Permalink | Post a comment | Trackback URL.


  1. stephanie macek
    February 4, 2011, 11:54 am | Permalink

    are you aware of any similar pieces of software that are used on a Mac computer but an Andriod phone?

  2. February 4, 2011, 12:30 pm | Permalink

    http://www.nozbe.com/ is a great solution for android.

    it has a desktop, Android, iPad/iPhone app.

    the system is modeled after David Allen’s Getting Things Done, which a lot of people really like.

    i’ve set a couple pastors up on this who have android phones–they really like it.

  3. February 8, 2011, 5:07 pm | Permalink

    yea, this is my same problem. I’m going to try out Nozbe, after reviewing the info videos, to see if it helps. Curious of anyone’s thoughts on using Evernote more effectively in conjunction with Nozbe?

    • February 8, 2011, 8:43 pm | Permalink

      let me know what you think of nozbe. i don’t know if it has an android app–i just created a short-cut of the mobile site now that i think about it–but the desktop user interface is pretty solid.


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