Brain dump freely without editing as many ideas, thoughts, details as possible on a topic. Get it all out on paper.Do timed free writes where you allow yourself to list/explain without pausing for a set period, like 10-15 minutes.Record yourself talking through the topic for 10+ minutes and transcribe the recording later.

Here are some suggestions for how to generate volume first before organizing into structure:

  • Brain dump freely without editing as many ideas, thoughts, details as possible on a topic. Get it all out on paper.
  • Do timed free writes where you allow yourself to list/explain without pausing for a set period, like 10-15 minutes.
  • Record yourself talking through the topic for 10+ minutes and transcribe the recording later.
  • Try mind mapping/concept webbing software that lets you dump concepts in any order without outlines.
  • Use flashcards, post-its or note cards to jot details randomly and cluster similar ones later.
  • For essays, brainstorm each paragraph topic first before writing full paragraphs.
  • Note external research materials as you find them and sort/summarize all at once later.
  • Take a walk, shower, do mindless tasks and record any resulting ideas/notes on your phone.
  • Review your massive collection of details, group related ones, title categories, reorder as needed.
  • Speak your ideas out loud to a friend and have them help you spontaneously organize.
  • Come back to your work later with a fresher perspective to organize more easily.

The key is dumping details freely first before structuring. Let the organization emerge from your collected volume once it’s all externalized.

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