3 situations in the study in which a digital paper box helps you

3 situations in the study in which a digital box helps you 6 months ago

christin hume 505823 unsplash 875x330 You already know the (digital) paper box and want to go directly to the three typical student moments? Then click “here”!

Half a century old and yet a perennial favorite among academics and creative professionals: In the 1950s, the sociologist Niklas Luhmann developed the paper box method, which made him one of the most successful and innovative German social theorists. For years scientists decoded the DNA of the innovation workshop “Zettelkasten”. Now the magic writing tool code is available to all students in digital form.

You do not know the paper box method yet? Then you are exactly right! What makes the (digital) paper box one of the most effective tools in the study and how it can bring you through your student life successfully and stress-free, you will learn in this article.

What is the name of the paper box method?

The paper box method is a technique for archiving and structuring research results and your own thoughts. It is based on the maintenance of a notes archive, which serves as a reminder and idea generator for scientific work or creative writing. All notes are recorded on analog or virtual slips. Unlike a card file, however, this list will not be as easy in alphabetical order, but with keywords and content linked. The paper box becomes searchable and can be expanded as desired. However, those who think of filing now only half the potential of the card-box. For the true magic of the card-box is exhausted when the box begins to “think” after careful care. Niklas Luhmann himself described his paper box as a “communication partner”, which brought him to surprising ideas that he would not have come alone (Luhmann 1981: p. 222). When looking at similarly tagged note in context – without having previously archived them together in terms of content – he found in the work with the box ever new connections between notes that let him come across completely new findings. The paper box was for him an interdisciplinary idea generation machine. To this day, it serves this purpose for researchers and writers of all genres around the globe.

Since Niklas Luhmann’s paper box is available in digital form, the software has become an all-rounder program for studying. No wonder: with the cloud-based box, the student has all the knowledge everywhere. The paper box thus becomes the ultimate academic companion – whether in the writing of home, bachelor, master, and doctoral theses, in the exam preparation or the daily notes administration in the context of lecture and self-study.

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Stress is a state of tension of body and mind. Most students feel stressed during high school hours during their studies. The upcoming exam phase, the deadline for the housework or the student loan application: Time pressure is one of the most common triggers for stress. If one hangs back three days behind the curriculum, the literature research is still incomplete, even though the essay is due in a week and a half and the to-do list seems to be getting longer rather than shorter, one or the other may Ever wonder why the day is actually only 24 hours long. However, the goal would be to find out how the ratio of input and output can be optimized. Or in other words: how to achieve the same or better results with less time. Because even if it is difficult to admit. Excessive stress often results from the mismanagement of resource time rather than from its scarcity as such. Sounds like blunt business theory (productivity = output: input)? Right. Can be used equally well in student life. Here are three typical examples in which the relationship between input and output in everyday life is beyond the optimum.

  1. Exam Preparation: Your colorful “Summaries” of the lecture notes are in fact duplicates of your lecture notes in fair copy (without the first five slides and the three examples from Chapter 5.6)
  2. Literature research: You search for hours for text passages that you could swear you read in Book by two hours ago.
  3. Reference Management: You’ve heard Citavi, Mendeley, and Co. before, but the submission of the paperwork is already in three days and before you work into complicated software, you prefer to create your bibliography manually in Word.

What all these situations have in common is that they make your work inefficient. This not only leads to short-term stress but in the long run even to frustration and demotivation in the study, because you have the feeling that you do not progress scientific work or learning. The time lost in such moments, you can better invest in the next project or just in spare time with friends and family, which makes you more productive and balanced. If you are familiar with at least one of these situations, the paper box method is right for you to reduce stress and time pressure in your studies. The digital paper box is your steady writing and archiving companion. Lecture documents and research results can be archived in a clear and thematically ordered manner and can be expanded as required. Important information can be written directly in the lecture in the paper box and the graph from the script can be added to the list by file upload. In addition, the source reference for search results can be integrated directly into the note. Memo chaos is now a thing of the past. Best of all, creating, categorizing, arranging, and linking slips, as well as built-in reference management, works intuitively with a mouse click and drag-and-drop in the browser. Without installation and available from any device. Working with the paper box makes you more efficient in everyday academic life.


2. Learning with knowledge instead of “learning for the exam”


Whoever claims that you study for life during your studies, did not study with me, many a fresh graduate takes the balance after years of practicing at the university. Of course, even if the value of a study is not quantified by the number of stored formulas and definitions and statements such as these are not to be understood literally: Behind them is often the desire for the deeper insight – something that exists beyond the multiple choice exam Has. In many universities and colleges, everyday life actually often looks different. The knowledge that is inhaled there in libraries as well as at home desks is often parked exclusively in short-term memory. Just until the next exam date.

Three signs that you long for more awareness in learning and scientific work:

  1. At the beginning of the semester, your professor will present a multi-page bibliography that will definitely appeal to your interest. In the exam preparation, however, your attention is still focused on the lecture script alone. After all, your time resources are limited and the model dealt with in the lecture is more likely to be requested in the exam than further reading.
  2. It annoys you that you have to repeat the basics of previous semesters often and re-work, because of the learning material on the exam not much stuck.
  3. Although you are regularly present in lectures, in the exam phase you spend a lot of time deciphering and understanding your own transcripts – and finally drawing on the (equally illegible) notes of your classmates. Then you ask yourself if you can not save your way to the lecture in the future.

Numerous studies have shown that the human brain can not permanently store all the information it once learned. The process of forgetting is necessary and good – otherwise, the brain would be constantly overstimulated and overwhelmed. As a result, it would be even harder for us to think logically and make important decisions. However, it can also be frustrating if the subject matter fades and has to be rebuilt several times, or if one saves reading a specialist article directly in the expectation that it will be poorly stored in the short-term memory. Anyone who has the feeling in everyday student life that the capacities of their own brain are exhausted does not have to forego “learning for life”. Because human memory can be supported by aids such as software. On this point, probably the greatest potential of the digital card index program: As Luhmann has shown, the box file can be expanded as a second memory in which complete trains of thought can be completely and systematically archived and unlike in the real brain never get lost. In the digital paper box, everything that has been learned can be found in no time via the search function and can be retracted again and again with minimal time expenditure. The best part: When writing house or graduation work z. For example, it is possible to make use of everything archived from previous semesters as a whole, which holds the potential for new or holistic insights and allows you to learn more consciously and work scientifically. With it, you shine certainly with supervisors of final theses or in final exams.

3. More clarity in the mind through structure and visualization

You might call yourself a creative chaotic rather than a structured and well-organized pattern student. Anyway, not a few students do that. Nevertheless, creativity also needs to be organized. Because when all the thoughts in your head are running wild, it’s bad for productivity. The problem is the z. For example, if the organization of the housework was already due for a week, but you are still looking in vain for the red thread. Why order and structure make us even more creative, you read in this blog article.

The digital paper box also helps creative chasers to structure their thinking and working processes without restricting their creativity. Using the structure function, you can visualize complex facts during learning or scientific work in the paper box and plan entire writing projects using drag & drop.


Niklas Luhmann’s paper box method makes your day-to-day life easier by allowing you to archive and structure notes and thoughts from anywhere in one centralized software. A well-maintained box of notes makes you more effective at learning and saves you time and stress when writing complex scientific papers such as a bachelor’s, masters or doctoral thesis.