Alternative Note-Taking Methods Explained — “The Boxing Method”

October 4, 2017

You might have heard about the outline method or the Cornell note-taking technique but most likely you have never heard about the “Boxing Method“. This note-taking system has been invented by our user Amber, who is a Dutch university student. On her Instagram account, she shares great tips and inspiration about studying with an iPad. In the short guest article below, Amber explains how the method works and how she uses it to study with an iPad.

The Boxing Method by @ipadstudying

I have been told that the method I am using to take notes in class is quite new. I call it the boxing method. Each section of my study notes that should be grouped together gets a box around it. For lectures, this would mean every (few) slide(s) and for articles, this would mean every (few) paragraph(s).

How To Do It

I start taking notes just like most people would: in two columns, dividing each part with headings. However, when I am done with reading, or after class, I start drawing the boxes: I use the lasso tool in GoodNotes to move the sentences around a bit and then draw a box around every part using the automatic shape recognition in GoodNotes, which helps me draw perfect shapes. It is even easier if you use quad ruled or dotted paper.

Read more: Check out our guide to Study Tips.

Read more: Check out our guide to Digital Planner stickers.


This method has a few advantages, apart from looking aesthetically pleasing, of course:

  1. I think about and read my notes twice, once when writing them and once more when putting them into boxes.
  2. As a visual thinker, it is convenient to have notes on different topics separated. It helps you remembering and recalling them easier at the right times.
  3. When studying, it is easy to focus on one box at a time.
  4. My notes are much more concise, as I don’t want my boxes to be too long or wide.
  5. You can use your space much more efficient than when you use ruled/quad ruled paper.
  6. It makes moving notes around very easy.

This method has been working really well for me, so I hope other people will benefit from this too. I would love to see some pictures of people using this method, so tag me (@ipadstudying) and @goodnotesapp in pictures of your notes on Instagram!

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