How to Write Over 70 Books and 400 Academic Articles

An Introduction to the Productivity of Niklas Luhmann

Daniel Wieser 🔥
3 min readMar 4, 2023


More content. That seems to be the general call. We all need to write more, post more often, and be more present on all platforms. We need content in different formats, we should publish articles, books and tweets regularly, and then videos and podcasts.

However, I have always been an advocate of writing books and this article is about this topic too. This article is particularly about one person who has distinguished himself through his productivity: Niklas Luhmann.

Who was Niklas Luhmann?

German sociologist Niklas Luhmann (1927–1998) is regarded as one of the 20th century’s most influential social theorists. His contributions to systems theory, which examines social systems and their structures and functions, are what made him most well-known.

Outside sociology, such as communications studies, political science, and philosophy, Luhmann established a highly innovative and abstract theoretical framework. He also developed a method helped him to write more books, which is called the Zettelkasten Method.

Luhmann’s major works include “The Differentiation of Society,” “Social Systems,” “Political Theory in the Welfare State,” and “Observations on Modernity.” His work is distinguished by a strict analytical approach, a concern for the complexity of social systems, and an understanding of how such systems interact.

His ideas continue to be a subject of discussion and debate among social theorists and scholars of various disciplines.

The Zettelkasten Method

A Zettelkasten is a note-taking and knowledge management system that was developed by Niklas Luhmann, a German sociologist and writer. The name “Zettelkasten” literally means “slip box” in German, and it refers to a physical or digital system of index cards or notes that can be used to store and organize information.

The key idea behind the Zettelkasten method is that information is most useful when it is linked together and organized in a meaningful way.

The method involves breaking down complex ideas into smaller, more manageable pieces, and then recording these ideas on individual index cards or notes, each of which is assigned a unique identifier.

These cards are then stored in a physical or digital system, such as a card catalog or database, that allows them to be easily retrieved and connected to other related cards.

How to use the Zettelkasten

The Zettelkasten method is often used as a tool for creative writing, research, and knowledge management.

By breaking down complex ideas into small, discrete pieces, it allows users to more easily organize and link together related concepts and ideas. This can help to spark new insights and connections, and can also make it easier to remember and recall information over time.

If you understand the Zettelkasten in general and not app-specific, you will then be able to choose whatever app you would like to use and what suits you best.

Apps for Zettelkasten

There is a variety of apps that can be used for increasing your productivity in note taking. Some of these apps are:

  1. Obsidian
  2. Notion
  3. Roam Research

Just choose one and then stick to it. There is no perfect app for your own Zettelkasten. There is an ongoing debate:

Which app produces the best notes?

But you should not get caught up in the variety of methods but focus on what has given you measurable results. That means, do not focus so much on creating beautiful notes. Do not take notes for the sake of taking notes! This misses the point entirely…

Niklas Luhmann did not have the advantage of using computers and the internet, but that does not mean that you cannot use both. And maybe, after considering many different apps, you might just use Apple Notes or something similar…

🔥 Genius Mastermind is a persona that is still being developed. More things need to be learned, more books need to be written. Follow for more articles on Book Writing and how to write your own book.

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Daniel Wieser 🔥 Genius Mastermind 📚 Wrote a lot of books just for fun | ASD | Writes about writing books, technology, AI, ChatGPT.