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Habits

Blinkist Review – An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet of Book Summaries

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Blinkist Review

You’re well aware that reading is an essential aspect of personal growth and development. And if you’re a bookworm like me, you also know that it isn’t always easy to find good reads. If you keep on adding reading as your goal fairly regularly and fail to do it because you can’t find time to read, then you know the disappointment you feel every time.

The path gets even trickier if you’re a fan of non-fiction. Reading something that has zero value in terms of broadening your horizons is a big expense, not so much money-wise but time-wise.

What if there was a way to get the general idea of what a book is all about? Or some software that simplified and spat out the key points from a non-fiction book?

Frankly speaking, all of that seemed like a far-fetched dream until I stumbled upon Blinkist.

Blinkist is a “here’s what you’ll get” book summary app for mobile and desktop where people can listen to or read roughly 15-minute summaries of over 2,000 non-fiction titles across a range of categories.

Text Summaries

Text summaries present around 10 screens and you need to click to proceed to the next. The audio version, on the other hand, plays through automatically. Each summary or “blink” is also placed into a category so users breeze through it with ease.

Since I really like the app, I decided to write an in-depth review. Read on to learn how it feels to be a Blinkist user.

Quick Access to Categories and Synopsis

Blinkist takes you to the first blink as soon as you click on a title in your library. You can add books by browsing the app’s categories or by searching for a specific title. The “Discover” button at the top of the homepage presents you with 27 categories, plus “see recently added titles” and “see popular titles” sections for the latest blinks.

The following graphic highlights the names of available categories:

Blinkist Review

The categories are as follows:

  • Entrepreneurship & Small Business
  • Science
  • Economics
  • Corporate Culture
  • Money & Investments
  • Sex & Relationships
  • Parenting
  • Nature & Environment
  • Career & Success
  • Politics
  • Health, Fitness and Nutrition
  • History
  • Management & Leadership
  • Psychology
  • Technology & the Future
  • Education
  • Society & Culture
  • Creativity
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Personal Growth & Self-Improvement
  • Communication & Skills
  • Motivation & Inspiration
  • Productivity & Time Management
  • Mindfulness & Happiness
  • Religion & Spirituality
  • Philosophy
  • Biography & Memoir

Pressing on a category takes you to its individual page with a header visual.

As you scroll down, you come across trending, just added, and featured audio blinks in that category (in the exact same order). A “see all blinks in this category” option is also available.

Blinkist Review

Your next option is to click on the magnifying glass at the top left corner. Doing so allows you to search for a specific non-fiction title.

As you write the name of the author or book, results get populated in a dropdown window.

Blinkist Review


Whether you select a book from the search bar or the category view discussed earlier, you’ll arrive on its synopsis page.

Blinkist Review

The page provides you with all the information you need. A quick summary of the book’s content, an option to add the synopsis to your library, a way to buy the book, as well as advise on who the book is well-suited for along with some background on the author. As a premium user, I also got the option to send the summary to Kindle.

As you can see, Blinkist offers a quick way to know what a book is all about and whether it’ll be worth your attention and time.

Audio Summaries

Clicking on a title inside your library takes you to the first blink, which is titled “what’s in it for me.” Here, you get to learn about the benefits you’ll realize by reading the blink at hand.

But what stands out for me is the audio player for the web. It’s located in a bar at the bottom of the page.

Blinkist Review

When you click on the play button, Blinkist presents you with an audio version of the summary. You then hear the next audio automatically, and so forth. This feature used to be available only in the Blinkist mobile app, but it’s now available for web users too, which is fantastic.

As you move through the audios, eventually you will reach the end of the summary. Blinkist will then revisit what you have learned and offer you some actionable advice to follow. Often, there is an advice to read further, and an option to provide feedback, if you have any.

Social Sharing and Friend Invitations

Remember the Discover button at the homepage? Alongside it are a few more options. “Highlights” redirects you to a collection of all the marks and notes you’ve taken. You can filter them by titles or by date; for either option, they’ll pop up in a beautiful format.

Blinkist Review

Also, you can click on the three dots at the bottom right corner to share your highlight to Twitter, Facebook, or through email. The same process can also be used to delete highlights. I find this handy, as it lets me go through summaries again, but at a quicker pace, and allows me to revisit what I’ve learned when I read them for the first time.


Lastly, the right side of the menu has a “You” option, clicking which opens a sub-menu that gives you access to settings, help & support, gift cards, and more. The standout feature here is “Invite Friends.” It gives Blinkist users a chance to create their referral link, which they can use to invite peers to try out the app.

Blinkist Review

The best part? You get a commission every time someone signs up to Blinkist’s monthly or annual plan using your referral link. Feel free to copy it and send it to your contacts through iMessage, Viber, WhatsApp, email, or any other methods, or share it directly on LinkedIn or Quora.

It also has a wishlist option, you can type in the book you want. If the book is available then you will be directed directly to the book, if it isn’t then you can either add it if isn’t there or the wishlist and if it is already on the list then you can upvote it. More the upvotes, more the chances of it being the next book to be added to Blinkist.

Apart from sending the Blinks to your Kindle, you can also add it to a notebook in Evernote. I personally love that option because then I will have the main takeaways that I got from the Blinks with me on my phone all the time.

My Final Verdict

With over 2,000+ books in its database, and increasing at an astonishing pace, the decision to save time and enjoy Blinkist is yours. No matter whether you want to read about personal development, entrepreneurship, science, or nomadism, I’m confident that you’ll find a valuable title to read.

Blinklist costs $14.99 a month or $89.99 a year (billed at $7.49 monthly). You get a free 7-day trial if you opt for the annual option. Learn more here.

Habits

How Reading can impact your Day to Day Life?

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book read

Reading is a healthy habit, which, if practiced daily, can change your entire life around. Do you want to know why? Through Reading, one can not only gain knowledge but also stay acquainted with the outside as well as the inside world. The best thing about reading daily is to have an isolated place for yourself in your mind, where you can run off to. Most people don’t have the patience or intention to read, and that too, daily. Though this is a habit that takes time to settle in but trust me, once it does, you would never regret it. So, here is a list of reasons why you should read daily?

Why should you read daily?

  • To gain knowledge

Once you start reading daily, and by Reading, it can be anything – you can read few pages of a novel, or a magazine, or newspaper, or even poetry – you would notice within weeks how much your knowledge regarding the outer world has improved. Through Reading, one can have clear information regarding the current affairs, and hence, stay updated.

  • To improve your vocabulary

Through Reading, you can definitely learn new words and hence, improve your vocabulary. Most people make it a habit to learn a new word from the dictionary every day, but if you read daily, you are bound to get new words and make a list of them on a notebook with their meanings, which is definitely going to be helpful for you.

  • To have a make-believe world

The most beautiful consequence of Reading is having one’s own imaginary world, where one can live a life full of magic. This is the extraordinary superpower one acquires while reading. In this busy daily life of ours, we all look for a secluded place where we can feel the essence of peace. Reading can fly you off to the imaginary land of sunflowers, daisies, and cats who can indeed talk.

  • To become more attentive

Most people lack patience nowadays. Being impatient and restless has become a severe problem in today’s world. Here, Reading can help you calm your mind and improve your observation skills. It works like meditation. In no time, you would find your mind focusing on details and becoming more attentive to events, which used to go unnoticed.

  • To reduce stress

Reading is similar to meditation, and hence, it definitely helps to reduce your stress. Books always have a calming effect on one’s mind. It takes you away from daily problems and stressful situations and helps your mind to gain stability. Not only it helps in reducing stress, but it also helps to decrease the anxiety levels of a person. 

Everyone should make reading a daily habit. One should switch off the mobile phones, turn off the television and take some time out to read. It works wonders on one’s day-to-day life and changes one person’s entire personality. Though it can be hard at first, with time, you would cherish the moments alone, reading in a corner while your mind is flying off to Narnia.

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Goals

Key Principles Of Living A Good Life

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Everyone wants to live a good life and one that is filled with happiness and peace. But the first order of business is to understand what constitutes a good life. A good life is generally the result of right decisions and your character decides what decisions you make on a regular basis. Only after understanding the behaviors a person needs to adopt to improve one’s character, can they truly achieve peace, happiness, and a changed life. In this post, we will look at a few key principles that contribute to a good life.

Have Values

The key principle to having a good life is having good values. With good values, you will have lived life well. You might not have ‘enjoyed’ it, but it will be, at the end, worth it. Since the subject of discussion is how to live a good life, we’ll not focus on how to be happy. The distinction must be made and understood.

For example, when you feel like having junk food, the value of staying healthy prevents you from getting obese as well as contracting related diseases. Often, feelings come in contradiction to values, however, keeping up good values ensures long term fulfillment and even success in life.

Select good values and live accordingly to have a positive impact on yourself, your family, community and the world at large. Prosperity and fulfillment comes with living a life of good values.

“Almost everything wrong in the world comes from people either not having higher moral values or not living by them.” –Dennis Prager

Don’t Be Too Serious About Everything

If you have such a habit, then you should definitely try to stop being serious all the time and lighten up. Having a serious approach towards everything will strip your life of any fun. The first step in removing such tendencies is to understand why you fail to enjoy the things in life. Have you always been serious since childhood or were there events that pushed your humor out?

If any specific traumatic event resulted in your serious outlook towards life, then you need to consult a good psychiatrist who can help you overcome such negative psychological patterns. Another way would be to change your perspective and start seeing the world in its entirety (or at least other angles) rather than only focusing on yourself. When you truly realize that you are nothing but a tiny speck in the vast universe, you will feel more relaxed and will start taking things lightly.

After all, we are only here for a couple of decades at most, and then we got to move on. This is the truth that faces everyone on the planet. So, it’s up to you to make the ride a bit more worthwhile.

Be Okay With Your Fears

Every person has some kind of fear deep inside them. And the greater you are bound by them, the less you will be able to live a good life. Fear influences every decision and blocks you out from experiencing things that could have brought you so much happiness. For example, suppose that some tragic event in the past has made you afraid of being abandoned by a loved one. As a result, you might be scared of getting too close to someone since you do not want to take the chance of being emotionally crushed in case they decide to leave you.

But this behavior will essentially destroy any chances of you ever entering into a loving relationship. This is why it is necessary to deal with your fear straight away. You don’t have to conquer it if it seems impossible. But, at least try to develop your mind to the extent that you are okay with living with your fear. Accept that such a fear exists and take a strong decision that you will not let it dictate the course of your life. This should help you get out from the grip of your fears and allow you to live a life that is fulfilling.

Don’t Hold Yourself To Impossible Standards

Many people hold themselves to very high standards. And this can eventually play havoc in their lives as they remain consistently dissatisfied with never meeting their standards all through their life. If you have such issues, then try to set realistic standards. For example, if you are a student of a college, you might feel like you need to get A grade in every subject. While the standard that you set is admirable, one has to also accept that it can be impossible on a consistent basis.

Sometimes, you might come across a test that is just too difficult to crack that you have to settle for a B. Don’t get disheartened in such situations and start blaming yourself for not having prepared enough. Forgive yourself; unnecessarily being depressed about the results will simply do you no good.

Forgive And Move On

There might be occasions in your life where other people will harm you and cause tremendous psychological damage. As a result, it is very likely that you will develop a very negative worldview about everything. This may also lead you to depression or you may feel the need for vengeance. This will certainly make you bitter and hateful.

If you keep this hatred inside you for too long, your life itself might end up being consumed by it so much so that you would be avoiding opportunities for happiness. You may also be afraid to open up and enter into a relationship with other people since you don’t want to be hurt again. What you need to do, under such circumstances, is to learn to forgive – not the person who hurt you, but yourself.

Tell yourself that whatever happened has happened in the past and that you should not destroy your future by constantly dwelling on past events. Slowly, you will learn to live normally and be in a position to move on to newer experiences. The person who hurt you will never again be a constant source of hatred in your mind. Instead, they will become a lesson that will teach you what type of people to avoid in the future.

“Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other guy will die.”

Don’t Be Afraid Of Rejection

Many people never live their life to the fullest because of a big fear – rejection. This fear can manifest itself in all walks of life and can truly limit your experiences.

Maybe you love someone, but do not wish to open your heart to them because you are afraid of being rejected. Maybe you have an incredible idea on how to grow a company but are afraid that your ideas may be rejected and mocked upon. Whatever the case may be, you need to understand that this fear of rejection is not good.

It’s also important to understand that being rejected is a normal part of life. After all, not everyone will agree with everything you have to say. As such, just go ahead with your feelings and ideas, and see all rejections as just the way life is. Doing so will open yourself to new opportunities and you will be able to live a better life. 

A cure for this is to speak your mind even in difficult circumstances. This trains you and your mind to speak in more sensitive situations as well.

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Habits

Why Should You Stop Being Hard on Yourself

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Why Should You Stop Being Hard on Yourself

Growing up, we are often subjected to comparisons drawn by adults. You are always in competition with children in your society, children in your school, children in your parent’s friend circle, and so on. Eventually, you start comparing yourself to everyone else as well.

This becomes a subconscious habit that can be really detrimental to your mental health. Constantly making comparisons puts undue stress on ourselves in addition to the amount we already have from work and life in general.

We get so caught up in proving ourselves that we often forget to give ourselves credit for the things that we have done and milestones we have achieved. There comes the point when we have had enough, and we start losing motivation; as a result, we start spiraling.

When people say “life is too short,” what they mean is that it is too short to spend trying to impress others. The years you have should be spent on doing things you like and learning stuff that you want to. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone, and you don’t need to be better than anyone. The only person you should be in competition with is your past self. Aim on being better than yourself, that’s it.

It is Okay to be Yourself

One thing we are never told is that it is okay to be ourselves. We often try too hard to be like someone else, to impress others, to make our families proud, but the price we pay is too high. We lose ourselves in the process. Sooner or later, it catches up to us, and we start feeling unsatisfied with our lives, no matter how great it is.

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Our peace of mind and state of health is not worth compromising, our happiness is not worth giving up, our motivation is not worth losing; be yourself, that is who you can be the best version of.

It is Okay to Put Yourself First

Every person has their own strengths and weaknesses – no person is the same. No one is perfect, even if they seem like they are. What meets the eye is just the tip of the iceberg. If they seem insanely good at something, chances are they have sacrificed something else in their life to get to where they are.

“Faithless To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you want to learn something and master something, then it is okay to say “no” to other people. It is okay to put yourself first. Doesn’t matter if it is for you to focus on your craft or your mental health. At the end of the day, if you don’t value yourself enough to put yourself first, why would someone else?

It is Okay to Make Mistakes

Don’t beat yourself up for mistakes, embarrassments, and having negative thoughts when things don’t go your way. It is natural to feel beaten up when you face failure or make mistakes. All of these things, though, contribute to the uniqueness of your character. The moment you start being yourself, you will start noticing that a lot of people are like you, lost and isolated in the big world – thinking about things they could have done differently.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou

You have to learn to make the most of what you have already achieved and build on the lessons that you learned because of those mistakes and failures. People are afraid to try new things because they are afraid to fail in front of someone else. But, if you do not take those leaps, then you will never reach where you want to be. One thing to remember is that when things go wrong, it is US who have to face the brunt of it, not THEM, so do things and make mistakes with only you in mind.

It is Okay to Have Bad Days

We feel success is when we do not have problems and are always happy. It cannot be farther from the truth. No matter how much you earn or how successful you are, life will also be a sequence of ups and downs because, without downs, there are no ups.

“Some days are just bad days, that’s all. You have to experience sadness to know happiness, and I remind myself that not every day is going to be a good day, that’s just the way it is.” – Dita Von Tesse

Without experiencing bad days, you won’t be able to appreciate the good days. Bad days also make us who we are, more than the good days ever will. We learn and grow from them. Remember, if it is a really bad one today, you do not have to do today again. Tomorrow brings a new day and new opportunities.

It is Okay to be Less Than Perfect

This is the one area that I have struggled with the most. The need to be perfect has been ingrained in us since childhood. Being compared to children who were good in other areas always made us feel inadequate. Some children learned to cancel the noise, while some couldn’t take it. It became a part of them, eating them out with every passing day. When thoughts like these are ingrained in you, no matter what you do, you will never feel satisfied.

“People are not perfect… very often the relationships that are strongest are those where people have worked through big crises, but they’ve had to work through them. So the challenge to us is to work through that.” – Patricia Hewitt

You have to learn to be okay with not being perfect in every single thing. It is okay to strive for perfection, but do not make that your goal. Your goal should be learning and achieving. That is what makes the process perfect.

Final Thoughts

Life already throws a lot of curveballs at us. We do not need to add ourselves to the mix. Be your own cheerleader, and go easy on yourself from time to time. Understand that not all days are going to be the same. You are going to achieve a lot one day and nothing the other day. On the days when nothing seems to be going your way, remember to be kind to yourselves.

Keep reminding yourself that it is okay to do things for yourself, and it is okay to stop for a moment and gather your wits. Take care of your wellbeing, and everything else will follow.

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