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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

Why You Should Prepare Your To-Do Lists the Night Before

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Why You Should Prepare Your To-Do Lists the Night Before

To be on top of everything, having a set morning routine and night routine that you follow religiously is very important. A routine makes sure that you do all the necessary tasks to ensure that your day running smoothly. The habit of making to-do lists and following it is one of the beneficial habits you can cultivate in order to get all your work done without being overwhelmed.

Many people wonder if making lists at the end of the day is better than making a list in the morning or vice versa. While in the morning, you might be fresh with a fresh outlook toward the day, chances are that making a list in the morning isn’t the best way to ensure productivity. Making a to-do list isn’t enough, knowing how to tackle it needs some planning.

When you wake up and get through your morning routine, it can be difficult to sit down to plan the day. You want the morning to be light and filled with little tasks that are more about self-care than business. The serenity of the morning is the perfect time to be looking after yourself. If someday you happen to wake up late, all your planning will go askew if you leave making your task list to morning.

Why You Should Prepare Your To-Do Lists the Night Before

At the end of the day, you know what tasks you have managed to complete, and what areas of work needs your attention next. This makes it easier to create a to-do list for the next day because you will be making a list on the data from the day. While you can do the same in the morning, the urgencies of certain tasks aren’t going to be that fresh in your mind. 

You also have the opportunity to sleep on your list and then revise it in the morning with tasks that would need more attention. Before bed is the best time to create a game plan for the next day. It’s like getting a head start to your day because you already made a plan the day before. 

When you make a list at night, you already know what you need to focus on first the next day. What’s your MIT (most important task) and what work you can fit in, considering your schedule. You don’t have to wake up to the task of planning and can use your sharpness in the hours of the morning to actually getting work done. 

“Setlists are tough because you come up with this structure of how the songs are going to go from one to the next, but at the same time, you have to be spontaneous and take requests and change the setlist at the drop of a hat.”

-Billie Joe Armstrong

You can put indicators to tasks that are priorities, urgent, or can be put-off, and then in the morning, you can prioritize them with more vigilance. This is something that will help you go about your day as soon as you wake up because you will have a direction to follow. This particularly helps if you have too much on your plate and you are overwhelmed by the amount of tasks that need to be done and feel clueless. With a to-do list prepared, you will wake up with a mission and that will help you feel motivated.
While I am an advocate for waking up early, I know not everyone can afford to. Many of us work lates or have some weird working hours because of international businesses or just because of personal preference. If you are not an early riser, then making a list in advance will let you know at what time to wake up to keep your day running smoothly.

Why You Should Prepare Your To-Do Lists the Night Before

For me, I make a list of my three MITs (Most Important Tasks). I always advise to make a list of 2-3 MITs and try to achieve them as soon as possible, they are critical tasks that yield the most significant results. Once you achieve the most important and difficult tasks, you already have a sense of accomplishment and achievement that will help you get to other not so important tasks throughout the day without worrying constantly.

Having the most important task out of the way gives you an opportunity to be actually present in your workday and work for other things without the constant pressure of this looming task that you will have to get to eventually. You get to give your 100% to everything you do because you are sorted by working on tasks based on your priority.

“I made a huge to-do list for today. I just can’t figure out who’s going to do it.”

-Anonymous

That being said, while lists can be a huge help in giving you direction, in the end, you are the one who has to follow them to get the work done so don’t make your lists overwhelming. I understand the urge to fill up our lists with all the tasks that are swarming our minds, I used to do that. I made mile-long lists but never could complete it in the day and that discouraged me.

Then I learned the importance of being smart and setting realistic goals. I started making a master list in which I jotted down every task that entered my mind and then segregated them daily. I focused only on the tasks that were on my today list. Having put the other tasks on another list made me not worry about them and I could focus on my daily tasks better. 

“People are remarkably bad at remembering long lists of goals. I learned this at a professional level when trying to get my high-performance coaching clients to stay on track; the longer their lists of to-dos and goals, the more overwhelmed and off-track they got. Clarity comes with simplicity.”

-Brendon Burchard

A brain dump is essential to keep your brain from worrying about every little thing. So, make a main overall list and then your daily to-do list can be a subset of it. Every day when you make your lists in the evening or before going to bed, you can go through your main list and take that into consideration against what you achieved today. Based on both things, you can make a much more efficient list. This will help you work little by little to achieve your long term goals as well.

“Mostly I make lists for projects. This can be daunting. Breaking something big into its constituent parts will help you organize your thoughts, but it can also force you to confront the depth of your ignorance and the hugeness of the task. That’s OK. The project may be the lion, but the list is your whip.”

-Adam Savage

After doing a brain dump of all your ideas and worries, take things out from it to do each day, and do not look at the main list you made again while going about your day. This will free up your mind from the plethora of tasks that need to be done and will let you focus on what you can do now – making sure you give your best in whatever you are doing. There’s no point stressing over the bulk and doing nothing to make a dent in it.

You have to consider your strengths, your weaknesses, your schedule, the probability of last-minute tasks, the average time to get a job done, any kind of raw data that can help you get into the habit of making an almost foolproof plan.

If the list is overwhelming you and discouraging you, then you have to understand that it’s not the lists that overwhelm us, it’s what and how much we put on them. Ever heard about not overfilling your plate, this is exactly it.

Why You Should Prepare Your To-Do Lists the Night Before

There will be days when you won’t complete all the tasks on your list – no matter how hard you try, some days are just not helpful. The unfinished tasks will bother you – if they don’t, then you can use the same list, but chances are that they will. I suggest throwing away that list and start a new one every day. 

For most people, when they just add on to the existing list, they start the next day already feeling like having failed because they have tasks from yesterday to go through. No matter how much you do in the day, you will keep feeling unaccomplished because your mind will go in an ‘if only’ mindset where you will keep wondering that if you had finished those tasks yesterday then you could have done more work in the time it took you to get to them today.

This is not a healthy attitude to begin your day with. So, start a new list. Put the tasks again on the list. Now, it is a new list with all the remaining and new tasks together. It will make you feel like you have a fresh list instead of the feeling of working on a backlog. Whatever makes you feel positive about your workflow is what you are going to apply eventually – it is a process of learning and growing.

Final Thoughts

Making a good plan is half-battle won, that is why it is important to be prepared. To-do lists are your daily plans. If you prepare them smartly and then apply them to the T, you will realize that getting work done is easier than it always seemed. Making a to-do list the night before gives you the opportunity to start your day feeling prepared and ready to deal with anything that comes your way.

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Habits

Why Chasing Perfection is a Futile Activity

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Why Chasing Perfection is a Futile Activity

“Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.”

-Voltaire

Perfection takes time. Time is something that most of us scared to invest. You either invest your time or you elude it trying to save it. From the time we start understanding words and achievements, we are inspired to chase perfection. By the time you realize that there is no such thing as ‘perfection’ in this world, you have already wasted a lot of your learning years chasing it.

While looking for a perfect job, a perfect career, a perfect relationship, a perfect moment – we often forget to cherish the things we have or be thankful the opportunities we have been given – we end up losing what we have.

“When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.”

-George Fisher

We keep on running after an adjective that is very hard to put onto things. Perfection is going to have a different meaning for different people. Something that isn’t perfect for you is going to be perfect for someone else.

The pursuit of perfection in every aspect of your life can be very exhausting, you will be going through every stage with a looming dread of not being perfect. Even when you have done a great job, you won’t be satisfied because it does not meet your idea of perfection. 

In an attempt to achieve perfection, we have laden ourselves with copious amounts of pressure for every big or little thing we do. It sort of takes out the fun from things when you are constantly striving to make it exceptionally perfect.

“Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.”

-Antoine De Saint-Exupry

We often chase perfection so that we can stand tall in front of society. The opinions of other people affect a lot of people and that is usually the driving force. We want to prove ourselves to others – it can be someone who said we can’t do this or it can be someone we want to be proud of ourselves. What we don’t realize is that everyone is struggling to do their bit. Everyone is under the pressure of being perfect, the irony being, none of us are.
Low self-esteem and self-doubt is usually the cause of us trying to be ‘perfect’ at everything, we do this to improve our self-esteem. Self-doubt also stems from constantly comparing ourselves with others. Many people suffer from imposter syndrome. We don’t understand how that can be detrimental to the work we do. Not feeling good enough, feeling like a fraud, feeling like you don’t deserve anything can really suck the life out of you. These are the mental roadblocks that stop you from doing your best while keeping you constantly worried about chasing a state that is not that tangible – ‘perfection.’

Why Chasing Perfection is a Futile Activity

In the years you spend chasing it, there will come a moment of clarity that will help you realize that the pursuit is futile. When you realize that you no longer have to run after being perfect – when you understand that being good enough is actually enough – that is when you feel contentment in life.

Being content is the first step of feeling satisfied with your life and with your efforts. It is a liberating feeling to finally be happy with yourself after years of beating yourself up.

“To accomplish the perfect perfection, a little imperfection helps.”

-Dejan Stojanovic

There are a lot of advantages to not chasing perfection. You start feeling more happiness and gratitude in the light of appreciating the things around you and yourself. This results in you developing an optimistic approach toward life. When you are chasing perfection, it is somehow lost. You start finding faults in all your achievements, stopping yourself from being happy about them. This leads to negativity clouding your thoughts and as a result, you start pouring the same negativity in your life.

When you let go of the notion of perfection, you allow yourself to relax and be proud of your achievements. This action triggers positive emotions within you, helping you become optimistic toward the next stage of your life. This then leads to you feeling more confident. Being confident about your abilities also stops you from running after perfection and makes you realize the worth in what you do.

Why Chasing Perfection is a Futile Activity

Striving for perfection is a good thing because then it will make you work harder to get better day by day. With time, every skill gets better. Chasing perfection, on the other hand, is dangerous to the learning process. You need to learn the difference so that you don’t end up harming yourself in the long run.

Instead of chasing perfection, remember to strive for improvement and excellence. When you focus on becoming better than you were yesterday, you automatically open doors for yourself. You surround yourself with positivity – inside and out – making it a much-needed fuel to keep working toward your goal.

Always believe in what you can achieve no matter how imperfect you feel. There are going to be days when you don’t feel good enough. Everyone feels like that once in a while – trust me we all feel the same as humans. 

Final Thoughts

When you let go of that perfection ideology, you free yourself from your own expectations tying you down. You start feeling content with your life and with the pace you are going. That is what will help you sail by, that is what will hold you aboard.

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Habits

How You Can Use Humor to Win at Life in the Face of Adversities

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How You Can Use Humor to Win at Life in the Face of Adversities

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.”

-William Arthur Ward

When you are starting out on a new path – may it be starting a new course, a new business, a new relationship – there are going to be difficulties at every corner. Just because your path is hurdled with obstacles doesn’t mean you give up. While people can keep pushing in order to achieve their dreams, it can often take a toll on their health – especially mental health.

Mental health anyway is not taken that seriously but when you don’t feel right in your mind even the mundane of tasks become utterly complicated in nature. One way to keep going through adversities without losing yourself is learning to laugh at yourself and your situation.

“Laugh at yourself, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don’t leave any of yourself safely onshore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory.”

-Alan Alda

While laughing at yourself is important, you need to know the difference between finding humor in whatever is happening and being self-deprecating. Self-deprecation helps no one. It isn’t the good humor that helps you make light of things, it is the kind that will make you drown in self-pity and make you lose confidence in yourself.

You already have a lot of negative feelings surrounding you, you are already dealing with doubts that are related to your decisions, your chosen path, your abilities, you don’t need to add on to it by doubting your self, your determination, and your worth. For others to respect you, you need to learn to respect yourself.

“Laugh at yourself and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain, cure your depression, and help you to put in perspective that seemingly terrible defeat… Never take yourself too seriously.”

-Og Mandino

Learning to see humor in situations and developing humor as a habit is the best course of action to take if you are in a difficult phase and could use with not letting everything affect you to the core. 

There are two very basic things you can do to develop a sense of humor without going out of your way – observe people who can find humor in situations and observe situations you can find humor in.

Observe Funny People

How You Can Use Humor to Win at Life in the Face of Adversities

An easy way to develop your humor is to observe people who are known to be funny. If you have a friend who is incredibly popular at work because of the way they crack jokes and make people laugh, tag along and learn the tricks of the trade. 

Look at them and identify situations when they make a joke, the way they present it, and so on. And when you spend some time with such people, you are sure to imbibe some of their qualities.

When developing your humor sense, be careful of distinguishing between being funny and mean. Remember to never crack jokes at someone’s expense, making them a butt of jokes in front of others will creating animosity rather than a good-natured bond.

“To laugh at others is egoistic; to laugh at oneself is very humble. Learn to laugh at yourself – about your seriousness and things like that. You can get serious about seriousness. Then instead of one, you have created two diseases. Then you can get serious about that also, and you can go on and on. There is no end to it; it can go on AD NAUSEAM.”

-Rajneesh

It will only make you a despicable figure. Plus, only make jokes in appropriate situations. Blindly joking around won’t get you anywhere. You need to balance the serious stuff in your life with humorous aspects. And when you achieve a perfect balance between the two, your life will open itself to new experiences, and you will lead a fuller, better life with new and deeper relationships.

Observe Everything From a Humorous Perspective

How You Can Use Humor to Win at Life in the Face of Adversities

Most people usually don’t observe things around them in their daily lives. Instead, they are busy being engrossed in their desires and fears. And this is quite sad since you will start seeing an entirely different world if you take the time to watch and observe the things around you.

“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.”

-Bill Cosby

You might start seeing a quirky habit of the roadside vendor you pass every day but never bother to look at. You will ride the taxi as usual, but see that the owner has a picture of a funny quote right in front of the dashboard. And during the travel, you might see that an elderly man, who was buying flowers from a young woman, was trying to flirt with her in a rather comedic but sweet way.

All these observations will come in handy when you try to make a joke among friends and co-workers. If you observe most people who are funny, they are able to draw from their experiences and present them in a humorous manner. It is basically storytelling in the heart of it. This is why it is very important that you start observing the things happening around you. The more you see, the more material you will get to use in your jokes.

Final Thoughts

There’s no point in taking yourself seriously when your life is already full of seriousness. You might not have time to enjoy yourself because you are busy building your dreams, you might have to give up a lot of things, you might even stop working on your hobbies – these things are common in the building phases of people’s careers – but what you have to remember to not give up is laughter.

“A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.”

-Hugh Sidey

Laughter will get you through even the darkest of days. When you seem like there is nothing going your way, laughter will be there to accompany you learning from your failures and not breaking down to not apply the learnings one more time to achieve success. Learn to find laughter in what you can, you keep you going in the race of life.

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