Every once a while, a revolutionary app comes along that changes how you do a lot of things. Whether it be Uber on the transport front, Tinder on the dating front or BUDGT on the finance front, sometimes certain applications come along and cause a bit of a mini earthquake in the industry. For me, the Blinkist app has been one of those.
For those of you that aren’t familiar, Blinkist is an app which condenses the best non-fiction books into tidy, information-rich 15-minute summaries. These summaries contain the key insights, summaries and messages from each book. The free version of the app allows you to read the summary of the ‘Daily Pick’. The premium version will allow you to listen to audio versions, listen offline and some other nifty features.
I absolutely love reading books and if you have stumbled across this article, it’s fairly likely that you do too. After having the premium version of Blinkist for almost 3 years now, I feel like I have a decent grasp at what the app is good at, where it lacks and ultimately, how to use Blinkist in the most effective way possible. Here are 4 of my best tips:
Blinkist is more of complement to books, not a replacement
As incredible as this app is, it is important to note that it doesn’t serve as a replacement to books. When I first got the app, I was so excited to be able to ‘read a book’ every single day and become the most knowledgeable individual that the world has ever seen.
How silly of me.
Whilst the 15-minute book summaries are detailed and you gain a huge amount of value from them, they still aren’t substitutes for the real thing. Authors spent months at a time weaving together threads, stories and themes that all come together into one bloody-beautiful completed puzzle by the end.
Although you can get big chunks of the puzzle from using Blinkist, you still miss the more nuanced points and the smaller pieces that help fit everything together. I sometimes use it as a replacement for the book if the summary wasn’t as interesting as I thought but if I like the Blinkist, it’s likely that I will like the actual thing 10x as much.
Use the app to serve as a curator for finding awesome new books
Linking quite closely to the previous point, Blinkist is one of the number one ways that I find the newest, freshest and best non-fiction books that are out there.
The ‘Recommended’ feature that is in the Blinkist app is excellent and saves me from having to trawl through the whole database scanning for something that I might like. What’s more, once the algorithm starts to get a good feel for the sort of books that you enjoy, the increasingly-relevant recommendations come thick and fast.
Blinkist also has ‘Trending’ and ‘Just In’ sections which are ideal for finding books from genres that you wouldn’t otherwise stumble across.
Stick to reading as much as possible (although listening is more convenient)
Although the premium version of the app does allow you to listen to the 15-minute summaries via audio which can be convenient if you are commuting, doing chores or at the gym, I highly recommend sticking to reading rather than listening wherever possible.
More times than I can count I have found myself lost in thought as the audio plays in the background. Next thing I know, the author has gone from talking about deforestation in Colombia to why green apples are tastier than red ones. As it turns out, a 2015 study seemed to confirm that the mind wanders more whilst listening rather than reading.
Of course, no method is perfect. Mindless reading still exists and audiobooks and podcasts are great ways to obtain information. However, in my personal experience, I have found that reading Blinkist books rather than listening to them helps me to retain much more of the valuable information.
Use Blinkist as a recapping tool
One of the most overlooked aspects of guides that tell you how to use Blinkist most effectively is the fact that it is one of the best recapping tools out there.
The app itself is designed to help you discover new books, but a nifty trick is to use Blinkist to review books that you have already read. As you know, Blinkist provides 15-minute summaries of books which is actually the ideal way to retrieve nuggets of information from books that you have read in the past.
If there is a book that I particularly enjoyed reading but I can’t remember the exact ins and outs or the lessons that I learned are starting to become a bit vague, I simply open the book on Blinkist and voila! Blinkist has a short summary ready to go. This method helps me to remember and reinforce things I’ve learned in the past. I believe this is the ultimate objective of reading – turning the words into actions.
My one-sentence summary of the app
One of the best applications that you can have on your phone when used correctly.
If you are ready to start using the app effectively, you can sign up for a free trial right through my affiliate link right HERE.
Now go forth and read!