- Smart people read; the smartest people read a lot. But, we are so busy, how do they find time to read? Well I've got a really smart way to read more and get smarter. What is it? It's called Blinkist. I'll show it to you today, on DottoTech. Steve Dotto here, how the heck you doin' this fine day? At DottoTech, we make technology easy so you can do more. Now today I wanna show you one of my great life hacks. How do I stay on top of things and stay current with so many different business books and theories and ideas? I do it by compressing time as much as possible and taking advantage of shoulder time. What do I mean by shoulder time? Like when I'm going for a walk, or when I'm doing housework, when I'm cooking. I try and take that time and occasionally, well fairly regularly, learn, as opposed to just having quiet time, listening to music or something, which there's plenty of value in. I also take that time and I listen to podcasts or I listen to audiobooks. Now audiobooks take a long time to get through. It's gotta be a really good book for me to dedicate 14, or 18, or 20 hours to listen to an audiobook. A lot of the books, I wanna get the idea for what the author's talking about, especially when we're talking about business books. I wanna get the idea for the theories and the themes that the author is sharing. I don't necessarily have to read all of the nuance. If I'm really enraptured by the author's message, I can read the book. But, instead of reading the entire book, I bought a subscription to Blinkist. Now Blinkist is a service that takes and compresses books down, finds the salient points of the books, and shares them with us so we can understand the author's message and theme. It's especially wonderful for business books, but it also works pretty well for things like biographies and even some history books. But for business books, oh my gosh, it is a God send. Now, normally at this moment here in our videos I will be telling you about our sponsor. But we don't have a sponsor for this particular episode because in the spirit of full disclosure I decided to become a Blinkist affiliate. So if you decide that you like this service and you click on the links I provide, you'll be clicking on one of my affiliate links, which provides sponsorship for this channel. I will say, I do pay for the Blinkist subscription that I use myself. It is something that I find enough value in to actually purchase. So, shall we jump in and have a look at Blinkist? Are you curious? Let's go and take a look. I will put a link to the Blinkist site with my affiliate link below in the description. But if you visit the site, you'll see that it's a service and an app. I think primarily you'll end up using Blinkist on your smartphone, although you could certainly use it on your Kindle, your tablet, your computer as well. The service works in all of those spaces. Essentially what Blinkist does, is it takes books and compresses them into small little 15-20 minute reads. So it will take an entire business book and it takes all of the main points that the author wants to create and it shares them as things that they call Blinks, hence the term Blinkist. And these are just little key nuggets from the author's perspective. Now lemme take you into it on my smartphone to start things out, because I do think that your phone is probably the way that you're gonna use it. It's certainly the way that I have the most experience using it and so I found enough value to subscribe here through the smartphone app. You download the app; you sign up for the service. The pricing is on the website. They have various promotions, etc. I think it's around eight dollars a month is what I pay, not 100% positive. But you're brought into it, you have a discover section, if you look down here at the bottom, a discover section and a library section. And then your profile is here as well. But if you go into the discover section, that's where you can go and you can find books and then you can choose to download the books. Now you're not just limited to text versions of books. One of the things that I find the most value in with these books is they also record the Blinks as audio files. So about a 15-20 walk, you can get the entire gist of a business book. I love that feature and it's probably the one that I, well it's not probably, it is the one that I use the most. So, we go through it, now it knows me a little bit. It knows the sort of things that I'm interested in, the sort of books I'm interested in, and it's already starting to curate content and suggest content for me. So you see, Business and Marketing Books, The Thank You Economy from Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin's All Marketers are Liars. You see all of the different books that they are recommending for me. So if I wanted to add, say Seth's book here on All Marketers are Liars, I just click here on the plus, and it brings me into the book itself. I can see what assets are available to me in this book. I can read the book here; it gives me a synopsis. But I can also listen to the book. Now not every book has a audio component. At least I don't think every book has an audio component. Most of the ones I've looked at do indeed have an audio component. So, if we decide that we want to read this book, here's what it looks like as we go through reading a book in Blinkist. It brings is into this, it almost looks like an editor, where we can go through and we can read the main synopsis, but right here at the very top there is these three lines. The lines bring you into the Blink section where you can look at each of the main points that the author makes. Here we have eight points that Seth has made in this particular book. And we can go in and we can read each point as we go through. Now one of the things that kinda nice about this is you can go in and you can select any of the content in any of the, if you find something that is incredibly valuable, as you're reading if you find something that is incredibly valuable that you wanna save, you wanna share with somebody else, it's a quote that you wanna remember, you can highlight it. And the reason I say this looks like an editing interface, is it's not just a reading interface. You can grab that information and if we tap over here on the right hand side, we can highlight this or share it. If we highlight it, what it does is it saves it into a scrapbook of quotes that we wanna save from all of our books. So the salient thoughts that you want to access later, are now saved into your scrapbook. You can also share these links as social posts, as tweets. You can share them as emails or as texts. You can share them in a variety of different ways that way, but that all fits together. Now let me take you back and let's go back into my library here, and I'm gonna go for my discover section, and we can do searches and things like that here as well. I'll show you this on the desktop computer in a moment as well. But let's go into my library and let's take a look at, oh which one do we wanna go? Let's take a look, okay I'm part way through listening to again Jab Jab Jab Right Hook, which is one of my favorite marketing books of all time. And you see now the three little lines where we went in to see all of the Blinks are there, but do you see next to that there's the little headphones? If we tap on that, we can then bring up the audio player which will allow us to listen to each of the Blinks as audio files. And this is what I do as I'm walking, is I listen to them as I would a podcast or an audiobook. But it only is going to take me fifteen minutes to be refreshed on all of the thoughts that Gary, not all of the thoughts, but many of the main points that Gary was sharing here in Jab Jab Jab Right Hook. And the player is pretty sophisticated. You can actually speed up the playback if you choose, if you're really pressed on time, and have it play back at a very high rate of speed. So that gives you an idea of what it's like managing and viewing and reading the content from your smartphone. But if we go on to the desktop computer, let's just jump back there for a moment and take a look at the exact same information here. So everything that I've just, my account access, all access to all of the books that I have in my account, are available here on my desktop as well. And I just wanted to show you and give you an idea of some of the different types of content that they have available and then how you go about checking to see if the books that you're most interested in are here. So they show us by category, and you can see here there's a lot of categories: science, economics, culture, money and investing, sex and relationships, parenting, all of these kinda of how to and personal development type topics are really the strength of what Blinkist represents. I don't think it's great, and I don't even think there's many available, like it's not good for romantic novels or historical fiction. Those sorts of things that we read for entertainment. Those we don't really want to blast our way through. We wanna leisurely read them and enjoy them and at that point reading becomes a pastime, which is a pleasurable pastime, and not really something which we're trying to get something out of, like we're trying to learn something. Most of these topics here are things where we want to hear the author's perspective, learn what it is they have to teach, and decide whether or not we want to incorporate it. There are times, as I listen to different books in Blinks, and I go the Blink is not enough. I wanna read the book. At that point you can purchase the book directly through the app or go yourself to Amazon and buy the book, but it gives you the option to kind of go through it at 300 miles an hour and decide if you want to go back and have a nice leisurely drive through the content. So here we see a list of all of the different topics, general topic areas, but if we wanna go in and actually search for individual titles, I just typed in This is Marketing, because we were talking with Seth Godin just a few moments ago. His newest book was only released a couple of months ago and if I take a look here, it's already available here. Most of the main business books we find available in Blinkist very quickly. They're adding titles every month. So all of the current books are pretty much there. And you can do a quick search to see what's available and what's not to determine if the value is there for you. Oh, I know what I should show you before we wrap things up. I should just show you, oh I can show you the Highlights sections here because I highlighted that comment from Seth on my smartphone just a second ago. Let's go into Highlights here on my computer, and hopefully, yeah there it is. All Marketers are Liars, Seth Godin. So there's the quote that I just pulled. So it's really nice to have access to this on your computer or your desktop if you wanna pull these quotes and you wanna use them for emails or you wanna integrate them somehow into your business mix. Oh, one last thing, as I'm showing you this on my smartphone, but if you're a real Kindle reader, if you like reading the books yourself, but you're happy to read the short little Blinks, you can also send this to your e-book reader. It works just as well on e-book readers and tablets as it does on the smart phone and the desktop. So that's it, a good look at Blinkist. I hope you found our video today to be helpful. I would love to hear your comments. Are you using a service like this? Is there other ones that you think are better? Or I'd just like to hear your thoughts. I read every comment that you post below so I encourage you to let me know what you think. If you've not yet subscribed to DottoTech, I encourage you to please hit that subscribe button, ring the notification bell to make sure that you are notified when we upload new videos. Till next time, I've Steve Dotto, have fun storming the castle.
Audio books and e-books have never been more popular than they are right now and yet the time we have to listen or read these books has never been more scarce!
Many of us just do not have the time to devote 10 or more hours to a new book, especially business books and those books which help with personal and professional development. We don't know if we will get much out of these books so it can be an risky proposition to start a long read or listen when really we're just looking for the core themes and theories and not always the nuance and the minutiae that follows.
So, how do I reconcile this problem?
What is Blinkist?
Blinkist is a service which compresses books down to the salient points and filters out irrelevant information. How does it do this? By taking books and reducing them down to 10-20 minute short reads by creating ‘blinks' from the most important points in the book. These blinks then act as sort of waypoints to the book and you can jump from blink to blink allowing you to touch on all the major arguments in the book while excluding the parts that maybe aren't as relevant to the book's subject matter.
Reading, Listening, and Viewing on Blinkist
Upon opening Blinkist you will see the three main sections; Discover, Library, and Profile. In the discover section you will see that the app will curate content based on your reading history and your interests, allowing you to find new reads you did not previously know about. There's also a trending sub-section which really helps you stay current!
When you do find something you want to read you just click on the book and you will be presented with the option to either read or listen to the blinks. Now, not every book has an audio version available but many will and it is my preferred way of consuming the content. Listening to the blinks while walking my dog, Farley, is a great way to distract from the smells wafting over from the nearby farms! At the top of the screen is the Blinks icon, it will look like bullet points on a page. Clicking the Blinks icon will allow you to navigate through the book either by reading short text-based recaps of the major points, or by listening to short audio files of those major points. Opening a Blink takes you to the text version, and, if available, clicking the headphone icon in the top right will take you to the audio version of the Blink. Blinkist even lets you playback the audio at faster than 1x speed, something not enough apps have embraced! This is great for those people looking to consume even more content in a crunch!
In addition to the option to either read or listen to the Blinks, Blinkist provides some tools for managing specific excerpts from the Blinks that you might want to save for later. While in the text format Blinks you can highlight passages, quotes, statistics, or just interesting blurbs and either save them to your profile or share them directly from the app to your social media. It's a great tool for content creators who need pull quotes for their materials!
Blinkist is my go-to tool for reading and listening to books that I really just want to distill into a few key points. I find it especially great for those in social media marketing and more broadly the business world. It has allowed me to consume more content, in less time, more efficiently and has some nice added functionality tie-ins with social media.
Until next time,
Have fun storming the castle!
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