How To Use The Blinkist App To Become A Better Writer
In this post, we’ll do a review of the Blinkist app.
According to Stephen King, one of the world’s most prolific and successful writers, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
As an author, you’re probably doing plenty of the latter, but how much time are you devoting to the former?
After months of working on your book, you can get burned out on the written word. Picking up a book while writing one might not be your go-to relaxation activity.
If you don’t read much, you aren’t alone. Only 5% of people in first world countries read, and only 2% of that 5% read with any frequency.
But read you must if you want to become a better writer. It isn’t optional. Why? Because reading . . .
- Improves your vocabulary
- Increases your knowledge
- Improves your writing style
- Stimulates creative thinking
- Enhances your memory
- Excites your curiosity
- Affords you new and different perspectives
- Inspires you to take risks with your writing
- Helps you overcome writer’s block
One of the most frequently cited reasons for not reading is a lack of time. As writers, our lives are busy and demanding already, and making time to read books on a regular basis might be daunting.
But there is a way to add more books to your reading list without committing hours of your time to each book — the Blinkist app.
What Is The Blinkist App?
Blinkist allows you to get the main ideas from 2,500 of the world’s best nonfiction books. It is essentially a book summary service for nonfiction books that offers the key content in just fifteen minutes worth of text or audio.
It was founded in 2012 by four friends and now has six million readers worldwide.
Blinkist works with authors and bestseller lists, newly released books, and recommendations to find great books which they then refine into short “blinks.”
These short summaries are fact-checked and quality assured by their team of editors.
With this app, you can learn something new every day in your choice of nineteen categories. Each blink is put into a category and then subdivided into sections so you can breeze through it.
The introduction of each blink offers a brief summary of the book topic and why you should read it and ends with a summary of the most salient points and actionable advice for the reader.
Table of Contents
You can test it out with a free 7-day trial of Blinkist to see if it works for you.
Once you discover how useful it is, the cost is $12.99 for a monthly plan (that you can cancel at any time), or you can pay $79.99 for an entire year (about $6.67 per month) if you want to commit to the full twelve months.
Why read short book summaries?
If reading makes you a better writer, why read short summaries of books? To be a better writer, you don’t need to just read long books. You can read blog posts, periodicals, essays, and, yes, book summaries.
Reading book summaries lowers the barrier to forming a solid reading habit and can inspire you to read more. If you read a book in blinks and it excites your interest, you might decide to read the entire book.
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Short book summaries also allow you to consume more information covering a wide range of topics. You’ll increase your knowledge base related to these topics and be inspired with new ideas for your own books.
There are nineteen categories of books on Blinkist, including:
- Entrepreneurship and Small Business
- Politics and Society
- Marketing and Sales
- Health, Fitness, and Nutrition
- Personal Growth and Self-Improvement
- Biography and History
- Communication Skills
- Corporate Culture
- Management and Leadership
- Motivation and Inspiration
- Money and Investments
- Productivity and Time Management
- Sex and Relationships
- Technology and the Future
- Mindfulness and Happiness
Here’s a sample of some of the books on Blinkist that you might find interesting and useful as a writer and entrepreneur.
Everybody Writes, by Ann Handley
Handley highlights the impact of our increasing screen-based interactions and why the value of the written word in both our professional and personal lives matters more than ever.
With easy-to-remember tips, she teaches you to create outstanding content that engages and delights readers.
Everybody Writes covers the basics of good grammar and how to craft engaging emails. But what she repeatedly reinforces is the value of the written word in acquiring and keeping loyal customers and readers.
Contagious, by Jonah Berger
As a writer, it is becoming increasingly difficult to figure out the topics that will resonate with potential readers. Trends change so quickly and readers are bombarded with information every hour.
In the midst of this information overwhelm, there are still topics, books, videos, and articles that go viral, shared by tens of thousands of people.
Read Related: 17 Steps To Earn Your First $1000 with Self-Publishing.
In this bestselling marketing book, Berger pulls back the curtain on why certain things catch on and how to duplicate the process, something every writer and market needs to know.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen
Writing a book is all about meeting your writing goals and deadlines and taking the myriad of actions involved in publishing and marketing your book.
Getting Things Done is the answer to your challenges with overwhelm, procrastination, and burn-out.
First published in 2001, it became the linchpin for a global productivity phenomenon. Allen’s realistic, practical approach to reaching your goals while doing meaningful work has inspired millions of people to approach their work differently.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg
Your writing, publishing, and marketing goals are comprised of daily habits — like writing a specific number of words a day, spending time on research, developing a marketing plan, and reading.
Without establishing these habits, your efforts will stall out, and you’ll have difficulty getting your book on the shelves or on Amazon.
The Power of Habit reveals why we (and everyone in the world) struggle with habit patterns, and what it really takes to establish firm and lasting habits.
Duhigg combines research and anecdotal evidence to support his claims and provides simple steps for developing personal and professional habits.
The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less, by Richard Koch
Did you know that 80% of your results are driven by just 20% of your efforts? That is the theory (based on the Pareto principle) set forth by Richard Koch in this mindblowing book that shows you how to accomplish much more by doing less.
Koch shows you how to focus your daily efforts where it really counts, leading to the majority of the results, outputs, or rewards that you desire.
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Although the book is focused on using this principle in corporate and business culture, you’ll learn how you can apply it to your work as a writer and in your personal life.
Born for This, by Chris Guillebeau
If you’re a writer or would-be writer stuck in a job that doesn’t inspire you, this is a must-read. Guillebeau helps you design the perfect career at the “intersection of joy, money, and flow.”
He shares inspiring stories of people who have landed their dream career and offers actionable tools, exercises, and thought experiments to guide you through the vast menu of career options.
With the help of Born for This, you’ll discover the work perfectly suited to your unique interests, skills, and experiences.
If you are intrigued by Blinkist, here are some the advantages and downsides of this popular app.
- Allows users to learn a lot in a short amount of time.
- Books are available in 19 different categories.
- Works on computers, Androids, and iOS devices.
- Allows you to preview a book before buying it.
- Has an audio version of blinks.
- The interface is easy to learn and use.
- The library needs to be refreshed manually on the mobile app.
- Audio can freeze if there is poor connectivity to the host.
- You cannot make recommendations to other readers directly through the app.
If you want to improve your writing by reading more, Blinkist is a ridiculously valuable tool to help you. You’ll find a way array of books that will motivate, inspire, and teach you to become a better writer, marketer, creative, and entrepreneur.
Try the 7-day free trial and see what you think.