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Blinkist review: Basically awesome book and audiobook summaries

Blinkist makes written and audio summaries of non fiction information books. Basically it means you can finish an interesting book while biking through town. They have a free (limited) account and premium accounts from €50/year. Use coupon code 'skillcollector' to get 20% off. I was not paid for this review, and do not earn any commissions. Blinkist was nice enough to give me a premium copy of Blinkist premium to review, which I've used for some weeks now.

Short blinkist review

Blinkist interface

  • They make book summaries split into 'blinks' which are bite-sized text chunks
  • Some books are converted into audio blinks which you can listen to through the app
  • Android and iOS are available and work smoothly
  • I love the audio summaries, perfect for biking, cooking and showering
  • Audiobooks can be pre-downloaded so you don't run out of mobile data
  • There are multiple male/female voices that record the different books (real people)
  • Price is perfectly reasonable at under €5 a month (2 coffee) The verdict is simple: get it. For a couple of euros a month you can get the highlights of a bunch of high quality books. I like listening to the business and personal development books, but they have a lot more available. If you are in, check it out here. Use code 'skillcollector' to get and extra 20% off.

What Blinkist is

The Blinkist company makes standardized text and audio summaries. Their format means you know exactly what to expect when you start a book. In the mornings I usually:

  1. Browse the 'Discover' section for an audio book
  2. Add the book to my library and click the 'download for offline' button
  3. Listen to the 'What's in it for me' section detailing the value of the book
  4. Listen to the 10-20 Blinks while making tea, packing up and biking into town
  5. Mark book done Note the also have great text summaries. Personally I prefer audio since the app serves as my 'learning by osmosis' tool. It's perfect to put on when you are doing usually relatively brainless tasks like cooking, cleaning or walking through town.

The Blinkist Catalogue

There are hundreds of books to keep you busy, though not all are audio books yet. The categories the books are in:

  • Time Management
  • Psychology
  • Personal Finance & Investing
  • Motivation & Inspiration
  • Management & Leadership
  • Human Resources
  • Communication & Social Skills
  • Biography & History
  • Economics & Politics
  • Personal Transformation
  • Health & Fitness
  • Science
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Society & Current Affairs
  • Entrepreneurship & Small Business

The audio summaries

There are a number of people at Blinkist recording the summaries. The male and female recorders are relatively easy to listen to. Sometimes one of them sounds a bit too enthusiastic, but you could write that off as an American way of storytelling. The recordings are of professional quality, and the recorders speak very clearly and understandably. Not unimportantly they talk like people, not like monotone robots. My favorite things about the audio are:

  • Being able to pre-download them
  • The different voices that explain the books like they would to a friend
  • The '10 seconds backwards' and '30 seconds ahead' buttons to skim My only wishes with regards to the audio:
  • Categories in the audio section of the app
  • Being able to 'bookmark' a moment in the audio
  • Preferably have the audio bookmarks linked to the written text
  • Being able to share recordings with co-workers

The text summaries

The initial model of Blinkist is text summaries, and they do very well at it. Their interface leads you through a number of Blinks in a guided fashion and allows you to highlight things. My favorite things about the text summaries are:

  • "Who should read these Blinks" ahead of the summary
  • Being able to read in their mobile apps as well as online (I prefer big screens for reading)
  • Ability to make highlights

My wishlist:

  • Being able to not just highlight, but make notes
  • Sending books to my Kobo e-reader, not just Kindle devices

Verdict: I love it

Basically Blinkist will trade you €5 (about $6) a month for a huge database of summaries and audio summaries. If you like enriching yourself with new perspectives, this is perfect. There is nothing other to say than that you should get it. Get their trial here. If you like it, use coupon 'skillcollector' for an extra 20% discount.