Blinkist Review 2020
Last updated June 2020
In this Blinkist Review I would like to answer several questions:
- What is Blinkist?
- Is it worth buying a Blinkist subscription?
- Is Blinkist better than other book summary services?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of similar offers?
- What Blinkist alternatives are available, and are they better?
Also, towards the end of this article, I have answered some frequently asked questions about Blinkist.
Who has already rummaged a little on my website, he'll have discovered my book report.
Yes, I love reading, and I love books. Unfortunately, I don't have enough time to read all the books on my reading list. So a few years ago, I decided to take out a Blinkist subscription. And to anticipate that, I am a satisfied Blinkist customer and wouldn't want to miss the service anymore. Of course, there are also disadvantages to consider before you decide to subscribe to Blinkist. This article will allow you to make an informed decision.
Blinkist is a company that offers professional book summaries of non-fiction titles through their mobile app and website. The app is available for iOS and Android.
Blinkist claims that you can learn the fundamental ideas of a book in less than 15 minutes.
All book summaries are published in text and audio formats. Therefore you can listen to the key insights (so-called Blinks) offered through the book summary while commuting to work or while taking a shower.
If you would like to try out the service after reading this Blinkist review, please use this Blinkist Discount Code link to save 20% on a subscription. If you do, you will save 20%, and I will receive an affiliate commission paid by Blinkist. And blinkist will have a new happy customer; win, win, win. But before you do, read the review to find out whether the service is for you.
Before we look at Blinkist, let us first answer the following question:
What are the pros and cons of reading book summaries in general?
The most obvious advantage of reading a book summary is that you do not have to read the full book but might learn the same insights. Some books only convey one or two main ideas. For these books, it is easy to come up with a good summary. On the other hand, if you have a dense book offering many different learnings, it will be hard to summarize all insights. It is then the decision of the author of the summary to decide what is worth mentioning in the abstract. The summary might miss essential ideas and insights the book had to offer. So the main advantage of a book summary often is at the same time its main disadvantage.
Another advantage of book summaries is that they help you to get an excellent overview of a topic which is new to you. You do not have to decide upfront which book on the subject you want to read. Instead, you can read all available summaries on the topic to get all the critical insights of various books on the matter.
When learning from book summaries, you have to accept that some information will be lost. The information travels from the author to the editor of the summary to the reader. There is so much more room for misinterpretation. You need to be prepared that this will happen a lot when using book summaries. But there is a way around this. If you feel that a particular summary had some excellent points, just read the book.
For example when I decided to learn more about the topic of habits, I read the book summaries of Atomic Habits, Tiny Habits, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, Triggers, and The Power of Habit. It would have taken me one or two months to read all five books. With the book summaries' help, I learned the critical ideas of various authors on the topic in only two hours. As soon as I had a good overview of habits, I decided to read Atomic Habits in full because I knew that this would be the best book for me to deepen my knowledge.
When using Blinkist, I usually listen to the same summaries multiple times. I noticed that my retention of key insights improved considerably. The improved retention is yet another advantage I saw. But if you are an active reader, highlighting, taking notes, and asking yourself questions on what you have read, you probably already have excellent retention of your reading material.
The most significant disadvantage of learning from book summaries is that you focus on the essential insights a book has to over. But the author of a great book has much more to offer; stories, personal anecdotes, and the author's humor are only a few things that come to mind.
And there is yet another disadvantage I see in reading book summaries. Some summaries are poorly written and do not reflect the real value a book has to offer. In these cases, a reader will judge a book as bad because she reads a bad summary. She will probably never learn how great the book is in comparison to the abstract.
So, there are certainly advantages and disadvantages to using book summaries. For me, book summaries are just a tool to learn more effectively. You do not have to decide between just reading book summaries and just reading books. Do both, and you will get the best results.
Now that we have looked at the advantages and disadvantages of book summaries in general, we can look into the pros and cons of the service offered by Blinkist.
The Blinkist content is great. Each book summary conveys the essential insights of a book in so-called Blinks. Each summary comes with an introduction, and there is even a summary that gives you the next steps with actionable advice or a link to the next book you can read to deepen your understanding of a topic.
Blinkist's focus is to support you in your learning, which is excellent because we read non-fiction books not because we want to be entertained but because we look for insights we can apply to our business and lives.
If English is not your mother tongue, you can use Blinkist to level up on your English skills. Often I listen to the audio version and read along. Doing this will also deepen one's understanding of the ideas presented.
Blinkist's content is easily accessible. You can read or listen to summaries on iOS and Android devices. If you want to use your computer, you can log in to the Blinkist website and access the content. The web app also allows us to listen to the audio content. You can even read the book summaries on your Kindle.
You certainly get all the benefits of book summaries: learning 80% of the critical insights of a book, saving time on poor books, quickly learning about new topics, broadening your perspective rapidly, and many more.
Blinkist is a very cheap option if you need to learn the critical insights of various books on one topic. If you need to buy ten books to study a particular topic, it will probably be cheaper to get the critical insights through book summaries and only invest your time and money to read the two best books. After having read the summaries, you will know what two books you need to learn.
Compared to other book summary services, Blinkist is one of the best options. We will cover this comparison in more detail below.
I also see it as a significant advantage that I can access the book summaries on all of my devices. I own a computer, an iPhone, and a Kindle. I use all of these devices to learn from the Blinks.
I'm also a big fan of the audio content as I listen to it when I go for a walk, commute to work, do a workout, or stand in line in the supermarket.
Another advantage I see is that the app supports an offline mode. You can download the Blinks you want to listen to next on to your device. This option certainly comes in handy when you travel a lot.
Most of the disadvantages I see are inherent to book summaries and not a particular problem of Blinkist. I have mentioned these general cons above. In this section, I only talk about the disadvantages of the Blinkist service itself.
As I have mentioned earlier, the Blinkist content is of high quality. Nonetheless, from time to time, you will encounter a book summary that is of poor quality. The problem is not how it is written or the audio quality, but that the key insights are not covered. If you have not read the book, you will judge the book by its summary, which is a pity.
Some summaries do not arouse interest in reading the book, although the book is excellent.
Another disadvantage I see is that the audio playback sometimes stops due to a bad internet connection. Even when the network availability recovers the playback will not resume, you will have to do this manually. You will not have this problem when you download the content onto the device before listening to it. The issue seems to happen only when you are streaming the content.
As you can see, the advantages easily outweigh the disadvantages.
Using Blinkist effectively certainly depends on your use case.
If you only want to learn about random topics, you can use the search option in the app or web interface to find episodes that stir your interest.
When I use Blinkist, though, I like to learn as much as I can on one single topic. I then download the five best books I can find on that topic and listen to all of them in one go.
I often listen to one book summary multiple times, which helps me to reflect on certain Blinks. I would recommend that you do the same as the content is sometimes very dense, and it is easy to miss essential Blinks.
You can also use one of the lists Blinkist provides to find exciting book summaries. There are quite a few lists in the app:
- For you—Blinks we think you'll like
- Trending—What's popular right now
- Just in—The newest Blinks in our library
- The New York Times Bestsellers
- Wind down with Blinkist
- Your Money: Stress-free Finance Tips
- Amazon Charts: Best Book of the Month
- Nourish the Body, Nourish the Mind
- Soothing Blinks for Stressful Times
- Top 13 Books Recommended on the Tim Ferriss Show
- Start a morning routine
- and many more curated lists by Blinkist
Blinkist summarized thousands of books, and Blinkist's editorial staff is adding new titles continuously. There is no shortage of good content on Blinkist. To give you a detailed insight into what summaries you can expect to find on Blinkist, I have compiled three sample lists with these topics: habits, money, and entrepreneurship.
I hope they will inspire you to create your learning lists.
Founders at Work—Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston
The Lean Startup—How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
The Hard Thing About Hard Things—Building A Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
The Mom Test—How to Talk to Customers and Learn If Your Business is a Good Idea When Everyone is Lying to You by Rob Fitzpatrick
Launch—An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula to Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business You Love, and Live the Life of Your Dreams by Jeff Walker
Atomic Habits—An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
Triggers Book—Creating Behavior That Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter
Tiny Habits—The Small Changes That Change Everything by BJ Fogg
The Power of Habit—Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People—Learn the habits of those who achieved everything by Stephen R. Covey
The Intelligent Investor—The Definitive Book on Value Investing by Benjamin Graham
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind—Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Eker
The Millionaire Fastlane—Crack The Code To Wealth And Live Rich For A Lifetime by M.J. DeMarco
Rich Dad, Poor Dad—What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki
The Little Book That Still Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt
In this section, I try to answer frequently asked questions. Please let me know whether you have a question. I'm happy to answer them. Just write to me at email@example.com.
The Blinkist app is offered free of charge. However, without a valid subscription, you can only listen to the Daily Pick. The daily pick is a summary, which is selected by the Blinkist editorial team every day.
To access any of the 3000 book summaries, you need a premium subscription. The Blinkist Premium subscription is available as a monthly or annual subscription. Per year you currently pay $89.99 ($89.99 / 12 = $7.49 monthly) and the monthly cancelable subscription costs $14.99 per month ($14.99 * 12 = $179.88 annual).
It is worth noting that Blinkist subscriptions will automatically renew. Depending on the plan you bought, it will renew on a monthly or yearly basis. When you cancel your plan, the subscription will end when the period you paid for is over.
Tip: As soon as you buy a subscription, just set a reminder on your smartphone to cancel your subscription on time. At least this is what I do with all subscriptions I'm buying.
- Unlimited access to over 3000 book summaries
- Audio versions of all titles
- Offline support in the app (text and audio)
- Ability to export highlights to Evernote
- Ability to access Blinks on Kindle, iOS, Android, or through the web application
You can expect a great variety of topics you can choose from when you are looking for books that interest you. You can choose from these categories:
Entrepreneurship, Politics, Psychology, Productivity, Personal Development, Career & Success, Management & Leadership, Philosophy, Communication Skills, Science, Motivation & Inspiration, Mindfulness & Happiness, Health & Nutrition, Technology & the Future, Biography & Memoir, Sex & Relationships, Economics, Creativity, Society & Culture, Parenting, Corporate Culture, Nature & Environment, Education, Marketing & Sales, History, Religion & Spirituality, Money & Investments.
To answer the question of whether Blinkist is worth its money, you certainly will have to look at your usage of the service carefully. I recommend that you either use the free offering or chose the 7-day trial before you commit to a yearly subscription.
For myself, I can say that the Blinkist service is worth the money. On average, I listen to one book summary each day. I pick one and listen to it two or three times while walking my 10000 steps. So I pay roughly 25 cents for one book summary. And because I learn a lot from the Blinks, I am happy to pay for it and keep the service running.
Audible and Blinkist are different services. On Audible, you can listen to complete books that are sometimes shortened and prepared for audio consumption. On Blinkist, however, you will find mainly book summaries. Although Blinkist has started to offer complete audiobooks, you should note that a subscription does not include audiobooks. However, audiobooks can be purchased at a lower price if you have a premium subscription with Blinkist. You can save more than 50% on some audiobook offers.
If you compare the quality of Blinkist and Audible, you can say that both offers are of very high quality. Both the offered content and the apps are excellent. The audio quality is comparably good for both services. The speakers are professional and do a great job, even though there may be negative outliers.
The Blinkist service is not free of charge. If you want to have access to all content, you have to take out a monthly or annual subscription.
There is, however, the option of using the Blinkist app free of charge. In this case, you can only listen to the Daily Pick of the Blinkist editorial team.
For the undecided, there is also the possibility to try the service for a specific time for free. If you cancel during the trial subscription period, there are no costs. In the Blinkist account settings, you can cancel your trial subscription.
No, unfortunately, there is no possibility to change between a monthly and annual subscription. To change, you must let the current subscription expire and then take out a new one.
For example, if you want to change from a monthly subscription to a yearly subscription, you must first cancel your monthly subscription in the account settings. At the end of the month, you can then take out a new annual subscription.
You can connect the Blinkist service to a Kindle eBook reader. To do this, first, open the settings in the Blinkist app. Under the section Premium Services, you will find an entry Connect your Kindle.
There are many alternative offers to Blinkist. Here is just a shortlist of the services known to me.
getAbstract-the world of business summarized
The best alternative to Blinkist I know is getAbstract. With 20000 book summaries, the offer is much larger than that of Blinkist. However, prices are also higher. You get access to 5000 book summaries for a yearly subscription of $99, or you pay $299 per year to get access to all 20000 titles.
GetFlashNotes-self-help & business book summaries for busy people
I can't say much about this service, as I never tried it personally. The first seven days cost $1; after that, you pay $29 per month. So definitely much more expensive than the Blinkist offer.
Optimize Me-Optimize Your Life
One cannot compare Optimize.me to Blinkist. Blinkist is based on summaries of non-fiction books. Optimize has an even closer focus on self-help books. On Optimize.me, you can only find just over 500 book summaries. These are available as PDFs and 20 minute MP3s. But you also get access to the Optimize.me community and 1000 practical micro-lessons for self-improvement. The first two weeks are free; after that, you pay $95.88 per year ($7.99 per month), or $12.99 per month ($155.88 per year). I have read some of Brian Tracy's summaries and can recommend them. If you are reading mainly book summaries in the self-help section, you're probably better off with Optimize than with Blinkist.
There are currently over 3000 book summaries in the Blinkist library. There are new books added every month. In the app, you can find a list of recently added titles in the Just in section. Summaries are divided into topics to make it easy for you to discover new books.
Besides, you can also view Curated lists. New York Times Bestsellers, Amazon Charts: Best Books of the Month, and Top 13 Books Recommended on the Tim Ferriss Show are only three examples.
If you read or listen to one summary each day, you will pay for one summary, around 25 cents, when you have a yearly subscription or 50 cents when you have the monthly subscription. If you use this Blinkist Coupon, you will get Blinkist 20% cheaper.
I even would argue that you can save money using Blinkist because it lets you make a more informed choice about which books you want to buy and read. I bought a lot of books, and not all of them provided the value I hoped for. Since I use Blinkist, I haven't bought one book I regretted. Quite the opposite. I purchased the book Atomic Habits after I read the book summary. The same with Sapiens, I bought the audiobook on Audible after I read and liked the book summary.
Considering what you can learn from the Blinkist content, I think it is a bargain. But it only is, if you will use it regularly and if you use it to learn. If you want to be entertained, it is probably better to spend your money on a Netflix subscription.
For me paying for a Blinkist subscription is a no-brainer.
The Blinkist app is optimized to cover the three most essential functions.
Probably the most crucial function of the mobile app is listening to book summaries. You can download the titles together with the text and audio data to your iOS or Android device. You can then access the contents even if you can't receive any data at the moment. You can stop and restart a title at any point. The audio quality is high, and professional speakers read the summary out.
The second most important feature of the app is probably the support for reading the titles. This has also been implemented excellently in the Blinkist app. The user interface is very tidy—essential functions such as scrolling forward and backward work wonderfully. You can switch back and forth between normal and dark mode. The font size can be adjusted directly while reading. Furthermore, you can call up a table of contents that lists all blinks, which you can access by tap directly.
The third function the app supports very well is the search for new, exciting titles. In the app, you can search directly for keywords or use one of the curated lists to find new summaries. Of course, you need access to mobile data or WLAN for this.
It is also possible to create playlists in the app. So after the end of a title, the next title in the playlist is played directly. Playlists are convenient if you go jogging or have a long car journey ahead of you and need your hands free.
Yes, you can use this Blinkist Discount Code link to save 20% on a Blinkist subscription.
Blinkist only offers summaries for non-fiction books. It wouldn't make much sense to summarize a novel, because novels are all about the pleasure of reading and not about learning. Non-fiction books, on the other hand, can be summarized very well, and the book's core contents can be worked out well. This service saves a lot of time, and you can learn the core contents of several books in one chunk.
If you are looking for summaries of classic books like Pride and Prejudice or Huckleberry Finn Blinkist is not the right place for you. For this, you might try your luck on WikiSummaries.
There are many excellent summaries on Blinkist. And indeed, there is no such list like the top ten best book summaries on Blinkist. It comes down to personal preference. But here is a list of ten books I enjoyed listening to and which I learned from.
Thinking, Fast and Slow—Intuition or deliberation? Where you can (and can't) trust your brain by Daniel Kahneman
Atomic Habits—An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People—Learn the habits of those who achieved everything by Stephen R. Covey
12 Rules for Life—An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
The Miracle Morning—The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 A.M.) by Hal Elrod
Sapiens—A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
The Power of Habit—Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Influence—The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
The Little Book That Still Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt
The Art Of Non-Conformity—Set your own rules, live the life you want and change the world by Chris Guillebeau
I would like to briefly summarize why I think that Blinkist is the best service for book summaries.
The selection of books is so extensive that I will have reading material available for the next three years. What I also really like is those different readers who speak the summaries. You can listen to several books sequentially without being overwhelmed by monotony. I would also like to emphasize the excellent quality of the abstracts. Only a few titles in the Blinkist collection have come to my unpleasant attention because of their poor quality. 99 % of the summaries are perfect.
I also like the fact that Blinkist puts learning first. The basic ideas are explained in Blinks. There is an introduction that leads to the topic. At the end is a summary, often with tips on how to apply what you have learned. This way, you can use Blinkist to approach topics you have little or no experience with. On the subject of habits, for example, I could easily find five different books and listen to them all in one session.
The mobile and web application support reading and listening to the contents wonderfully. Some functions, such as creating playlists, are hard to find, but once you have learned how to do this, it is no problem in daily use. It's also nice that you can read the books on a Kindle and that the mobile app allows offline access to content.
Sure, a yearly subscription should always be considered carefully, but if you compare Blinkist with other offers, you will see that Blinkist is the cheapest offer. With my usage, a summary costs me about 25 cents. That is ridiculously cheap.
At this point, I would also like to emphasize that you should not give up reading complete books and replace them entirely with Blinkist. Blinkist is a tool to approach topics faster and also to discover books with great benefits for you.
If you use this Blinkist Discount Code link, you save 20% on the subscription. I will get a small commission from Blinkist, but I would recommend Blinkist even if I wouldn't get one. But I wouldn't have written that lengthy Blinkist Review. 😃
I wish you a lot of fun while reading and learning. And if you have any questions, please, reach out to me. Jo