Learning Transcends The Boring Classroom (Educate Yourself in Bed or at Lunch)

Everywhere you go, people – you, me, he, she, and them – are staring at their phones.

Whether we’re on Tinder looking for a date, Instagram checking out photos, or playing Brawl Stars to quench or game addiction, we’re glued to our smart phones.

So why not toss in some education in the mix?

Learning can be fun. Ideas can spring out of information. And gaining knowledge can make us even more successful.

I’m not seeing the downside here.

For far too long, we’ve relegated learning and education to classroom lectures. Even in 2019, we don’t really embrace informal education even though the marketplace is telling us over and over that college degrees are worthless.

We need to open our arms to the idea that we can pick up small snippets of information in just a few minutes – while we’re on a lunch break, before we go to bed, while we wait for our Uber ride – that make a huge lasting impact on our knowledge bank.

If we keep stacking these minutes of informal learning, eventually it adds up to be quite library of information.

This is an enormous reason why we believe Notevantage is going to change the education game.

We embrace short attention spans. We spit in the face of hour long lectures. We know grab ‘n go info is sometimes the only option and also sometimes the best option.

If we’re on our phones 4 hours a day anyways, why not drip some tidbits distilled directly from the best non-fiction books in the world?

It certainly can’t hurt. It certainly will propel.

Your Corporate Wellness Education Program Problem Emphatically Solved

Organizations are the sum of their actors. When one participant is weak, it affects the whole.

Real leaders look for solutions to this; they look for ways to improve the minimum baseline of their weakest links and strengthen the hierarchies above them.

Whether it’s in the domain of exercise, nutrition, or education, you as a problem solver are tasked with sourcing a wellness program that works.

Enter Notevantage.

Notevantage is an educational subscription product/service that extracts the best tidbits from the best non-fiction books and emails them to subscribers every Monday.

Why so special?

We extract and curate fine gold from a myriad of non-fiction books and then deliver it to subscribers in an easy to understand flow of information. Here’s the basic outline:

  • Summary of Tidbit
  • Commentary & Analysis
  • Practical Takeaways

The word count on each note typically falls between 1,500 – 3,500.

Keep in mind, this is not a book summary.  It’s an hyper-aggressive fixation on the best parts of the best books.

Book summaries are too general which waters down the material and weakens the educational value.

Moreover, the voluminous nature of summary sites like Blinkist and GetAbstract overwhelms even eager learners:

  • Where do you start with 2,000 titles?
  • Do you take notes on a 15 minute overview that essentially is the notes?
  • What about the context you lose from zooming out?

Slash the throat of analysis paralysis, of bureaucracy and get to the damn point.

Your company will learn the way we all learn now.

By scrolling on your phone.

Email info@notevantage.com to ask about setting your group or organization up with a stellar corporate wellness education program.

An Ocean’s Edict: Blinkist Summaries Are Blah, Show Me the Tidbits

While vigorously researching the book summary marketplace, I happened upon one Olga Khazan’s article (from The Atlantic) where she provided more anecdotal confirmation that my book summaries don’t work theory is RIGHT:

In Blinkist, meanwhile, even the final “key messages” section contained points that were far too vague and reductivist:

Moreover, she struck my Notevantage chords multiple times. Check these selections out:

I was curious to see how either Blinkist or Wikipedia would handle anecdotes, the glue that holds all the cocktail-party nuggets of nonfiction books together.

Wikipedia avoids any and all human-interest tidbits. I kept waiting for a glimmer of Cain’s story of how Steve Wozniak’s introversion helped him—and Apple—ascend the early computing world.

Now granted Notevantage is completely RANDOM (thus far) but if non-fiction book tidbits (and great, practical ones at that) is what you seek then that is what ye shall get here.

Here’s some more confirmation bias from the blogosphere:

Scott from ScottHYoung.com says:

because summary-level knowledge is common, you can get a competitive advantage by having read works in greater depth. Knowing a few things to a deeper level might make up for having greater, broad summary-level knowledge

Will from WillYouLaugh.com writes:

Book summary companies are often in the game of making money. They’re incentivized to tell you that book summaries are the holy grail. If I had to choose between the guy who’s read 1000+ book summaries and the guy who has deeply studied a solid selection of 100 books, I’d choose the latter.

And of course you’ve seen our extremely biased theory on why book summaries are 85% garbage, 15% ok, fine they’re not the scum of the earth.

The Only Way Possible to Buy Book Tidbits

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As I researched Instaread, GetAbstract, and Blinkist and looked for other similar subscription services, I realized something: the marketplace was missing the most important product of all: the tidbits!

It’s like when Elaine told Mr. Lippman about muffin tops being the best part of the muffin.

Think about it, why do we read books?

To gain knowlege, yes. But more specifically, we read for the tidbits, the anecdotes, the little gold nuggets where just one can change the way we think, the way we act for the better.

Or maybe they’re just a way to sound smart at those theoretical cocktail parties.

Either way, non-fiction book tidbits are informational gold: We want to have them and store them away but they take significant resources to acquire.

A good book sets you back $10-$15 but the real bee sting is taking 7-10 hours to read the book.

Holy work week that’s a lot of time, Batman.

And that’s why over here at the Notevantage Info Factory we painstakingly churn out sweet, sweet tidbits of gold for our subscribers.

The conveyor belt of boxed information never stops and that means you’re always privy to the best in random self-improvement notes.

And we don’t stop at the raw tidbits. We summarize them, explain them in plain English (so they’re easy to understand), and spell out the practical takeaways of each so that you can use them to YOUR BENEFIT in real life.

Education is often unnecessarily hard for students/knowledge thirsters. Not with Notevantage.

No rites of passage, just $36 and you’re in the club.

Click here to join and enrich yourself.

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God’s Gift to Self-Improvement Enthusiasts

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There’s an old saying that goes “you reap what you sow” but it doesn’t matter because whether you’ve been good or bad, anyone can enjoy a delicious education to Hoodie University AKA Notevantage.

So what makes Notevantage so irresistible?

3 Things My Dear Reader

#1 The juiciest tidbits from the best non-fiction books are extracted and served to you on a silver platter.

#2 Each gold nugget is hyperfocused on and explained in plain English so you don’t have to think, just bask in the info sunlight and absorb.

#3 Every note comes with a practical takeaway section so you instantly apply knowledge and improve your life.

The story behind this subscription is I actually designed it for myself.

I’m a self-improvement buff and I love reading great books but the problem is I didn’t take notes on all the great tidbits that I came across.

Moreover, I never took time to dwell on them and really enrich myself intellectually.

And after that, where in the world can you find a product or service that sells book tidbits?

I’ve never seen one, that is until now 😉

Information Investing

And if you’re not yet foaming at the mouth, get this: The whole business is premised upon information investing.

That is, you’ll get such a juicy ROI from subscribing to Notevantage that you’ll be compelled, no COMMANDED by self enrichment to keep your subscription rolling.

Who knows, if you love somebody enough, you might gift them a batch of success in a bottle too.

But first take care of #1 and grab a subscription now.  It’s gold Jerry, gold!

[transcription: video of Kenny Bana from Seinfeld telling Jerry, “It’s gold, Jerry, gold!”]

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A Smarter, Random Blinkist Alternative

[Table Alternative: Table explains the differences between Notevantage and Blinkist.  Notevantage hyperfocuses on the best tidbits in books whereas Blinkist offers summaries of books.  The pro of advantage is more effective learning vs. getting to the point of a book fast with Blinkist.  The con with Notevantage is it’s random vs. book summaries being ineffective.  The edge for Notevantage is it forks over gold nuggets quickly whereas Blinkist has voluminous amounts of material.  The pricing is $75 vs. $49.99 to $79.99.]

As I’ve blogged previously, book summaries don’t work.

In short, when is the last time a book summary changed your life?

Never.

Blinkist is a life saver if you completely blanked on your homework assignment (reading that book) for the last two weeks and now it’s 30 minutes before class.

But beyond that, book summaries give you a false impression of knowledge.

The people that condensed the book down to 15 minutes know exactly what the material’s about while you have the “yeah-yeah, I know this” version of the book.

With that in mind, we got into the business of hyperfocusing on random book tidbits that deserved the spotlight.

Our thought: Why not?

Why Not?

Why not go deep inside the tidbits, the gold nuggets of information we really want to mine from books?

Summarizing a book strips it of its color and waters down the voice.  Furthermore, summaries are, by definition, a generalization of information.

It’s a bureaucratic notion in terms of information investing because for self improvement buffs who thirst for knowledge, reading a book summary is an inefficient and ineffective means of acquiring knowledge.

Instead of going that down that path, why not extract and explore critical micro sections of the book?

It’s a way to take part in the intellectual discussions we seemingly never have time for in real life.

It’s also a means to better understand the author’s best contributions: their anecdotes, data, key theories, etc.

With Notevantage, we take a key selection from a non-fiction book each week and dwell on it with intensity.

Each Note is randomly chosen which may frustrate some.

But the counter is that we actually pick up information randomly more often than we think – and not only do we pick it up but it sticks.

Story Time

I used to have this idea in my head that education needed to be organized; that we needed to learn in chronological order from some predetermined outline.

And then, one night while reading a blog it hit me: IT DOESN’T MATTER!

After all, I was picking up information randomly from this blog; I would grab my phone in bed late at night and open up the website and click on whatever headlines looked good to me.

So why can’t I (we) learn-learn in the same fashion?

There’s no need for a table of contents, course syllabus, formal introduction, etc.

Instead, education can come in the form of random tidbits that we read informally.

And with Notevantage, we offer to send those tidbits to you.

More Than an Alternative

Originally you were probably looking for another website or app like Blinkist such as GetAbstract or InstaRead.

But as you can see you’ve stumbled upon something much different; something very new that will change the way we approach education and help everyone absorb material better and educate themselves.

Informal education works and Notevantage is going to prove it with our own random twist.

Books Take Too Long to Read, Here’s a Shortcut to Investing in Information

What if you had someone whose job it was to curate the best anecdotes and tidbits from non-fiction books and send them to you every Monday?

If that’s what you’ve wished for the last 12 Christmas’s, I’ve got a non-salty surprise for you: It’s very much within your grasp.

With the advent of Notevantage, you can buy your very own note-taking butler.

As we all know, books take a long time to read, and we’ll never get through our entire wishlist.

And for that matter, nor would we want to.

Some books are legendary but their place in time is built on the pillars of a few scant pieces of information.

You don’t want to read for 8 hours to only unearth three gold nuggets.

There needs to be an extraction service, and so that’s what I’ve come up with.

You might say, “Already been done, Kris. There’s a handful of book summary services out there.

True but book summaries are flawed hacks.

Book summaries are best used as a refresher AFTER you’ve read a book because summaries strip information of its color and context and you need those to extract meaning.

With a summary, you’re one step removed from the trough, and the more distance you put from you and a thing, the less aligned you with that thing.

In this case, that means you don’t really have a grasp on the info in the book.

No good.

Illustration Time

An illustration of the dilution of information from my law school days:

4.0 students took amazing notes. So much so that their notes were seen by 2.5 GPA students (like me) as a hack to a decent grade on the final exam.

Occasionally, an A student might give you their outline, but it wouldn’t result in a good grade.

Why?

Because you didn’t actually study and learn the material; you weren’t aligned with the law. Instead, you had the impressions of someone who was.

While the notes were nice, the shortcut didn’t work. At best you might get a C/C+, maybe even a B- but you weren’t getting an A.

A’s were reserved for the masters who were intimately familiar the material. I mean how were you going to get a higher grade than the person who wrote the notes you were studying?

What’s the Difference with Notevantage?

I’m not trying to capture an entire book.

Rather, I dive into a specific selection (that stands by itself), extract meaning from it, and expound upon that meaning in the notes I send out to subscribers.

Typically what you’ll see is a full explanation of what the tidbit means in plain English, candid commentary, and practical application in REAL life.

Boiled down, I fervently explore the small pieces of a book that have stunning significance.

Going back to the law school notes, it’s as if I take one important concept and make a huge guide about it, talking about it ad nauseam.

The Officially Deflating Windup

And here’s another beautiful underpinning of Notevantage: It’s based on informal education which makes it easy.

How easy?

Pick your phone up and scroll through the note I send you whenever. Maybe when you sit down and have your Burrito Bowl and Chipotle.

That’s it.

When things get official, and we know there’s an advanced time and energy commitment, we shrink away and put that commitment off.

Even just a 20 minute read through of a book summary gets put on hold because it’s official business.

And reading an entire book?

That kind of endeavor can be put off for a month. Not because it’s difficult to chip away at a book but because we look at as a huge undertaking.

Of course, there are some books laced with so much gold, you’d be remiss to put them off (see: Nassim Nicholas Taleb). But it’s going to help like a flashlight in a power outage if you have a supplemental information injection coming at you every Monday.

Even if you’ve already read every top 100 non-fiction book ever, benefits are aplenty with Notevantage:

1) Refresh and remind you of valuable information
2) Exposure to a different interpretation
3) Randomness coming at you predictably

Tempted? Grab a subscription.

An Educational Subscription Service Based on Information Investing

If you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for but you know you’re looking for something, you probably just found it.

Notevantage is a subscription service where I send you great tidbits, gold nuggets, etc. from the non-fiction books I read. It’s random and completely novel – there’s absolutely nothing else out there like it.

If you were trying to categorize Notevantage, you’d throw up your hands and file it under book summary services like Blinkist and Get Abstract.

But I’m not outsourcing people to churn out book summaries like McDonald’s assembly line hamburgers. This isn’t a streamlined business model; it’s a me-lined concept.

I curate what tidbits get send out from my notes. And then when I deem some anecdote or key piece of info worthy of sending out, I dive into it and cover everything in-depth, from explanation to illustrations to how you can use that gold nugget to make a real, tangible, practical benefit to YOU.

Emails go out once a week, on Monday, and they’re completely random.

Random as in I don’t know what I’m going to write about each week, like The Joker, I just do.

Some other reasons why your instincts of subscribing are correct:

– It’s a hack towards getting excellent book recommendations in which you get a specific window into the book before you buy
– It’s informal learning. You scroll mindlessly on your phone through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram – why not displace the social media with some positive impact information
– It’s not a big, official undergoing. No need to take a big inhale before you start. It’s just a hyper-focused look at a book tidbit.

And let’s keep in mind that tidbits are the best of the best of the books you read, so they’re good stuff.

It’s like if someone went through a big Halloween bag of Starburst and just handed you all the cherries.

Start out with a month for $5 or save money by going for the year at $45.

Click here to subscribe now.

The 20% Cutoff Rule for Books: Fluffy or Boring? Throw it in the Fire

You have to be careful with books because they require a decent chunk of mental energy and raw time investment.

This is why I have a 20% Rule.

The rule is simple: If a book gives me no compelling reason to continue on after I’ve read 20% of it, then I trash it.

Too often we have this inner compulsion to finish a book even if it proves unworthy halfway through.

And then we’ll turn the last page, and sure enough, the book is horrible and we’ve wasted our valuable time and mental bandwidth.

I know the problem all too well because I used to continue under misguided notions of not quitting/giving the book a chance, etc.

Now I will gladly quit.

You don’t want to invest in any net negative or net neutral ROIs in your life and thus it’s best to let medicore/bad books go.

In other words, it’s good to quit on bad things.

As for giving a book a chance, if after reading 20% of something, you haven’t seen any glimmer of hope, you’re not going to miss anything.

The Pretend Hack: Why Book Summaries Don’t Work

Name the last time you read a book summary that changed your life.

Hint: Never!

Book summaries don’t work for 3 big reasons which I will outline below.

But before I do, I get why the concept is so popular; I’ve tried it myself.

How can you not be swayed by the temptress that claims to condense 7 hours of reading into a quick info bite of 15 minutes?

So it’s not like I’m faulting you for trying to hack life – I’m merely pointing out that this hack fails.

Here’s why:

  • They strip a book of all its color and context which are needed to bring the key concepts alive
  • They totally divest you of buying into the information (when you spend 3+ hours of your life into reading something, you commit to it, at least temporarily)
  • They lull you into a fall sense of understanding

Look, I can tell you what The Slight Edge is about in 2 seconds:

The small things in life add up to make a big difference.

But if you skip out on reading the book because you already know what it’s about, then you really miss out on the monumental impact The Slight Edge delivers.

Hell, some books will even give you the important takeaways in bullet points at the end of every chapter.

Never Split The Difference does this but nothing’s going to stick in your brain unless you read the entire book.

Ultimately, the person summarizing the book masters it while the person reading the summary inherits a false sense of knowledge.

And this is why Notevantage is not in the business of summarizing books.

Rather than summarize, I hyper focus on super cool selections within the books (the gold nuggets, the best tidbits, etc.) and convey those to my subscribers much as I would retell them to someone at lunch.

If I find something I think is noteworthy – an anecdote, a statistic, a life lesson, whatever – I will make a huge deal out of it.

I’ll summarize and condense the selection.

I’ll explain what it means.

And then I’ll comment on it and discuss implications.

I’ll even send you the page number in case you want to read it for yourself.

When all is said and done, it might be a 5 minute read on one note I found in a book.

So whereas companies like Blinkist, GetAbstract, and MentorBox are in the business of providing book summaries (more or less), Notevantage is entirely unique.

We’re all in the education and time saving business, we just go about it in different ways.

My way is better.

Phone Scrolling in Bed: Embrace How You Consume Content

Who are we fooling?

We spend 40 minutes a day (at least) scrolling through stuff on our phone.

Whether we’re

  • waiting in line at Chipotle
  • taking a break at work
  • not watching commercials
  • or laying in bed

we’re looking at

  • Facebook feeds
  • Instagram photos
  • Blog posts
  • YouTube videos
  • Reddit
  • Twitter updates

In short, we consume vast amounts of content through our phone.

The problem is most of it is junk; it’s not furthering or enhancing our lives in any way.

So why not embrace the phone scroll and integrate some informal learning?

Notevantage delivers the highest quality of information in quick, simple, easy to understand short bits that you can absorb while scrolling through your phone.

There’s no course to go through.

There’s no outlines.

There’s no need for you to jot down notes.

Just scroll through the coolest anecdotes and concepts from the brightest minds in the world like you would a random Reddit post.

There’s no pain because the boring stuff and the fluff is stripped away and there’s plenty of gain because you’ll actually remember what you read.

Look, if you’re a tangerine giraffe wearing pink high heels, you have two choices.

You can either pretend you’re an esteemed milkman who’s highly respected throughout your delivery area or you can be the best damn pink-heeled giraffe the savanna has ever seen.

My point being:

The place you actually go to for information is your phone.

Might as well admit it and start chewing up some good stuff rather than waiting for that fairy tale day where you actually read a book from front to back.

 

Informal Education: Learning Is Way Better at Hoodie University

If I had my high school graduation to do over again, my #1 priority would have been to go to the best party school in the nation (preferably near the ocean) and taken only the few courses I found interesting with no regard for graduating.

Why?

Because college is grossly misaligned with practical learning.

Unless you want to get a job where certification is required, college is a waste of time.

Want to be a doctor, a lawyer, something else that you need to be officially ordained with paper? Then, yeah, you cannot pass go without college.

Other than that, you’re wasting time and money.

The one redeeming factor of college is the atmosphere. It can be amazing so hanging around for 3-5 years and taking a few classes could be awesome in that sense.

BUT… I firmly believe in education. The twist with me is I believe in informal education.

Why rack up tens of thousands of dollars in student debt?

Instead rack up $500 in debt and read the best books from the brightest minds in the world.

Here’s my education plan:

1. Log on to Amazon.
2. Buy some of the highest rated books.
3. Read underneath a tree or by a river.

Read whatever you want, whenever you want.

Educate yourself.

And figure it out from there.

There’s absolutely no need to go to college.

Hoodie University is way more efficient.

  • Study only what you want
  • Save hours, days, weeks, months, years of precious time
  • Less stress (who needs to stay up all night studying for two weeks of the year)
  • Save a lot of money and gain freedom down the road (from lack of debt)

On the studying only what you want bullet, what’s so great about pretending to be well rounded?

I took biology, theology, sociology, and gobs of other worthless classes that I can barely remember the professor’s face, let alone anything concrete from the course material.

But such are college degrees.  They have to create this guise of importance and breadth to justify their price tag.

In the end, there’s a lot of waste and very little gain.

Go to Hoodie University.  I go there. You should too.

Oh and Hoodie University offers this thing called Notevantage. Check it out sometime when you’re on campus.