A note from Rach Smith's digital garden

Loving right now: Optimize.me

Added: October 13, 2021

Tags: books productivity

I’m currently working on a technical post, which takes longer than my usual weekly observations. So I’ll share a loving right now recommendation this week.

I have read a lot of non-fiction books in the self-help/personal development genre. You have to get through many average books and writers1 to uncover the gems. If you’re buying the books, you can end up paying $15 for something that stops being useful after the author explains the main point in the first two chapters.

Recently, I signed up to a free trial of Optimize.me. Optimize is a collection of written notes and videos by Brian Johnson and I’m really enjoying them. What I love about Optimize is that they have extracted the best nuggets of info from non-fiction books. If you find the ideas in the summary notes interesting, you can choose to get the book and read further.

In the 101 videos, Brian makes connections between the concepts from a range of books, so you can see themes that come up again and again from different authors. The connections also make it easier to retain the information from the video/audio.

I have one caveat - stay away from the videos about weight/diet. They are filled with weight stigma and hyperbole over obesity stats that are based on bullshit science anyway, and none of us need more of that in our lives.

When my trial period was ending and I was considering coughing up the dough for the subscription, Optimize announced that they were making the membership free! So check it out if it sounds like it would be useful to you.


  1. One thing I will never understand is why so many high-profile authors recommend Ryan Holiday’s books.


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