Learning more in less time: all you have to do is decrease the noise and increase the signal. You can improve the signal to noise ratio in many areas of your life. This is done by setting up amplifiers and creating filters.
Filter provided by summaries:
Filter books before buying them – Executive summaries the perfect way to filter books before buying them. They will save you time and money!
Amplifier provided by summaries:
Increase comprehension and retention – We learn in layers and an executive summaries help your mind prepare for each chapter and the entire book, and they also help crystallize the information when used for post chapter review.
I am not a fast reader, but I still make the time and invest about 15 hours every week to further my understanding of business and marketing.Since I was about seventeen years old, I have averaged about two books per week. On a side note, my reading speed and comprehension has started to increase, now that I schedule time to improve it. I supplement the books I read for videos and DVDs, when possible and appropriate, to increase my comprehension and retention of the information.
Going to the library is time prohibitive and therefore cost prohibitive for me, due to the hourly rate I assign to my activities. I also tried using a runner to pick-up books for the local library, but quickly found that the new releases and many of the esoteric works I was after were not available or currently out of stock. Buying lots of books was my only option until I discovered how to leverage executive summaries.
Here is what I discovered: executive summaries can be leveraged to improve the process. The end result, I can learn more in less time, and save alittle bit of money as well.
It takes me about twenty minutes to read an executive summary. This means I can read forty-five executive summaries in the time it takes me to read two books. I do not read forty-five summaries per week though, not even close. I use them as a filter, and then make the decision on whether to listen to the audio summary and/or buy the book. This method of reading the summary as a successor to the blurb puts an additional filter between the blurb and the book. The blurb is still useful, but it becomes one of two decision making factors. I can choose to delve deeper into those books which seem interesting, even if they have totally rubbish blurbs; it happens! The executive summaries can also be leveraged on the backend as well, as the basis from which to build notes to improve comprehension and retention. After all, it’s not how fast you can read but how much you can retain and then apply.
Not all executive summary services are created equal. I know this because I have tested several executive summary services. I compared them to each other and choose summaries of books I had already studied. While the framework of the summaries was constant, the quality of them was not.
- Some services missed key points and concepts that I felt were key.
- The amount of summaries in their library, type of summaries, and the number of new ones that are created each week is another area where the services could be differentiated easily.
- The number of summaries in their library and number produced each month was also a major decision making factor after quality.
- Another area that I used to differentiate the services was value added services (e.g. audio summary, eReader file, and more).
- Most offered service’s like these, but the quality of the audio presentation both in presentation and fidelity varied, provider to provider; for some the audio summaries felt like a complete after thought.
After completing my research, I purchased a subscription to GetAbstract whose tagline is fittingly ‘compressed knowledge’. I also called and chatted w/ one of GetAbstract’s founders. It may interest you to know that, one of the main reasons they started the company is to make business knowledge more accessible around the world aka for people who don’t speak English or America which ever you prefer. This is a noble goal that reminds me of just how lucky those of us that live in America are.
In my opinion, GetAbstract is hands down the best quality executive summary service. They produce 50 new summaries of the best business books each month, and have over 6000 summaries in their library.
We have since entered into an affiliate relationship with GetAbstract and are in the process of adding a banner to the jiveSYSTEMS Blog. Currently, they are 1 of only 3 businesses we recommend. Infusionsoft and Web Video University being the other 2.
Free Executive Summaries
You can acquire 2 complimentary executive summaries from GetAbstract by visiting their homepage.
I also negotiated to be able to offer you a three summary packet to help you quantify the value proposition of their service.
In addition, I handpicked 3 of their best summaries! The summaries are entitled:
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High;
- Email Marketing by the Numbers;
- and The Customer Rules.
You can download them here.
I hope this post contributes to you building a system that will help you learn more in less time. If you have a strategy for learning more in less time, please feel free to share it in the comment section below. Also, I will gladly answer any questions you may have about this post; if you have a question, you can leave it in the comment section below as well.