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Ali Abdaal

Ali Abdaal

Junior doctor, YouTuber, web designer, aspiring musician. Trying out this blogging thing.

Deep Dive #21 David Perell on the Power of Writing Online, Building an Audience and Originality

Deep Dive #21 David Perell on the Power of Writing Online, Building an Audience and Originality
Members Public

David Perell is a writer, podcaster and founder of the course Write of Passage. In our conversation, we dive deeper into the writing process, how to write good content for the internet and how to build an audience successfully.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #13 Shelby Church on Growing a Successful YouTube Channel, Podcasting & The Value of Blogging

Deep Dive #13 Shelby Church on Growing a Successful YouTube Channel, Podcasting & The Value of Blogging
Members Public

Shelby is an American YouTuber who makes lifestyle and technology-related content.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
How To Stop Procrastinating

How To Stop Procrastinating
Members Public

"Tomorrow - A mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement are stored" Regardless of how many productivity books we've bought (and haven't read) or how many motivational videos we've watched (and never acted upon), we all struggle at some point during our lives with the productivity

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Habits
Deep Dive #20 Ryan Holiday on Writing, Measuring Success and Stoicism

Deep Dive #20 Ryan Holiday on Writing, Measuring Success and Stoicism
Members Public

Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, Conspiracy and other books on Stoicism, culture, marketing and the human condition.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #19 Nat Eliason on Building Life Changing Blogs, Optimising SEO and Developing a Systems Mindset

Deep Dive #19 Nat Eliason on Building Life Changing Blogs, Optimising SEO and Developing a Systems Mindset
Members Public

Nat Eliason is a blogger, entrepreneur and founder of the marketing agency Growth Machine.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #18 John O'Nolan on Life as a Nomad, Ghost and Optimising for Happiness

Deep Dive #18 John O'Nolan on Life as a Nomad, Ghost and Optimising for Happiness
Members Public

John O'Nolan is the developer, founder and CEO at Ghost which he has grown to a $2.7m/year business. He shares the lessons he’s learnt over the past decade, from setting up Ghost to successfully living the nomad life to why we should optimise for happiness rather than revenue.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #17 August Bradley on Systems Thinking, Notion and Goals

Deep Dive #17 August Bradley on Systems Thinking, Notion and Goals
Members Public

August Bradley is a business performance coach, strategist, entrepreneur and Notion expert. In our conversation, August shares insights from his career as a systems thinker, walks through his Notion workflow and shares his thoughts on the value of goals.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #16 Khe Hy on Coaching, Finding Purpose and Enjoying the Process

Deep Dive #16 Khe Hy on Coaching, Finding Purpose and Enjoying the Process
Members Public

Khe is a teacher, coach, and speaker. In his second appearance, we dive into topics such as the value of coaching, finding purpose in life and the importance of enjoying the process.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #15 Benjamin Hardy on Willpower, Personality and Goals

Deep Dive #15 Benjamin Hardy on Willpower, Personality and Goals
Members Public

Dr. Benjamin Hardy is an organisational psychologist and bestselling author of Willpower Doesn’t Work and Personality Isn't Permanent.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #14 Tiago Forte on Productivity and Building a Second Brain

Deep Dive #14 Tiago Forte on Productivity and Building a Second Brain
Members Public

Tiago is one of the world's foremost experts on productivity. This was perhaps the most in-depth discussion on productivity that I’ve had during this Deep Dive series and is well worth watching.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #12 Khe Hy on Quitting Wall St., Self-Worth and Leisure

Deep Dive #12 Khe Hy on Quitting Wall St., Self-Worth and Leisure
Members Public

Khe is a teacher, coach, and speaker who has been called the “Oprah for Millennials” by CNN and blogs about transforming our relationship with time, work, money – and ultimately ourselves

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #11 UnJaded Jade on YouTube, Gap Years and Odyssey Plans

Deep Dive #11 UnJaded Jade on YouTube, Gap Years and Odyssey Plans
Members Public

Jade is a YouTuber and content creator whose channel discusses academia, veganism, self-confidence and positivity.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #10 Ruby Granger on Life Lessons from Books, Studying & YouTube

Deep Dive #10 Ruby Granger on Life Lessons from Books, Studying & YouTube
Members Public

Ruby Granger is a YouTuber and content creator whose channel was inspired by the Harry Potter character Hermione Granger. Her videos teach study techniques and offer insight into leading a productive life. In our discussion we talk about all things books, studying and our experiences on YouTube.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #9 Sara Dietschy on Building Your Own Path as a Creator

Deep Dive #9 Sara Dietschy on Building Your Own Path as a Creator
Members Public

After 3 years of an Electrical Engineering / Computer Science degree, Sara Dietschy dropped out of college to pursue filmmaking full time. She is driven by showing the creative process and has brought the rawness & fun of vlogs into her videos and now has over 650,000 subscribers on YouTube.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #8 Cliff Weitzman - Life Advice from Forbes' 30 Under 30

Deep Dive #8 Cliff Weitzman - Life Advice from Forbes' 30 Under 30
Members Public

Cliff Weitzman is the founder of Speechify, a text-to-speech-audiobooks app and in 2017 was named in Forbes magazine's 30 Under 30 list.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #7 Nelson Dellis on Becoming a Memory Champion

Deep Dive #7 Nelson Dellis on Becoming a Memory Champion
Members Public

Nelson Dellis is a 4x USA Memory Champion and one of the leading memory experts in the world, traveling around the world as a competitive memory athlete and a highly sought-after keynote speaker.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #6 Tynan on Becoming Superhuman and Living The Nomadic Life

Deep Dive #6 Tynan on Becoming Superhuman and Living The Nomadic Life
Members Public

Tynan is an author and adventurer who has written four books including Superhuman Social Skills and Superhuman by Habit. In our conversation, we covered a range of topics including social skills, storytelling, the value of travel and dating and relationships.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #5 Derek Sivers on How To Do What Makes You Happy

Deep Dive #5 Derek Sivers on How To Do What Makes You Happy
Members Public

Derek Sivers is an American writer, musician and entrepreneur who founded CD Baby, an online CD store for independent musicians, back in 1997. He has since embarked on other ventures writing 4 books including Anything You Want.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #4 Bobby Seagull on Television Success, Mindset and Trivia

Deep Dive #4 Bobby Seagull on Television Success, Mindset and Trivia
Members Public

Bobby Seagull rose to prominence through his appearance on University Challenge and is now not only a school maths teacher and Cambridge University Doctorate student, but appears regularly on television and radio programmes and is a columnist for the Financial Times.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #3 Valentin Perez on Organising His Life in Notion

Deep Dive #3 Valentin Perez on Organising His Life in Notion
Members Public

Valentin is the co-founder of Monthly – an online course platform designed around hands-on one-month courses with creators from around the world – as well as a prodigious user and expert of Notion which we talk about extensively in this discussion.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #2 John Zeratsky on How To Make Time For What Matters

Deep Dive #2 John Zeratsky on How To Make Time For What Matters
Members Public

John Zeratsky is the co-author of the book Make Time. In this conversation, he shares the philosophies behind his book, Make Time, as well as some key insights into goals, habit formation and why we should actively inconvenience ourselves on a regular basis.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
Deep Dive #1 - Noah Kagan on Careers Advice, Books and Productivity

Deep Dive #1 - Noah Kagan on Careers Advice, Books and Productivity
Members Public

In my first Deep Dive conversation, I talked to Noah Kagan who has gone from being employee #30 at Facebook to now owning the Sumo Group of apps, and works to help entrepreneurs start, market and grow their business.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Deep Dive
How to Take Smart Notes - Book Summary and Notes

How to Take Smart Notes - Book Summary and Notes
Members Public

This book transformed my relationship with note-taking. It's the best (English) introduction to the Zettelkasten (slip-box) method.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Book
How to Study for Exams - An Evidence-Based Masterclass

How to Study for Exams - An Evidence-Based Masterclass
Members Public

Being able to study efficiently and effectively is a superpower. As students, it boost our grades, reduces our stress levels and frees up our time to do more interesting things. But we're never taught how to do it. Most of us rely on 'intuitive' techniques like rereading, note-taking, summarising and

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Course
Learn Anything with Flashcards - The Ultimate Guide to Anki

Learn Anything with Flashcards - The Ultimate Guide to Anki
Members Public

Finding the right tools and techniques for learning is difficult. We've all spent time at some point searching the internet for the answer to questions like "How can we revise effectively", "Best methods for studying", "How to ace my exams" - but often we end up reverting back to what

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Course

A Simple Trick to Beat Procrastination
Members Public

Hey friends, As you know, I’m all about finding little hacks and mindset shifts that boost my productivity and help me live a happier, more intentional life. One that my brother mentioned on our podcast last week was a trick for combatting procrastination. As you know, it’s way

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
How can we treat children morally? Part 2

How can we treat children morally? Part 2
Members Public

In this episode, we talk some more about how we can treat children better. Specifically — what it means to "take children seriously", why we should take children more seriously, and how we can take children more seriously.

Taimur Abdaal
Podcast

How to Build a Second Brain
Members Public

Hey friends, In March 2019, I shared the concept of Building a Second Brain in this newsletter. I'd just discovered the field of Personal Knowledge Management and I was excited to dive into it. I'd linked this article by Tiago Forte that sold me on the concept. Here’s how

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

A Week of Unemployment
Members Public

Hey friends, This week has been my first full week of unemployment. From Monday to Friday I haven’t had anything I needed to do, I could wake up whenever I wanted, I could do whatever I wanted. It’s been glorious. Even so, I was intending to release 3

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
How can we treat children morally?

How can we treat children morally?
Members Public

In this episode, we review Ali's unemployment, talk about how to talk about workism, and Taimur finally elucidates some concrete ideas about how society treats children immorally, and how we treat children better. Some of the highlights from our discussion: Scrolling through social media is a form of passive leisure

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Learn in Public, It’s Great
Members Public

Hey friends, Because I’m practising self-care and taking a break (read: feeling lazy), this week’s issue is a guest post from my friend Yath. He took my up on my standing coffee offer in May 2019 and we’ve kept in touch since then. He’s just launched

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Reimagining our relationship with 'Work', ft. Paul Millerd

Reimagining our relationship with 'Work', ft. Paul Millerd
Members Public

We're joined this week by Paul Millerd, who's spent a lot of time thinking, reading, and writing about 'work'.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

3 Nice Quotes
Members Public

Hey friends, I came across 3 quotes this week that I liked. The first two are from Jeff Bezos' opening statement for the anti-trust hearing thing, and the third is from our old friend Richard Feynman. 1 - On minimising regret (Jeff Bezos)When I’m 80 and reflecting back,

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Friends and Relationships ft Valentin and Cliff

Friends and Relationships ft Valentin and Cliff
Members Public

In this episode we chat to Valentin Perez and Cliff Weitzman about friendships, relationships, and the our ideas of the good life.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

The Power of the Weekly Review
Members Public

Hey friends, One of the staples of productivity is doing a Weekly Review. It involves taking a bit of time to look back on your week, reflect on how things went, close relevant open loops and generally combat the natural entropy of life. I discovered the concept (in David Allen’

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
The Abusive Relationships of Productivity YouTubers

The Abusive Relationships of Productivity YouTubers
Members Public

In this episode, we discuss one of Taimur's new fledgling theories about the nefarious parasocial relationships that exist between 'productivity' content creators and their audience.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Why I Skipped Last Week's Email
Members Public

Hey friends, Last Sunday, for the first time in 117 weeks, I skipped an issue of this newsletter. Here's how it happened. I'd been chatting to my friend Khe Hy over a YouTube Deep Dive live stream. He runs the popular productivity blog Rad Reads. As we were closing up

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice - Part 3

68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice - Part 3
Members Public

This is the third and final part of our "68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice" series, where we go through an excellent blog post by Kevin Kelly, offering his life advice after turning 68. Here are the highlights from the blog that we discussed and some of our thoughts: Optimise your

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
How To Understand Things

How To Understand Things
Members Public

In this episode, we discuss Nabeel Qureshi's recent blog post "How to Understand Things". We go through the post's main points, and talk about our own experiences of learning and understanding things, from school to university to today. Here are some of the highlights from the blog post and our

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

The Top of my To-Do List
Members Public

Hey friends, This week I stumbled across a fantastic, very short blog post from Paul Graham called The Top of My Todo List. It references the famous book The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying. In no particular order, they're: I wish I hadn't worked so hardI wish I'd had

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Envy and The Elephant in the Brain

Envy and The Elephant in the Brain
Members Public

This episode is mostly a discussion of Robin Hanson's "The Elephant in the Brain", a book about the 'hidden motives in everyday lives'.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

The Pilot, The Plane, The Engineer
Members Public

Hey friends, I’ve just launched a brand new Skillshare class, The Principles of Productivity. It’s 1.5h of me explaining the productivity equation, and the 3 myths, 3 powers and 3 laws of productivity. I’d love for you to check it out - as always, if you

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
How To Convince Your Friends To Start A Blog

How To Convince Your Friends To Start A Blog
Members Public

In this episode, we explore we often fail to convince our friends to start having an online presence, and what a better approach might be. Possibly applicable to general "convincing" tasks as well.

Taimur Abdaal
Podcast

The Unfair Advantage (Ash Ali & Hassan Kubba) - Book Summary, Notes & Highlights
Members Public

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Book

Atomic Habits (James Clear) - Book Summary, Notes & Highlights
Members Public

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Read more on Amazon Take-home messages What are habits?Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.But when we repeat 1 percent errors, day after day, by replicating poor decisions, duplicating tiny mistakes, and rationalizing little excuses, our small choices compound into toxic results. Favourite highlightsSuccess is the

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Book
Happy (Derren Brown) - Book Summary, Notes & Highlights

Happy (Derren Brown) - Book Summary, Notes & Highlights
Members Public

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Read more on Amazon This is an enormous book, but it's one of my favourites of all time. It's my most highlighted book on Kindle (by a very long way) and while I was reading it, I found myself nodding my head like a lunatic on almost every

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Book

My Neurological Disease
Members Public

Hey friends, Like you, I’m a long-term sufferer of the chronic health condition Shiny New App Syndrome. The condition means that my brain often falls prey to destructive patterns of thinking about apps. As hard as I try to resist, I just can’t shake the thought that ‘maybe

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice - Part 2

68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice - Part 2
Members Public

This week, we dig into more pieces of life advice from Kevin Kelly's recent blog post "68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice".

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

The Ideal Life
Members Public

Hey friends, I’ve been thinking a lot this week (and many other weeks) about what I want to do with my life. That’s quite a big question, so I’ve been digging around on the internet to find alternative ways of framing it. In listening to Naval’s

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Responses to our ‘racism’ episode

Responses to our ‘racism’ episode
Members Public

In this episode we discuss some of the responses we received to last week's episode ("Racism, Black Lives Matter, and Figuring Stuff Out"), from hate mail to not-hate mail. Ali also unveils his life plan for the next few years, and Taimur goes on a bit of a rant about "legibility".

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Changing how I think of time
Members Public

Hey friends, For the second time in this newsletter's 113-week history, it totally slipped my mind on Sunday and so it's coming out on Monday. Truth-be-told, it was an item on my todo list and all day I'd been thinking oh yeah I need to send the email but then

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Racism, Social Justice, and Figuring Stuff Out

Racism, Social Justice, and Figuring Stuff Out
Members Public

This week we talk about the Black Lives Matter movement, social justice, and how our towards these issues have changed over the past few years. Please interpret charitably.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

2x Speed Listening
Members Public

Hey friends, If there’s a hill I’m going to die on, it’s that listening / watching stuff at 2-3x speed is the way forward. I’ve been a podcast and YouTube-video 2xer for years, but I recently discovered the incredible power of treating audiobooks in the same way.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Thinking As Children

Thinking As Children
Members Public

We talk about Eric Weinstein’s recent podcast episode with his son, which sparks a discussion about how both of our thinking developed as kids and adults and why we should take kids more seriously.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice

68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice
Members Public

This week, we dig into the first few lessons from Kevin Kelly's recent blog post "68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice".

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Couch to 1k - Daily Writing Challenge
Members Public

Hey friends, I'm trying out a new experiment. For the next 30 days (at least), I'm going to write 1,000 words every day. I'm calling this "Couch to 1K" just for fun. Why?I've been inspired by the likes of Nathan Barry and Sean McCabe, online creators who've built

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Ali’s Life Lessons
Members Public

Hey friends, I wish I had something substantial to write this week but I’m a disorganised slob who has to be up in 6h to save lives or something. This week’s email is therefore a guest post from Luke Jones, a high school senior who’s apparently been

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships - Transactional Analysis Part 3

Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships - Transactional Analysis Part 3
Members Public

This episode is Part 3 of 3 in our Transactional Analysis series (make sure you listen to the last 2 episodes before this one!).

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Homework for Life
Members Public

Hey friends, I’m reading a book called Storyworthy and there’s a daily reflection exercise the author recommends called Homework for Life. The idea is that at the end of every day, we should spend a few minutes thinking “What’s the most story-worthy thing that happened today?” Then

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Life Positions and Games - Transactional Analysis Part 2

Life Positions and Games - Transactional Analysis Part 2
Members Public

In this episode, we continue our discussion about Transactional Analysis. We recap the Parent, Adult and Child zones of thinking that we mentioned last week, and move on to talking about the 4 different Life Positions and the Games People Play.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

The Input-Output Framework
Members Public

Hey friends, Sorry for the late email this week. For the first time in several years, I went on a bender last night and binged 8 episodes of Money Heist on Netflix until 3am and completely 100% forgot that it was a Sunday and that I had to send this

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
The Parent, The Adult and The Child - Transactional Analysis Part 1

The Parent, The Adult and The Child - Transactional Analysis Part 1
Members Public

In this episode, we discuss transactional analysis. Taimur talks us through the ideas behind the theory, and how your internal mind can be split up into three parts - the Parent, Adult, and Child.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator
Members Public

Hey friends, This week, I watched a TED talk that’s been in my recommendations list for years - Tim Urban’s “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator”. It’s by far one of the best talks I’ve ever seen, and articulated so much of my own (and

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Money, Stories and Old People

Money, Stories and Old People
Members Public

Money, Stories, and Old People | Not OverthinkingIn this episode, we talk about a few different things — how to think about giving money to those in need, whether it’s helpful to view our lives as stories, and how Taimur has been trying to develop more empathy with old people.Not

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Answering your Questions
Members Public

Hey friends, This week, I did a 600,000 subscribers Q&A video on YouTube where I answered ~20 questions sent in via Twitter. In this email, I’ll post some quick notes to some of the more interesting answers in case you don’t have the time to

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Vision, Leadership and Winning the Lottery - An Open-Ended Discussion

Vision, Leadership and Winning the Lottery - An Open-Ended Discussion
Members Public

In this episode we take a ramble through a number of topics from statistics to value propositions to what we'd do if we won the lottery to Animal Crossing. Enjoy!

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Curiosity, Lightness and Self-Compassion
Members Public

Hey friends, Earlier today, I had the pleasure of doing a live stream with Khe Hy, a blogger (and now YouTuber) who I've been following since last year. His blog and email newsletter are wonderful, and I've linked several of his pieces in the My Favourite Things section of this

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
The Principles of Productivity

The Principles of Productivity
Members Public

In this episode, we talk about Ali's favourite thing - productivity - much to Taimur's joy!

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Morning Pages
Members Public

Hey friends, Quick plug before we get into this week's email - this week, I launched my new, mammoth online masterclass on How to Study for Exams. If you're a student of any sort, I think you'll find it pretty useful. Because it's hosted on Skillshare, you can access it

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Taimur Teaches Maths - The Flaw of Averages

Taimur Teaches Maths - The Flaw of Averages
Members Public

In this episode, Taimur gives us a maths lesson. We learn about why it's bad to rely on 'averages' when making plans, and about how we can make better decisions by accounting for uncertainty.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
How To Study: The Essay Memorisation Framework

How To Study: The Essay Memorisation Framework
Members Public

As a medical student, I did have to undertake some exams that required writing essays. One of the questions I often get asked is how you can apply techniques such as active recall and spaced repetition – that I frequently discuss as being ‘the best’ revision techniques – to essay-based subjects. During

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Studying

Trying out Roam Research
Members Public

Hey friends, I want to share an app that I've been experimenting with this week - Roam Research. Roam is a hot new note-taking app that I first heard about in late 2019. I’d tried it out a couple of times but the learning curve seemed annoying, and I

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Note-Taking and Quarantining

Note-Taking and Quarantining
Members Public

In this episode, we mostly talk about note-taking — reasons to do it, and different systems and apps to facilitate it. We also talk about how quarantine life is going so far, and how we're trying to make the most of it. Some of the highlights from our discussion: There is

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Building a Million Dollar Business – 10 Tips for Entrepreneurs

Building a Million Dollar Business – 10 Tips for Entrepreneurs
Members Public

Sharing my advice and experiences from starting my own business and the lessons I've learned.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Entrepreneurship

Meaningful things to do during a pandemic
Members Public

Hey friends, It's an interesting time to be alive. In the past week, the UK's gone into a half-baked lockdown, everyone sensible is practising social distancing and enormous queues are forming outside supermarkets, filled with people hoarding supplies. Lots of my doctor friends working in London are seeing the carnage

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Not Overthinking - Coronavirus Edition

Not Overthinking - Coronavirus Edition
Members Public

This week we talk about the only thing there is to talk about right now — the Coronavirus crisis. We look back over the past few weeks to see how our thinking about the virus has changed, and we try and figure out how to get ourselves to emotionally care about

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
How To Study: Using the Method of 'The Great Explainer'

How To Study: Using the Method of 'The Great Explainer'
Members Public

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool”  Richard Feynman When we’re studying, it can be easy to think that we have a grasp of a subject, especially if we feel confident that we’ve learnt our notes and

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Studying
Useful Apps To Improve Productivity and Study Effectively

Useful Apps To Improve Productivity and Study Effectively
Members Public

With exam season rapidly approaching, I wanted to write a blog post just listing the best resources and apps that you can use to improve your productivity and efficiency and hopefully help with revision or even just daily life. Flashcards – Anki, QuizletAnki As you’ve probably heard me talking about

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Life
3 Books That Changed My Life

3 Books That Changed My Life
Members Public

Reading is one of the hobbies that I’ve consciously tried to maintain over the past few years. I think a lot of people underestimate how much we can learn from reading – as well as all the other benefits it can offer. I’ve learnt so many valuable lessons from

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Books

Should we attend the party?
Members Public

Hey friends, This week's snippet of life advice comes from the most unlikely of sources - my brother and podcast co-host Taimur. It addresses that classic decision-making conundrum in which we're torn between doing something vs not doing it. We could go to that party which we might not enjoy,

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

How would you spend your time if you knew you'd die in 2 years?
Members Public

This week we tackle the conundrum of "how would you spend your time if you knew you'd die in 2 years?".

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Move fast, break things
Members Public

Hey friends, ‘Move Fast, Break Things’ was one of Mark Zuckerberg's famous mantras when Facebook was in a hyper-growth phase. It applies to startups, who need to get stuff done super quickly so that they can get it in front of users, get feedback, and then improve the product. The

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Low Optionality and Adult Friendships
Members Public

This week we talk about a few topics that Taimur's been noticing more and more with a particular focus on an article about low social optionality and adult friendships.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Taking my own advice
Members Public

Hey friends, I’ve just finished 3 days of 13-hour shifts at work as the Obstetrics & Gynaecology junior doctor on-call. Each day was pretty relentless, with back-to-back patients to see, operations to assist in, discharge summaries to write, arterial blood gases to take and cannulas to insert. Halfway through,

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
40 Concepts for Understanding the World – Tweet Discussion

40 Concepts for Understanding the World – Tweet Discussion
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This week we talk about @G_S_Bhogal's Twitter mega-thread of "40 Powerful Concepts for Understanding the World".

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Why my Information Diet is suboptimal
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Hey friends, I’ve got a bit of a problem. I’ve been thinking a lot about my information diet this week. An information diet is the stuff we consume - the books and blogs we read, the videos we watch, the podcasts we listen to. Now, if we were

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Motivation, Complaining and Conversationality – A Critique of the Podcast
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This episode features Calum, a junior doctor working in Scotland who spent 6 years in medical school living with Ali.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
How To Study: An Effective Learning Framework To 'STIC' With

How To Study: An Effective Learning Framework To 'STIC' With
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With spring just around the corner and winter fading away, thoughts are starting to turn towards a different season – that of exams. Being able to study in a way which is both efficient, effective and successful is the dream of all students and it’s an area that I’ve

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Studying
The Pomodoro Technique - The 'Tomato Inspired' Strategy to Improve Productivity

The Pomodoro Technique - The 'Tomato Inspired' Strategy to Improve Productivity
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The Pomodoro Technique is perhaps the simplest productivity and time-management strategy which we can all use – you don’t need any technical apps or sophisticated technology; all you need is a timer! The technique was ‘invented’ in the early 1990s by developer, entrepreneur, and author Francesco Cirillo. Cirillo noticed that

Angus Parker
Angus Parker
Studying

Improvisational Productivity
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Hey friends, Last week I was listening to an episode of Million Dollar Brainstorm, in which the hosts Shaan and Sam were chatting with investor Daniel Gross*. Towards the end of this episode, he mentioned the phrase improvisational productivity. Obviously, I’m a sucker for anything pretentious-sounding that seems vaguely

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Margin, Dinner Parties and The Art of Gathering

Margin, Dinner Parties and The Art of Gathering
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In this episode, we continue to discuss the difficulties of recording a podcast each week and look at Taimur's highlights from the book - The Art of Gathering.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
How To Study: The Power of Retrospective Revision Timetables

How To Study: The Power of Retrospective Revision Timetables
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Revision timetables are often praised as the best way to structure your time in a coherent, logical manner. It’s certainly true that they can have some benefits and I know that revision timetables can work for some people – that’s absolutely fine. But are we using them in the

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Studying
How to Study: Spaced Repetition and My 'Magic' Spreadsheet System

How to Study: Spaced Repetition and My 'Magic' Spreadsheet System
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The amount of time we spend revising is always a controversial issue - some people prefer to downplay how much time they’ve spent revising whereas others are keen to tell you how much revision they’ve done. The fact is we’re all different in how much time we

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Studying

A Reminder about Consistency
Members Public

Hey friends, Two minutes ago, I was snuggled up in bed under my newly-laundered sheets, hoping to get 7.5 hours of sleep before starting a week of on-calls tomorrow morning. I said 'Hey Siri, lights off in the bedroom' and the lights dimmed to black. I rolled over with

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
How To Study: Active Recall - The ‘High Utility’ Technique You Should Be Using

How To Study: Active Recall - The ‘High Utility’ Technique You Should Be Using
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If rereading, highlighting and summarising aren’t effective methods of revising, then what should we be doing? The two most effective methods that I’ve come across are active recall and spaced repetition which, in combination, will help make your studies more efficient, effective and rewarding. I’ll cover spaced

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Studying
How To Study: 3 Popular Revision Techniques You Should Avoid

How To Study: 3 Popular Revision Techniques You Should Avoid
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Revision is personal. How we revise, the techniques we use and the time we spend trying to revise will vary but we do all drift towards techniques that feel intuitively productive. We're never sure what is the optimal technique but research has shown that by far the most popular strategies

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Studying

Motivation is a Myth
Members Public

Hey friends, I’ve had a lot of messages recently from (mostly) students asking about how to motivate themselves, especially during exam season. The quandary goes along the lines of “I know I should be studying, but some/most days I just can’t seem to find the motivation. How

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

How I get myself out of bed
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Hey friends, One of my main struggles in life is getting up in the morning. It's easy enough on work days, because I know that I have to be out of the house by 6:50am or I'll be late for work and that would be bad. But on days

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Does travel broaden our horizons?

Does travel broaden our horizons?
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In this episode (recorded on a car journey, sorry for the audio quality), we discuss the extent to which travelling, and living in different countries for extended time periods, actually broadens our horizons.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Ironing and Life Insights
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Hey friends, One of my favourite personal development blogs, Raptitude, wrote a post in November called Do What You're Doing. It's about the idea that when we're doing stuff, we should be fully immersed in the thing we're doing, rather than thinking about other things. David, the author, quotes from

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Book Discussion: The Courage to be Disliked
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In this episode, we summarise "The Courage to be Disliked" by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Lean into the fear
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Hey friends, A few hours ago, I was sitting in the 4th row in an auditorium with a few hundred people. It was day 3 of The Session 2020, the UK's biggest close-up magic convention, and one of my heroes in magic (the guest of honour at the convention, a

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Words That Changed Our Lives
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In this episode, we each talk about 3 words/phrases that have changed the way we think about things and see the world. We touch on Taimur's new addiction to David Dobrik's vlogs, and Ali doesn't stop going on about a magic convention that he attended this weekend. Some of

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast
Book Discussion: The Wright Brothers

Book Discussion: The Wright Brothers
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In this episode, we talk about "The Wright Brothers" by David McCullough.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

What should I do with my life?
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Hey friends, I recently came across The Odyssey Plan, a method to help navigate big decisions, and to answer the age-old question of "What should I do with my life?" It goes as follows: Write out, in detail, what your life would look like 5 years from now if you

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

‘Lad’ Culture – An Insider’s Perspective
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In this episode, we have a guest appearance from Jake, a junior doctor and recovering "lad". We discuss the meaning of being a "lad", the experience from inside the group and the feelings of those of us who feel implicitly excluded from boisterous, alcohol-heavy group dynamics. Some of the highlights

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Reconsider Victory Conditions
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Hey friends, One of my favourite pastimes is to think about the myriad ways in which life is like a game. In ‘proper’ board games (ie: not terrible ones like Monopoly and Snakes & Ladders) there are often multiple ways to win the game (‘victory conditions’). We might need the

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
2019 - The Not Overthinking Review

2019 - The Not Overthinking Review
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In (by far) our longest episode yet, we look back on 2019!

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

14 Lessons I Learned in 2019
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Hey friends, One of the most joyful parts of the holiday season is that I don't have to come up with some novel wisdom for this newsletter. I can just title it '14 Lessons I learned in 2019' and link to the newsletter issues where I first discussed these. So

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Social Interactions - Comfort, Messaging and Life Enjoyment

Social Interactions - Comfort, Messaging and Life Enjoyment
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In this episode, we discuss our favourite topic – Social Interaction – from the lenses of etiquettes of messaging, the pinnacle of the human condition amongst others.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

New Year's Resolutions
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Hey friends, You’ve probably heard about how most people don’t end up sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions. They buy gym memberships in January, go a handful of times and then stop bothering. Or they decide to eat more healthily, that lasts about a week, and then

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
How To Get Rich Tweetstorm Discussion

How To Get Rich Tweetstorm Discussion
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In this episode, we discuss a Tweetstorm entitled "How to get rich (without getting lucky)" by Naval Ravikant (@naval).

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Knowledge vs Execution
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Hey friends, Here's a fun short story for y'all. A determined book salesman once told a farmer that 'a set of books on scientific agriculture' would teach him to farm better.  To which the farmer replied: 'Hell, son, I don't farm half as good as I know how.'I think

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

External Appearances vs Internal Experiences
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In this episode we talk about the external appearances of different lifestyles and how they differ from the internal experience of living them.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

Subtraction
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Hey friends, I've been thinking a lot about subtraction recently. It started a few weeks ago when I noticed, for the first time in years, a slight sense of overwhelm in my life. I'd swapped a few shifts at work that meant I was working for 12 days in a

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Inner Rings: The Desire to Fit In - Podcast Highlights

Inner Rings: The Desire to Fit In - Podcast Highlights
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In this episode, we discuss our desire to fit in, to be part of the 'cool kids' group, to be part of what CS Lewis calls "The Inner Ring".

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

If this isn't nice, I don't know what is
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Hey friends, There's a lovely quote from Kurt Vonnegut that I've been thinking about this week. “And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.”Not gonna lie, I lead

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter

Tie Your Camel
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Hey friends, Here's a fun story I've been thinking about recently. It's narrated by the 9th-century Islamic scholar Tirmidhi. It goes along these lines: One day, the Prophet Muhammad noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel unattended without tying it. He asked the Bedouin "Why don't you tie your camel?" The

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter
Intentional Socialising - Podcast Highlights

Intentional Socialising - Podcast Highlights
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In this episode we talk about how we socialise — the different types of social events we take part in, and how we take part in them.

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Podcast

A productivity hack that actually works
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Hey friends, One of the best productivity ‘hacks’ is to define the One Thing that you want to work on each day. We can ask the question “What would your future self want you to work on today?”. Or (as the authors suggest in Make Time) we can ask “What

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal
Newsletter