Wisereads Vol. 18 — Ali Abdaal’s Feel-Good Productivity, Munger’s operating system, and more

Last week, we shared a full copy of Digital Zettelkasten, a guide on creating a system of atomic notes by David Kadavy. This week, we’re excited to invite you into a fun experiment with our good friend Ali Abdaal. In addition to sharing a preview of his debut book Feel-Good Productivity (below), Ali will be responding to questions asked in the highlights during an upcoming AMA on January 6th! 

Keep reading to add to your Reader account and find out more 👇

Most highlighted Articles of the week


The Munger Operating System: How to Live a Life That Really Works

Farnam Street · Farnam Street

Charlie Munger’s 2007 USC Law School commencement address offers timeless insights on how to lead a virtuous life with reliability as the foundation. “If you’re unreliable it doesn’t matter what your virtues are, you’re going to crater immediately. So doing what you have faithfully engaged to do should be an automatic part of your conduct. You want to avoid sloth and unreliability.”


It’s Time to Dismantle the Technopoly

Cal Newport · The New Yorker

Rooted in Neil Postman's analysis of our evolving relationship with tech, Cal Newport presents ‘techno-selectionism’ — a critical yet open approach to incorporating new technology into society. “If we aggressively repudiate the technologies that are clearly causing net harm, while continuing to embrace those that seem to be more beneficial, we can direct our techno-social evolution much more intentionally. Such attempts at curation—which can occur at every scale, from personal decisions to community norms and civic regulation—are unavoidably messy.”


Life lessons from a 44 year old.

Annie Macmanus · anniemacmanus.com

In her most recent blog post, broadcaster, DJ, and novelist Annie Macmanus shares nineteen life lessons, including: “Relationships are like weighing scales. You either bring your partner up, or weigh them down” and “Stay curious. The kids in your life are good for that. Put your phone down and tune into their play. Even better, join in.”

Most highlighted YouTube Video of the week


Simple Notion Tour | How I Organize My Life, Work, and Money

Edward Lee

Filmmaker and minimalist Edward Lee shares his day-to-day Notion setup to manage finances, improve writing, and avoid ‘side quest’ distractions: “This is the trap with task management: if you're not careful, you'll start putting a lot of tasks that are mundane or things that make you feel good…but you're not actually getting the important things done.”

Most highlighted Twitter Thread of the week


Last year I was diagnosed with ADHD

James Stuber

James Stuber, in his reflective 'threadapalooza' on an unexpected ADHD diagnosis, introduces the concept of the 'red-blue slide.' “You may rearrange your life to always be putting out fires - the red quadrant…Staying in the red quadrant isn't sustainable, you will burn out. Burnt out people will tend to slide into blue activities, passive fun like doomscrolling twitter or binge watching anime.”

Most highlighted PDF of the week

Investing in the Unknown and Unknowable

Richard Zeckhauser

Economist and Harvard professor Richard Zeckhauser explores the potential of unknown and unknowable ‘UU’ investments (e.g. Warren Buffett selling insurance to the California Quake Authority). “If in an unknowable world none of your bridges fall down, you are building them too strong.  Similarly, if in an unknowable world none of your investment looks foolish after the fact, you are staying too far away from the unknowable.”

Hand-picked book of the week


Feel-Good Productivity: How to Do More of What Matters to You

Ali Abdaal

Ali Abdaal, former doctor and the world’s most-followed productivity expert on YouTube, is adding yet another feather to his cap: published author. We’re honored to support Ali as he releases his debut book, Feel-Good Productivity.

Drawing on positive psychology, Ali offers a wealth of stories and experiments to bring feel-good productivity to life as the antidote to hustle culture.

“Slowly, and then all at once, I started to doubt all the productivity advice I had absorbed. Did success really require suffering? What was ‘success’ anyway? Was suffering even sustainable? Did it make sense that feeling overwhelmed would be good for getting things done? Did I have to trade my health and happiness for, well, anything?...But [feel-good productivity] changes everything. It shows that if you’ve ever felt underwater, you don’t have to settle for staying afloat. You can learn how to swim.”

In typical Ali fashion, he's devised the most clever preorder bonus we've ever seen. Folks who preorder Feel-Good Productivity and submit the receipt will be invited to an exclusive planning workshop led by Ali on January 6th. More than 6,000 folks have already signed up 🤯

In typical Readwise fashion, we're taking this one step farther. If you buy, read, and highlight Feel-Good Productivity before the workshop, you can ask Ali questions using your highlight notes. Just tag or inline tag any highlight with a question for Ali `aaa` (ask Ali anything) and these will be submitted for a segment of his workshop. With the book's release on Tuesday, this is an exciting opportunity to pick Ali’s brain on how to make 2024 your best year yet. 🎊

Handpicked RSS feed of the week


What Do We Do Now That We’re Here?

Former journalist Rosie Spinks delves into the quest for a meaningful life amidst chaos in her Substack newsletter. From The friendship problem: “Friendships are, by their very nature, made of friction…And friction is not just interrupting your day or life to help out a friend, but also admitting you need the kind of help you cannot pay for or order yourself. To pierce through your veil of seamless productivity and having-it-together to say: I need something from you, can you help me?”