A list of downloads, blogs, apps and tools that keep me travelling light and learning fast.

For book and course recommendations, check out the summaries section. Got something to recommend? Leave a comment below or get in touch!


These downloads are hot from the Faster To Master furnace. They’re also totally free. If you love them, any support or donations you can spare all help keep the lights on.

Learning a Language?

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Interested in Art?

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When I make major changes (e.g., corrections to the art flashcards as I learn them) I’ll send an update to anyone that’s already downloaded.

Not receiving your emails? Double check your ‘Spam’ and ‘Promotions’ folders. Or get in touch and I’ll help out as soon as possible.


If you like book summaries, you’ll find same-same-but-different takes at:

  • Blinkist (subscription) – Thousands of books as 15-minute “Blinks”.
  • Optimize.me (subscription) – Hundreds of books as 6-page “Philosopher’s Notes”, Brian is also one of my favourite thinkers and writers. I’m excited to see what he creates in the coming years.
  • Readtrepreneur (pay per book) – Long-form summaries of non-fiction best sellers.
  • Very Short Introductions (pay per book) – Expert authored long-form introductions to a huge number of topics. My go-to to get smart on a topic, fast.

For more practical philosophy – I love the work the thinkers below are doing:

  • Better Explained – Kalid has a gift for conceptualising mathematics. If you or someone you know needs help with numbers, be sure to check out his work.
  • Brain Pickings – You cannot leave Maria’s world-shifting labour of love without feeling inspired, elevated and informed. Possibly the most wonderful thing on the internet.
  • Derek Sivers – Derek is a deeply inspiring serial-entrepreneur, creator and writer. You may have seen one of his three excellent TED talks.
  • James Clear – Jame’s writing on “How can we live better?” is always clear, well researched and thought-provoking. One of the few mail-outs I’ll always read.
  • MetaLearn – Nasos’s energy is exceeded only by his dedication to helping people learn faster. His podcast is often home to some amazing guests.
  • Ryan Holiday – If you recognise one name on this list it might be Ryan’s. A champion of Stoic-revivalism. Read each and every one of his books. They’re superb.
  • Scott Young – I am always amazed at the quantity and quality of material Scott produces. If learning better is your aim, his blog is a great place to start.
  • Wait But Why – Tim’s popular, eye-catching and very readable blog is a treasure trove of insightful articles on an eclectic mix of topics.
  • Zen Habits – Leo’s excellent writing and focus on simplicity are superb. The perfect place to find insights on mindfulness and minimalism.

As I look at that list I realise it’s almost exclusively white, Western and male. If anyone has good suggestions for a more diverse perspective please let me know.


Technology is a tool. It can make our lives or break them. The apps below are the ones I use each day to make my life happier and more productive:

  • Anki – Free, open-source and powerful. Use this digital spaced repetition system to learn anything.
  • DropBox – I use Dropbox every day. It keeps my files safe and hosts all the downloads for Faster To Master.
  • Headspace – I’ve been using headspace since ~2012. It’s a wonderful way to start meditation and a constant companion thereafter. Also, see Andy’s excellent TED talk.
  • iTalki – My single favourite language learning app. Makes talking with native teachers from day 1 as easy as it is affordable.
  • Things – Things runs my life. It’s part of the trusted system I use to get things out of my head. It’s the tool that keeps me happy and productive.

For writing, I keep things simple and use the native Mac Notes app or simple, plain-text files. These sync across all my devices with iCloud or DropBox. For general thinking, nothing beats any pen and a blank sheet of paper. If you pushed me I am partial to a 4-Colour Bic.

For staying in touch I use email – it’s free, cross-platform and simple. Quit social media as soon as you can. You’ll be healthier, happier and more productive.


I’m not a big ‘things’ person; everything I own fits into a 40-litre backpack. Here’s a handful of specific tools that are so awesome they made the cut:

  • Croc FlipFlops – These things are AMAZING. I’ve run 10km in them, hiked Mt. Fuji in them and worn them day-in-day-out for years. The only time they need replacing is when the rubber wears out on the bottom.
  • Hyrdapack Stash – A beautifully conceived collapsible 1-litre water bottle. My favourite buy in the last few years and a good way to cut down on plastic waste – especially if you travel.
  • Kindle Paperwhite – If you don’t have a Kindle, get one. Nothing will improve your life like reading and nothing will help you read more. The tap to translate functionality makes it a godsend for learning languages.
  • Osprey Farpoint 40 – I’ve used mine constantly for 5 years and it’s still as good as new. Even if it broke, Osprey would repair or replace it for free, for life. Hands down the best travel backpack money can buy.
  • Matcha Green Tea – If you’re looking for a super-healthy alternative to coffee, this is it. I’m biased because I get my matcha free from Erin via her companies Evergreen Matcha (USA) and Zen Green Tea (Australia) but this stuff is awesome.
  • Revolut – Revolut is an app-centred banking startup that has saved me thousands of dollars. Inter-bank exchange rates in shops or at ATMs, free? Yes, please.
  • SoundMagic E10 – Great sound quality at a super low price. I lose at least one set of headphones a year and these are my go-to replacement.


That’s all from me for now! I’ll be updating this page as life goes on and Faster To Master grows so check-back in if you discovered something new here today.

Have you got any favourite thinkers, apps or tools that you think should be on this list? I’m always on the lookout for new ways to live better and simplify life and would love to hear yours.

Leave a comment below or get in touch.

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Farnam Street provides lots of resources encouraging deep thinking too!