Who doesn’t want to become a little smarter? If raising your IQ isn’t enough just being able to start a conversation with someone should be a good reason. But who has time to read or watch a 2-hour documentary or take an online course?

The app “Uptime” is a solution.

The idea is to give a new purpose to any downtime you might have during the day. Maybe while you’re doom-scrolling TikTok or Facebook while sitting in the carpool line you could put that time to good use by learning something more important than the latest viral dance craze. The app “UpTime” says it can use just 5 minutes of that downtime to make you smarter.

Uptime provides bite-size ideas and thoughts from some of the greatest minds in the world. The app pulls together some of the latest best-sellers along with documentaries and courses and presents them on a smartphone screen with graphics, text, animations, video, and audio. After you choose from a number of topics you’re interested in, the app displays a wide selection of books, docs, and courses within your selections. For example, I chose topics on business, communication, money, and health & fitness.

The app showed me a book by Alex Lyon on communication skills. The screens showed excerpts from the book along with insights taken from it. I could choose to read it myself or an audio version. Another offering presented is Malcolm Gladwell’s book “The Tipping Point” which not only showed excerpts and insights but a clip from one of Gladwell’s TedTalks.

If you’ve never been able to wrap your head around Stephen Hawking’s book “A Brief History of Time”, Uptime makes it even more brief showing the most important quotes from the book and some of the takeaways you can drop in conversations.

Another hack is the documentary “Mike Wallace is Here”. This documentary tells the story of famed CBS journalist Mike Wallace and his reputation as being the first journalist to confront major newsmakers with difficult questions. In addition to the takeaways and talking points, this hack showed several clips from the documentary and from TV profiles of Wallace through the years.

The “hacks” as Uptime calls them, are 5-minutes, so I always can find the time to try a new one while I’m standing in line, waiting for someone in the car, or during commercial breaks.

“UpTime” is a free app and the company sends out free “daily hacks” every day but if you want more of the 3,000 plus titles, there is a premium subscription that costs $20/month or $80/year.

There is a free 3-day trial to see if you like it enough to subscribe.

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