Study Hacks Blog

My New Book: Digital Minimalism

December 4th, 2018 · 45 comments

A Manual for a Focused Life

I’m excited to officially announce my new book, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, which will be published on February, 5th.

My last book, Deep Work, tackled the impact of new technologies on the world of work. After it came out, many readers began asking me about the equally important impact of these tools on their personal lives. This new book is my response.

In it, I argue that we have been too casual in adopting alluring new technologies, and as a result our quality of life is diminishing. To solve this problem I propose a philosophy of technology use called digital minimalism in which you radically reduce the time you spend staring at screens, focusing on a small number of digital activities that strongly support things you deeply value, and then happily ignoring the rest.

In addition to arguing why minimalism is a necessary answer to our increasing digital discontentment, I take the reader inside the vibrant subculture of digital minimalists who have already found great satisfaction and authentic meaning in taking back control of their technological lives — highlighting the key principles they use to succeed in adopting this philosophy.

(Among other things, you’ll learn the detailed story of the digital declutter experiment I ran last January as part of my book research, which ended up growing to over 1,600 participants and receiving coverage in the New York Times.)

I will, of course, be writing quite a bit more about these ideas and this book in the weeks ahead. My purpose for now is mainly to bring you up to speed on what I’m up to.

As a final logistical note: if you have already preordered this book, or are planning to preorder it, hold on to your digital receipt, as I’ll soon be offering a large preorder package — including advance content from the book, a detailed look inside my personal productivity systems, and access to private Q&As — as my way of saying thank you. (Preorders are incredibly important for a book launch, so I’m incredibly grateful for anyone who takes the time to support me in this way.)

Stay tuned!

45 thoughts on “My New Book: Digital Minimalism

  1. Bjarke says:

    really looking forward to reading it

  2. Dave says:

    Will it be out on Kindle? (Yes I recognise the irony)

    1. I preordered it on my kindle. I laughed about the irony as well

    2. The Tams says:

      Not ironic if that digital device is genuinely a net valuable addition to your life, although, do even the newer versions of these try to make you socially network your reading now?
      Looks like the kindle edition is available for preorder on The Zon too.

    3. Study Hacks says:

      Kindle availability can differ from country to country. If you don’t see it in your country, that probably means either we haven’t yet sold the rights of the book your country, or we have, but the translation is not done yet.

    4. Alina says:

      I think we can call Kindle a digital distraction only to the extent we can call reading a distraction.

  3. EA says:

    Cal – as a voracious reader (just finished my 60th book of the year), I can’t wait to read your new work. The only two books I re-read every single year are “Deep Work” and Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”. The fact that you’re in Frankl’s company should provide a clue on how much your book impacted my life.
    I will pre-order the book. As for the offer, does it matter if the pre-order is for hardback or kindle?

    1. Study Hacks says:

      All formats count for the preorder package — so go with whatever you prefer.

  4. Kristin says:

    Words cannot express how excited I am for this book! Pre-ordered it back in July!

    I’ve been following your work since “How to Become a Straight A Student” was published, and it has profoundly impacted my life – not only in the way I work but also the way I look at the world. As someone who works in information management, I’ve been watching this thread form between your school of thought and the nature of information, specifically the insidious effect of information tools when utilized egregiously or excessively – whether that’s the loss of attention and productivity or the loss of objective truth and an unobstructed democratic process. It’s beyond exciting to see it culminate in what I always felt your writing was leading towards, and I feel like it can’t come at a more opportune time.

  5. Juan R says:

    I’m so pumped, keep up your craft, your books are amazing!

  6. Asa says:

    You know your brain could use some help when you go to pre-order and Amazon helpfully tells you, “You pre-ordered this on July 5, 2018”. Totally forgot I’d already ordered this! Needless to say, looking forward to the book.

  7. TheKuboKing says:

    I am really excited about this. I love you previous books (Deep Work, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, and How To Become A Straight-A Student), and I have a hunch I will love and enjoy this one too. Thanks, Cal.

  8. Nitin says:

    Congratulations on the new book, Cal! Excited to read it. Your blog and books (So Good and Deep Work) have been a major source of inspiration for me to formulate my own outlook toward life.

    Minor typo – time you spend starting at screens

  9. Marina says:

    I’ve never pre-ordered a book—until today. 🙂

    Your work has been bringing such incredible value to me and to the people around me, with whom I’ve shared your methods and insights. Your own way of approaching professional and academic work has been an inspiration to me. Thank you, Cal.

    I’ve been looking into digital minimalism—with the gentle encouragement of your more recent blog posts. Very much looking forward to reading the book.

  10. James says:

    anyway to get book preorders autographed?

  11. Rajesh says:

    Congratulations on new Launch Book Rajesh Bhimavarapu

  12. Rajesh says:

    Congratulations on New Release

  13. Mihailo Milivojevic says:

    Just preordered and looking forward to the package!

  14. Julia says:

    I just preordered it! Looking forward to reading it.

  15. *** says:

    Hello from Israel, Cal (to which book depository delivers for free, so I hope a pre-order with them makes the same impact as with Amazon)
    Have read Deep Work twice and still going. Your work makes a lot of difference.

  16. Pekka says:

    Your book on Deep Work has been very influential in my life and I’ve read it several times (and recently listened as an audiobook) to revitalize my motivation in pursuing focused life. It goes without saying that I’m eagerly looking forward to your new book, which is the only book I’ve ever preordered.

  17. Can’t wait Cal, just pre-ordered!

  18. NBU says:

    Super excited for the book, but I have a question. Will I get the preordering package if I preorder the book from any other sites than the ones you listed?

    1. Study Hacks says:

      We should be able to make the preorder system work for just about any place you order the book from…

  19. Holly says:

    Preordered. I’m looking forward to it. Deep Work was instrumental in improving my productivity, and I’m grateful. Excited to get the benefits of Digital Minimalism too. Congrats!

  20. When will its audio version (audible) come out? (I like the narrator of “Deep Work” and hope he will narrate this book too).

    1. Study Hacks says:

      I was actually just at the recording studio this morning recording the introduction for the audio version of the book (don’t worry, the rest of the chapters are read by a professional — not the same narrator from DEEP WORK, but someone really good who you’ll also like).

      In terms of timing, I’m assuming it will be available the same time as the print version (though I haven’t confirmed that).

      1. I wish it was your own voice. I liked your voice in the “Top Performer” course.
        It feels more natural because when I’m listening to your book, your image comes to my mind.
        Also your great-grandchildren will still be able to listen to your voice.

  21. YJ says:

    Are the book covers for Digital Minimalism are different for Hardcover and Kindle Edition? The subtitle’s also differ. Kindle edition has the subtitle: On living better with less technology while the hardcover has: Choosing a focused life in a noisy world.

    1. Nicola says:

      Hi YJ,

      I noticed that too! I guess they are the same item, but better to wait for some more authoritative answer:)

  22. Gurung says:

    Congrats on your new book. Just pre-ordered.

  23. Pre-ordered my kindle copy on Amazon on Dec 4th! Look fwd to it.

  24. Betsy Kahn says:

    Congratulations, Cal! I have two comments. One, speaking of digital minimalism, I would encourage your readers to preorder copies from their local independent bookstore, just so that we have a future where local independent bookstores continue to exist. Second, as a middle school librarian, I am in the trenches seeing the effects of digital maximalism in a K-12 educational setting. We have chromebook carts in almost every classroom in my school, and are beginning a shift from print textbooks to online curriculum platforms (although I am seeing indications that that shift might backfire). Our children are showing the effects of addiction. It is ironic that there are reports of Silicon Valley parents who put strict limits on their own children’s screen time, even as they produce the devices and software that addict the rest of us. The idea of the “digital divide” is being turned on its head.

  25. Mark says:

    This is the first time ever I’ve been hyped for a book. I honestly cannot wait!

  26. Drago? Iorgulescu says:

    Great news! Just pre-ordered the hardcover version and looking forward for another good and influential read.

    Kind regards from Romania!

  27. Annie says:

    This is definitely our to-read book. I’ve already practiced a lot on minimizing software and apps, but I would love to read your insight and see if there is any way I could improve myself better.

  28. Abhishek says:

    Hi Cal,

    I’d like to pre-order the Kindle version in India, but it doesn’t seem like that option is available on Amazon (even though the book is listen on Amazon India). How could I get into for the pre-order material?

    Thanks for all that you do

  29. Fekara says:

    This is my first visit on your blog, searching for education blog and found your blog name is in a list. Love to read stuff on your blog. Congratulations on New Release

    Best Regards

    A free school software for small schools.

  30. Ahmed says:

    I was wondering what Dr. Newport has in store for us and here it is!! I love the title and I’m sure the content is going to be amazing!! Can’t wait to get it!!

  31. Joanne says:

    Congratulations, Cal! I look forward to the book launch. I’ve been weaning off Facebook. Just two days into a seven-day fast I already loved the peace of mind!

  32. Rachel says:

    Very excited! I completely deleted Facebook and Instagram partially because of your blog (and partially because I don’t want them to make money off of me.)

    I hope in your press/future blog posts, you mention Ta-Nehisi Coates’ discussion of quitting Twitter:

  33. Cal, you have been ahead of your time for years. Ironcially, since you never signed up for social media you are at the forefront of the digital change. The things you have been bringing attention to for years are now coming into the vogue mostly because of the NYT investigations into the reprehensible invasions of privacy by Facebook.

    Keep fighting the good fight,

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