All About Bookly: Get organized with your reading (+ Giveaway)!

I reached out to Bookly to inquire about sponsorship opportunities after using the free version of the app for a couple of weeks. While I was not paid to write this post, I was given a complimentary lifetime subscription to the app so I could give my honest thoughts about all of the features for this guide. I do not have an affiliate link and will not make any money if you download the app.

Bookly also provided me with a free registration key to giveaway to one of my readers! Be sure to check out the giveaway information at the bottom of the post!

Greetings friends, and welcome to a post I’ve been working on for the past month! I’ve been pretty vocal on social media and in the Discord servers I’m in about my lowkey disdain for Goodreads. The website hasn’t gotten an update of value since Amazon purchased it back in 2013, and I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement.

Enter Bookly. While Bookly isn’t a replacement for Goodreads, it has drastically helped me keep track of my reading and provide valuable statistical insights.

What is Bookly?

Bookly is a iOS and Android app where you can set & manage your TBRs, set deadlines & goals, take notes & quotes while reading, and provide you with infographics when you are finished!

What was I looking for, specifically?

Honestly, I wanted an app where I could create an ARC TBR and set reading deadlines to try and tackle ARC Mountain. I tried a few apps out but really was wowed by the breadth of additional features available for free on the Bookly app, so I decided to give it a try!

So what are Bookly’s features?

My wishlist was a small one… until I saw all of Bookly’s features. We all know how much I enjoy statistics, suffice to say that I fell in love straight away 😍

  • Real-time reading tracking: add books to your collection (limited to 10 books on free version) and start a session. The timer will record how fast you’re reading. When you finish a reading session, just stop the timer and enter the page you’re on, as a bookmark;
  • Reading statistics: you’ll get monthly reports on your performance (Bookly Pro) so you know what you need to improve;
  • Reminders: you can set a reminder to remind you to read at a certain time of the day or week;
  • Know how much is going to take to finish the book: Bookly lets you know how long you have until you finish the book if you continue reading at the same pace;
  • Monthly/yearly goals: goals with reminders that help you keep you focused and make a habit out of reading. Set out a Reading goal at the beginning of the month/year and challenge yourself to read more;
  • Achievements: there are tons of achievements that you can unlock to stay motivated and keep things interesting and fun;
  • Thoughts & quotes: you can easily add thoughts, notes, and quotes for each book, in both text and image form;
  • Infographics: once you finish a book, you can generate an awesome infographic and share it with your friends;
  • Lent books: in case you often share books with friends, Bookly lets you mark books as lent so you know where to find them.

Pretty amazing, right?! I honestly didn’t know I wanted many of these features but now that I’ve had them for the last month and a half, I don’t want to give them up.

Free Bookly vs. Bookly Pro

I used the free version of the app for about three weeks before activating my lifetime subscription given to me by Bookly. I took a bunch of screenshots of the app and its functionality so I could easily compare Free vs. Pro which I have compiled into the below slideshow.

  • The main area of the 'Books' section of the app.

As you will notice in the above screenshots, most of the app’s functionality is available in the free version. What you mostly miss out on are the Assistant, which provides personalized suggestions, detailed statistics over time, a word of the day. Other than that, you are limited to 10 books at a time and only have access to the rain ambient sound.

How I Use Bookly to Organize My Reading

Like I said earlier, all I was looking for was the ability to set deadlines. And then Bookly was like ‘I got you fam’ and suddenly I am using it to track my annotations, too! Not only that, but by tracking the amount of time you spend reading each day per book, it really provides an incentive to read and keep reading streaks running.

Taking Notes for Physical Books

Bookly AnnotationsLast month I wrote about how much I rely on reading notes and annotations when I’m writing my reviews. While I have no qualms writing in my books, I prefer to pass along my physical ARCs to international readers through Flapping Pages… and I don’t think they would enjoy my notes!

One of my favorite things about reading eBooks is being able to take extensive notes while I read. Bookly gives you the ability to write thoughts down while reading, type up quotes you enjoy, and even a dictionary function if you come across a word you don’t know.

This alleviates my need to write in my books or breaking my wrist writing in a notebook. Especially because you can note the page number for your thoughts & quotes. I use page flags and short hand for quotes so I don’t have to copy everything down, but it is a lifesaver for me and my goldfish brain when writing my reviews. All you have to do is click the icon to scroll through your notes.

ARC Read Planning

We all know that I am a planner and tracker, making use of my Book Blogger Spreadsheet template (2020 version coming next month!) to keep track of my reads. It works really well for me, but I wanted something a little extra to keep me on track.

About a week ago, I took a hard look at my 2019 and older ARC obligations. I eliminated three of them due to no longer being interested in reading them (sorry!), and added the remaining 23 to the app under an ‘ARCs to Read”.

I’ve since read 3 of my ARCs (whew!), but I’m taking advantage of the ‘Read by date’ option for the four books I’ve identified to try and read this month. The breakdown of how much you need to read in order to meet your end date should prove helpful for me! Hopefully moving forward I can knock out at least an ARC a week from this backlog to get caught up – which could possibly get me good by March 2020.

Building a Habit of Reading

Bookly AchievementsThe daily reminder I set, and the subsequent reading streak, also provide me motivation to read. Sometimes all you need is a little nudge to pick up a book and try to get some pages read. Last month I literally read 4-8 pages for days in a row to not break my streak. I’m nothing if not competitive.

There are also some fun achievements that you can unlock. There are a total of 30 and all of them are available on the free version of the app.

For the most part, the achievements reward you for reading – streaks, books read, pages read, and amount of time spent reading using the app. As a gamer, I appreciate the added incentive.

Tracking Audiobooks

If you’ve ever tried to track your reading progress for audiobooks with Goodreads, you will know that there is a lot left to be desired. Bookly tracks your progress on audiobooks by minutes read, which is super helpful! Unfortunately, I DNF’d the one audiobook I was reading (Imaginary Friend).

Added Bonus – The Infographics

It’s well established that I like data, and I appreciate seeing how many pages I read per hour. You might have noticed the below infographic in my last couple of reviews; well, that’s where they come from!

There Will Come a Darkness reading stats
One of the coolest features — infographics for every book you read with the app!

My wishlist

Bookly is really awesome, but I do have a little wishlist. All but the last one are what I would consider ‘nice to haves;’ I am still kind of bitter I lost my streak and approximately 4 hours reading A Thousand Fires before midnight on November 1.

  • Ability to delete collections, or at least rename them.
  • Ability to access prior months’ reading report after the month has passed.
  • Ability to add a book to a collection after finishing without having to edit the collection itself.
  • Friends! I am competitive and want to compete with someone other than myself.
  • Ability to have a reading session over two days without losing your streak. I do most of my reading at night and often carry over past midnight. If you don’t want to lose your daily streak and have your time spent on the previous day lost, you will need to end the session before midnight and start a new one after midnight.
    Note: after talking with Bookly, it appears that I’ve uncovered a bug & they’re working to fix this!

Final Thoughts

Oct19 Reading Report
My reading report for October 2019

Not only has Bookly provided me with a lot of fun statistics based on my reading, but it also gives me the ability to organize my reading.

Bookly isn’t a replacement for Goodreads. The app lacks the social aspect of the site and the ability to leave reviews for books, but it provides readers with additional tools to keep track of their reading and organize their thoughts for reviewing.

One of the nicest side effects of using Bookly for the past six weeks definitely is it builds a habit of reading. With the daily reminder and tracking your time spent reading each title, you have tangible evidence of your reading. Sometimes it sucks to only read six books in a month… but seeing that you read a total of 37 hours has a more positive feeling to it. And even though I read less books last month, I spent more time reading – which shows me I’m trying despite my stupid slump!

Do I think Bookly Pro is worth it?

Because my ARC Mountain is huge, the ability to add more than 10 books to organize my reading has been really useful for me. I also enjoy the monthly statistics provided via Bookly Assistant, but I also recognize the cost will likely be a roadblock for a lot of readers.

If I am being honest, I probably wouldn’t have splurged on the app on my own due to sticker shock even though I am privileged enough to be able to afford it. After having the opportunity to use the Pro version of the app, I do think it is worth it. I don’t know what I would have done after a 7 day free trial… I’d had been tempted for sure.

But I wholeheartedly recommend the free version of Bookly for every reader. Even if Pro isn’t in your budget, the features provided in the free version of the app will help you organize your reading and provide electronic annotation tools for those of you who don’t write in your physical books.

Get Bookly

Bookly Pro Giveaway

Bookly has kindly given me a redemption code for a Lifetime Bookly Pro membership for one of you! All you need to do to be eligible is be a follower of my blog, but there are a bunch of ways to get extra entries if you are so inclined.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have until November 20th to get your entries in, and may the odds be ever in your favor!


spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

28 Comments

  1. Haley

    November 6, 2019 at 3:07 AM

    Okay hands down the infographics make me want to download this, if for nothing else, not to mention you always know where it’s at when it comes to apps, seriously, feedly has changed my life so bookly is now calling to me

  2. Amber @ Books of Amber

    November 6, 2019 at 4:06 AM

    Thank you so much for this breakdown! I downloaded Bookly a few months ago and to be honest I was both overwhelmed and underwhelmed. There seemed like a lot to do, but I also got a bit confused about what exactly was available in the free version versus Bookly Pro. I think this app could potentially be really good motivation for me to read every day instead of marathoning TV shows or scrolling on my phone, so I think after reading this post I’ll be giving it another go. I also have an ARC Everest, so this might be a good app to help me track how I’m doing with climbing that.

  3. Meaghan @ Words Gremlin

    November 6, 2019 at 5:32 AM

    I don’t necessarily NEED another app in my life, but you’ve made such a strong case for this. I think I just might have to give it a go!

    Plus, let’s be real. Keeping up a reading streak, achievements, and infographics scratch that itch in the gaming corner of my brain SO WELL.

  4. Laurie | Bark

    November 6, 2019 at 9:03 AM

    I do LOVE those infographics ! But the idea of starting with a new app is little overwhelming for me atm.

  5. Sarah Ames-Foley

    November 6, 2019 at 9:19 AM

    I used Bookly a couple years ago and it looks like they’ve added some stuff since I stopped. I’m definitely going to have to give it another shot! Glad it worked so well for you. 🙂

  6. Bex

    November 6, 2019 at 9:20 AM

    SCREECHES. I love Bookly so much !!

  7. Sahi

    November 6, 2019 at 10:06 AM

    I’ve had the pro version of the app for almost an year now but I’ve hardly ever used it because I’m so forgetful… so I didn’t even realize that the assistant and setting dates options were available… Such a wonderful post Kal… you’ve definitely motivated me to start using it again 😊😊😊

  8. Krystin MacAskill

    November 6, 2019 at 11:30 AM

    I have the free version but I definitely feel like I need this immediately lol

  9. Aditi

    November 6, 2019 at 3:32 PM

    This is awesome!! I feel like I really need Bookly XD

  10. Moonlight & Moths

    November 6, 2019 at 6:46 PM

    I downloaded bookly a while ago and never got around to trying it. This post was a really great reminder that I should start using it!

  11. Olivia Roach

    November 6, 2019 at 7:16 PM

    This actually sounds so organised and focused in a single app! I have to admit my reading and how I track my reading progress / read books is a major mess. I tend to just enjoy reading more than focusing on what I am doing and seeing my stats DD: But I feel like this could be useful!

    Olivia-S @ Olivia’s Catastrophe

  12. Pam Who Cried Books

    November 6, 2019 at 7:46 PM

    The infographics look so good and organized! I heard about Bookly but didn’t know you can track audiobooks. Thanks for this, Kal!

  13. DB's Guide to the Galaxy

    November 6, 2019 at 9:57 PM

    YESSS Bookly!!!! I’ve been using it so much and it’s great! I, unfortunately, lost my 8 or something day streak and will hopefully pull that up and this time go for an even longer streak (I share in your competitiveness in this regard 😀) The infographics are definitely my favourite thing as I do like stats. And Bookly telling me how long I have to go before I finish the book – that usually makes me read faster so I can go ‘ha, bookly!!’ this is me lol

  14. Michelle

    November 7, 2019 at 2:11 AM

    I absolutely love this! I’m definitely a competitive person and the fact that I can uphold a streak (and not lose it), might set me back on the reading track. The fact that it can remind you to read is awesome, I always forget to set an alarm, but this might work. I haven’t read much in the fast few months, I’m happy if I have read six books in the last six months, let alone the last month :’) I feel guilty that I don’t read as much so I’m definitely going to try it! I apologize beforehand if I ask too many questions while figuring it out!

  15. Jess

    November 7, 2019 at 5:38 AM

    *immediately downloads 30th reading app for their phone…

  16. Rameela

    November 7, 2019 at 5:39 AM

    omg this sounds like a really helpful app! I have a question. When you DNF a book, how do you organize it through the app? I’m definitely going to have to try this app sometime. Maybe it’ll be a part of my 2020 reading goals!

  17. Clo @ Cuppa Clo

    November 7, 2019 at 9:15 AM

    Ooooo this sounds like a really helpful app, though I kinda wish it was also available as a website *pouts* I just really like the aspect of accessing things off a laptop rather than needing an app for everything but that’s just my personal preference at the moment. I’m glad the app has helped you out though Kal and loved this post <3 so informative and helpful as always with you x

  18. Mari @ Musings of a (Book) Girl

    November 7, 2019 at 12:47 PM

    I just started using Bookly a few days ago and I’m loving it already! I got so much more reading done the first night because I knew I had a timer going. It encouraged me to stay off social media since I wanted the reading time to be accuracte!

  19. Flora

    November 7, 2019 at 2:04 PM

    Another one of my blogging friends uses Bookly and although I haven’t got as many books to keep a track of as either of you, I think the free account is certainly worth a look.

  20. Lauren

    November 7, 2019 at 3:36 PM

    ok but i swapped phones and uploaded my data to the cloud and when i downloaded it to my new phone i t was incorrect. so now im sad ??

    BUT I REALLY ENJOYED IT SO MUCH PRIOR TO GETTING A NEW PHONE. ill probs go back to it onc eim not salty but only 10 books is gonna be ahrd one

  21. Lauren

    November 7, 2019 at 3:37 PM

    oh and u can delete collections :eyes:

  22. Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward

    November 7, 2019 at 6:06 PM

    You have me interested in this. There’s something about that I want to give it a try. Maybe its the need for something to keep reminding me to read when I get distracted, lol.

  23. Rachel

    November 7, 2019 at 6:27 PM

    I tried using the free version of Bookly for a week & was delighted by the infographics. Just, and this is on my head, I always forget to open it and start/restart my reading sessions…thus making the time I spend reading logged into the app inaccurate. Will give this another go though bec the infographics are just too pretty and hopefully it would help me tackle both ARC & TBR mountains.

  24. Destiny @ Howling Libraries

    November 7, 2019 at 6:28 PM

    I love this little write-up! The spouse got me into using Bookly a long time ago but I always forget about it, honestly, though they use it RELIGIOUSLY and are constantly nagging me to use it more. 😂 Seeing your post did remind me to finally allow it to give me a little daily “it’s reading time!” reminder, though, so maybe it won’t be so out of sight, out of mind in the future.
    Bookly used to be totally free, and then they switched to the paid model, and when they did, they had a thing where all current users could get a lifetime pro sub for only… I want to say $1.99? Spouse was clever and snatched it up. Ya girl, on the other hand, kept putting it off until it was too late. 😂 But I did get a fairly good deal later on, so it’s okay.

  25. Brooke Carrington

    November 7, 2019 at 7:13 PM

    You sold me with the audiobook tracking! Great article!

  26. Crystal

    November 8, 2019 at 8:54 AM

    Interesting. I might have to give this a shot!

  27. Heather @ The Frozen Library

    November 12, 2019 at 11:53 AM

    Hmm, I might actually download this. I don’t have any problems with Goodreads, I like using a physical notebook for taking notes, and I have a bujo specifically for tracking everything related to reading, but the speed tracker and reminder that this has kinda sounds like a good idea? It might be fun…or it might just stress me out more, we’ll see. XD

  28. Kate

    November 15, 2019 at 12:56 AM

    This is a brilliant post! You’ve made me want to give Bookly a try now because I used to have the GR app on my phone, but, as you say, it’s not the most user-friendly. I tend to use the website more and I prefer it to the GR app. I got a new phone a couple of weeks ago, so I haven’t reinstalled the app, but I’m missing having something to track my reading! This might be the answer 😀

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