I never really got into podcasts. I don’t commute, and while I’m working, I don’t like listening to things that make me think. (It’s hard enough for me to concentrate as it is.)
But buying an iPhone 6 Plus made me love podcasts because the phone is just too damn big. I spend about 1-2 hours a day walking Ernie, my little miniature Schnauzer mix. For years, I’ve used that time to catch up on blogs and the news. When the ginormous iPhone 6 Plus came out, I thought, “Perfect! I’ll be able to see blogs better.” WRONG. It’s a horrible device for one-handed web surfing because it’s just way too big. Plus, I should be keeping a better eye on Ernie anyway.
When Richie Rump and Cecil Phillip started the Away from the Keyboard podcast, I decided to give it a listen during my morning walk. And whaddya know, now I’m hooked on podcasts.
How I Make It Work for Me
I use the Overcast app for iOS because it has an “ummm remover” called Smart Speed that automatically removes gaps in the conversation. Most amateur podcasts have long, slow, meandering conversations, but if you just speed up the playback, it sounds like Staccato the Squirrel. For me, 1.1x-1.2x playback and Overcast’s Smart Speed are perfect.
I use an older Jawbone Bluetooth headset – I KNOW, I LOOK LIKE A JERK – but for me, it’s perfect. There’s no wires (important when you have a dog on a leash) and I can still hear what’s going on around me because there’s only one earpiece. I only use it for podcasts, not phone calls, I swear. (Like most of you, I have a passionate hatred for phone calls.)
The Podcasts I Listen To
Here are some of the ones I listen to the most often:
- Away From the Keyboard (Site – iTunes) – because it’s non-tech interviews with the tech people in my industry
- RunAsRadio (Site – iTunes) – Richard Campbell brings out the excitement in so many different tech speakers
- SQL Server Radio (Site – iTunes) – love the relaxed, interactive interview style of Guy & Matan
- Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project (Site – iTunes – YouTube) – the Mythbuster talks film, writing, and science. Many of the episodes don’t relate to me, but search the archives because there’s a lot of gems.
- The Consulting Pipeline (Site – iTunes) – thought-provoking freelancers and consultants talk about the business of businessing
- The MFCEO Project (Site – iTunes) – Andy Frisella runs a number of nutritional supplement companies, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a nutritional supplement CEO firing you up and getting you focused on what it takes to succeed. Not for everybody, and definitely not safe for work, but I love it.
- Two Teachers Talking (Site – iTunes) – teaching is a big part of my work, and I get inspired by professional instructors
If there’s a good data-focused or management-focused podcast that I’m missing, holler. (I don’t like “funny” or news-oriented ones – I like my cats in animated GIF form.)