One of the things that I try to make sure that I do at least once a day is listen to podcasts. Honestly, I try to listen to several throughout the day, but it really depends on what all I have going on.
For the most part, I listen to podcasts whenever I’m in the car driving or I’m out on a run. Sure, there are only so many podcasts or so much of a podcast than you can listen to on any given, but this has worked pretty well for me for the past few years.
On top of that, I’ve given a number of podcast applications a fair shake and have come away with a favorite. But I’ll cover that in a second.
Listen To Podcasts
If I had to distill it down to a single statement, I listen to podcasts because I spend a lot of time listening to music during the day and podcasts help me to stay up to date with things outside of what I do on a day-to-day basis.
Of course, there’s more to it than that.
Easy: It helps me to keep up with stuff that I normally wouldn’t be able to during the week.
More specifically, I listen to podcasts because it’s a way for me to catch up on some radio shows or some other career-related content that I miss during the week.
A couple of years ago, my wife and I cut the cable and since I spend a lot of time working at home (or in the office), I tend to listen to music while getting work done as it helps me to get into – and stay in – the zone, but this comes at the expense of tracking with some of more preferred radio broadcasts.
The truth is, I don’t listen to a lot of music whenever I’m driving or out for a run, I normally queue up the podcasts.
First, since I tend to listen to so much music while I’m at the desk, it’s a nice change of pace while in the car.
Secondly, music has always messed with my pacing when out for a run – the faster the music, the harder I run, and vice versa – so if I’m trying to do a distance run, podcasts help with keeping a consistent pace (as boring as that sounds).
I’ve tried a number of podcast apps for my phone. I want to like Apple podcast application because one would think it’d integrate with the rest of the phone much like the native Music, iTunes, Videos, etc. applications, but it leaves so much to be desired and the configuration options are so limited that it’s hard to actually stick with it.
After doing a bit of looking around, Downcast has easily become my preferred podcast application.
Aside from the usual features of finding podcasts and queuing them up, the application has a solid interface and user experience that also allows you to do a number of things other applications have yet to implement.
Case in point:
- Downcast has he ability to create playlists within the application is nice so you can put together a list for your commute or your run or walk without having to manage your phone while driving or exercising.
- Downcast also allows you to toggle how many versions of past episodes to download. If you’re like me, you rarely like to miss an episode of a show so this makes sure I always have a backlog of content.
- Arguably, my favorite – albeit simple – feature is the ability to turn off the “unplayed” badge. Truth be told, I currently have about 100 unplayed episodes that I’ll eventually listen to, but the problem is that with other applications that number is persistant. If you like a clean homescreen, it’s annoying. Downcast allows you to toggle that.
These are just a few of the features that it offers.
But regardless of the application that you use or the shows that you prefer, I think listening to podcasts can go a long way in helping keeping your mind focused on things related to what you do for a living, things are going on outside of your preferences, and can ultimately help get your mind churning on other things which can coincidentally come back to help bring more creativity to your day-to-day gigs.