Today is a holiday (for many of us, anyway), and so I thought I would share some “lighter” information.

I have been asked several times recently about the podcasts I listen to, so this week I share some of my favorites:

  • TED Radio Hour: “a journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, and new ways to think and create – based on riveting TEDTalks from the world’s most remarkable minds”
  • Planet Money: “the economy explained”
  • Freakonomics Radio: “the podcast that explores the hidden side of everything”
  • This American Life: “there’s a theme to each episode of This American Life, and a variety of stories on that theme” – as they say, “There’s lots more to the show, but it’s sort of hard to describe. Probably the best way to understand the show is to start…”
  • Serial: “Serial tells one story—a true story—over the course of a season” – this season is all about Bowe Bergdahl
  • 99% Invisible: “a tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world”
  • The Fizzle Show: “a podcast for creative entrepreneurs and honest business builders who want to earn a living doing something they care about” – it’s the self-proclaimed “indie business talk show”

Some of the reasons I like podcasts:

  • I’m learning
  • I get to think about issues and topics in new ways and from new perspectives
  • They turn seemingly wasted time (for me, this is mostly commuting time) into productive time
  • They’re interesting
  • There are LOTS of options, so I can find podcasts that are specific to my interests (for example, I listen to a podcast which specifically targets young financial planners)
  • They’re free!

It took me some time to find the right podcasts for me – and the right number of podcasts to subscribe to. Now, I’m in a pretty good routine so the podcasts I subscribe to closely match the amount of listening time I have each week. This means I’m deliberate about downloading the best content for me, while avoiding a huge build-up of unplayed episodes. I’m also learning to just stop listening and delete those episodes that aren’t adding value or that I find I’m just not interested in.

I use the “default” Podcasts app on my iPhone, and it gets the job done. I subscribe to the podcasts I want, and as episodes are released they show up on my unplayed list. I know some people have stronger feelings about this, and I have heard positive things about the Overcast app.

Do you listen to podcasts? What are your favorites?

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