Podcasts are one of my favorite productivity tools. I often listen to these audio productions while commuting, cooking, or exercising. It amazes me how much I can learn. And it seems that podcasts are growing in popularity.
If you’re not familiar with podcasts, these are recorded programs on just about any subject that you can listen to using a number of devices such as your smartphone, computer, or Alexa. Many of them allow direct playback from their site. If you’re using a smartphone, the best bet is to look in your appropriate app store for a podcatcher. These are programs that can help you search for and play podcasts.
Alexa Flash Briefing
There are several ways to leverage Amazon’s Alexa with podcasts. The first is to set up a flash briefing. I prefer doing this from the web interface, but you can also access it through the settings tab on your Alexa app.
A flash briefing is where you indicate which news items you wish the Alexa to playback for you. The service needs to be defined as a flash briefing provider. For example, I’ll listen to the news, security headlines, and marketing services. The nice thing is the briefs play sequentially so I don’t have to start and stop each one.
This is an uplifting podcast that is done by Peter Diamandis and Dan Sullivan. The reason I like this is that they discuss disruptive technologies and how they will benefit us. Some of these technologies are already here like autonomous cars and others are further out. To give background, Peter is the one who started the SpaceX prize as well as a number of other ventures like Singularity University. Dan is Peter’s coach and runs a company called, Strategic Coach.
Internet of Things
This is a weekly podcast about IoT or “internet of things”. This includes everything from voice assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home to connected light bulbs. Basically, anything that can connect to the internet. This area is somewhat of a “wild west” with new products coming aboard and others going under. The two hosts, Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel, do a marvelous job of navigating this complicated space.
This podcast is produced by Entrepreneur magazine. I first heard about it from Neil Patel, a well-known internet marketer. Each show interviews an entrepreneur about how they solved some of their biggest problems. I like this type of show as it reminds you that business and life are full of problems. But, each episode gives you some insight that may help a similar problem you have.
The Tim Ferriss Show
Yup, this is the same Tim Ferriss of the 4 Hour Work Week fame. Overall, I find he has the most varied and interesting guests. One week it might be a Navy Seal Commander and the next it’s Terry Crews. At first, I would skip some that didn’t appeal to me based on the short bio. However, I’ve found that regardless of who is being interviewed, I come away with some great insights. His show notes are epic.
His interviews routinely get nominated for awards. He also has a sidebar that shows the most popular podcasts as well as categories. One note of caution is sometimes swearing is used. One recent episode I enjoyed is the favorite questions recap.
Techmeme Ride Home
I’ve been a fan of Techmeme for a long time. It’s a fast and convenient way to get current tech news. In March, they decided to complement the service with this new podcast. It doesn’t cover all the daily stories but hones in on the best ones. The podcast is narrated by Brian McCullough and comes out around 5 PM EST.
This Week in Tech
This podcast is just one of the many that TWIT.TV produces. You can subscribe to either the audio or the video feed. I like this podcast as each week the panelist sum up some of the major tech news items in a roundtable fashion. I much prefer podcasts that have 2 or more people. With this podcast, there tend to be 3 panelists (tech pundits) who join Leo Laporte, the show host. The panelists differ each week and it’s nice to get the variety.