Podcasts are a great way of learning

Podcasts are a great way of learning from the experience of others. Through conversations, you get access to the thinking of people that you normally would not have access to.

Podcasts can also be an incredible time sink. As of 2022, there are around 2 million active podcasts, and 48 million published episodes. There are podcasts that are fun and entertaining, but you don’t get much learning or insights. (I know it because I’ve been there…) So I’m always pruning my list, removing the ones that have become stale and adding fresh ones.

I mentally divide the podcasts I listen to into two groups. The first group is about deeper subjects. I frequently play again some parts of the conversations to get a better understanding, to write down an idea, or to take notes about some insightful part. Even better, some of these podcasts provide transcripts. These podcasts are not about the new and shiny, but about topics that will still be relevant several years from now.

Some podcasts in this group are:

The second group are podcasts containing useful information, don’t require deeper reasoning, are more tactical or ephemeral. I don’t listen to every episode of these podcasts… just those I find interesting enough.

  • Love Your Work, by David Kadavy. Most of David’s episodes are 10 minutes long at most. He explains an idea around work, creativity, or productivity, and that’s it.
  • Cory Doctorow. I think I’ve read every book Cory Doctorow has published, both fiction and non-fiction. His podcast is about society and the internet, and how to prevent its domination by corporations and governments to control it. Many times he reads one of his recent articles.
  • The Rework Podcast, by 37signals. A podcast about the better way to work and run your business. Most of the time the show is hosted by 37signals’ founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.
  • Writing Excuses, with Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler. “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re are in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.” I’m not into writing fiction or fantasy… yet. This is a rare podcast where these award-winning authors share their experiences and give solid advice.
  • Accidental Tech Podcast, hosted by Marco Arment, Casey List, and John Siracusa. I enjoy listening occasionally to these three great nerds discuss Apple, programming, etc. I also enjoy their naive and uninformed view of what happens outside the US and 1st World countries.

Grab your favorite podcast app and start listening to podcasts. I use Overcast, but Pocket Casts is also a great alternative. If you are already into podcasts, do you have recommendations of great podcasts that I’m missing?

Featured photo by Juja Han on Unsplash
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