Friday, February 1, 2019

Turn your car into a mobile university

Listening to podcasts has not always been a favorite activity of mine. You see, I enjoy reading the written word. When I have the option of reading a transcript or listening or watching a video, I will always choose the script. 

This is ironic, since I recently started recording a monthly podcast with my friend Allyson Apsey. I have also begun to listen to podcasts in when I'm in my car, even though my first choice is to interact on Voxer. Time permitting, I will listen to podcasts, too, as I try to follow Brian Tracy's advice to turn my car into a "mobile university."

Not happy with the podcast app that is on my iPhone, I started searching for an app to get my favorite podcasts organized. I thought that if I could get them organized in a way that I liked, then I would be more likely to listen. (And it worked!)

As I researched, I learned that these apps are called "podcatchers," and I found one that I really like. 

The Overcast app is orange with a white circle and something that looks like a radio tower in the middle of the circle.  (I keep most frequently-used apps on my first screen. Have you organized your apps like that, too?)

In the images above, you can see the podcasts I've saved in my Overcast app. (The only one you don't see is Rising Tide Radio, the podcast I host with Allyson -- it wouldn't all fit in two images, so I just thought I would note it here.) 

I wanted to share these screenshots with you in case there are some podcasts you want to add to your collection. They're all favorites of mine, but I really enjoy listening to Ali Brown and the women she interviews on Glambition Radio. I've got several blog posts marinating right now based on things I've learned from her podcasts. 

You will see the Glambition Radio podcast at the bottom of each screenshot because that was the last podcast that I listened to. It's another neat feature of the Overcast app so that you can pick up where you left off when you open the app.

I recently added the student-led podcast that my friend Hans Appel started, called Award Winning Culture, so I thought I would show you how easy it is to add and organize podcasts in the Overcast app.

From the main screen, you can click on the "plus sign" in the upper right-hand corner, or even just enter the name of the podcast and do a search.

If you click on the "plus sign," you can then enter the name of the podcast or the URL if you have it.

I entered the name of the podcast, and these are the podcasts that appeared. I then clicked on the Award Winning Podcast,


Then I clicked on "Subscribe," then "Done." The podcast was added to my list.

When you open a podcast from the list, you will see choices for the unplayed episodes or all episodes (played and unplayed.) This is a feature I really like, because I like seeing which ones I have listened to in case I want to re-listen to one vs. listening to a new one. 

When you click on "Settings" for a podcast, you have several options to customize the podcatcher app to your liking. 

In the app, you can also create playlists (I haven't ventured there, yet), choose whether to download or stream episodes, and use Smart Speed. Instead of using 1.5x or 2.0x to speed things up and get chipmunk-like results, Smart Speed dynamically shortens silences in conversations. Voice Boost is another favorite feature of the Overcast app, allowing easier listening by normalizing volumes between voices and when listening in noisy situations. 

Other productivity posts:

**Since taking the screenshots for this post, there are three more awesome podcasts that I've added to my Overcast app: The In Awe podcast by Sarah Johnson, Transormative Principal by Jethro Jones, and My Bad by Jon Harper.

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