Who has your ear? An introduction to podcasting.

I used to just abhor spending time in my car alone. This is incredibly unfortunate because as a mom of three, I spend a ridiculous amount of time behind the wheel. It just always seemed so unproductive, as though little snippets of my life were being cast off into the wind.

I tried to fix the situation, but I wasn’t getting anywhere. I’ve never been one for snarky DJs or talk show hosts so traditional radio was off the table. Sirius XM played the same twelve songs on repeat till I wanted to stick a fork in my eye. Spotify and Pandora were entertaining for a while but they just weren’t scratching the itch. It seemed like I was destined to dread my drive time forever.

But then my husband made a bold move; he introduced me to podcasting.

who has your ear

My husband, John, has been a loyal follower of Bill Simmons (The Sports Guy/Grantland) for years, but as far as I knew this was the only podcast in existence. With my grasp of podcasting limited to sports commentary, I was a little less than enthused. It turns out I’m not alone in this; women are really late to the podcasting table. It just sounds so masculine and techy. In fact,

Podcasting has largely been a movement for men and by men, but times they are a’changing. Twitter_logo_blue

About six months ago, in a valiant attempt to get me to stop complaining about all of the wasted time spent in my car, he finally took matters into his own hands, determined to pull me into his world. Just as he has done before with the remote control, the thermostat, and our fancy DSLR camera, this genius of a man removed the one barrier standing between me and the wide world of podcasts by showing me which buttons to push. No lie.

Within five minutes, he’d taught me to download a podcasting app and subscribe to my first few shows.

Drive time hasn’t been an issue since. Twitter_logo_blue

For the uninitiated, a podcast is a piece of audio content recorded by someone and then posted online for you to listen to later. Most podcasters brand their “shows” and record more episodes each week. You then access them through a podcasting app, usually on your phone, and listen to them for free.

Some are educational, some are informational, some are inspirational, and some are just entertaining! Podcasts tend to be targeted to a more specific audience than a TV or radio show, which makes the content highly relevant and valuable once you’ve found a good match. Each episode usually runs 15 – 75 minutes, rarely longer.

You can pause an episode whenever you’d like which makes them particularly well suited to short car trips and other times when your listening may be interrupted. You can even do cool things like listen at 1.5x or 2x normal speed or skip ahead in 15 second increments. (Have I mentioned I’m a little impatient?)

Having podcasts waiting for me has completely transformed my drive time. In fact, I’ve found myself actually looking forward to getting in the car since I know there’s always a new episode of something good! It’s kind of like having a favorite show on TV while you are on the treadmill or elliptical. I’ve also found myself listening to podcasts while I fold laundry or do dishes, or clean up the toy closet – all times when multitasking is a welcome diversion from the task at hand.

If you’re ready to dip a toe in the podcasting waters, let’s make it easy for you. Twitter_logo_blue

First, you’ll need to download an app. Here’s how to do that, button pushing and all.

On an iPhone

podcast icon

  1. Download the Podcasts app from the App Store.
  2. Click on “Search” icon and enter the name of a podcast you want to follow.
  3. Or click on “Top Charts” to browse popular content and then select a show.
  4. Click the “Subscribe” box so new episodes will be pushed to you when published.
  5. Click on an episode in the list to play.

On an Android device

Player FM

  1. Download the Player FM app from the Google Play store.
  2. Click on “Search” icon and enter the name of a podcast you want to follow.
  3. Or click on “Discover” to browse content and then select a show.
  4. Click the “Subscribe” box so new episodes will be pushed to you when published.
  5. Click on an episode in the list to play.

Once you have the app, you’ll need to find content that appeals to you.  If the thousands of choices available start to overwhelm you, don’t panic!  I’ve pulled together a few lists of top picks to get you started below. Choose just a few titles you like within these links, subscribe to those shows, and let the rest unfold in due time.

Podcast Roundups:

Working Moms Against Guilt List of Top Podcasts for Working Moms

Levo League List of 10 Best Podcasts for Women

15 Podcasts that Will Leave You Pondering Life’s Big Questions by the Third Metric

45 Podcast Picks from the TED Staff

 

Take five minutes and download the app right now. Really! Find at least one show that appeals to you and give this a try. You’re going to love it. And if you’re already a podcast devotee, will you share a favorite show or two in comments so we can check it out?

Maybe someday I’ll even launch a podcast of my own associated with this blog, interviewing women who can share their stories about how they are balancing their work lives and home lives so they can shine in both spaces! Who’d be up for that?? Let me know in comments…

Here’s to finding joy in your drive time!

2 Comments

  1. Regina Rankin on September 24, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    I too am new to podcasting, but when friends at work turned me onto “Serial” I was hooked!

    • Cherylanne on September 24, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      That’s one I keep hearing about but haven’t listened to yet!

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