I’m a bit of a podcast junkie (we don’t have TV, so…). Partially, I just like audio as a change from reading. But I also find that podcasts offer an option to multi-task without losing your mind. Listening to a podcast actually makes going to the gym *more* appealing, and makes long car rides less boring. So, here are a few of my favorites: mostly for freelancers, with a few others thrown in.
I really enjoy Ed Gandia’s High-Income Business Writing podcast. There’s a lot of crossover for translators there, and he generally has very interesting guests. I particularly enjoyed his recent interview with Mark McGuinness, author of the book Productivity for Creative People. I’m not even that creative, but I wrote down a bunch of great tips: view organization and productivity as *freeing you up* to focus on the more stimulating sides of your job; use a finite space like a Post-It note to write your to-do lists, rather than preparing them as if time were infinite, etc. Definitely recommended!
If you have any sort of social media presence (blog or not), I would also recommend Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger podcast. I enjoy this podcast because it provides practical advice about how to make money online without feeling sleazy about it. For example, a recent episode talked about how to re-energize your blog after a slump (and who among us hasn’t been there…?).
If you don’t mind roundtable-style shows (I actually enjoy them, but the unscripted thing drives some people crazy), I recommend Devchat.TV’s The Freelancers’ Show. Here, “freelancer” means something closer to “independent IT consultant,” but the show features an interesting group of hosts (PS: any chance we could get some women in there??) and topics. I also find it interesting to glean tips from other industries and from non-word people. They’ve recently covered topics like how to handle meddling clients, how to decide when to move on from a component of your business, and how to use content marketing methods other than blogging.
You’re probably already listening to Tess Whitty’s Marketing Tips for Translators, but if not, get on over there and subscribe, since it’s all about our industry! And I’ll also take the liberty of mentioning Eve Bodeux’s and my (mostly) monthly show, Speaking of Translation.
And no list of must-listen podcasts would be complete without Grammar Girl. Capital versus capitol, how badminton got its name, a while versus awhile. It’s purely and simply word nerd heaven, and I listen to every single episode! Also in the Quick and Dirty Tips family are the Get It Done Guy (recent fave: how to politely tell off people who ask you to work for free), and the Savvy Psychologist (how to overcome fear of failure, how to stop being a people-pleaser).
Of course, podcasts don’t have to be all about your professional development. When you need a little brain candy, I also recommend:
Futility Closet. Speaking of nerd heaven…my family is addicted to this podcast, which focuses primarily on weird and wonderful historical events. Prison camp escapes powered by coded messages in Armenian, the great Boston molasses disaster, that kind of thing.
If you’re into behavioral science, try You Are Not So Smart, with episodes on learned helplessness, the Dunning-Kruger effect, and why it’s so hard to change your mind.
I’m a member of Gimlet Media, and I enjoy many of their podcasts (although some don’t really do it for me…kind of hit or miss here). I’m normally not that into narrative or fiction podcasts, but I *love* (love!) Crimetown (currently following tales of political corruption in Providence, Rhode Island), and Homecoming (a psychological thriller starring lots of actors you’ll recognize). Reply All is kind of a mixed bag; sometimes amazing (see: recent episode on ALS reversal cases), sometimes like a high school lunch table conversation. StartUp, their original podcast, depends on whether you like the topic for that season. The most recent one, focusing on the founder of American Apparel, didn’t grab me to the extent that some others have, but their interviews are pretty stellar.
And with that, happy listening! I’d love to hear about your favorite podcasts in the comments.