Podcasts all over the place.

I think it must be one year ago I discovered podcasts. I read something about it on Lifehacker and wanted to try some out. Now I’m subscribed to almost sixty podcasts and it’s my main source of knowledge.

What makes podcasts so attractive?

Well, they are mostly free, easy to follow and exist in all sort of topics. The main reason for me to like podcasts is that I can listen to them while driving to my work or when I bring my birds to the various tournaments in Belgium. They’re also handy while I’m feeding my birds. I can’t read a book or watch television when I’m busy, but my ears are always free. When I take everything into account, I listen at least 15 hours of podcasts every week. That is 15 hours of valuable information to gather while traveling or doing something else. There are worser things in life ;).

How did I found so many podcasts?

It’s like reading blogs. You read a post that links to a related post and the train has left the station. Before you know, you can’t keep up anymore. Every day, new podcast episodes are waiting for me to be listened.

How to keep track of all those episodes?

Most of the time, I listen to a podcast episode via my iPhone which I always have with me. I started with the Podcasts app from Apple itself. This app was another trigger for me to start listening podcasts. Early on, I discovered that the Podcasts app from Apple could not fullfill all my wishes when I started subscribing more podcasts. I wanted an app that could download new episodes automatically, create playlists and rank them by priority. Based on reviews and recomendations in the podcasts, I chose Downcast which I shortly discussed in a previous blogpost. Up until now, I’m really pleased with my choice. I use the app on my iPhone, iPad and now a couple of weeks on my MacBook Air. It costs some money, but you get bang for the buck. Everything is synced on all my devices via iCloud. Allthough I sometimes have a problem an my iPad or MacBook Air since I don’t open the app that much on those devices.

Which podcast do I listen to?

My alltime favorite is Mac Power Users, hosted by Katie Floyd and David Sparks. As the title says, it’s all about Mac and iOS and they has cost me quite some money ;). I love the tips and tricks they share and I’m pretty sure they’ve saved me a lot of hours by automating as much as possible.

This Is Your Life with Michael Hyatt is the podcast that inspires me the most. It is great to learn from someone with his experience. I’m able to lift both my personal as my work life to a higher level by applying his lessons.

The iMore show is my way to keep track of all new things in techworld. They cover mostly Apple devices but always with a blink to the other players in this market. Quite often, they’ve also lead me to a solution for something that went wrong with my Apple device. Thanks for that!

There are a lot more podcasts but there is one I want to mention as an extra: Entrepreneur On Fire with John Lee Dumas. I don’t listen to every episode but his enthusiasm is inspiring. It’s a daily podcast where John interviews an entrepreneur everyday. A great quote or a good book is always nearby.

That’s it, time to listen some podcasts!

Advertisements

My iPhone Home Screen

My iPhone Home Screen
I use my iPhone daily and couldn’t live without it anymore. Reading, listening, e-mail, writing… It all happens on my iPhone. That’s why I want to share my home screen with you.

Dock:
Launch Center Pro: With this app, you can create shortcuts to a lot of apps on your iPhone. Most of the time, I use this app for contacts I need quick access to. Or for creating tasks in OmniFocus. When I do something regularly on my iPhone, I can probably automate it with Launch Center Pro.

OmniFocus: A taskmanagement app with great interface and possibilities. I’ve tried many ToDo-apps but this one I will not replace soon. It is quite expensive but it’s worth every penny. Stuff I need to do for work, at home or for my birds, they all go in there. Idea for a blogpost? It is stored in OmniFocus via a Launch Center Pro shortcut.

Drafts: The quickest input app I know. When you open the app, you can start typing without thinking about where you will store this. Afterwards, you can dispatch your note to every app you can think of.

Phone: A smartphone is a phone so I want to be able to call someone quickly if needed :).

First screen:
Mailbox: My favorite email application. I love the ability to defer emails to a later time. I can quickly go through my mail and dispatch everything to the correct place.

Fantastical: Before using Fantastical, entering events on my phone was not convenient. With it’s natural language parser, you can enter events in seconds. They have a great interface and the ability to add more than two alarms. Just waiting for the iPad app…

Settings: The settings app is still on my home screen, even after Apple added control center. Toggle something off, check my WiFi-network or simply turn off background refresh for a new app, it is all in there.

HomeWizard (website): Do you love automating things? I do, so I automated some things at home. Lights go on at a certain time, ipcamera in the garden, change the heating… You think of it and you can do it with HomeWizard.

Clear: To be honest, I installed it for its simplicity and amazing design. I use it for simple list like what I need to take with me when I go play soccer.

Scanner Pro: Scanning all paperwork to Evernote is done with this app. I don’t have a scanner at home but this app makes it almost as good as a real scanner.

Reeder: I follow a lot of blogs an techsite so to keep up with all the news in the world, I use Reeder. Mainly to quickly scan titles and saving interesting things to Pocket.

Pocket: Almost every article I read, is stored in Pocket. It delivers a fantastic reading experience and allows me to easily save stuff to Evernote or share with people following me on twitter. Works together with IFTTT (website).

Banking: We need money everyday, so with this app I can manage all my accounts.

Downcast: I start the day and end the day with a podcast. To be able to listen on the road, Downcast downloads the most recents episodes for me. By doing so, I always have a list of Podcasts ready to consume.

Messages: Send messages to family and friends. The easiest way to communicate. Still.

Strides: I try to train myself some habits. I log my daily progress in Strides.

1Password: All my amazing passwords together in one app. I can’t imagine ever living without this app.

iCulture: Dutch newssite about Apple. Without these people I would not have my known my iPhone as I know it now.

Fitbit: I work on a desk  so this app tells me every day that I need to move more. I also track how much water I drink during the day, so I don’t get dehydrated :).

Spendee: Simple app to keep track of my income and expenses. Not a real budget app but can gice you a simple overview for a particular month.

So that is my homescreen. Maybe you noticed that I leave one line blank? I think that is easier to swipe to the next screen and it gives me the feeling that my homescreen is clean.

Why don’t you just pay for it?

I used to avoid paying for everything. Why would I pay for something if I can get it for free? I will only use it from time to time, so why pay for it?

Films, books, music, software… I downloaded them for free from the internet. It was normal to me and everyone did the same. Why would I buy a filmticket for 8 euros if I could watch it for free at home? If I wanted to, I could watch it more than once. I did not listen a lot of music so I did not feel the need to buy albums of my favourite artist. By the time I would listen to it, the album was old news. I had no problem buying expensive hardware, but software was a bit more difficult. Software needed updates, paid updates. I always had difficulties paying for something that will fade away. It’s like throwing money away. Greedy? No, I don’t think so. I think about what I spend and love to get something good in return for my investment.

But times change. Things like the iPhone and its appstore, e-books and streaming services encourage me to reconsider. Books became cheaper and easier to get. Apps changed the way people live their lives. There are a lot of free apps, but I started to notice that spending money on apps that you use every day is a great investment. I listen to podcasts every day and started using the podcast app from Apple. After some time, I decided that I needed something better with some extra options. Manually downloading episodes every day was just a waste of time. So the first app I bought was Downcast. An amazing app that manages the podcast I listen to and downloads them when I am at home. 2,69€ and I am using it for almost two years now. I stopped hesitating, if I find an app that can make a part of my life better, I’ll just buy it.

I see you thinking ”That is easy, it costs peanuts.” and I admit, I still hesitate for higher prices. But a lot of the time I am not downloading them for free. The books I read, I could use from someone else or I paid for them. I still have some software for free but I do not download free music anymore. I use Spotify for that.

Streaming services are hot these times. For a low monthly fee, you can listen or watch to anything you want. Great isn’t it? I love Spotify. I can listen to any music whenever I want. I hesitated when I subscribed for their service. I did not listen a lot of music so why would I need it? Well, that changed after subscribing :).

I can go on like this forever. The last months I’ve bought more things than I’ve ever bought in my whole live. So I have made my choice. When I find something I can use in my daily life, I will buy it.

Will you pay for it?

Some tips.

Ask you friends for tips. What have they bought that may be interesting for you?

Ask for a trial, read reviews. Doing so, you know what you buy.

Stop hesitating and pay for what you need.