Mike’s Top Five Podcasts

March 7, 2018

A few moons back Adela made a list of her favourite podcasts and now it’s my turn. It’s kind of difficult for me to pick just 5 that I like as podcasts are hands down my most frequent way of consuming content and ear canals are the way to my brain. I don’t watch TV, I don’t read news so podcasts are where most of my information comes from. Let’s narrow it down to my top 5 productivity podcasts.

1) Cortex

I can start by saying that CGP Grey is a content creator whose opinions I always like to hear. He has an awesome YouTube channel that doesn’t receive as much content as I would like – sometimes with gaps as long as months with no new videos – but he releases podcasts fairly frequently. Grey is the reason why I started liking podcasts in the first place because he is the person behind my all-time favourite Hello Internet podcast with Brady Haran. Not long into doing HI (more on that in another blogpost) he started Cortex, a podcast with Myke Hurley that is about productivity, time management, goal setting and maintaining a creative freelance life. All on a level that productivity books often fall short of reaching.


2) Starving Artist

On point of freelance artists comes a podcast from Australia by Honor Eastly also known as SJ from Being Honest With My Ex podcast. While trying to figure out her own pursuit of a creative career she decided to interview other artists and ask them all the questions she wanted to hear answers to. Questions like How do you find meaning in what you do? or What do you consider a success?  or, most importantly, How do you deal with the money thing? Her perfect balance of really clever interviewing skills and craziness with a tad of timidity makes this a really entertaining show.


3) Free Agents

Here’s one more podcast about independency, or as they call it, free agency. Jason Snell and David Sparks are both freelancers in very different fields and on the podcast they very systematically cover aspects of how to leave a job well, become a free agent and how to make sure it all works out fine. Ranging from necessary topics like taxes and contracts to entertaining ones like holidays and making home a workplace. They both have been doing this for years and neither of them would go back to working for the man.


4) 99% Invisible

This is a little different show from the others. Since the beginning, 99PI has been a project by Roman Mars who doesn’t talk about freelancing or productivity on the podcast but he does talk about art, mostly industrial design and architecture. If you’re working in any creative field, give this a listen because this collection of bite-sized episodes (5–15 mins) is filled with inspiration. This genuinely makes me think differently about everyday design. Roman keeps finding topics like the design of the International Space Station, of airports, of toothbrushes or flags and then cuts in the most interesting parts of a discussion with guests. Also, his sound design is just stellar.


5) Vaše jméno je vaše značka

And for the last a treat for Czech listeners. This is a podcast about how to be an independent creative from yet another angle. Tomáš Sobel makes this podcast on his own and has taken the production quality to the next level. Not only he writes a script for each episode that’s tailored to perfection he also treats the music score and audio quality to the same standard that makes each episode almost into a short audiobook. He talks about getting clients, price-setting, self promotion, contracts and things to know in general. He starts with the topic that raises up questions, then transitions into storytelling and in about 20 minutes comes up with a conclusion that answers the questions and ties the episode up into a neat little package.