After a rather long summer break I am finally back at my desk and starting to return to normal routines. While I have a list of blog titles I want to write that runs to over 30 different topics I have been struggling to get on with any of them so I thought I would do something a bit less technical to ease myself back in – podcasts!

Although I haven’t done much work over the summer (there will be a blog about that coming soon!) I have kept my brain ticking over by listening to podcasts.

Podcasts are a great way of learning on the go

For those who are wondering what on earth I am talking about, a podcast is a radio show that is prerecorded and you can either listen online (anytime) or download and listen when it suits you. For people who are trying to fit more into their day than they have time for (who me?!) they are a godsend. I always have a few podcast episodes downloaded on my phone and can listen while I’m driving, washing up, painting the garden furniture, you get the picture.

Over the last year or so I have listened to over 200 podcasts and I have now honed it down to a few that I really, really love. For those of you who are just starting out as podcast listeners these are my top 5 favourites to get you started:

The Top 5 Starter Podcasts

The Woman’s Hour Podcast – In another life I will have an Aga in my kitchen that I lovingly bake bread on every morning while listening to Woman’s Hour on Radio 4. In reality I am always working or out with clients at 10 am when it’s on live ; cue the Woman’s Hour Podcast to the rescue. I only really listen to the weekend one which is a ‘best of’ for the week. They cover some really interesting and important topics and make me feel like I am a bit more in the real world than I really am most of the time!

TED Talks Podcast – I expect you have heard of TED talks but if you haven’t they are a series of short (less than 30 minutes) talks by world experts on pretty much everything. And by experts I don’t mean professors but people who are life experts. There are people who have achieved amazing things in the face of adversity or dreamt up life changing inventions (as well as the obligatory professors but they aren’t allowed to use big words so they are really easy to understand). This podcast turns a 20 minute wait in the doctor’s surgery into an inspirational life experience. Try it, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Amy Porterfield – We had to have something business related didn’t we? Amy is an online marketer who also seems to be really lovely. She’s an expert on all things Facebook, particularly Ads and she is really open and honest about her business. Her podcasts cover all sorts of online ‘stuff’ but are heavy on launching, Facebook Ads, and she interviews interesting people. Worth a listen for a bit of business inspiration.

The Get Paid Podcast – This is one of the podcasts that got me into listening regularly to podcasts. It’s hosted by an American Entrepreneur call Claire Pells who is not shy of some adult language and is very bold in her questions to her interviewees. She really digs deep into how the different business models work and even the ones that have no direct relevance to my business are interesting to listen to and I always learn something. She also gets people to be amazingly honest about some of the things that haven’t worked so well, great when you are having a bad day!

Happier with Gretchen Rubin – Gretchen Rubin wrote a book called the Happiness Project. She spent a year trying lots of things that are meant to make you happy to see which worked for her. The podcast is a discussion with her sister and is generally funny and light-hearted. There are a lot of adverts though which is quite annoying!

The technical bit!

1. You need an App.

Listening to podcasts is super easy. If you have an iPhone there is a built in podcast player which is a great place to start. More details can be found here. If you are on Andriod then you may or may not have a built in player and I use Podcast Addict which I love an is super easy to use. Go to the Play store and

2. You need to find your podcast

The simplest way is to find the search button and type in the name of the podcast. On podcast addict you need to press the small + (cross ) to access the search menu. Sometimes there are several with similar names so make sure you read the description if it is not immediately obvious. You will be able to see all the previous episodes released. Once you have found it you need to…

3. Subscribe to the Podcast

This is a simple as hitting subscribe. This tells the app to track any new releases from that podcast. You will then be able to listen to them by streaming them (downloading as you listen) or by downloading in to your phone so you can listen later without needing an internet connection.

4. Listen away!

All that’s left to do is to listen! Find the episode you want to listen to an press the play button (triangle).

I’d love to know if you are already a podcast listener and if you are which are your favourites? I am always on the hunt for new ones to try out so please get back to me with your suggestions.