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Level up your knowledge with podcasts

The best way to learn something new or learn more about a topic is a podcast.

Well – if you want to learn more about Franklin County, the best way is the Franklin County Times, of course! But for all other topics, a podcast is the way to go.

There are millions of podcasts out there – yes, millions – covering literally any topic you can think of.

Try to think of a topic you can’t find a podcast on. I dare you. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

To the surprise of a huge podcast fan like me, some people still don’t even know what a podcast is. Boy, those folks are missing out.

In case we need to start at square one, here is the dictionary definition:

“A digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.”

Well that’s accurate, but it’s also a little boring. But yes, broad strokes purposes, a digital audio file.

The great thing about podcasts is – that there are so many great things.

For one, podcasts are free. Completely free. You don’t have to pay a monthly fee for a streaming service or anything. Of course, many podcasts will have some advertising – after all, this is big business for some podcasters, despite the content itself being free. But I have discovered, and maybe you’ll agree, that I tend to actually appreciate even the advertising on podcasts because it genuinely has helped me discover and learn about new products.

For another thing, podcasts are so easy to enjoy even in a small chunk of time – or, if you have it, a longer chunk of time. There are podcasts as short as 2-3 minutes and others as long as a feature film.

You’re waiting in line at the post office? How about a podcast?

You have a 45-minute commute? Perfect length of time for a podcast.

You’re driving out of a state for a wedding? Queue up the podcasts.

You’re boarding an international flight? Podcasts, baby!

Some podcasts are narrative. I like to think of the radio serials of old, the whole family seated about the radio to hear what would happen this week to the Lone Ranger or Little Orphan Annie or Sherlock Holmes.

There are interview shows, with podcast hosts questioning authors, actors, “thought leaders,” doctors, other celebrities and professionals of every kind.

There are advice podcasts, self-help podcasts, promotional podcasts, conversational podcasts. There are podcasts to keep you up-to-date on current events, to inspire you, to help you discover new interests.

Podcasts are, largely, available on demand. New episodes in your favorite might only drop once a week or every other week, but the backlog of podcast content available would keep us all stocked with things to listen to for many many moons.

I listen to podcasts daily. Usually multiple hours a day. I listen when I’m driving, when I’m wash dishing, when I’m eating lunch, even when I’m falling asleep.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • HISTORY this week. This podcasts shares some fascinating details of historical events. I learn something new with each one.
  • To the Journey. Yes, this is a Star Trek podcast. I’m a lifelong Trekkie. It’s so fun to hear the hosts review episodes, compare characters, invent new plot lines and revel in all things Trek.
  • Office Ladies. Any fellow fans of The Office? You just have to listen to this in-depth rewatch with Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. It’s a riot.
  • DIA Connections. Sure, our national defense strategy is classified, but you can get a fascinating insight into some of the inner workings with this podcast, straight from the horse’s mouth.
  • Before Breakfast. These are short snippets with super actionable advice for making life better. Isn’t that something we all need?
  • Bountiful: The Heart of Money Management. They have great advice about positive financial stewardship.
  • Organize 365 Podcast. It might be super nerdy, but I love organizing, and I love hearing how other people are finding ways to keep their homes and lives organized.

I could go on. I have about two dozen podcasts I actually keep up with, and they enrich my life greatly.

No matter what you are interested in, there’s a podcast for it.

What are you waiting for? Go listen up.

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