Category Archives: saturday recommendation

Saturday Recommendation: Overcast: Podcast Player

If you’re looking for the best way to play your podcasts look no further than Overcast.

Four Reasons:

  • Smart speed – this allows you to listen to podcasts quicker without distorting the audio. Instead of speeding up the audio it cuts out silent gaps, which add up and allow you to get through more podcasts in a shorter amount of time. The app still allows you to speed up the audio but you can do it in conjunction with smart speed. Looking at my stats it says I’ve saved 204 hours from smart speed alone.
  • Voice boost – pretty simple, improves the quality and volume of voices on podcasts. I never think about it but when I turn it off I think how could I not have this on
  • Priority podcasts in playlists – basically this allows you to add several podcasts into a playlist but if there are some podcasts that you always want on the top of your list when new episodes come out you can prioritize those to always be at the top
  • Sharing podcasts – you can not only share an episode through the iOS share sheet but you also have the option to share at the current time stamp. This comes in really handy when I want someone to listen to a particular portion of a show. Additionally, if they don’t have Overcast installed on their phone then it will play in the web browser.

Before Overcast I was constantly switching between different podcasts apps and never satisfied with any of them. Since its release (2ish years ago?) I haven’t switched apps. I’ve tried a couple others such as Castro but the combination of smart speed + voice boost keeps me hooked.

Download

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Saturday Recommendation: Deep Work by Cal Newport

How many times have you sat down to work on a project only to become distracted after 15-20 minutes. Maybe its even shorter than that! Cal Newport argues that in order for us to make a difference in the world and to excel in our jobs, school, or other extracurricular activities is to engage in deep, meaningful work. I’m sure that most of us know this but if you’re anything like me it is difficult to put this type of focus into practice. One point that was helpful to me is that fact that deep work, or, intense times of focus, is a skill to be learned. Focus is not something that we can just sit down and do, especially if we are prone to distractions in the first place.

Thus, in this book Newport gives the rationale for developing the skill of deep and meaningful work. After giving this foundation he lays out practical, scientifically-backed, and very helpful ways to incorporate this into your life. I’ve implemented a number of strategies in my own life and am seeing a noticeable improvement.

Purchase on Amazon

Other posts related to Deep Work:

Saturday Recommendation: Coffee Shops in Phoenix

I have several friends going to the SBC this week so I thought I would recommend some coffee shops to check out in Phoenix. Personally, I’ve only been to one of these, Cartel Coffee Lab, but Michael Butterworth has several recommendations and reviews on his excellent coffee site, The Coffee Compass.

  • Cartel Coffee Lab (locations) – Last year I had a layover in the Phoenix airport and was pleasantly surprised to see them in the terminal and they also have several locations in Arizona, including downtown Phoenix.
  • Giant Coffee (location)
  • Kream Coffee (location)
  • Futuro Coffee (location)
  • Press Coffee (locations)
  • Peixoto Coffee (location) – this one has been in the Phoenix for awhile and is about 25-30 minutes from downtown

Here are some articles from the Coffee Compass about coffee in Phoenix

Saturday Recommendation: Cortex

Saturday Recommendations are a brief highlight of something I enjoy that I think is worth you checking out.

The Cortex podcast is one of my favorite podcasts on the Relay FM network. Myke Hurley and CGP Grey basically think out loud about how they work and the most efficient way of getting things done throughout the day. This may sound completely boring to you but I find they have a great chemistry and are an enjoyable listen.

Check it out!