‘Casting The Time Away

May 17, 2016

Personal and professional development can often be hard to integrate into daily life, and building good habits can be our last priority. We all have to make conscious efforts to find access to education and even entertainment. Podcasts have been a part of my life for years – for both purposes – and everyone who knows me can attest to my love of reading and my neglect of social events so that I can spend time working, learning and absorbing media. When I’m feeling crunched for free time, podcasts are the ultimate go-to for efficient multi-tasking. After a while, they start to weave their way into your psyche to the point you feel that the hosts are personal friends. Whether I’m commuting, heads down on a project, or making dinner, podcasts can give you hands-free method of absorbing information.

Below is a list of my favorite educational & entertainment podcasts:

Web Industry:

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 4.56.06 PMThe Big Web Show – Hosted by the legendary Jeffrey Zeldman, this show tackles various workflow, process and operations concepts through discussions and interviews with other industry professionals.

A Responsive Web Design Podcast – An interview-based show that focuses on one project at a time. The hosts will bring in the designer, developer, project manager, strategist or whomever from the team that recently launched a new responsive site and discuss the unique challenges they faced.

The Web Ahead – A future-focused show that offers theories and projections about where technologies and practices are heading.

Let’s Make Mistakes – More design-oriented than development, and more of a conversation than a discussion. This show is one part serious and four parts pure entertainment, but they do touch on some industry issues.


This American Life – Enough said. If you don’t listen to this you’re missing out!

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 5.00.44 PMDan Carlin’s Hardcore History – He presents historical events in both narrative and objective terms. Carlin provides details and context where needed to convey the spirit of the individuals involved rather than simply regurgitating textbook facts.

Radiolab – Go subscribe, but then do yourself a favor and go find a show about a topic that interests you. This one is broad but digs deep.

99% Invisible – This show focuses on people, spaces and social issues as they relate to design. Heavy, serious listening.

Literature & Comic Books:

Issues – This podcast is 60% comic book talk, 30% snack talk and 10% nonsense. It’s like hanging out with your friends (Well, maybe MY friends.)

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 4.56.38 PMWelcome to Nightvale – One of the most unique podcasts around, it is an episodic fictional news show that covers the strange and unusual happenings in a town adjacent to a mysterious military facility in the desert. Start on episode 1!

Two-Headed Nerd – These gentlemen provide previews, reviews and banter regarding the latest single-issue comic releases. If you are like me and don’t have time to read comics, this is a great way to learn what’s good and what isn’t.

Entertainment Media:

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 4.55.48 PMNerdist Podcast – Chris Hardwick interviews actors, writers, directors, producers and creators. Often revealing both biographically and personally for the guests of the show.

The Writers Panel – Round table discussions with various writers or writing teams that tackle the process and challenges of writing narrative for screen.

Spontaneanation – Paul F. Tompkins sits down with comedians for interviews and then does live improvisational comedy. Endlessly hilarious.

Conversation Parade – John Moe and Open Mike Eagle discuss the characters, threads and plotlines of the best adult children’s cartoon ever created: Adventure Time.


The Football Ramble – I watch A LOT of soccer. These folks are just so damn entertaining and insightful.

I’d love to read in the comments – or via email – what you have to recommend! I’m always in need of more podcasts.