Journal: Active Recall

Here are some things I made this week and some thoughts about making them. I hit my goal to have one podcast post and one video post.

Active Recall Podcast, ep 4 – The Slight Edge
Still the most fun I’ve had making something for this blog. Wally and I keep on with the book-a-week format and discuss The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson.

Active Recall Sketchnotes, ep 1 – recapping lessons from Drama and Lewis Howes
I did some sketchnotes summarizing things I learned from listening to an episode of Long Story Short. It’s Drama’s podcast and he had Lewis Howes on as a guest. I’m trying to figure out how to title these things. I definitely don’t want to mislead people into thinking I actually talked to Drama or Lewis Howes. (Though it’d be great if I actually did.)

I want to share podcast episodes I like with other people. Of course, it’d be great if the people from that podcast checked out the video and amazing if they shared it with their audience. If I keep making one each week for six months, I’d estimate one of the podcasters would share it with their audience.

Totally fine. I want to get better at distilling information and making videos that can keep people’s attention. Podcasts are a good source of new content to pull that information from.

The pitch: It’s like Tools of Titans, but way worse, in video form!

I’m working on the accompanying post, but here’s a video I made the other night: Pull-ups for your brain (YouTube link). It’s about an episode of Pat Flynn’s podcast with Cal Newport as a guest.

Making worse videos, consistently –

I’ve figured out logistics for the podcast, but not the sketchnotes. Wally and I have a decent process. We’ll at least be able to record audio and share it with others. Whether it’s good or not is the harder part. As for the sketch videos, I’m figuring things out.

Each video looks like it will take 2-3 hours to make, including the initial listen. Right now I make a slide deck instead of a script and use the deck to remember talking points. It’s part of the reason the videos end up longer than I want. It opens up opportunities to ramble and I make the most of those opportunities.

The videos themselves are just too long right now. I’m aiming for 3-5 minutes and they’re more like 6-8 minutes. It might just mean trying to pull one single topic to talk about instead of 3 or 4.

I did a tiny bit of research of other people making similar videos. Aka I looked for behind-the-scenes videos of ASAPscience and PictureFit. They start with a script and audio and do the visuals after. (Oh yah, there are tons of whiteboard videos that outsource to places that animate fake hands drawing clip art. I don’t want to do that.)

I’m trying to remember the same focusing question I’ve used for the podcast: what would this look like if this were easy?

I’ll try starting with a script. It’s stepping toward not-easy but the trade offs might be worth it. My goal is to be consistent and good enough.