Journal: A podcast and a video, just as planned

I’ll probably put this at the top of every newsletter for the next 70 weeks: Check out Active Recall on iTunes! It’d be great if you could leave a review. (Shout out to Jerry with the first review.)

I managed to continue with the goal of making one podcast post and one video post. If, in a  year, this site has 52 podcast episodes and 52 videos capturing things I learned from a year, then it’ll be beyond worth the time and effort being put in.

Active Recall ep. 5 — The Obstacle is the Way

iTunes link

We’re going strong! Also, Wally recorded an episode with a friend of the pod: Jason. We’ll edit that and add it as a minisode. We might start experimenting with some short episodes. Because we only have like 5 listeners to alienate. And two of them are me and Wally so it’s only like 3.

We went over Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is the Way which introduced me to stoic principles a couple years back. They helped me get through a somewhat rough (well, first-world rough) time and those principles continue to be valuable tools.

One recommendation of Ryan’s that we didn’t follow: Please, Please, For The Love Of God: Do Not Start a Podcast

Make it easy, sustainable, and consistent: Tim Ferriss and Chase Jarvis — Active Recall Sketchnotes

YouTube link if you just want to see the video (and subscribe!)

I just looked at a post from a couple weeks ago that goes over the same episode: Make it Easy. I’m not sure if I thought I kept that in Evernote or what, but now I have two posts about the same topic. Oh well.

I read through Mike Rohde’s Sketchnote Handbook and have been taking inspiration from that. I’ve also been skimming the AsapSCIENCE book. I picked it up at Amazon Books, which just opened in New York a couple weeks ago.

If you like bookstores from the past you’ll like the bookstore from this future.

And now, a link from the internet

The Shop Featuring LeBron James, Draymond Green, 2 Chainz And Guests

This entire thing was way better than I expected. I was expecting some kind of extended Bud Light commercial.

That link should open up to Maverick Carter talking about Bill Belichick loving the process, not the outcome. There’s a lot more in the video. I mean, it’s half an hour. Some other things that stuck out:

1.) Draymond Green says he’s the type to remember every play from every game but Game 7 last year was a blur.

2.) LeBron talks about a college team and them running the flex offense the entire game. He said ‘flex offense’ like everyone would be familiar with it like a pick and roll. I don’t think more than half the people in the shop knew what a flex offense was. I didn’t know what it was, so I checked out what Coach Daniel had to say about the flex offense. (He got a great shout out on the B.S. Report last week.)

3.) They talk about best athletes of all time and whether or not a football player can be it. They’re one person on an enormous roster. But that’s not the issue LeBron has with it. He points out that a quarterback doesn’t play both sides of the ball. Tom Brady doesn’t play for half of every game.

4.) They discuss the music industry and independent artists like Chance the Rapper. They mention No Limit, Cash Money, and a lot of other people who were successful without signing with major labels. They don’t get the credit. They point out that Chance might get the credit, but for first more people need to succeed with his model.

2 Chainz explains why people still sign traditional deals, no matter how awful it is in the long run. It wasn’t a dream to create something sustainable long term. The dream was one million dollars, all at once. It was to get a record deal.  

That’s a wrap. Up next week…

I’ll try sticking to the plan for another week.

  • Podcast: Creative Confidence — Wally and I will be going over Creative Confidence, a book about design thinking. 
  • Video sketch summary of a podcast: Austin Kleon and Chase Jarvis — I’ll be summarizing takeaways from an episode of CreativeLive


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.