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Podcasting Recording Hacks

Podcasting Recording Hacks

Okay, I’m really really into podcasting. Why? Because I think they have some uses that blogs can’t cover. Portability being chief among these. Basically, it’s another way to have a conversation with an audience. If you’re a marketer, this is almost a no-brainer. If you’re a geekhead, this is a way to share knowledge and information in a group setting, without requiring even more reading.

Sometimes, you want to read. Like Manuals.

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But other times, you might want to have someone executing a step by step method of procedure. Can you imagine a tech remoting into a data center, getting ready to upgrade a server, and she’s listening to her trusty iRiver device. She pushes play and hears her coworkers’ pre-recorded steps for execution. It sounds like Mission: Impossible, only without the steps for “shoot this guy; make a copy of his face; put on the mask.”

CEOs can give messages to senior management. Vendors can get their clients subcribed to weekly product podcasts. (I’ve got a million, kids!)

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Most folks get nervous about doing a podcast because of the technical stuff. Well, here are a few hacks to get someone who might not be 100% techie into putting their voice into digital media for sharing purposes. The best part is, most of them are cheap or free:

Podcast RECORDING Hacks

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Quick definition partly copped from Wikipedia: Podcasting is the distribution of multimedia files (audio or video), using a syndication method like RSS or ATOM, for download and playback at a time convenient to the listener/viewer.

  • Odeo– Take an inexpensive microphone (built-in or a $15 jobber from RadioShack.com), plug it into your computer, poke around the audio settings, and you can use Odeo. You really can’t get much simpler than that. I could probably end the hacks right here, really. It’s an easy solution for desktop recording. How about MOBILE recording?
  • K7.net– We mentioned this the other day regarding Adam Weiss’s voice reminder hack. You can use the same thing but talk just a little longer and you’ve got a podcast. Is there a timelimit to the messages? Here’s another hack. Record the time limit’s length as segments, tie them all together using Audacity. The only trick there is, it’s a Seattle number.
  • AimPhoneLine.com– I saw this at Lifehacker, and I thought: well there! That solves the local number. (I admit I didn’t look for non-US numbers, but I’ve got a sidebar hack for that, too: can’t you SKYPE to it?). I haven’t tried out the length, but again, just record little bits and blend them. I now have two new internet phone numbers in a single day. Weird.
  • SkypeCasts– Skype just launched a great tool for this called SkypeCasts. I think this thing will really rock the boat in the “record it easy” marketplace. Hey Odeo- what do you think?
  • Cheapy Digital Recorders– You can get an inexpensive digital record for under $100 US, and those might be a good starting place for something you can shift from your device to the computer for pushing into a Podcast.

Even if you’re not interested in podcasting, these services all offer something of interest to busy productivity types looking to use other tools to get things done. Don’t have access to the keyboard? Use a phone in service for a message that translates directly to MP3. Need to leave lots of people the same message? Email them the file. We can go on like this, but I need your help.

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What Did I Miss?

I’ll admit that I didn’t exactly scour the internet to see other examples of similar services. Do you have some favorites that I missed? Let me know. Load up the comments with your thoughts, opinions, and your variations on the theme. That’s what you’re here for, tough guys!

–Chris Brogan recently launched New Media School, a video podcast that takes a tongue-in-cheek look at podcasting, while still attempting to be marginally informative.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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