Best of Podcasts 2020

9300 minutes - According to Spotify, I spent this much time listening to podcasts last year. It was the first year where I started to prefer it consistently over listening to music. In the beginning, it was mainly for practicing Chinese (Speak Chinese Naturally, GuShiFM, DaPeng Speak Chinese), and they helped me a lot! I still remember how I occasionally trapped myself evading from them because it was demanding, and the stories were not always very exciting. Now, this has gone away and I even listen to doze off.

But it was only until the second half of the year when I found them as a source of inspiration and realized how much I enjoy listening to philosophical and deeply personal conversations. I first shared the episodes of Derek Sivers and Naval Ravikant with my mentor. He was also excited by them and I really like how we now sometimes cite the episodes to explain our ideas or make a point. I would love to have more of this, so feel free to reach out if any of this also speaks to you :)

Notion - A powerful documenting tool for Notes, Projects, Wiki...

Today, I feel excited to share the tool that has most influenced my exploration of a more organized me. Many people see it as an alternative to Evernote, but for me, it felt much more powerful than a note-taking app. I immediately fell in love with its simplistic markdown approach, which easily yields attractive pages. I always had difficulties keeping notes that I would like to check again, which discouraged me from using them extensively. Notion completely changed my attitude toward note-taking and writing because it made it fun - Yes, it indirectly made me write this blog!

Content collection - The power of Check-Later apps

How do you consume media? - It sounds like a silly question, but I think it’s very much worth thinking about it. After all, we spend a considerable amount of time doing it. It might be to research something specific, to learn something new, or simply to entertain ourselves. The internet provides a rich resource of information, but it’s probably also the most distracting source.

The Second Brain - My life-changing companion

This is the beginning of a bigger series on which I want to introduce some ideas about my new life companion. For me, this concept was pivotal in how I want to live. It helped me become clearer on what I want and focus on my priorities. I use it to offload information to have more capacities for being present-focused. Finally, I became fully digital.

I struggled quite a bit on finding a proper word because it touches so many aspects. It is related to productivity, self-improvement, and knowledge management. In the end, I think that the term second brain, made famous by Tiago Forte, is maybe a good superordinate for what it tries to achieve. In fact, I was hugely inspired by him and adopted a lot of his ideas. He describes the second-brain as a knowledge management system. Once I got into this area, I discovered a lot of other content related to productivity and self-improvement. I took what seems useful to me, and I am still exploring.

Design Patterns: How to write better code

Learning to write proper code is hard. Who doesn’t know it, after having an initial spark on how to solve a problem, it is tentative to immediately start coding.

I guess most of us did so initially and almost always ended up on dead-end roads. Taking the time to think a design through before writing the first line is indispensable for larger projects but even makes things easier for smaller undertakings.