Licensee BadgeTraining Badge
Submitted by DRD282 on


 I am fairly new to Manager Tools and new to using podcasts as a training tool in general. I am curious how other people structure their learning in this medium.

Generally, I listen to 'casts in one of two different situations: one is when I am commuting or travelling; the other is when I am up at night rocking my 2-month-old to sleep. Basically times where I am doing something for a long period of time that does not require any concentration. Unfortunately, there is often a lot of information that I think "I wish I was somewhere that I could be writing down notes on this or I may not remember that point that Mark or Mike just made." So I am going to start going through the shownotes of the casts that I have listened to. 

Secondly, I have been thinking "this is a lot of information, and I will be hard-pressed to remember it over the course of my day to day." Especially things like the DISC casts (which I have only just started). My thinking is to literally create a binder of laminated bullet point pages, sorted by topic) with reminders such as "everything throughout the day can be used to assess and improve your direct's effectiveness. Pay attention." (This was a throwaway line from Mark in the Effective Staff Meetings casts that stuck with me.)

I am just curious: what are your strategies for listening to, assimilating, and implementing the podcasts and other material on this site? 

celing's picture

I take notes and look things up in the shownotes.

While listening to casts that are most relevant for my situation I make sure to take notes. These notes are not so much for looking something up later, but to help me to remember. I am wired that way. On the other hand I just listen to casts that are not as applicable to my situation. Once I want to implement something and don’t remember how to do so exactly I look it up in the shownotes.

For example I might taking notes while listening to a DISC-related casts while commuting. In the office I might search for the shownotes to find out how to deal with someone. However, while going for a walk I might listen to an executive cast and not take any notes.

jrosenau's picture

I tend to listen when commuting and grab 1 or  2 things to work on and implement.  I find the casts often circle around themes and they'll mention something from another cast and that triggers that "Oh yeah, I should remember to do that".  If it is something important enough, and I can determine a next action, it goes on my calendar or to do list.


mfculbert's picture

Hi John,

Welcome to the community. There is a LOT here and the more you listen the more you will learn. I have the following recommendations:

1. Read Getting Things Done by David Allen - this will give you the discipline to capture and process the data

2. Set up a reminder system (I have reminders that pop up on schedule with tools I need to apply)

3. Repetition brings mastery, plan on listening repeatedly (I am on my 4th listen to all casts. I hear 5-7 per week) 

rcbottass's picture


Everyone has their way of retaining information. Like CELING, i need to write stuff down to help it stick. It's always there for reference, but just the act of capturing it works for me. The shownotes don't have every nugget that is uttered during the casts. When I have failed to take notes and went back to scan the shownotes, often I can't find what I was looking for.

My commuting solution? A voice recorder. I listen to MT on my iPod. When inspiration strikes, I pause, key on my voice recorder and take a note. The recorder translates spoken word to text when I get to my computer. For me, that's effective commuting.



Gk26's picture

 I listen to podcasts in the car.  I have 3 or 4 podcasts that I listen to over seven to eight of my ten 1 hour drives each week.  I listen at 2x speed so i can cover more.  I have not mastered taking notes while driving though.


nbkcl8e's picture

  I like what others have suggested. I'm fortunate enough to not have to commute but when I'm driving alone, I turn it into a learning moment. Manager Tools is usually in heavy rotation. Additionally, while grocery shopping which can easily take an hour, I have the podcasts playing through my earphones. Lastly, during my workout, I've been able to listen to 1-2 podcast. I'm currently revisiting the Management tool basics. When I'm disciplined enough, I plan my MT learning topically for the week. 

hashbrown's picture

 I listen on public transport, on the way to work and I write down any notes in my iPhone. Similar to CELING it helps me to retain the information better in my memory. If there are action points I'd like to do then I put it in my reminder/calendar which is also on my iPhone. I agree with MFCULBERT, repetition brings mastery. I'm currently listening to the podcasts for the 2nd time. It's amazing how there are some nuggets you don't realise when you listen to it the first time (probably because it wasn't that relevant at the time) but pick up when you revisit it.


Let us know how you get on with your learning and implementation. 


cynaus's picture
Training Badge

I've listened to all the podcasts I could get on my iPhone through the MT app (which was about 200 and only went back to 2008 or something). There were more I couldn't get through the podcast app, so I use Safari on my phone and bookmarked the All Podcasts page. I started at the very beginning and have been working backwards. 

Call me a geek, but I listen to the podcasts on my phone in the morning while getting ready for work (only when the hairdryer is on do I pause it but I will admit to this lovely group that until my earbuds were removed from the bedroom, I actually used them while blow-drying my hair so I could still hear it!!!).... My kids know Mark, Mike and Wendii's voice now as they've come in to the room to ask questions while getting ready for school ;)

Then I'll continue listening while in the car driving to work - I have a 35 to 45 minute commute each way, so I usually get through 2 or 3 a day.

I have no idea what the popular music is anymore (much to my kids' disgust) as I no longer listen to the radio! LOL

At first I started making quick notes on my phone when something resonated and I wanted to go back to it (noting the time on the podcast and the topic) but I never get back to it. I am confident I can find pretty much anything I need through the amazing forums and the search tool on this website.

So basically, I just eat up as much as I can. I know most of it sinks in. Mark, Mike and Wendii often repeat key information in the casts so it sinks in even more. 

Also, being a licensee, I have access to all the shownotes and slides which is really valuable. I will download these and refer to them as I need them. The shownotes are almost verbatim (there are some little golden nuggets that you'll hear in the casts as an aside from the guys that aren't always in the shownotes but these are usually such gems, that I can recall them later). 

Trust that you'll be able to recall the information you need, when you need it.  And if you're not sure, use the Search tool. It's pretty powerful. And to top it all off, this community is one of the most professional and helpful I've ever seen. Ask any question and you're bound to get an answer and someone pointing you in the right direction.