What I'm Listening To // Volume 2

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I discovered podcasts in around 2015, since then they have become one of the main ways that I expand my knowledge, get inspired and learn to look at things from different perspectives. 

With the barrier of entry to setting up your own podcast getting ever lower, it is easier than it has ever been to set up your own podcast. This plus side of this is that the quality and range of voices which are now available to you on podcasts is incredible. Unfortunately, it also means that you have to wade through a lot of sub-standard, "I'm only doing it because everyone else is doing it" attempts to find the real gold these days. 

All the podcasts I featured in Volume 1 are still podcasts that I listen to. As I was preparing to write Volume 2, I noticed that the topics I listen to have broadened from the business/entrepreneur focus I had previously been listening to. 

This is a good thing, constantly listening to the vacuum of your own industry can leave you feeling quite stale. It is also very easy to fall into the comparison trap and start wondering why you aren't as successful/rich/requested as the hosts and guests of your favourite podcasts. It's a slippery slope and one you definitely do not want to fall down. 

Broadening out my listening has also introduced me to different ways of approaching common client problems. Twice recently, I found myself recommending a completely non-business related podcast to solve a very common entrepreneur related problem, just from a different perspective. 

It's good practice to deep dive into how to run your business, it's better when you can bring additional learning which enhances what you are doing in a different way. 

Which is why, for this volume of What I'm Listening To, I've included a blend of small business and entrepreneur focused podcasts alongside a selection of the podcasts which are currently influencing how I think and work. 

As always, I've selected a couple of good episodes from each show to get you started. 

As a side note, a few months back I switched from using iTunes as a podcast player to Overcast. There was no big reason, just a few niggly functionality reasons that I got tired of. What I do enjoy about Overcast, though, is that they constantly present you with tailored ads suggesting other podcasts which might be of interest and I've picked up some good tips and episodes from that. You can upgrade to remove the ads but for maybe the first time with a freemium app, I don't feel the need to. 

On to the podcasts...

Hidden Brain

Host: Shankar Vedantam 

"The Hidden Brain project helps curious people understand the world – and themselves." Which for me, as the author of Notes for the Curious, is just about as perfect a fit as you can get. 

Start with: 

Why We Can't Shake Life's 'Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda' Moments

You 2.0: How Silicon Valley Can Help You Get Unstuck

Hiding in the Bathroom

Host: Mora Aarons-Mele

I would listen to this podcast for the title alone, but once I discoverd it, it quickly became one of my very favourite podcasts. It deals with issues that really speak to me as a female business owner, an introvert, and someone who loves to dig into why people work the way they do. 

Start with: 

Parenting as an Entrepreneur

Purpose Driven Business

How I Built This

Host: Guy Raz

I use this podcast as a reality check. Because it is easy to look at the success that the big names have now and forget a) how they started and b) what it took for them to get where they are now.

Start with: 

Reddit: Alexis Ohanian & Steve Huffman

Aden + Anais: Raegan Moya-Jones

Planet Money

Host: NPR Money Team

Never in a million years did I think that I would be including a podcast about economics on this list. That's the power of Planet Money, it makes complex economics and makes it absolutely accessible to people who don't understand economics. I feel smarter every time I listen to it.

Start with:

Rough Translation in the Ukraine

How Stuff Gets Cheaper

Revisionist History

Host: Malcolm Gladwell

What I enjoy about Revisionist History is that it is always looking for the story behind the story. It searches for the misunderstood and the overlooked stories and takes another pass at what might have happened. It is compelling and thought-provoking listening which reminds me never to take things at face value.

Start with: 

My Little Hundred Million

McDonald's Broke My Heart

The Science of Social Media

Hosts: Kevan, Brian, and Hailey from Buffer

I love, love, love this podcast, it is super short - often under 15 minutes) and everything they talk about is highly actionable. I find just about everything that Buffer does they do well and this podcast is no exception.

Powerful Storytelling Secrets from National Geographic Travel

10 Little-Known Facebook Marketing Features and Hacks You Can Try Today

Of course, there are podcasts that I listen to purely for their entertainment value and recently the two that have had me tuning in as soon as a new episode is published are You Must Remember This, a fascinating look at the stories behind the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and The West Wing Weekly (aka the best television show ever made, in my opinion).

Notes for the Curious

If you love podcasts, then you'll love my Notes for the Curious. It's published every two-weeks and delivered straight to your inbox. Notes for the Curious is a curated digest of everything I am learning and loving about running a business and living a life on purpose. From time management, to goal setting, community building to confidence boosting as well as systems and tools to make your life easier, we will cover it all.

Fill out your details below to receive the next edition. 



Using Asana For Your Business


I am a HUGE Asana fan. Huge. It is an integral part of my business and the reason that I can get so much done each week.

But, from working with my clients and my team, I know that trying to figure out how to use Asana in your business can feel daunting if you are starting from scratch.

During each round of the Change Maker Programme, I make sure that I take my participants "Behind the Scenes" of how I make Asana work for my business. That is often the point when things begin to click into place for them, after all, it is much easier to visualise how to set things up for your own business when you can see how it works for someone else. 

And that's exactly what I have done for you here. A free, six-part video course which takes you behind the scenes of how I use Asana to run my business, and how you can use it to run yours too. Inside the training page, you will find a six-part video series which will make setting up your own Asana super easy.

The videos are deliberately short so that you can watch them quickly and then start implementing what you have learnt straight away.

During the training we will cover:

  1. An Introduction to the Training
  2. Using Asana as a To Do List
  3. Using Asana as a Business Hub
  4. Using Asana as an Editorial Calendar
  5. Using Asana as a Simple CRM
  6. Using Asana as a Systems Link

I've even included an additional short bonus video of my productivity secret weapon. It's the way I squeeze even more time out of my schedule and get stuff done.

If you've ever looked at Asana and wondered where to start, this is the resource for you. Step-by-step, inspirational and actionable. 

To access the training, enter your email address below. You will receive a link to the training page and a password so that you can access the videos. Don't forget to check your spam folder just in case it ends up in there.

Ok, are you all signed up?

I hope you enjoy the training.

Don't forget to let me know how you are getting on with your new Asana set up. 

How to Automate Your Social Media

How to Automate Your Social Media

If you’ve landed on this article then it is because you’ve identified that social media is something that you need to get under control in your business. With that in mind, I am going to skip all the very valid advice that you will receive from the experts and assume that...

YES, you know that posting live rather than scheduling is going to get you better reach.

YES, you know that posting to each social media channel you want to be on is the best way to be on social media.

YES, you know that automating social media shouldn’t be your first choice, we can’t be everywhere all of the time. If something has to be automated, then social media isn’t the worst thing in your business to automate.

My guess is that maintaining a consistent social media presence in the time that you have available has been wearing you down a bit. I'm here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Automation might not be what the platforms or the gurus want you to do, but even social media agencies automate, so why can’t we?

I've been working with social media automation for a very long time. I have used most of these tools for over six months at a time, some I’ve used since they were in Beta.

Now let’s get on with what you came for, how to automate your social media.

How to Choose the Right Systems to Automate Your Social Media

  • Before you invest time or money in any tool, make sure that you have read the reviews and, if possible, talked to people who have used it.
  • Facebook Groups are a great way to get feedback on tools and suggestions of alternatives that might be a better fit for what you want.
  • Know what you want to achieve before you start using the tool and choose the one that gets you closest to that goals.
  • Understand that no tool is going to give you miraculous social media results, they aren’t built for that. They are built to save you time in a world that is incredibly noisy and full of content. Make sure that you look at them as a productivity time saver rather than a magical social media unicorn.

The Free Tools

The good news is that even businesses with the tiniest budgets can implement some form of automation into their social media strategy. Let’s begin with the free tools...


Price: Free & Paid Plans

Social Media Channels: Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn / Pinterest / Google+ / Instagram (reminders)

How Long I’ve Used It For: 4+ Years

I love Buffer. In the world of social media they are one of my go to sources for the most up to date, well-researched information. I have a paid account with them to allow me to schedule more than 10 items at a time but if you are happy to batch your content 10 pieces at a time then their free plan is more than enough. In the past, I have been a heavy Buffer user and it has never let me down. I would recommend it to anyone looking to get their social media under control. 


Price: Free & Paid Plans

Social Media Channels: Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn / Pinterest / Google+ / Instagram (reminders)

How Long I’ve Used It For: 4+ Years on and off

I have nothing bad to say about HootSuite. The only reason I don’t use it is that I didn’t like the interface. Does that make me shallow? I found it too small and crowded. Something to also be aware of is that HootSuite currently only works with its own third party integrations. I prefer to make my tools talk to each other as much as possible so a tool that limits integration and doesn’t have a Zapier connection wasn’t so interesting for me. That said, what HootSuite does, it does very well.


Price: Free & Paid

Social Media Channels: Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn / Google+

How Long I’ve Used It For: 1+ Years

If RecurPost had been around when we first put our content into MeetEdgar we may well have gone with RecurPost instead. It is 100% free, connects to more accounts than Edgar does and since activating my account to re-post my blog posts to my Facebook page a few times a week it has never failed me.

Missing Lett_r 

Price: Free & Paid

Social Media Channels: Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn / Google+

How Long I’ve Used It For: Less than 1 Year

Missing Lett_r are new to the game, but they’re catching up fast. I bought into the lifetime plan on an AppSumo deal a few months ago. At that price, it was a steal and I bought two accounts, one for each business. Missing Lett_r is truly a “set it and forget it” tool. It auto-generates 12 months of content from your blog posts and then schedules and posts for you. The only drawback is that they are fairly new, and as they become more popular the limitations of seeing the same conversation bubble frame everywhere may make people “blind” to what they are seeing as it is more obviously an auto-post than other tools I've listed here.

The Paid Tools

There may come a point when you need to invest even more in your social media automation. Maybe you’ve outgrown the free plans or you have more to share than before. These paid options are robust and reliable enough to do the work for you.

Meet Edgar

Price: Paid

Social Media Channels: Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn

How Long I’ve Used It For: 2+ Years

When we first started using MeetEdgar over at Amsterdam Mamas it was as though all our prayers had been answered. We have a huge database of over 500 relevant and constantly updated articles that needed regular promotion otherwise our audience would never see them. It was a soul destroying task to have to schedule them individually over and over again.

When we implemented Edgar, our traffic went down and I panic-emailed the Edgar support staff convinced that I had tanked our Facebook page. After a week or so things suddenly hit their groove. Since then our traffic has climbed and climbed with Edgar driving a 500% increase in traffic to our site from Facebook.

You may be wondering then, why I use Edgar for one business and not the other. The answer is quite simply, money. Edgar is an expensive little octopus and right now I don’t feel that I have the level of quality content available on my own website to justify the cost. Especially when RecurPost does it so well for free.

Smarter Queue

Price: Paid

Social Media Channels: Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn

How Long I’ve Used It For: I haven’t, yet…

This is the tool on the list that I haven’t used, yet… The reason I am including it is that I am right at the point now where I am considering investing in it, I think it could be a good fit for many people and it feels only right to share it here.

Smarter Queue looks like the best of Buffer and Meet Edgar combined. It has a great visual calendar, it builds a library of content to re-post from and has a very nice interface. The only reason I haven’t signed up for it yet is that right now, it doesn’t integrate with Zapier. And as you will see in "Steal the System" below, Zapier is a very important part of my social media flow.

Steal this System: The DIY Social Media Automation Workflow

It's all very well telling you about the tools but what you really want to know, I think, is how to work with these tools in your business. Never fear, I've got you covered.

For a long time, I managed my Facebook posting in a few minutes a month using just free tools. I posted once a day, every day in a way that was completely consistent with my brand and, most importantly, offered valuable content to my readers.

Step-by-step this is the process I use to post an article a day to my Facebook page. It combines all the best parts of automation while still feeling like a human is posting to your account.

It doesn’t get you the big, big reach that native posting will though, so I make sure that I supplement it with impromptu posts when I have something to say and cross-posting from Instagram to boost the number of people who see the posts.

What this system does offer is consistency, it frees you from being tied to your social media accounts on a daily basis unless you want to be. It means you are showing up for your people on a daily basis.

I’m sharing it here so that you can steal it and make it your own. This is what you need to do:

  1. Find articles to post which are consistent with your brand, values, and outlook.
  2. Save them to Pocket (free account) using the Pocket web-clipper feature
  3. Make sure to tag them with a unique word (I use "buffer")
  4. Set up a zap (using a free Zapier account) that loads the tagged items from your Pocket account with the unique tag to your Buffer queue (you can use a free Buffer account for this but I recommend upgrading to the paid one so that you can load more than 10 items at a time).
  5. When you set up your zap, you can also add in the option to post the first paragraph of the article. This saves you having to go in and write your own snippets for each post. Usually, if you are re-posting quality content, the author has put a lot of thought and effort into optimising the first paragraph for SEO and writing to catch the reader’s attention. They are likely to write a better snippet for social media than you can.
  6. Review the posts in your queue to check for any errors (eg. image issues, snippets that don’t work for your audience etc.)
  7. Add in or adjust any text you want to be posted with the article.
  8. Set up your schedule in Buffer so that it posts one tagged item per day.

Level Up

The above workflow will give you a solid social media presence, but if you want to take it to the next level here are just a few more steps you can build in.

  • Check your Facebook Insights to see when most people visit your page each day and then create your Buffer schedule to match those times.
  • Use RecurPost to auto-post content from your website at different times to your Buffer schedule.
  • Set up a recurring task/to-do in your diary or project management system to remind you to load content and check your stats on a regular basis.

Remember to adjust your strategy and content as necessary. Nothing works forever, make sure you change strategies when things don’t feel like they are working as well as they once did.


If you want more systems and strategies to work smarter, not harder, then you'll love my Notes for the Curious. It's published every two-weeks and delivered straight to your inbox. Notes for the Curious is a curated digest of everything I am learning and loving about running a business and living a life on purpose. From time management, to goal setting, community building to confidence boosting as well as systems and tools to make your life easier, we will cover it all.

Fill out your details below to receive the next edition.