Re-thinking my podcast habit

I'd like to start by stating this is a very personal revelation. You're probably going to read this and think "Duh, you've only just got here?" so don't say I didn't warn you.

I've been listening to podcasts for years and my app of choice for a good chunk of that period has been Overcast. I love it's simplicity, it does just what I need.

Over the years, I've curated my subscription list offering a good variety of content for me to dip in to but I've always approached podcasts the same way I approach music. I'd see what mood I was in at any given time and pick a podcast to fit. This often led to fairly large portions of my list getting abandoned for long periods of time (sometimes completely), and it was utterly frustrating realising how much stuff I was missing out on.

I mostly listen to podcasts while driving to and from work so I'd often queue a bunch of podcasts fitting my mood for the journey so I'd not have to stop to change between episodes.

Over Christmas, I was messing around with Overcast on my phone and reviewing my subscriptions when I came across the "Smart Playlist" feature (this is when you can call me a moron). I suddenly realised I can just drop all my subscriptions into a Smart Playlist and it will queue everything up according to their release date.

With the discovery of this simple feature along with some restraint on my part to not really pick and choose the order of episodes, I've effectively got my own custom radio station. I often don't know what episode is coming up and since I'm driving most of the time, I have little choice but to just listen, much like if I was just listening to the radio.

As I've said a few times already, this isn't pioneering by any stretch. I'm sure most people who listen to podcasts already do this. But for me, it's broken a habit formed over years and years and I'm now quickly making it through my backlog and discovering lots of amazing content along the way.