Podcasts, reading, and intangible learning—how I discovered the benefits of digitizing


I recently stumbled across a TED talk given by Graham Hill (of LifeEdited) called ‘Less stuff, more happiness’. I’d always loved the notion of minimizing and compressing my possessions in an effort to put my mind at ease, but had thought very little about the other benefits of doing so—which include reducing my carbon footprint and saving more cash dollar. I was particularly interested to hear his thoughts on the importance of digitizing in his practice:

 Graham Hill, image via  Dwell

Graham Hill, image via Dwell

“Switch your bills and statements to paperless; give yourself one less thing to think about by putting bills on autopay. Scan receipts and photos. Switch to digital media. Download CDs to your hard drive. Use streaming services like iTunes, Spotify or Netflix for music and video entertainment. Replace your books with an eReader. Combined, these changes will clear out tons of clutter and storage volume.” —Graham Hill

A few months ago, I made the switch from hard copy to digital books. I had purchased a hardback autobiography called ‘Shoe Dog’ by Phil Knight in an attempt to read more, but couldn’t bring myself to sit down and dive in. BTW, this is not a reflection on the book (I heard it is brilliant), but rather an evaluation on the art of ingesting content. Till this day, it sits beside my bed collecting dust, and every time I look over at it, I am reminded of the guilt and shame I feel for spending thirty dollars on a book I will most likely never pick up. I ended up investing in Kindle and Audible, and have never looked back. But it isn’t just e-books and audiobooks that have become my go-to, I have also become addicted to podcasts. I mean, who doesn’t love free content right?!

 Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle

Here are some reasons I think you should give intangible learning a go:

  • All your favorite books are on one device (your Apple iPhone if you wish) rather than on a shelf that demands half your living room and becomes a pain in the butt to clean.  
  • When packing for a vacation, you don’t need to decide on just one or two books to take with you. You can have them all!!
  • You can listen to a podcast or audiobook while you work on activities (if that task doesn’t require your reading/comprehension skills). This was probably the greatest discovery of my graphic design life—a slow day at work can instantly be turned into an impromptu education/conference (without the forced networking portion…ehhh).  

And even though I’ve just purged myself as a graphic designer who would rather purchase digital books than beautiful hard copies, I have to say, the convenience and efficiency greatly supersede my love for tangible aesthetics. Ok enough about me, take five minutes out of your so called ‘busy’ day and watch this now, and remember, being busy is a choice. 

FussJessica Inci