Developing a Workflow
So creating a workflow. This is important for a weekly podcast. You need to figure out ways that you can kind of sustain your production and make sure that the show goes out the door on time every week. It's easy to think that it's just gonna happen, that you kind of just record and then you're gonna edit it and then publish it but it's very much helpful to have a little bit of a regiment. So the first thing to do is create a comprehensive list of tasks, all the things you'll need to do in order to get your episode out the door. You need to assign a task to each of your team members, in some cases that might just be you guys but it's still helpful to kind of assign yourselves tasks. And give each task a deadline. So here's one way that we can think about that. This is, as I mentioned several times, I produce Akimbo with Seth and our workflow goes like this. We release weekly. We release every Wednesday so let's say Thursday is like the day after we just released, it's like the start of...
the cycle. On Thursday, Seth sends me the recorded audio episode, the recorded audio. Thursday through Monday I take time to listen through, discuss any questions, concerns, and on Monday morning I provide Seth with the edit of that episode. On Monday afternoon Seth approves that episode or gives me edits or whatever and I create a final edit which I then send to an audio mixer. In this case, this is an example of a production process that involves three basically stakeholders. It's Seth, who's the host in creating the podcast, it's me who's producing and editing, and then we have a mixer who kind of like smooths out all the audio at the end. So once the mixer gets the audio he sends that to us for a final listen to on Tuesday morning. We catch any mistakes. So as you can also see here, we have the luxury of doing a lot of different run throughs and listen throughs which is really nice. We still end up with some mistakes when the episode airs on Wednesday, even despite all these listen throughs. And then basically Seth gives me the episode description, everything you'll see in iTunes like the copy, the title. And then Tuesday night we publish it at midnight for a Wednesday release. So this is relatively straightforward. These are tools for task management that I really like in producing a weekly podcast. Google docs for pre-production are really, really helpful if you're working with a team. Obviously with yourself it's not necessarily important to have a shared document but it's helpful. And Airtable is a tool that I just learned about recently, there probably are other comparable tools but I'm gonna talk about Airtable very quickly and it's a tool that lets you make a checklist and assign tasks to people in a different way than you would in a Google doc. So this, every week on Food for Thought, use this template. And it's like something that we literally just cut and paste every single week and there's something about not facing a blank page each week that is immensely comforting, like it's really nice to be able to kind of just fill this in. So each of these, you can see here intro, five minutes. We record the intro at the end, after we've kind of all warmed up and we drink Rose in the studio the whole time so everyone's really warmed up at the end. And you can see here, this is what I was mentioning, it's like you insert a different tag line each episode. Amuse Bouche, 10 minutes, here's the intro. So basically, we put the name of a segment, the time, and these are the opportunity for each person. We meet in these Google documents each week at a set time and we kind of like see and make comments on what everyone is up to. So this is basically every week we just fill this out. Here's what a finished version of this looks like where we fill out the title and the date that it's gonna air and basically another important aspect of this is we include links for other people in the podcast. If one of the hosts is gonna be talking about something that happened in an article from like the New York Times that week, we put a link in and try to have everyone read it so that there can be an informed conversation on the air. To me, this is like absolutely crucial in coming into the studio. We record in a studio but the idea of coming into the studio and feeling prepared is really, really important and so this really helps. We print these out and it's just like there's never really a lull in the conversation and everyone kind of knows exactly what points they wanna cover and what they wanna talk about when we're in the studio. 'Cause when you're in the studio and you have a set amount of time and you're paying for time, it's really good to know exactly what you wanna cover off on. So that's the completed one, as you can see it's much longer. So the next one is, this is what I was mentioning Airtable. This is really kind of stressful actually. This is like doing the absolute most but Fran is kind of the one who puts this together. We'll talk to him in a second. But this is basically you can put together, so we use this for projection checklists mostly. This is where you can put all of these, each of these items right here is a task that needs to be done for the week and then you can assign it to a certain person. As you can see, I'm unfortunately assigned to a lot of these. So you assign them and then you can check them off as you go. And this is just really helpful when you're getting into a groove so that you know that you haven't forgotten anything. So I definitely encourage you guys to check out Airtable. We can get off of my shared screen now actually. Thank you. Planning ahead is really important. If you're doing a weekly podcast, it's really, really helpful to figure out how you can plan ahead. This is, there's the Rose in the corner, this is, we, myself and the hosts of Food for Thought, went on a weekend retreat to the Catskills and planned season two. This was in between season one and season two. Each of these Post-it's is which the episode will be. Like this is the episode and these are topics for each of the segments. So we did that ahead of the season even starting. We planned as much as we possibly could. Obviously, some of these changed. You'll see there are actually a lot of blank stuff too. But we essentially just took a picture of this wall and then put everything into that Airtable document and into Google docs. So figuring out how you can plan ahead and how many episodes your season will be, how much evergreen content you can produce. That stuff, evergreen is just stuff that's not like tied to the news cycle so it's like stuff that you can produce ahead of time and then put it out that week. Doing as much pre-planning as possible and even in some cases if you're doing a weekly podcast, you can kind of get some episodes in the can. You can record five episodes in one week and then like set them up for a weekly release if you wanna do that.