I’ll keep this on the homepage for right now until I decide to move it to a “Start here” page. If you stumbled on this from somewhere else, I hope this helps explain.
Welcome to Active Recall!
Active Recall is podcast, it’s a video series, it’s a bunch of creative pages. Active Recall is a movement. Just kidding, it’s a blog.
The name came from an interview with Pat Flynn and Cal Newport. The episode was about Cal’s book, Deep Work. For a few minutes, they talk about one of Cal’s earlier books, How to Be a Straight-A Student. Pat asks for one takeaway for students trying to be better students, better at studying, and better at learning. Cal’s response?
Active recall is the whole ballgame.
I go through a good number of books and I listen to a lot of podcasts. With Active Recall, I’m trying to share the good stuff.
It’s a podcast
I outsource the energy to Wally. Together, we co-host a podcast that’s slowly evolved to mostly be about things we’re learning. We started with a book-a-week format but realized we can’t read that fast. We’ll be doing podcast recommendations until we figure out a third format.
How’d this start?
I read Tokyo Vice earlier this year and this excerpt stuck with me:
“I’ve always kept a haphazard diary. It’s a good thing to have because we forget so much. As a reporter you meet so many people, cover so many tragedies, write so many stories, it’s hard to keep track of what’s gone by and where you have been.”
I was inspired by this and actually followed through with some action. I started bringing the stock iPhone earphones with me to record private voice notes while walking to and from work.
I then started finding reasons to walk just to do this. I sent a few to some friends in email and they started getting longer so I started uploading them to SoundCloud to send private links.
At that point, it was time to start a podcast.
(A couple weeks in, I saw the joke on Netflix’s Love about everyone starting a podcast. Anyway.)
I have a couple friends who I talk goals with and we kicked around the idea of starting a podcast. Then the perfect time never came. Because it’s never going to come.
It was time to just go ahead and do it, so I got a Libsyn account and scheduled some time with Wally. We were yapping about something and then I mentioned I was reading Creativity by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. That was our first book in the book-a-week days.
It’s a video series
I’ve been really interested in creating things with an iPad. I draw a lot on it. Not well. But often. I wanted to share some of that work.
I wrote 100 posts in 100 days last year. I built a habit of consistency but didn’t practice actually getting people to read what I was writing. It just wasn’t that interesting.
So I’m making them shorter, adding pictures, talking into a void and sharing that with the world.
Creative Pages because I still like writing
I still want an outlet that doesn’t require a microphone.
I’m Ces. I co-host the podcast with my childhood friend Wally. We say it’s about things we’re learning, but mostly it’s to keep in touch across time zones (I’m in New York and he’s in San Diego).
I also listen to a lot of podcasts and read a decent amount of books. (And skim too many more.) I’m trying to share the good stuff. I’m learning to draw and sharing my progress as I do it. In the bigger picture, I want to be a better storyteller. I’m a designer at Google — opinions and views are my own.
Disclaimer: I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.