Inbox zero is a fantasy for me. But I don’t really mind it because my massive inbox load is partly due to the collection of great newsletters I’m subscribed to. I used to do freelance copywriting for edms (email direct mailers) and thought I knew it all. I thought email was just sales and marketing, and personal letters and that the public sharing of great insight takes place on blogs.
Now there’s a lovely in-between. Mass emails sent to lists of subscribers, much like marketing mails, only they don’t want you to buy anything. In fact, they’re giving you stuff. They’re giving you knowledge and understanding through a package of wit and creativity. It’s like personal heartfelt emails and wonderful recommendations, writ large.
I’ve discovered some wonderful newsletters along the way, and I’d like to share 5 with you.
Further by Brian Clark
This weekly newsletter receives a ‘star’ in my gmail inbox every single time. Further is a deeply intelligent and carefully crafted newsletter about health, wealth, and wisdom. Each newsletter has a ‘Feature’ in addition to the three areas and there’s a certain gravity to Brian Clark’s writing. Each feature is thought-provoking and I have personally enjoyed this one several times. It is difficult to communicate the sheer value of having this newsletter in my inbox, so I shall let the work speak for itself.
Sketchplanations by Jono Hey
A hand-drawn weekly newsletter that is always a nice surprise in my inbox. Each issue is a surprise because you don’t know what idea Jono Hey has decided to sketch for the week! Also, the name is incredibly clever. I wish I’d thought of it. The latest issue introduced me to Koomey’s Law. Haven’t heard of it? Think it’s a complex concept to communicate? Clearly you need to subscribe to Sketchplanations too!
Think Clearly by Mathias Jakobsen
This is another hand-drawn newsletter that I enjoy. This one is all about creativity, reflection, and growth. Mathias Jakobsen’s emails communicate a positivity that is shown, not told, and I really like that. Check out this cute one and this helpful one.
Next Draft by Dave Pell
Want something clever and ridiculously timely? This daily newsletter may be right up your alley. Dave Pell was christened The Internet’s Most Fascinating Newsletter Writer by TechCrunch, which is a really specific accolade, so you know that you have to check this newsletter out. Every day, Dave finds interesting news, says something witty about them, and send them out into the interwebs. Here’s an example for you. People love it. Maybe you would too!
Think Smarter by Penguin
This newsletter by Penguin is a little more heavy going than the others but it only comes once a month so you have ample time to digest it. Meant to challenge the mind, each issue of Think Smarter is packed with big questions and deep ideas. Here’s an example and another for you to have a taste.
project: fly-bottle by Stephanie Lee
I started this little newsletter with the strange name because I wanted to make philosophy more accessible. (You can read about it more here.) Expect a new issue every Wednesday with bite-sized philosophy for the uninitiated. From human nature to the mind-body problem, there’s nothing under the sun that we cannot investigate. There is also a dedicated attempt to link the concepts back everyday life. Past issues have referenced Calvin & Hobbes, Sherlock Holmes (yes, the Cumberbatch one), Stewart Butterfield (CEO of Slack), and The Matrix (of course). Visit the archives for an idea!