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Personally speaking, I am always very protective of my email inbox. I absolutely detest spam in all its forms, and in this job, the problem is rampant, with every developer thinking their app is the bee’s knees. So when it comes to email and email newsletters, it had better get my attention fast, or it is out the door sharpish, never to return.
The continued existence of email newsletters has always been threatened a little bit, first by the advent of RSS, and then by social media. But they have toughed it out, and it now seems to be enjoying a bit of a comeback.
Here are 10 email newsletters you should be subscribing to. I subscribe to each one and learn something from them every day.
Have you ever turned up to work in the morning, and the conversation is about something you haven’t heard about, or don’t know enough to talk about? In that scenario, you have three options: ad lib it and hope for the best, stay silent and be out of the conversation, or the third option — and the best one — is to subscribe to the Daily Water Cooler.
The DWC discusses all of the stuff you need to know, including finance, politics, sport, culture, and any offbeat links that will make you popular on social media. By the time you’ve read the latest issue, you will be the smartest person in the room, or doing a really good job of acting like one.
What We’re Reading [No Longer Available]
The New York Times is perhaps one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world, and the quality of the writing shows that. If you want a thoughtful read on current affairs and social topics, then the New York Times is one of the publications to head to.
“What We’re Reading” is a compilation of stories from around the web for you to read, recommended by the New York Times’ staff. Their choices are always extremely interesting, and they have very rarely chosen something which has not piqued my interest. Some are quick reads, and others are very long thoughtful reads. You’ll be using your Pocket or Instapaper account for this one.
This guy comes so highly recommended that he has testimonials coming out his bottom. From the Executive Producer of The Daily Show to the Executive Editor of CNN, Dave Pell is recommended by everybody that counts. One even called this newsletter “the New York Times meets Saturday Night Live”. If that isn’t a recommendation, then I don’t know what is.
Pell examines the news on 75 news websites (where does he find the time?), and brings you what he feels is the best, along with his cool sense of humor (when it is appropriate).
Readers of this site will be familiar with the Hacker News website, and some of you may also read it on a regular basis (I try to, but some of the subjects are a bit too dense for me to tackle). Hacker Newsletter is not affiliated with them in any way, but nevertheless they attempt to bring you the best of the site in one handy newsletter, once a week.
The newsletter has attracted some great testimonials from people such as Marshall Kirkpatrick, Vitaly Friedman, and Ben Chestnut (CEO of Mailchimp).
As a writer for the best tech blog in the whole wide world — Lifehacker (no, just kidding, you know I mean MakeUseOf!), I constantly have to come up with story pitches, and find great apps and sites to write about. This means that Netted is my new best friend.
Operated by The Webbys, Netted gives you what it thinks are the best apps and websites at that time. Already today, for example, I have found three possible iPhone apps to write about, and potentially a website as well. So this newsletter can be extremely invaluable.
The Charged newsletter is all about technology, long reads, and start-ups. So I like to think that this newsletter would suit the MakeUseOf readership perfectly. Curated by Owen Williams, editor of the Next Web, Charged collects various links around the web, as well as “Overheard On Twitter”, and “Trending Products”. This is one of my favorite newsletters without a doubt.
Tim Ferriss’ Experiments In Lifestyle Design
Tim Ferriss is a stranger to nobody, after three bestselling books – The Four Hour Workweek, The Four Hour Chef, and The Four Hour Body. Now he has an extremely popular blog and podcast, all of which is summarized in his frequent email newsletters.
Podcasts are always with notable prominent people such as Arnold Schwarzenegger (the bad actor), and Matt Mullenweg (creator of WordPress). Links are always about productivity, self-improvement, relaxation, health…basically anything to improve your life. Look at it this way, you’re only working four hour weeks now. You have plenty of time to read the newsletter.
“Today In Tabs” is another favorite of mine, but you have to be warned that the newsletter is very full of links (to relevant articles, but still a lot to click on). Plus Rusty Foster tends to jump rapidly from one subject to another until your head spins. But nevertheless, I am always informed and entertained by what he sends, and it is a great addition to your inbox.
Foster also has his Today In Tabs franchise on the Fast Company website. So he gets around a bit.
I absolutely love the title of this one, and it was the title which made me open it up in the first place. It just goes to show the power of a good title to your newsletter, email, or article. Curated by Caitlin Dewey of the Washington Post, the newsletter contains her digital finds (she is after all the “Digital Culture Critic” at the Post, which you would think was a pretty safe job, but nevertheless, she seems to have made an enemy).
It includes some fantastic GIF’s (which should please our Mihir Patkar, as he is always posting amusing GIF’s in our Slack channel.
Remote working is on the increase, and nobody knows that better than the MakeUseOf staff, who are scattered all over the world (with a few working for us while living the nomadic lifestyle). Several people have picked up on this, and are now producing extremely popular email newsletters to cater to the remote working demographic. One of the best is this one — Remotive — which claims to have over 8,500 subscribers.
Remotive discusses all of the issues currently facing remote workers, by linking to the best relevant articles on the web. Stuff like how to build your remote team, what tools to use, the pros and cons of working remotely, and much more.
What Do YOU Read?
As I said at the beginning, email newsletters seem to be enjoying a bit of a comeback, which means no doubt that I have forgotten to share your favorite newsletters here. So the comments below is your chance to promote the ones you love. Go for it!