As of today, I have 43, 583 unread emails. That is objectively quite a number of emails. The unread badge sits proudly on my home screen, and sometimes I use it to scare friends who run a tighter ship on their phones.
I used to love reading my emails! I remembered reading updates from musicians and bands I like, exchanging sarcastic banter with friends, and writing notes to myself. Then, ecommerce blew up and email marketing became a big thing. The number of emails kept going up.
Real-time messaging apps started gaining popularity and features, which meant my friends and I found new ways to communicate. So there were fewer personal emails, and more Buy this!, Did you forget something in your cart?, and Save $120! (looking at you, Circles.Life) emails.
At some point, I just stopped keeping a zero inbox.
But, email newsletters have been on a rise in the last couple of years, and while I’ve pretty late to the game, I’ve recently started re-reading some of these emails (whose content has been redesigned — and not just in terms of layout and visual) and signed up for a couple of new ones that are more aligned to my current interests.
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The New York Times Morning Briefing / Subscribe
They wrote about their design process here, and I enjoyed reading about the ideas and thoughts that went into the redesign. I got what they were trying to achieve, and thought their design really hit the mark for me while most dailies’ newsletters tend to be a disjointed list of bulletin items, the NYT Morning Briefing reads like a friendly guided tour with clearly demarcated and aptly named sections, which makes it super scannable and readable.
The Information Courses / Subscribe
The Information is great, but it is too expensive for me. But, they’ve just recently launched a new and free product called The Information Courses! The courses provide an in-depth read on a specific theme, and the material is distributed in the form of daily newsletters. Their first course, Micromobility 101, is a 15-day email series on the scooter/bike sharing economy. I’m really enjoying this so far, and find the small, timed doses of information a great way to learn about a topic.
Dense Discovery / Subscribe
I love getting this in my inbox. It is a newsletter for web workers (me), and has a great curation of design news, resources, and inspiration. Also, “The Week in a GIF” is always a hoot. Kai, the creator of Dense Discovery also publishes an excellent magazine called Offscreen.
The Musings of an Opinionated Sod / Website
I just found Rob Campbell’s blog a couple of weeks ago and he’s quite the hoot. Okay, this isn’t a newsletter, but I signed up for updates, and now get new entries via email. It makes for a happy and often hilarious read.