7 Email Newsletters That Will Improve Your Day

 

email

Say what you will about what this means about my life, but one of the best parts of my day is when NextDraft hits my inbox.

Curated by Dave Pell, NextDraft pulls ten (or so) of the best articles from around the Web and puts all of them in one place so I can read them or add to my GetPocket account.

And I know I’m not the only one who loves getting content delivered right to me.

Email newsletters are all the rage right now.

In a Harvard Business Review article on this very topic, this part sums up the email newsletter’s resurgence best:

What matters instead is influence, and one way to build it is by guiding audiences through the chaos of so much content. Today’s there’s no better way to do that – and demonstrate influence — than producing an email people will actually open.

Recently, I deleted my Feedly account because (a) there was too much to sift through (and I’m one of those people who can’t move on until every story is marked as “unread”) and (b) it’s just more convenient to have it delivered, kind of like pizza.

I can do the work I need to do during the day, then take a look at night to see what I’ve missed. (Yeah, I also take a few peeks during the day, but who doesn’t?)

In light of this email newsletter resurgence, I want to share 7 e-mail newsletters I subscribe to that I think you should subscribe to, too.

If you like any of them, let me know!

NextDraft – Curated by Dave Pell, NextDraft is easily my favorite of the bunch. Each weekday, Pell delivers ten articles to your inbox that cover a wide range of topics. They are sure to keep your GetPocket account full of good stuff to read as you inevitably set links aside for future reading. If you sign up for one email newsletter to improve your day, make it this one.

The Ann Friedman Weekly – I’m fairly new to the Ann Friedman bandwagon, but I’m glad I got a seat. Friedman is a writer, speaker and podcaster who communicates on a number of different topics, but her bread and butter seems to be technology and, well, everything under the sun. She’s good. Her newsletter is a hodge podge of content from around the Web, but in a good hodgy podgy sort of way. Also: You will love her pie graphs.

Now I Know – Want to learn something new each day? Then Dan Lewis’ “Now I Know” is the e-newsletter for you. Every morning, Dan shares something interesting he has learned over the past few weeks, ranging from why people in the UK thought spaghetti grew on trees, to something called “the Decoy Effect.” The topics are rich and diverse, and you’re bound the find something up your alley. The only drawback is that they tend to pile up in your inbox, but they take 5 minutes to read. It’s worth signing up.

Death, Sex & Money – I could listen to Anna Sale interview people all day. Sale is the host of the excellent podcast on WNYC, “Death, Sex & Money.” But that’s for another time. The newsletter that Sale and her team issue every week is worth signing up for, but it helps if you’re a listener. Each week, she shares details for upcoming shows, real feedback from real listeners, as well as other podcasts we might enjoy. It has quickly become one of the newsletters I most look forward to seeing in my inbox.

The New Yorker – The DailyThe New Yorker consistently features some of the best writing on the Web, but I don’t have time to visit the site every day, nor do I want to add another feed to my RSS reader. Thankfully, there is an e-newsletter that shares the best stuff with me every day. Not everything is worth reading, but I find myself saving a handful of things to read every week, which more than makes up for the space it takes up in my inbox.

Fast CompanyFast Company is another one of those publications that I love to read, but get overwhelmed by the amount of content to sift through if I miss a day. So, hat tip to the magazine for offering a daily e-newsletter that shares the best stuff around productivity, business, and innovation.

Upvoted Weekly – Upvoted Weekly is the official newsletter of reddit, the site that dubs itself “the front page of the internet.” If you consider yourself someone who has their pulse on what’s happening online, this site is surely on your radar. But with the sheer amount of content that gets posted by users every day, it’s a necessity to curate the stuff that’s worth our time.
 

Go Away, Social Media Experts

For what seems like the 95th time this year [Editor’s Note: Only 44 times.] there has been a school shooting in America, and news is breaking fast and furious on Twitter.

Speaking of Twitter, we learn about these tragedies faster than we did even five years ago.

I’m not saying it’s bad or good. I’m just saying that we do.

As details emerge, so do the tweets, shared by either a respected journalist or a random person sitting at their Mac. We are so quick to share that we don’t have time to confirm what we are tweeting is true.

Soon enough, our timelines are inundated with more information than we could possibly sift through.

But while individuals are struggling to keep up, there are always outliers who either haven’t heard the news and continue to tweet on their merry way, or have scheduled tweets to run at the worst possibly time.

Thankfully, Twitter is also full of the Twitter Police who are quick to tell those people and brands who have scheduled tweets to STOP. And, really, what would we do without these Good Samaritans?

But, honestly? I could give a shit what a brand tweets on Twitter when a crisis is developing.

As a father with two small children, I’m much more worried about their well-being when I’m not with them than I am about yelling at a brand to turn off their scheduled tweets. Even if the aforementioned tragedy does not affect me, it still affects me, you know?

And if Marshall Field’s scheduled a tweet for a Back To School sale to run at the same time? Well, it really doesn’t matter to me.

If the company wants to be tone-deaf to what’s happening around them, that’s fine. I’m not going to spend my energy getting mad at them. If they can’t properly manage their social media staff to pay attention to current events, then they’re probably not long for social media anyway.

Yet, the “experts” are still going to come out in full force to yell at them, which is ironic, because these same people are using a national tragedy to show off just how smart they are.

When tragedy hits, we’ve been told to clear all communications channels so authorities can communicate unobstructed and share valuable information.

Maybe we need the same rule for Twitter.

10 Instagram Accounts You Should Follow

The Instagram app is one app I don’t imagine I’m going to delete off of my phone any time soon.

With its popularity continuing to rise, the amount of breathtaking photography that will continue to roll through my stream will likely get better before it gets worse, especially now that it’s easier to share landscape images & videos. No longer restricted to a stringent box, the way these pictures look is bound to get easier on the eyes with more options for formatting.

It’s one of my favorite apps to use on a regular basis. Hell, even the sponsored ads are nice to look at.

Are you a fellow Instagrammer? Here are 10 Instagram accounts I think you should follow to get the most out of your Instagram experience.

VISUAL CONTRABRAND

Visual Contrabrand is the Instagram account of a freelance photographer in Houston, Texas who pushes the limits when it comes to his photography.

Sure, he posts pictures of half-naked women, too, but sometimes he takes a picture of a city from above while his feet dangle off the top of a thousand-foot building.

GEOFFLIVING

This is the Instagram account of Geoff Livingston, a marketer, writer and photographer who I have followed online since the dawn of social media.

I didn’t associate his personal brand with photography until I stumbled across his Instagram account. It’s full of sunsets, bodies of water, and other pictures of things that make you happy to be alive.

TARENREADS

The premise is simple: Taren takes a picture of the latest book she’s read (usually on a background that contrasts nicely with the colors of the book cover) and posts a brief review on her page. It’s a visually compelling account, but it’s also a good place to go if you need a book recommendation.

WVFAUXTOGRAPHER

Who knew West Virginia was so beautiful? The person who runs this Instagram account, that’s who. West Virginia shares a lot of similarities with Pennsylvania, a state I spent a lot of time in growing up. Maybe that’s why I like this account. You will, too, if you give it a follow.

DETROIT ZOO

This is one of those accounts I can show my kids when I’m scrolling through my feed because it shows off the best parts of the Detroit Zoo. As the official account, it gives a daily dose of Vitamin Z that makes you want to shut down your phone and make your way to the zoo.

CADILLAC FLATTS

This Detroit-based explorer is sharing some of the coolest shots of the Motor City, usually from unique viewpoints. While the city continues to be the darling of American cities everywhere, Cadillac_Flatts backs it up with images that jump off your iPhone screen.

SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL

I don’t watch the Smithsonian Channel. In fact, I’m not sure I even get it on my cable system. But that doesn’t really matter when I can peruse their Instagram feed. I don’t need to watch the content if I can just see the behind-the-scenes pictures from upcoming episodes. I’ll let my brain fill in the rest.

TSA

Yep, that TSA. The official Instagram account of the Transportation Security Administration is made up mostly of images of confiscated items passengers tried to bring on-board an airplane. You won’t believe what we they find.

ADAM SENATORI

This is probably my favorite of the bunch. Adam is a pilot who takes amazing aerial photography of the United States. I first encountered his work when he did some work for GE and I haven’t been able to look away since.

PR BLOG

I first became aware of Kevin Dugan (the man behind the account) through his Bad Pitch Blog – a blog I never wanted to be featured on. A few years later, I realized he’s exploring Cincinnati with his phone and a camera, and the results are pretty spectacular. I’m a big fan of Midwest cities, and this certainly fits the bill.

Donald Trump and the Mainstreamification of Misinformation

trump

Thanks to the Internet, it has never been easier to spread information.

When my kids are old enough to do book reports, and I regale them with stories of a time when I used to go to the library to research the topic in actual books, I will seem downright archaic (If I haven’t already).

But with this onslaught of information comes the challenge of wading through it to find what is accurate and what isn’t.

It’s somewhat ironic that even though it’s never been easier to find information, there has never been a time when more misinformation has been spread so quickly.

Either because we, as a society, are too lazy to do the research necessary to find out what’s true and what isn’t, or because we’re afraid that the the truth will go against our beliefs, we’re content to spread this bad information to our friends and family as easily as the click of a button.

Until now, though, this epidemic was confined to our Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. Rarely did anyone stand up in public and spout information that was clearly wrong. That is, until someone stood up in public and spouted information that was clearly wrong.

At an event in New Hampshire last week, presidential candidate Donald Trump (have you heard of him?) took a question from a member of the audience.

Here is how the Washington Post described the question:

What followed were a series of remarkable statements made loudly and clearly into a microphone. America has a problem: Muslims. President Obama is a Muslim. There are terrorist training camps operating inside the United States. When are we going to do something about that?

Even though this statement has been confirmed as false many, many times, this man is still operating under the belief that it’s true.

Not surprisingly, Trump’s response did nothing to sway this man’s thinking. If anything, Trump acted a lot like that family member of yours who shares articles on Facebook that have no factual backing by nodding his head and seemingly agreeing with this person. Even if that’s not accurate, at the very least, he didn’t disagree. A classic case of agreement by not disagreeing, I guess.

While most of us sit and wait for Donald Trump’s presidential dreams to crash and burn, the more time he spends in the spotlight, the more he lends credence to anything he has said in the past that is false. (We all remember how he fought to have President Obama release his birth certificate, right?) And as we’ve come to find out, a lot of people think the way he does.

He has become, whether intentional or not, the hero of the misinformed. And he’s using it to stay in the race.

From my perspective, as someone who deals in truths, this is scary shit.

I’ve railed in the past against people who have posted images to their social channels that are false, and I’ve had to bear the brunt of their retorts. But I stand by my conviction that we should do our due diligence before sharing with our community. At the very least, it’s a responsibility we all share.

But aside from having our very own Snopes.com representatives with us at all times, it’s imperative that we ensure that what we are sharing is accurate, no matter how innocent we think it is.

We might not be running for president, but bad information can lead to very bad things.

Maybe Work Is Enough

clockingout

It seems like everyone has a side hustle these days.

No longer is it okay to go to work, put in eight hours, and come home to spend the rest of your day with your family, followed, perhaps, by a few hours of mindless entertainment in front of the boob tube before calling it a day.

Now, it seems, the world looks down upon you if you’re not getting the most out of your self; maximizing every single minute of the day that you spend on earth. It’s like, we all have creative endeavors bouncing around in our heads, but we must pursue them lest we live a life that has not been fully realized.

The idea of work is so ingrained in us — in our species — that it’s now part of our regular output as human beings.

It’s just what we do.

But now we have to go above and beyond to feel like we are making a difference; making our days count. To supplement our incomes.

What if it’s okay to work all day, come home, crack open a beer, and put your feet up?

Those precious hours spent outside of work should be spent however we please, not under pressure to perform to the level of everyone else’s expectations.

We put in a full day, five days a week, so that we can rest.

Maybe our work is enough.