Smart, Personal Newsletters You’ll Actually Want To Open

Most of us guard our inboxes jealously. After all, if you’re already wading through dozens of email newsletters you never read (and can’t remember subscribing to), the thought of giving away your email address to yet another marketer seems crazy.

It doesn’t have to be that way! If you hunt through the internet, you can find a few bright gems: smart, personal email newsletters stuffed with interesting information and helpful tips.

If you want to look forward to opening your email again, check out these newsletters.

What are you reading? This is just a tiny selection of the great stuff that’s out there, and I’d love to hear what’s welcome in your inbox. Leave us a note in the comments!

Traditional email newsletters

From breaking news to weird facts to zen wisdom, each of these newsletters delivers interesting information with a personal tone.

  • Farnam Street, by Shane Parrish: Each Sunday Shane sends out a weekly digest about books he’s reading and other interesting things on subjects like art, history, science, philosophy, psychology, and human misjudgment. Subscribe.
  • Now I Know, by Dan Lewis: Every morning, Dan Lewis shares an interesting fact he’s learned over the past few weeks. It could be anything from the origins of anti-milk crate theft laws to why the Oceanian islands of Samoa never experienced the date December 30, 2011. You’re sure to pick up something interesting to share around the water cooler. Subscribe.
  • Zen Habits, by Leo Babauta: Zen Habits is about finding simplicity and clearing the clutter in the daily chaos of life. The newsletter features a couple of powerful articles a week on simplicity, health & fitness, motivation and inspiration, frugality, family life, happiness, goals, getting great things done, and living in the moment. Subscribe.
  • Think Clearly, by Mathias Jakobsen: A handwritten newsletter, Think Clearly gives you little reflection exercises to help you in your daily life. Subscribe.
  • Next Draft, by Dave Pell: A quick, entertaining look at the day’s best stories, from the top of the news, to the very bottom. Each story is hand-chosen by Dave Pell, and wittily delivered to your inbox. Subscribe.


TinyLetter is a personal newsletter service owned by MailChimp. It’s designed to be a more intimate version of MailChimp’s newsletter software, with people using it to send missives to their fans and friends.

The newsletters tend to have a more personal tone, and encourage readers to dialogue with each other

It’s free to start up your own. I’ve curated a few of the most informative-looking ones below; you can explore more in the small-yet-growing TinyLetter Directory.

Curious to start your own TinyLetter? Check out this article from Fast Company on the trend.

I’ll admit – I became intrigued while reading about them and started one myself. You can subscribe here if you want to know what I’m up to.

  • Professional Excellence, by Leslie Bradshaw: Professional Excellence is a monthly newsletter that gives practical, next-level tips that will help you become the best version of your professional self. Subscribe.
  • Real Future, by Alexis Madrigal: Every weekday, Fusion’s Alexis Madrigal delivers five tidbits from the past and future, covering topics like wearable computers, drones, biohacking, geoengineering, rockets, digital mapping, coercive feedback loops, the future of work, corporate surveillance, and more. Subscribe.
  • Media Picks, by Alastair Otter: Regular updates on media, tech and the space in between. Topics might include data journalism, podcasts, news media, hacking, social media. Subscribe.
  • Five Song Fridays, by Song Exploder: Every Friday, five songs will be handpicked by the folks at Song Exploder (and a few special guests), with links to the tracks sent right to your inbox. Subscribe.

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