And a podcast. And a few other good reads.
This Monday morning had me thinking about all the useless emails I’m subscribed to after I woke up to several Gmail inbox pings.
Immediately regretting signing up for Poshmark now that they’ve utterly spammed me with useless shit, I opened my inbox and noticed a couple newsletter-style emails. You know the kind. You signed up with the best of intentions, but now you open and close them immediately to mark them as ‘read’ and don’t think twice.
These are the email equivalent of extremely predictable mosquitos. You just swat them away, because you’ve conditioned yourself to ignore them.
Maybe they never offer any interesting content of relevance to you. Maybe the cadence is so frequent, it’s obnoxious. Maybe you just don’t care about ~continuous education and improvement~. Regardless, I know we all have a bunch of them clogging our inboxes and making us feel guilty for not giving a shit (or is that just the email marketer in me?).
As I was driving to work and parked waiting for the DART train to pass, I pulled up my Gmail again and opened one of the newsletters I was actually excited to read. Hopefully you know this kind too.
I’m on a personal mission to make my inbox great again, because it’s the most widely used (and abused) tool we have to receive pertinent information, delivered right to our fingertips. If you can curate a meaningful subscription list, you can stay entertained and informed with very minimal work.
(If you don’t use your email at all, why? Is it because it’s too full of useless stuff?)
Sometimes I think I have media FOMO. When I hop from one awesome article online to another (before my '10 free articles' are up for the month), I get nervous that there's other incredible stuff that I'm missing. But more on that later.
I’ve compiled my three favorite email newsletters right now that I actually open and actually read—and, bonus points, I usually enjoy them.
I will warn you—this post essentially devolves into me rattling off my favorite long-form pieces from the New Yorker toward the end, so bear with me. I got excited.
And if you’re wondering why there’s only a couple newsletters listed and you’re like, KG, I need more recommendations than that! My answer is, no you don’t. You probably don’t read anything you’re currently getting. If I can get you turned onto ONE new newsletter from this post, I’ll be thrilled. LET’S DO THIS.
The “everyday life” newsletter:
The New York Times Smarter Living Newsletter
My favorite thing about the NYT Smarter Living newsletter is that (a) it’s short and written in digestible chunks. Rather than linking 47 clickbait articles in a row, the author (Tim Herrera) breaks down a couple simple things you can do in your daily life to improve it. Life, optimized.
While he does link off to longer form content on the NYT site, it’s possible to get a full picture of the point without having to click through 14 different browser tabs of separate, obliquely related articles (personal pet peeve).
And while we’re plugging the NYT, if you’re a podcast junkie like me, my morning is also punctuated by my 23-ish minutes with the New York Times “The Daily” podcast. Hosted by Michael Barbaro and his somewhat infuriating but mostly endearing habit of dicing up his words into syllabic punches, The Daily hones in on one prominent issue in the news and employs a more traditional journalistic approach—featuring one person’s story or experience and exploring deeper than the soundbite push notification.
I love starting my morning with this because it gets my wheels turning early. It’s released every weekday morning around 7 a.m. so it’s a great ‘getting ready’ or commute listen.
Does anyone have any other go-to daily podcasts?
The “niche content because I’m a girl” newsletter:
Glossy Daily Newsletter
While the Glossy Daily Newsletter is definitely more female-oriented than gender-neutral like the NYT Smarter Living newsletter, the Glossy features stories about the intersection between fashion, the beauty industry, and tech.
This is where I started seeing those ‘day in the life’ articles where a prominent executive in one of the aforementioned industries takes you through a typical day in 15-minute increments. My personal favorite is about the Estée Lauder Head of Communications, Alexandra Tower. The woman gets a daily blowout on the way to work. When I say #goals…
This morning’s newsletter featured a cool piece about how French beauty companies are killing it globally but facing declining sales in FRANCE, of all places, and the digital marketing strategies they’re pursuing to localize their efforts. Pretty neat if you like marketing and beauty (me).
A recent hilarious financial edition to the lineup:
Better Have My Money by Amber Jamieson
Predictably, I love this GIF-filled run-down on finance. Amber is an amateur stock trader that compensates with passion like myself, so there’s this comforting, relatable quality to her content that makes me feel like I’m learning alongside her.
I wrote about this newsletter in my blog about investing a few weeks ago, so some of you may have already subscribed—but if you’re not a #LOYAL katiegatti.com reader and this is your first exposure to Amber’s newsletter, I highly recommend checking it out. ESPECIALLY if you’re a stock newb like me.
And a new one I added this morning:
The New Yorker Daily Newsletter
After being inspired to write this blog, I decided I should probably add one more bad boy to the lineup. Yesterday I found this incredible (albeit terrifying) article called The Really Big One from The New Yorker about the Cascadia subduction zone, a convergent plate boundary that runs from Vancouver to Northern California. The North American plate is basically stuck on another tectonic plate, and when they finally release, the jolt will cause a tsunami that FEMA experts predict will kill everyone west of Interstate 5 in California.
This article reads like an Armageddon movie—except it’s all geologically sound. The subtitle is literally: “An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when.” I mean, OK. Cue panic-research.
Sadly, the west coast is completely unequipped to deal with this, as there will only be several minutes of time between the plates shifting and the tsunami making landfall, realistically. No warning systems are in place.
(I’m on a major tangent, but if you have a few minutes, I highly recommend reading—the article is from 2015. I got sucked into a New Yorker rabbit hole after navigating to the site to read the same author’s piece called Dead Certainty about where “Making a Murderer” got it wrong, and two hours later, I was knee-deep in SciFi-adjacent geological peril.)
I’ve written before that I think The New York Times has the most talented writers in journalism, but recently I’ve started to think The New Yorker actually takes the cake. From the descriptions to the story structure, they completely suck you in. And that’s why they’re my fourth featured email newsletter. Sign up with me and let’s experience the amazement together.
If you’ve got an hour or two to spend in said The New Yorker journalism maze, here’s another one of my favorites from 2003 entitled Jumpers. It’s dark, but beautifully written: a piece about all the people who have committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate bridge (more than anywhere else in the world, it turns out), and the grandeur of death that the bridge represents to the chronically depressed—not to mention the strides the city is taking to curb this sick phenomenon (I think it was just last year that I saw they finally approved the long-awaited installment of a net to catch jumpers).
And finally, my favorite tool for managing a messy inbox
My mentor Mary Barber told me about this tool when I was in college and I became obsessed. It’s called Unroll.me, and it syncs with your inbox to allow you a one-stop shop for managing subscriptions. Here’s a screenshot from mine:
I've unsubscribed to 359 different mailing lists using Unroll.me. Holy shit, I know.
It makes it so easy to unsubscribe from unwanted mail, decide what you want to keep in your inbox, and—the rest, it seems—gets “rolled up” into ONE Unroll.me email that comes in the morning and shows you a scrolling preview of all the other stuff. Give it a try and let me know if you like it.
Me, soliciting advice
Let me know if there are any incredible email newsletters that I need in my life. Maybe they'll show up in a follow-up post.
Thanks for reading.
Although tempted to name this something cliché like #GIRLBOSS, this section features all my obsessive-compulsive productivity hacks & candid conversations about career development.