As of January 1, there were well over a billion websites out there with hundreds more being created every minute. The information available to us is expanding exponentially, and the right insight at the right time can mean the difference between success and failure. Yet we're still stuck with just 24 hours in the day.
How do you resolve this paradox? First, you give up on ever keeping on top of everything you should read and learn to love the beautiful chaos that is your to-read queue. Then you get smarter about curating your information sources.
One way to do that is newsletters. When they're crafted by smart people, they do the hard work of sifting through the chaos for you, delivering valuable insight straight to your inbox.
The keyword here is "smart." Only great curation keeps a newsletter from being just one more thing cluttering your inbox. So I sorted through tons of best-newsletter lists, as well as drawing on my own experience as a big newsletter reader, to winnow out the smartest out there to help you be more successful this year.
1. Vox Sentences
If you're super busy but like to be informed, Vox Sentences is for you. "Vox Sentences is a daily that truly puts the 'brief' in 'news briefing.' They excel at covering major new stories into concise bullet points," explains Acciyo founder Anum Hussain in her best-newsletter roundup for Buffer. It arrives five times a week.
NextDraft from Dave Pell dives into "that swirling nightmare of information quicksand" we call the internet, looking for golden nuggets of news, so you don't have to. "Dave shows me the most interesting, entertaining, and important stories that I've missed. Next Draft is invaluable," raves Tim Sullivan, Harvard Business Review's editorial director. Daily.
3. NPR's Life Kit
If you're looking less for straight news and more for lifestyle and how-to content, then NPR's Life Kit might be worth a subscription. It covers "a wide range of topics including personal finance, health, parenting, education, journalism, and art," explains Hussain, who recommends it for those looking for fodder for their social media. No set schedule.
4. The Hustle
As a business journalist, I subscribe to a lot of business-related newsletters. The Hustle consistently stands out both for its irreverent, entertaining tone (stay away if you hate puns) and for the breadth of stories it covers. A lot of people seem to agree with me, as it was a frequent flyer on the best-newsletter lists I consulted. Daily.
5. Hurry Slowly
Another personal favorite, Hurry Slowly, a newsletter from writer Jocelyn K. Glei, describes itself as offering "new ideas about how to be more creative and make time for the work that matters." I find something fresh and interesting in almost every edition. Bimonthly.
6. The Broadsheet
Business news often skews male. The Broadsheet aims to fix that. "The newsletter, which highlights 'the world's most powerful women,' is run by Fortune and it rounds up the best articles around the web on every topic from gender bias in machine learning to the fact that women of color are exposed to more chemicals in their beauty products than white women are," reads Career Contessa's recommendation. Daily.
Bestselling author and star Wharton professor Adam Grant rounds up both his own recent writing and some of the most intriguing business content from across the web for his newsletter Granted. Monthly.
8. The Pink Newsletter
Bestselling author Dan Pink also puts together a newsletter. Bplans' roundup of top newsletters describes it as "a changing assortment of tips, suggestions, and recommendations relating to business in different ways. Topics involve articles, podcasts, TV shows, gadgets, and more." Weekly.
9. Robinhood Snacks
Hussain's post is particularly rich in business-focused newsletters, but her absolute favorite is Robinhood Snacks. She calls it "the newsletter that got me hooked on newsletters" and explains that "their content helps me stay constantly on top of financial business news in a non-boring, non-dry, and super simple way." Daily.
10. Below the Fold
Staying on top of major news stories is important, but it's also nice to read more out-of-the-way news sometimes too. That's what Below the Fold is for. "The content is what you would have found if you still had a physical newspaper and were flipping to page two, covering important stories not making headlines and, as a result, easy to miss," writes Hussain (who confesses she might be biased as her company puts out this one). Weekly.
Tech & startups
Several roundups of the best tech newsletters called TLDR a "must open" newsletter. "Not only is the newsletter easy to read, but it is also coupled with an incredible list of news, tools, and cutting-edge tech links. All links come with a TLDR for when you're just too busy for the long reads," explains one fan, tech blogger Adelina Tuca. Daily.
12. Benedict's Newsletter
Curated by Benedict Evans, a partner at top VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, this much-chattered about newsletter is minimalist in design but covers a wide range of topics from productivity to machine learning to VR. Weekly.
13. The Daily Pitch
The Daily Pitch is a good one to subscribe to if you're looking to keep up with the latest news and trends from startup land. "Whether it's movement on investing in female founders, which companies are IPO-ing, or any other insights on the ever changing world of VC, PE, and M&A ... The Daily Pitch from Pitchbook makes it easy to stay constantly informed," says Hussain.
Feed your mind
14. The Browser
There is tremendously good long-form writing out there on the web, but it's scattered across a dizzying number of sites. How do you find it without wasting your whole day online? The Browser is the answer. The carefully curated list of five links a day to some of the web's best content may not be the most immediately useful newsletter on this list, but for my money it's the most consistently mind-expanding. Daily.
15. Read a Girl
Looking to grow your to-read pile? Want to broaden your mind with diverse perspectives? Then Read a Girl might be for you. This newsletter is designed "for bookworms wanting to increase the number of women authors in their reading pile," explains Mashable. "Expect a monthly recommendation of a book written by a woman."
There are lots more worthy newsletters out there. Which would you add to this list?