Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday 13: 13 emails I get every day

Being back at in a daily work schedule, I don't have much time for a leisurely morning coffee-and-email routine. Not even. And going through my backlog of emails over the weekend, I've been slowly paring down the ones I get daily, trying to pare down to the ones I really read, if not daily, then at least a couple of times a week.

I thought I would share the ones that will stay (for now), in the thought that some might interest you as well.

In no particular order (other than #1, which is very #1 in my book):

1. The Writer's Almanac
This daily poem and authorly information snippet comes every night at about 11 p.m. for the next day. I've been known to check my email that late, just to see what's up from Mr. Keillor.

Here's an example of the kind of information, aside from a poem, that lands in my inbox:
Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata was published on this date (March 3) in 1802. Its real name is the slightly less evocative "Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Opus 27, No. 2," and its Italian subtitle is translated as "almost a fantasy." In 1832, five years after Beethoven's death, a German critic compared the sonata to the effect of moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne, and the interpretation became so popular that, by the end of the century, the piece was universally known as the "Moonlight Sonata." Beethoven himself had attributed the emotion of the piece to sitting at the bedside of a friend who had suffered an untimely death.

I don't know about you, but I kinda dig that stuff.

2. Six Pixels of Separation
Digital marketing and media insights that 9 days out of 10 I find very interesting. Helps in thinking about the way the world operates now, business and otherwise. The post just Wednesday was thought-provoking about how to connect "for real" in this always-connected world, and the last sentence I especially enjoyed: You don't have to unplug to become more human, you just have to make a choice. (Also, there's a misuse of a word--technically not a typo per se--in the post. Let me know if you find it!)

3. Foodimentary
Where else would I learn that yesterday was National Cereal Day and today is National Peanut Cluster Day? Important stuff. Ha. Actually, in and around the national food holidays, this site has some fun trivia re: food. Kind of a Writer's Almanac for foodies.

This email requires a Twitter account; it aggregates the news in your feed and send you a daily list of five or six headlines from Twitter. I rarely log onto Twitter anymore, so this is a great way to still get info from the sources I once thought interesting enough to follow. (And there's an iPhone app too.) Important to note: this app/email is only as captivating as the people you follow. So if your feed is full of Ashton Kutcher and Lady Gaga, that's what you'll see.

5. The High Calling
I enjoy the devotional emails I get from this site. And once a week, there's a summary of articles that haven't been emailed, so occasionally I find a good blog post in that list as well. Right now they're working through Ezekiel, not the first book I'd be diving into, so I'm glad for the chance to read along.

6. Nieman Journalism Lab
A selection of articles about journalism, with topics ranging from challenges the LA Times will have going to a "membership subscription" (read: paywall with a twist) to advice for journalists on Facebook.

7. Etsy Finds
You'll need an Etsy account to sign up for newsletters from them, but it's a great way to see areas of the site you might not ordinarily stumble onto. In some emails there's absolutely nothing I'm interested in (Mardi Gras, for example) and other days it can be completely up my alley (crochet, anyone?).

8. The Happiness Project, Moment of Happiness
I've read Gretchen Rubin's blog since prior to her first book release, and have enjoyed watching her continued success (second book about to be published, first book has been a full year on the NYTimes bestseller list). Her daily email quotes are usually quite good, thoughtful, and it appears she works at selecting quotes off the beaten path, which I appreciate. I also get her monthly newsletter, which helps if I haven't kept up on reading her blog.

9. Women's Health, Daily Dose
Information from diet to yoga to exercise... a little motivation in my inbox, definitely.

10. Now I Know, by Dan Lewis
Lewis takes a topic and does the research for you. Usually a bit obscure and arcane, but also interesting, and not so indepth as to lose his readers.

11. VSL: Very Short List
This email has purported to "bring you the best of the web" for a number of years now, and I've liked many of the items they've pointed me towards, whether a web site, a new album by an obscure band, a book that is outside my recommended Amazon reading, etc. They very recently revamped their whole approach and have a different topic each day by a different guest editor. So far so good, from what I've seen.

12. Song of the Day: NPR
This is one I'm loathe to give up, but I honestly delete it more often than I click through to listen. I'm sharing it because maybe YOU might enjoy it? I don't know. It ranges in musical tastes, for sure, and I am often intrigued or turned off by how the song/band is written about in the lone come-hither sentence that is meant to draw me in... when it works, it works, when it doesn't, click-delete.

13. Netted by the Webbys
This is a new-ish email to me, maybe a few months since I first signed up. It's all about pointing you toward online resources--apps, websites, etc.--to "assist" you with life. I have found some good ideas via Netted, but sometimes get a bit weary of the same kind of app crossing my path... do I need a "new" Pandora? A amped up Goodreads? A curated YouTube? Not so much. But in and among the redundancies, there are a few gems...

OK, so just reading that list makes me feel like information overload. As I try to keep my inbox clean and tidy so that things don't get missed (almost slipped past the deadline to schedule Seth's school conferences today, ahem), I may end up deleting a few more, but for now, these suit my info-hounding tendencies...

I ask this in fear I'll find more ways to be distracted online, but what are YOUR favorite daily emails? I would like to know.

For more Thursday 13s, go here. And have a great Thursday, while you're at it.


  1. I get Happiness Project, too, although I wish her quotes would be a little less academic sometimes. Gretchen Rubin is a bit of an odd duck in this whole "self help" world, but I **totally** appreciate that in this time of super-wishy-washy "self help CEOs" that give themselves crazy pedigrees and walk around like they have some gift that we all must buy into. (Yikes... that sounds bitter. I think I'm just super skeptical about it all.)

    I get tons of daily quotes: , TUT a note from the Universe, and Inspiration Peak are my favorites :)

  2. I get mediabistro every day and enjoy that; I also like The People's Pharmacy (it's biweekly, I think), Fundsforwriters (weekly) Marketing Minute (weekly). I prefer the weekly ones, I guess, to the every day things. I already spend too much time dealing with email and Facebook as it is.

  3. I get one - the Pixels of Ink young edition, b/c I like to download the books for my 3 year-old and we read them to bed. :D Anything more than that would be a major inconvenience.

  4. neat. Most of those I never heard of, but the first I check in with regularly.

  5. I get some of the same ones but want to hear 'the song for the day'. That sounds like fun. Good idea to make a list like that once in a while. I unsubscribed to a number of sites before we left home but still my box was full. I did recently sign up for 4 new interior design sites . . .will share those one day soon. Your father says, that is just what you need, more ideas!!


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