14 + 1 newsletters worth your time

February 4, 2020

Newsletters are the Tom Hanks of digital products. Nobody gets overly excited about them, they’ve been here forever and probably will always be, and they are just very, very good at delivering what you expect from them.

Moving on from Tom Hanks, what follows is an inevitably incomplete list of newsletters that I think are worth your time. I’ve grouped them based on what they do for you:

  • Be informed – More or less traditional briefings on the most relevant news worldwide.
  • Be inspired – Newsletters that stimulate your heart and mind and get you excited about things you didn’t know you’d find interesting.
  • Learn more – Newsletters about specific topics and industries that help you stay up to date and dig deeper.
πŸ“œ Tagline or self-description of the newsletter
πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‹β€β™€οΈπŸ’ Who is writing it?
πŸ’Œ Why it’s great
πŸ—“ Frequency

Be informed

What Happened Last Week?
πŸ“œ An easy, critical, no-bullshit email magazine on world news, for people who would like to read the New York Times but don’t.
πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ Sham Jaff, a Kurdish political scientist, based in Berlin.
πŸ’Œ A thorough briefing on what’s happening in the world (with less focus on Western countries than most others).
πŸ—“ Every Monday

Quartz Daily Brief
πŸ“œ The most important and interesting news from the global economy.
🏒 Quartz, a news organisation based in New York, one of the most innovative in the industry.
πŸ’Œ It was one of the first daily briefings, before everyone started doing them, and it remains one of the best. Good selection of topics, always brief and to the point.
πŸ—“ Weekdays, early morning (time-zone adjusted)

Numlock News
πŸ“œ The best way to start your morning! Numlock celebrates great stories buried in the news that you won’t find elsewhere.
πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ Walter Hickey, a journalist based in New York
πŸ’Œ It’s fascinating to see how your perception of news changes when they are told around the key numbers in them.
πŸ—“ Weekdays (plus a paid Sunday edition)

Next Draft
πŸ“œ The day’s most fascinating news.
πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ Dave Pell, a writer and angel investor based in San Francisco.
πŸ’Œ Good selection of topics, delivered in a conversational tone that makes it fun to read. Trigger warning: Puns. Lots of puns.
πŸ—“ Weekdays, nighttime CET

Be inspired

Schwerer werden. Leichter sein. (in German)
πŸ“œ Briefe an meine Freunde.
πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ Julian Schmidli, a journalist based in Zurich, Switzerland.
πŸ’Œ Always interesting things to discover, but what makes the newsletter unique is the very personal style. You always learn something about Julian, and by means of reflection, about yourself.
πŸ—“ Monthly

Five Best Ideas of the Day
🏒 The Aspen Institute, a nonprofit think tank based in Aspen and Washington DC.
πŸ’Œ Consistently good, diverse selection of pieces, condensed into one key idea they convey.
πŸ—“ Weekdays, evening CET

Datawrapper Weekly Chart
πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ Always someone else from the Datawrapper team in Berlin, which builds data visualisation tools.
πŸ’Œ They always find interesting stories to tell in one chart (or map), a great way to learn about new things and how to expertly visualise data at the same time.
πŸ—“ Every Thursday

Ridgeline
πŸ“œ A weekly newsletter on walking, Japan, literature, and photography.
πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ Craig Mod, an American based in Japan, self-declared Β«walker, writer, photographerΒ».
πŸ’Œ I find it hard to describe what makes this newsletter so special. Predictable randomness, held together by Craig’s voice and the general idea of hiking. Inspires you to take more time for walking and thinking.
πŸ—“ Weekly, Tuesday-ish

Austin Kleon’s weekly newsletter
πŸ“œ 10 things I think are worth sharing β€” new art, writing, and interesting links.
πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ Austin Kleon, artist, writer, or, as he describes himself: a writer who draws.
πŸ’Œ It’s hard (as in: close to impossible), not to be inspired by this newsletter. Over the years, I’ve discovered so many artists, interesting books and new ways of thinking.
πŸ—“ Every Friday

Learn more

Heated
πŸ“œ A newsletter for people who are pissed off about the climate crisis.
πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ Emily Atkin, a climate journalist, based in Washington DC.
πŸ’Œ Essential original reporting on the climate crisis, and a trustworthy source for context on what you read elsewhere.
πŸ—“ Daily, Monday to Thusday (some of them only available to paying subscribers)

WTH, America? (in German)
πŸ“œ Ein Spickzettel, der in wenigen Minuten pro Woche nach und nach hilft, die aktuelle US-Politik besser zu verstehen.
πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ Christian Fahrenbach, a German journalist based in New York City.
πŸ’Œ Christian has this rare gift of explaining complex issues in a way that makes them easy to understand, without trivialising the issue. Hits just the right balance between casual and serious.
πŸ—“ Every Tuesday

Reuters Institute weekly newsletter
🏒 Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in Oxford UK.
πŸ’Œ No better way to stay up to date with key research on journalism and the media industry.
πŸ—“ Weekly

Axios Media Trends
πŸ“œ 10 things I think are worth sharing β€” new art, writing, and interesting links.
πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ Sara Fischer, one of the best-informed media journalists, based in Washington DC.
πŸ’Œ No better way to stay up to date with the media industry (in the US, that is).
πŸ—“ Every Tuesday

Benedict Evans’ weekly newsletter
πŸ“œ My notes for the week on the news that actually matters and what it might mean.
πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ Benedict Evans, a tech analyst, based in London UK.
πŸ’Œ No better way to stay up to date with the tech industry (and everything it touches).
πŸ—“ Every Sunday

Oh, and one more 😁

Weekly Filet
πŸ“œ The five best links of the week. Making sense of the big issues of our time (with a healthy dose of serendipity and nerdiness).
πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ David Bauer, a journalist based in Zurich, a.k.a. me
πŸ’Œ I’ll let you be the judge and would love for you to give it a try. Subscribe here.
πŸ—“ Every Friday

PS: Yes, I forgot to mention that one fantastic newsletter you expected to make the list. Tell me about it on Twitter. I might update this list in the future.

Hello, nice to meet you. I'm a curious generalist, my main areas of expertise are strategy, journalism and leadership.

Strategy

Consulted and worked at organisations to develop, refine and execute strategies for digital transformation.

Journalism

Formal training and 15 years of experience in journalism. Specialised in visual, data-driven stories.

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10 years of experience in leading projects and teams. I believe in inclusive, purpose-driven leadership.

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My work has appeared in Neue ZΓΌrcher Zeitung, The Guardian, Quartz, Spiegel Online, Das Magazin, Tages-Anzeiger, SonntagsZeitung, TagesWoche, among others.

Weekly Filet

My newsletter brings you the five best links of the week, every Friday. Making sense of the big issues of our time (with a healthy dose of serendipity and nerdiness).

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