Excellent newsletters that cut through noise and bring you value

Staying current on news and priming your mind for engaging and relevant conversations has its pros and cons. If you spend time every day reading the latest news, hottest blog posts and take time to know what’s relevant in your world, you can leverage that information to drive meaningful conversations with people and apply what you learn. On the other hand, the internet and social media exposes us to a firehose of information that can easily overwhelm us and keep us from focusing on what really matters. How might we get the best of both worlds?

If you’re like me, you might want to briefly check in with what’s happening in the world but you might have some days where you’re heads-down, blocking all distractions. If that’s the case then you want to make sure you are efficient when you do consume information. Below are the newsletters I recommend subscribing to if you’re into business, technology, and intellectual musings with brief descriptions of why I read them.

Thoughtful Insights

Farnham Street and Stratechery are consistently the most thought-provoking and insightful newsletters on the internet. Reading Harvard Business Review has insightful articles that are Harvard MBA quality, with the added bonus of including guest authors from industry experts. And McKinsey is also a gold mine of info even more analytical than HBR, but it can also get a bit too executive buzzwordy. All of these are great if you’re an enterprise executive or startup founder.

Farnham Street

A blog written by the well-read Shane Parish dedicated to analyzing the best in human thinking. You can expect to see insights from timely books and commentary on the best minds throughout history and today that you can use to improve your daily performance in work and in life.

Stratechery

A blog from big tech insiders that break down the nitty-gritty game theory for why companies like Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Google do what they do. This is a paid newsletter worth every penny.

Harvard Business Review: Weekly Hot List

The esteemed Harvard Business Review examines what is most relevant to top business leaders today. The content is derived from subject matter experts and respected authors in business, psychology, economics, technology, and more.

McKinsey & Company: Monthly Highlights

McKinsey & Company is known for being a top 3 consulting firm across a vast number of industries. They staff the best and brightest researchers to develop reports for top decision-makers in business and government. This newsletter gives you access to their latest findings and is geared towards executives.

News

Axios, WSJ, and The Hustle are my sources of daily news. The newsy stuff gets repetitive, but I like having multiple sources to balance out perspectives. The latter two news curations are great because they link to multiple sources.

Wall Street Journal: The 10-Point and Future of Everything

As Wall Streets eminent publication, the 10-Point daily newsletter is great for staying on top of what’s going on in the world and how it affects business. In addition, I enjoy the Future of Everything newsletter for its well-written commentary on advanced innovation.

Axios

Axios is a publication dedicated to cutting through the noise and political bias. Its reading experience is also built for less distraction and more of what you need. Their newsletter is great because it not only includes original content but also features the best articles and findings from other sources.

The Hustle

The Hustle is a daily newsletter that I read to understand how the news is perceived by my fellow millennials. I have a difficult time seeing things from a millennial perspective and an even more difficult time communicating it in a relatable way. I read The Hustle to understand a youthful perspective on a deeper level.

Mind-Expanding

The last four sources are my ambitious mind-expanding sources that I, more often than not, bookmark and occasionally come back to. I wish I was more disciplined with my time so I could read Nautilus articles and dive into books that Brain Pickings analyses.

Brain Pickings

Written by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings is a literati’s dream. The newsletter version of her blog provides a steady trickle of humanizing content that connects themes from the greatest writers across time, form, and culture. It’s what you should read to become a more balanced and empathetic human being.

Y Combinator Weekly Email: Top Posts on Hacker News

YC, the world-renowned startup accelerator, has a rabid community forum built by programmer, essayist, and investor Paul Graham called Hacker News. This is where sophisticated engineering minds go to debate semantics, expound upon the morality of tech, and occasionally share project ideas that turn into billion-dollar companies. This newsletter pulls the most popular posts from its forum, which can be hit or miss, but is worth paying attention to.

Nautilus

Nautilus magazine is where published researchers go to get their ideas out from an institutional paywall and into the world through an inspiring user experience and a touch of creative freedom. Nautilus articles are long-form and sometimes deeply obscure, but reading it is a fantastic way to push your intellectual boundaries.

Readwise

Readwise is part app part newsletter that curates a daily summary of highlights from books you’ve read. As you review their curated blurbs, you can give them a thumbs up or down so Readwise can either discard the blurb or bring it back to you in order to help you internalize the information. This is increasingly becoming one of my secret weapons that helps me implement what I learn from books written by extremely successful people.

Bonus

Refind

If you prefer stumbling upon content based on social recommendations through Facebook or Twitter feeds, I recommend trying Refind. By using Refind, you can avoid the trap of social media distractions (they’re made to do that) and still get article recommendations for what your Twitter follows are reading. It also uses machine learning to recommend quality articles that are pertinent to what you’ve previously read. After you configure your account and feed Refind information, it will curate a daily or weekly newsletter just for you.

You can also add the Refind extension to your favorite browser to easily keep track of what you’ve read and integrate other apps like Buffer and Evernote to streamline your research and content marketing workflow.