I’ve never been very good at reading email circulars. I unsubscribe from most unless there is a tangible benefit to me being on the list, like free stuff or discounts. I now realise that’s because I wasn’t on the right mailing lists. The ones I read regularly now provide insight, information and usually amusement too. So I thought you might be interested in some of the ones that claim my attention these days.
This newsletter was recommended by Holly Brockwell in her Ethos feature a few months ago. A caveat: there are always more than five things and it doesn’t always come out on a Friday. Sometimes it doesn’t come out at all if James is too busy with life. But it is very readable and contains some really interesting links and information, some techy, some humorous, some reflective stuff, some daft, but all engaging. It will lead you into other worlds, and no doubt to other newsletters too. He had a break over the summer so I haven’t had many issues, but have loved all of them so far, especially a recent one which recounted James’s battle with severe mental illness a few years ago. We need more of this.
As a follow up to her much-lauded book about women existing in a men’s world, Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, this is a new newsletter from the woman who successfully campaigned for Jane Austen to appear on the £10 note, and for a statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square, which continues the theme of the disparity between how data created by men about men is used to impact on the lives of women, leading to major differences in how each gender experiences the world around them. Examples such as the use of crash test dummies modelled on men only, mean that driving is inherently more dangerous for women, medical instruments designed to fit into men’s hands means they are often unwieldy for female medics, and military uniforms designed for men causing major discomfort for female armed force personnel. The book should enrage you, and this newsletter provides a way of Caroline updating issues she has raised in the book as well as introducing new ones. And you can join in her utter despair at the crowd-sourced toilet queue of the week. Always the women’s, always because there are never enough toilets.
The Wordscape team has introduced me to this newsletter recently. It is, as its name suggests, dense with information, mostly tech-related but coming from a place of ‘tech-solutionism’, whilst recognising that technology can’t be the answer to everything. It contains a massive amount of information such as recommended apps, indie magazines, social media insights and talks about hardware and software too. But in a very approachable way, not in a boring technical in-depth way, encouraging you to find out more if you want to. It’s beautifully curated and presented too.
We’re now surrounded by news constantly, whether it be through TV, radio, on our phones or on social media. You can choose to ignore it all of course, and I’m not sure anyone would blame you. The Spoon is trying to tackle presenting news in a bitesize way so that with a quick glance you can find everything you need to know, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The email has character, but not too much, and links to articles from across the media spectrum if you want to delve further into a story. It covers some politics, some international news, and some popular culture, so you can never be quite sure what you might get. They have a Patreon too, so you can support their work.
My final two picks are both regular newsletters but also publications. Happiful focuses on positive mental health, so as well as producing a magazine, it sends out regular emails with hints and tips about to live a more positive healthy life. The magazine is available for free online through Issuu, although you can either purchase/subscribe to a printed edition too. I find the information accessible, thoughtful and unpatronising. The magazine itself has a wealth of useful information and is a joy to read. It features people you will have heard of and some you won’t but each feature is positive and affirming and promotes good mental health.
For people who work from home, no matter what they do, a publication with a primary focus on how to deal with some of the issues that arise from working on your own for long period of time is to be welcomed into the marketplace. Louise Goss has a very gentle style of writing and edits a beautiful magazine with all sorts of helpful advice from a number of contributors who talk money matters, dealing with loneliness, childcare and decluttering your workspace. In between editions (£18 a year for four copies), she sends out regular newsletters covering some of the issues on a slightly more general level. Although her emails are clearly more marketing for selling the magazine than others in this list, they still contain a lot of interesting information.
And finally, of course, there’s Popbitch…