Leaders who don’t have time to read are leaders who don’t make time to learn. Not me, I’m obsessed with staying connected. It not only keeps me fresh but it’s a competitive advantage that enables you to relate, inspire and empathize – all qualities us creatives need to continue growing. And while information is flying at the speed of social, there’s a ton of great resources to keep you on top of your game. My daily routine includes a heavy dose of Flipboard, Twitter and newsletters. Yes, newsletters. Forget inbox zero, I get psyched when one of these nuggets of old-school electronic mail shows up. Here’s my top
Thingtesting by Jenny Gyllander – Jenny is a VC by day and emerging product tester by night. She’s single handily reinvented product reviews and her emoji game is fire. What started as IG posts has now turned into an amazing roundup of some of the most interesting consumer products on the market.
Dense Discovery by Kai Branch – Kai’s previous venture, Offscreen was a staple on every office newsstand I ever curated but is currently on holiday. Thankfully, Kai launched Dense Discovery and it’s become a weekly favorite amongst nerdy creative types like myself. It’s chock-full of interesting apps, tools, tips and recommendations – I often find myself clicking on multiple links that provoke curiosity. Even the classifieds feel relatable and that’s a testament to Kai’s thoughtful, transparent approach.
Glimpse – Discover exploding trends before the take off. That’s the motto behind Glimpse and I gotta say, it’s been quite effective. I signed up for their free newsletter which sends a monthly report on a few industries you want to track. In just a few months, I’ve upped my game on reverse image search, VPN’s, hyper-growth consumer shopping insights and more. I can only imagine how valuable their paid-reports must be as I’m left feeling totally inspired.
Sidewalk Labs – Just as the way we work is changing, so are cities. Sidewalk Labs offers an excellent newsletter that speaks to how we reinvent our future cities. From urban data and mobility to creating more public spaces that foster community, each issue has me feeling like an inspired citizen ready for action. Plus, urban planning never felt so cool.
The Awesome Farm by Rashid Zakat – Rashid is a creative genius and his newsletter is pure fire. I’m not just saying that because he’s an incredible storyteller, filmmaker, internet-junkie, photographer, DMX impersonator or that he DJ’d my wedding. Nah, this guy has more creative firepower in one email than most people dream of in a lifetime. Know this, when The Awesome Farm drops, you better block off your cal for a solid hour.
Forerunner Commerce News by Forerunner Ventures – Named in Time’s 100 Most Influential People, founder of Forerunner Ventures, it’s safe to say Kirsten Green has made smart investments in some of the most exciting, visionary brands this decade. Her portfolio counts Glossier, Away, Warby Parker, Hotel Tonight, Hims, Stadium Goods totaling nearly 80 investments. Impressive? You bet. But even more, her team puts together a weekly newsletter on key trends across the commerce landscape (the most recent issue included live-streaming shopping and concept stores) that leave me feeling empowered as both a consumer and experience designer.
Design Dispatch by Surface Magazine – I’ve long admired Surface Magazine for their gorgeous cover portraits but their daily newsletter has become my new secret weapon. Think of it as your cheat sheet to all things design. I typically wake up and read their daily dispatch in bed. It’s easily digestible and includes my all-time favorite section, “Today’s Attractive Distractions.”
Antler Update by Red Antler – Many of today’s top direct-to-consumer brands were strategically launched by Red Antler. Along with Gin Lane, they’ve helped design (and sometimes invest in) startups such as allbirds, Brandless, Casper, Keeps, Burrow and more. They’ve definitely locked in on a successful formula that gets consumers talking and while their newsletter contains a healthy dose of “check out our clients” the real gem is “What We’re Reading” and “What’s On Our Mind.” Super insightful links from the master architects shaping our new relationship with brands.
Good Measure – If you’re like me, you want to continually know how to be a better human and Good Measure offers just the right dose to help get after it. Subscribing to Good Measure means you’ll get links to thought-provoking articles, trends, reporting and more — on social impact, design for good, sustainability, and how to do good with what you’ve got. Staying informed is a magical thing.
Design Dept – Design leadership takes ongoing creative practice and thankfully, Design Dept helps bring all the wisdom straight to your inbox. In addition to their masterful publication, Within Magazine, I find a tremendous amount of advice, resources and empowerment from their monthly newsletter.
First Drought by M.G. Siegler – There’s much to love about M.G.’s brain-dump of thoughts around tech, beer and more tech. His newsletter reads like a conversation on the couch, which I find totally refreshing. It’s a fresh perspective on our constantly shifting industry and his predictions are almost always on-point.
Magenta by HUGE – Show me an agency that cares about design and technology as much as their merch and swagger. There’s little not to love about HUGE. Their brand is bold and you should expect nothing less from their content – it’s presented with fresh graphics and raw commentary – just how I like it.