Top 20 Email Newsletters You Need To Know About

Top 20 Newsletters

Education, story-telling, and personal development.

These three things are roughly what I’m looking for in a good email newsletter.

I want to be entertained, to be challenged, to be informed, to be intrigued, and to be taken to places I may not have already gone to through my own curated feeds.

Does that sound like something you want in on too? Well, let me give you my current Top 20 email updates. In no particular order, here’s what I’m happy to see in my inbox:

1. Quartz Daily Brief

Since Quartz started this news update, it’s been the first thing I read each day. I don’t pay much attention to the news during the day, so this is the nearest I get to a briefing. And it’s fab.

The short weekend essay they send on Saturday is consistently winning too.

2. Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel

Productivity, education, and web links worth exploring every Sunday.

3. Oliver Quinlan’s Quinlearning

Oliver Quinlan recently introduced this newsletter after enjoying Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel. Similar in nature to Doug’s, but with different edulinks and recommendations for you, Oliver has started his newsletter off with a bang.

4. A Millennial Type

In Declan and Erica’s own words, “Empowering Millennials to LIVE, CREATE, PERSEVERE, and DREAM”. I can’t improve on that…they even use an Oxford comma. ;)

5. Almost Timely (@cspenn)

Full of links on social marketing, technology, society, and all sorts of other things.

Penn’s premium content adds a nice touch to proceedings, with actionable advice on how to be one step ahead of the rest. Just keep it to yourself, he urges!

6. Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan’s Sunday newsletter is a friendly kick up the bum to help support you as an owner, preceded by a comment on what he’s drinking. Be sure to tell him what tipple you’re enjoying.

7. Primility

Jerod Morris already does a great job co-hosting podcasts like The Showrunner and The Lede (check these out too!).

Jerod has recently started a Primility movement, for balancing pride and humility. His newsletter gives you a dose of inspiration to start each week, as well as a roundup of all the daily Primility shows you can listen to.

Wrist bump!

8. Educating Modern Learners

The EML newsletter showcases exclusive content and comment on education issues, as well as great edulinks elsewhere on the web. Some great thought pieces to explore.

9. Hack Education

One of the co-founders of EML, Audrey Watters, also has her own fantastic weekly update. Hack Education doesn’t focus on just the positive stuff and the hype, and that makes it a breath of fresh air. Yours in struggle.

10. On Tap Education News Digest

I mainly use this on days when I’m not checking my own curated news feeds. But if you don’t already have education news ‘on tap’, this is a great daily email for you.

Mainstream media links, government and other sources, plus international stories, all ready for you to click or tap on and be informed about.

11. Annie Murphy Paul: The Brilliant Report

I first encountered Annie Murphy Paul in 2010 when I read her book, “Origins: How the nine months before birth shape the rest of our lives“. Her newsletter has engaging content on learning, based on cognitive science, neuroscience, and psychology.

12. Further

Brian Clark of Copyblogger writes about personal development each week.

He features a big topic in every issue and includes other links on health, wealth and wisdom. It’s my favourite Brian Clark thing (closely followed by Unemployable).

13. Harvard Business Review Management Tip of the Day

HBR has lots of email alerts, including a daily roundup of all that day’s stories published on the site. But the Management Tip of the Day is useful for more than managers. As a student, you can also get a dose of useful advice on taking action, persuading others, and being your best self.

Sign up at:

14. James Clear

On how to improve performance and form habits, James Clear’s articles are incredibly popular (200k+ subscribers). Worth a read for a part-story, part-evidence-based, part self-help way to give you a physical and mental boost.

15. The One Thing

Each week, Iñaki Escudero says, “There are many things going on, these are a few of my favorite ones”.

A quirky, informative, and fun email. “The One Tradition I wish I had”, “The One Business lesson to learn from a 13 year old girl”, “The One Thing nobody can do”, “The One Chart to question our assumptions”…Lots of stuff that’ll stick with you.

16. No Sidebar

At work, at home, and in your soul…No Sidebar is an informative look at calming down your life so you can do more with less.

17. Storythings

A selection of stories from the week that you may not have read about. They helpfully tell you how long each piece should take to read.

18. The Daily Water Cooler

This is awesome if only for the two animated gifs you get each day. Coming from someone who doesn’t enjoy much about animated gifs, it’s high praise!

You’re also treated to links worth sharing, as well as a (US-centric) look at news in business, politics, sports, and culture.

19. The Long + Short

From innovation charity Nesta, a free online/mobile magazine that “tells stories of innovation that are thoughtful, hopeful and questioning”. Some are long reads and some are short. Hence, the Long + Short.

The weekly newsletter also has other stories of innovation from elsewhere on the web that are well worth a read.

20. University World News

Not content with your own national higher education news? Get a briefing on what’s happening all over the world, with useful comment pieces too, from University World News.

BONUS! – 21. Nuzzel

It’s not quite an email subscription, but a great alert service. Customise it to show you the most popular links being shared by people you follow on Twitter. The online service is great and the powerful email alerts tell you when a certain number of people have tweeted the same link.

You can also get daily email updates of the most popular links from the previous day.

What have I missed? Let me know what newsletters you look forward to getting. Tweet me up…I’m @universityboy.

The Best Places for News Overviews and In-Depth Writing

News and current events can get in the way of your learning, your spare time, and even the bigger issues. But that doesn’t mean you want to keep away from an entertaining read on what’s going on around the world.

(photo by Entrer dans le rêve) (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

(photo by Entrer dans le rêve) (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Whether you want to sink your teeth into some beefy journalism, or you simply wish to catch up as quickly as possible on what’s hot in the press, here are the sites and services I use for in-depth articles and brief overviews:

In Depth

Longreads – – Extensive articles on all manner of topics. A daily feed of writing that goes into several thousand words a time.

Arts & Letters Daily – – Three articles a day with searching articles and interesting ideas. Under the headings “Articles of Note”, “New Books” and “Essays and Opinion”.

Longform – More choices of lengthy articles. There are lots of ‘best of’ lists from 2013 picked for you to enjoy.

The Browser – The website that brings you “writing worth reading”. Enjoy the main feed, or drill down on the Literary and Tech sections.


Top 5 News – – Dedicated to showing you the most read articles on various UK news sites. An easy way to see what’s top of the tree all in one go.

AllTop – – With a broad range of subjects on offer, AllTop allows you to find out what news agencies and blogs are writing about on a single page. Simple to use.

Popurls – News sites, videos, bloggers, specialist subjects…Popurls covers all sorts of feeds on most things you can think of. Equally good for catching up and finding inspiration.

Feedly – A slight cheat, this one. You’ll still have to find the RSS feeds that suit you. But once you subscribe to the relevant feeds in your areas of interest, the articles come to you. No more time wasted seeking stuff out.

As a bonus, get reading quickly by pushing your articles through Spreeder or and watch your reading speed grow as you go. In no time you’ll be reading lengthy journalism in the time it used to take just to catch up on the headlines!

Where do you go for in-depth stories? How do you catch up on recent news? Let us know in the comments.

January: Month of the ‘Best of…’ Posts [EduLinks]

Now that TheUniversityBlog is back, how about a load of links? Lots of ‘best of’ features for you to grab loads of goodies from last year’s haul of great online content.

First up, the Guardian has predictions for the 2014 graduate jobs market. What does your future hold?

Leo at Zen Habits presents great content on reaching your best potential and leaving pointless actions behind. Here are his favourite posts from 2013.

Becoming Minimalist shares a highlights post. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a minimalist to get value from the posts. You may start becoming one soon though!

Tyler Tervooren at starts his version of the 2013 ‘Best of’ post with a bang. “11 Lame-Ass Excuses You Make Every Day That Are Ruining Your Life”. Can you handle it?

Jane Hart links to the 50 best articles she read in 2013. Education-wise, there’s something for everyone.

With a postgrad vibe, Patter has her top 10 posts from 2013.

Tony Bates looks beyond 2014 and thinks about online learning in 2020.

Paul Greatrix (aka @registrarism on Twitter) brings together his collection of 2013 (and 2012) posts on The Imperfect University. Well worth a read if university admin and policy is your thing.

As for beefy study tips, I’ve got a heavy, but valuable read. A journal article that breaks down the very best ways to learn and study. Sadly, the usual techniques are generally the least effective. It’s heavy, but important stuff. Set aside a bit of time for reading so you can work more efficiently in the future.

That’ll keep you going for a while. What did you read in 2013 that inspired you to do awesome things? Share the wealth!

Winner (photo by kreg.steppe) (CC BY-SA 2.0)

(photo by kreg.steppe) (CC BY-SA 2.0)

TUB Reboot – TheUniversityBlog in 2014

Here comes a lot more from TheUniversityBlog, or as I affectionately call it, TUB! More great stuff on the site and a newsletter too.

I spent an extended time away and had a great time. Of course, I missed all of you too. Moving away from the social pulse is strange.

It felt a bit like Doug Belshaw’s BlackOps, where he takes a month (or two) off from social networks and email. Last week I did a lot of catching up and participated in Martin Couzins’ great new course on how to be an effective digital curator. The course is a great way to get lots of people together who are interested in collecting and shaping content, so it was a good way to get back in the swing of things online.


Now we’re very much in 2014, I wanted to make a few changes. For a start, I’ve updated the site. What do you think about the new look? If you read via email or a feed, come and take a peek. I plan to increase the post numbers again, with a selection of shorter pieces alongside the lengthy posts.

But I need your input for the most relevant stuff. Do you need more exam tips? Want to sort out your work/life balance (or don’t even think it exists)? Interested in higher education in the news? Have something on your mind that you wish was covered here? Get in touch and let me know which aspects of uni life you want the lowdown on.


I’m also about to start a newsletter, ‘TUB Thump‘. Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed a signup link on the sidebar. Many, many thanks for those of you who have already subscribed. The first edition of the Thump will be out soon.

You want in? For exclusive content, competitions, quick tips and great links, sign up to TUB Thump here. Only the best from TUB Towers.

Let’s make 2014 shine!

(photo by Neal) (CC BY 2.0)

(photo by Neal) (CC BY 2.0)