Newsletters: The cool, clever and funny ones

The internet is awash with hilarity/ wisdom/ trends/ groundbreaking news. But where on earth do you start? With email newsletters, straight to your inbox, says Emma Barlow. Here, she shares the ones you should definitely sign up to…

As you’ve probably noticed, the internet is quite big. So big in fact, that sometimes sieving through articles, listicles, blog posts and tweets in order to find the things you are actually interested in can make you go a bit doolally.

Plus surfing the net is not always conducive to proper reading and reflection. Even when you do happen across something that floats your boat, those 30 unread tweets or emails keep distracting you. So it’s lucky then, that newsletters are on the rise.

With newsletters, those stories, products or pictures that interest you most get distilled into one place and delivered straight to your inbox – giving you the space to read and digest. If that sounds like your bag then you’re in luck, I’ve rounded up some of the best…

Newsletters to sign up to…

A Little Bird 

A Little Bird is a weekly newsletter that touts itself as ‘an insider’s guide to London’ and given that it’s written by a small group of women writers and editors who met while working at Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, I believe them. Expect everything from book reviews and tips on chic homeware to where’s fashionable to eat in Hackney.

Brain Pickings

The name might sound like something that Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett liked to bake inside pastry cases but actually Brain Pickings is a really well written and contemplative collection of stories covering creativity, psychology, art, design and philosophy. It arrives in my inbox every weekend and is a good fix when I can’t be bothered to go and pick up a newspaper.

The Dolly Mail

Readers of The Sunday Times Style magazine may recognise Dolly from her regular and – personally speaking, totally relatable – dating column. The comprehensive Dolly Mail offers more of her thoughtful musings as well as a post from a guest writer, a recipe, shopping tips, book recommendations and her pick of interesting stuff from around the net.

The Early Hour

It would be remiss of me to miss off The Early Hour’s fab version of a newsletter from this list. Sign up today and you can receive editor Annie Ridout’s top picks from the website every week.


This weekly newsletter promises ‘great things to do with your kids in London’ and, from what I can tell (I don’t have kids to test it out on) it does exactly that. Think of Hopscotch as the new ‘Things to do this weekend’ – my go-to section of Time Out magazine.

Le Cool

For those with slightly quirkier tastes see Le Cool. This is a roundup of upcoming gigs, festivals and exhibitions, as well as interviews with some usually quite trendy types. And if you’re heading abroad, you can also check out what’s ‘Le Cool’ in other European capitals.


For lovers of interiors and design there’s Monoqi. Less a newsletter, more a collection of all-things pretty (if anyone knows of a good interiors newsletter, please let me know in the comments), this Berlin brand provides regular sources of inspiration for anyone who likes buying –­ or simply browsing ­– nice things to put in their home… or on their person.

Mr Porter 

Mr Porter is a fabulous site for stylish men or anyone interested in men’s style. There are a variety of newsletter-style options to subscribe to but their daily The Journal Digest is a good place to start.

The Pool 

The Pool is like the best women’s glossy magazine that you can imagine…but on the net. No topic is too big or too small but the stories I find myself drawn to are those of women bearing their soul – whether it’s The Early Hour favourite Bryony Gordon on how mental illness has affected her relationships or Ella Risbridger’s always inspiring column on caring, cancer and lipstick.

Popular Mechanics 

Looking to indulge your inner nerd? The Popular Mechanics newsletter is the perfect shout. Based on the magazine of the same name that, amazingly, has been going since 1902 – it’s a fantastic mixture of technology and science news, and genuinely interesting how-to’s. As well as some general nonsense.


Does this count as a newsletter? I’m not sure but if you’re into photography or like me, simply spend so much time staring at words on a screen that a more visual experience is a welcome break then Unsplash is the one. It promises 10 free, hi-res photos delivered to your inbox every 10 days.

Which newsletters do you LOVE seeing arrive in your inbox? Let us know in the comments below…