How to Read Email Newsletters Without Cluttering Your Inbox
Email newsletters are all the rage these days, and much of their appeal revolves around how they’re delivered.
You know the drill, right? Unlike traditional online news sources, where it is up to you To seek out information and tell the good from the bad, email newsletters come straight to you, straight to your inbox, and direct from a writer or publication you know and trust. It’s a more personal way to stay informed and allows you to connect directly with authoritative voices on the topics closest and dearest to your heart.
At the same time, email can be a cluttered and complicated place. Newsletters mingle with important messages, urgent reminders and even boring promotions. When you just want to relax and read something, it’s not always easy to find what you want and focus on all the noise around it.
What if there was a better way – a way to retain all the benefits of email newsletter support while separating it from your regular inbox and making it easier to enjoy?
Well, dear reader, I’m here to tell you that such possibilities do exist. As an avid newsletter reader (and creator), I spend a lot of time researching great setups to improve the newsletter reading experience – and I’ve come across some truly delicious options. Each has their own set of benefits and form of appeal, and each will work with any the newsletters you receive (not, ahem, just those from a specific service).
See which setup looks most intriguing to you and get ready to read your newsletters in a whole new way.
1. The Standalone Mobile Newsletter Reader
If you tend to read newsletters primarily from your phone or tablet, but want to keep them outside of your regular inbox, an app called Slick Inbox is exactly the newsletter reading upgrade you need. you need.
When you sign up for Slick Inbox, you choose a personalized email address on the slickinbox.com domain. You can then use this address to sign up for any newsletter by going to the newsletter website as you normally would and entering your new slickinbox.com address. All incoming issues will then go straight into the app instead of being mixed in with all your other messages.
Whenever you feel like reading, just open the app and you’ll find a nicely formatted list of outstanding issues waiting for you, organized like a sleek newsfeed.
Tap on any number you want, and you can read it right away, without any other distractions.
You can mark issues as read to gray them out of the list or archive them to move them out of the main list and into a separate Archived section. You can also set the app to automatically archive all but the most recent issue of a publication, or the most recent 5, 10, or 20 issues.
If you want to read all the issues of a specific newsletter in your list, you can head to the app’s Subscriptions tab to browse your issues by outlet. There’s also a Discover tab with a curated selection of recommended newsletters in different categories, if you ever feel like finding something new.
Slick Inbox also has mechanics to let you pick issues as you read, in case you come across something you really like and want to make it easier to find later. It also has a useful built-in sharing feature that allows you to share a special web link to any issue of any newsletter, whether the newsletter itself offers such an option or not.
The app offers many other useful features, including an easy way to unsubscribe from any newsletter you’ve added, and customizable notifications to let you know when new issues arrive. And, yes, it even has a one-click switch for a dark mode reading environment.
Slick Inbox is currently free, and although its creator considers it a beta product, it’s more refined, actively developed, and enjoyable to use than any other comparable options I’ve come across. You can download it from the Play Store for Android; on iOS, at the moment you’ll need to install Apple’s TestFlight app first, then follow this link to find it.
(If you’d rather not mess with the iOS beta process, Stoop Inbox is an acceptable and more readily available alternative, though its interface is less impressive, its sharing options less robust, and its Android app equivalent doesn’t have not been updated for well over a year, making it less of a universally recommended cross-platform option.)
2. The Minimalist Web Newsletter Reader
Do you prefer to read your newsletter from your browser? Check out the misspelled Newslettrs, which is kind of like a simplified version of the Slick Inbox concept designed to work exclusively on the web. You can use it on your computer or on a phone or tablet, but there’s no dedicated app, just the website.
That distinction aside, the basic idea is pretty much the same, but with a few notable twists. Firstly, in addition to allowing you to create your own personalized email address for direct subscriptions to the service (using the newslettrs.app domain), Newslettrs has a thoughtful Explore section that allows you to subscribe to certain newsletters directly on the website. , with just a few quick clicks. The list of options is a little sparse at the moment, but if you find something you like, the experience couldn’t be much easier.
All newsletters you subscribe to, whether through this Explore tab or more traditionally, appear in the Inbox section of the site, where they are broken down by post and sender instead of appearing in a feed problem-oriented.
From there, the options are a bit more limited compared to Slick Inbox. You can mark issues as read, which grays them out in your inbox, and you can unsubscribe from any newsletter with a prominent button above each post page. Well, that’s about it.
Overall, Newslettrs is about as simple and minimalistic as it gets, and that seems to be the point. If you want more features or a standalone mobile app, this won’t be the best answer for you. But if you want a distraction-free, single-purpose environment for basic newsletter reading and nothing more, no matter what kind of device you’re using, it doesn’t get much better than this.
The use of Newslettrs is free.
3. Mecca for versatile reading
Maybe you would like to follow a parcel from different news sources, not just newsletters, but also feeds from specific websites or even Twitter accounts.
If so, Feedbin is the service for you. It’s the ultimate centralized command center for all playback, from any device. With newsletters, in particular, it gives you a personalized email address which you can then use to sign up for any newsletters you want, just like with the other services I’ve covered.
But that’s where the similarities end. As a general-purpose reading service, Feedbin acts more like a feed reader, a bit like a supercharged version of the old Google Reader concept. You can enter the address of most websites, Twitter users, or RSS feeds to add to your mix, and then you’ll see every new item from every source you add in one streamlined list on the Feedbin website.
Incoming newsletters will automatically be tagged accordingly, so you can choose to read them on their own or as part of your wider mix. And you can switch between a Reader-like textual view for your feeds and a more contemporary GUI.
Mobile-wise, Feedbin offers an official app for iOS as well as a variety of third-party options for iOS and Android. For Android users, the best all-around choice right now is FocusReader, which connects directly to Feedbin and can be used for free with an optional $7 per year Pro subscription for additional features and options.
Feedbin itself, meanwhile, costs $5 per month after a two-week free trial.
Bonus: The tab dedicated to the Gmail newsletter
This last item isn’t an app but rather a nifty setup that adds a dedicated newsletters section to your existing Gmail setup. It’s a fantastic middle ground that lets you separate newsletters from the rest of your email without having to add any extra apps or hassle.
The trick is to use Gmail’s default tabbed inbox configuration and then reuse one of the provided tabs in a newsletter reading area, where all the newsletters you receive automatically land and nothing else happens. other is classified. I would suggest using the Forums tab, as it’s an easy and sensible destination to go to for this scenario.
I break down the full set of steps to achieve this in this Gmail tab story. The whole process will take you maybe 10 minutes to complete – and once you’re done, you’ll have your own personalized newsletter home right in your regular inbox.
I like this option because it keeps newsletters from getting lost in the mess (or distracting you from more pressing emails), but also keeps them close enough that you don’t forget them. Whenever new newsletters arrive, in fact, you’ll see slight indications of their presence in your inbox, though the messages themselves will remain tucked away and detached from everything else.
Whichever route you choose, you’ll enjoy a vastly improved reading experience for email newsletters. All you have to do is find the ones you like.
For even more next-level productivity insights, check out my weekly newsletter on Android, Chrome, and Other Googley Topics.