Curating Email Subscriptions: You are what you Read

I’ve a big believer in early mornings – it’s part of my creative process to get up at 4-5AM, brew some coffee, and get a fresh start on the day. Before diving into a design project, my mind needs a little time to wander & wake up. Selectively reading through my email subscriptions get’s me motivated and provides the right amount of creative distraction to be productive.

There’s something to having articles delivered and forming a consistent habit of reading, versus searching for content on the internet.

Some subscriptions arrive early in the day, some later in the day. I’ll take pauses throughout the day to check email and find a story worth reading. I’m also a tremendous news junky – it helps my mind flex on something larger than what’s in front of my screen.

The email subscriptions I read could be design focused or could be random. Part of being a designer is maintaining a curiosity about the world around us. That curiosity returns in every project you do.

Top 5 email subscriptions for any designer:

  • Quarz for News. This is probably the first thing I read most mornings. Excellent short write ups on the state of our planet.
  • InVision’s Blog for Design. Besides being a product that’s rooted into my design process, they interview product designers and offer an amazing perspective on our industry. I rarely miss anything they publish and often re-read the articles.
  • Medium – great publishing platform. Of the 10+ items they email, there’s typically one that catches my attention. The articles I read could be design focused or could be random. Part of being a designer is maintaining a curiosity about the world around us. That curiosity returns in every project you do.
  • Co.Design for the business of Design. Fast Company’s design focused news. I make a point of following through and reading at least one article per day here. These often have a business perspective I feel a lot of design writing lacks.
  • Crew inspires growth. Well composed thoughts from a company building their business in the open.  They inspire me to write more and start my own business.

Other things that keep me going throughout the week:

  • Little daily Simon Sinek inspiration never hurt anyone
  • Visual inspiration on Monday mornings from
  • brainpickings is what is sounds like
  • 99U always carries interviews that speak towards learning and career growth
  • and Laura Vanderkamp offers a great perspective on having a family and still being a leader

And of course, filter where you give your attention a bit. That woot deal that just came in may be amazing, but it isn’t the best place to focus your energy at 5am.