I setup a dedicated, private email address for newsletters and now they’re a joy to read instead of anxiety-causing clutter. This may not seem like a big deal to you. But it has changed how I read newsletters and reduced my stress in seeing new ones piling up in my Inbox. I enjoy the Newsletter Renaissance and when I see an interesting one, I sign up for it. The problem started as many of them arrive on the same day (like podcasts on a Wednesday, but that’s another story). So I would get overwhelmed by the number of emails in I wanted to take the time to read but would never find that time because they added to a pile of anxiety instead.
The first solution I tried was Stoop. I thought it was a perfect solution. An app for newsletters. I could send them to that email address for Stoop and read them in the app at my leisure. It worked well for awhile, but the problem was I didn’t want another app to remember to open. So again, newsletters I wanted to read would sit unread for months. Also, the app wasn’t a great experience for newsletters I want to open links from in other tabs to read after I finish the newsletter. I want a computer screen for that, not a phone.
The second reason I stopped using it was more than one person writing about (I don’t remember who) how they were starting to remove stoop.email addresses from their lists because part of the point of a newsletter was the intimacy with the audience, being invited into their Inbox. And Stoop was taking those emails and instead of providing the authors with real people, it gave them a pile of junk addresses essentially. It’s hard to get intimate with a piece of code.
So for those two reasons, I deleted stoop and then it hit me.
I want to get these newsletters delivered in email because email is flexible and can be anywhere I want to be. I also want the authors of the letters to know I’m a real person behind the address and when I wanted to reply to them, I could, from a real address. I guess that would have been a problem with Stoop, but I don’t reply very often so I never encountered that problem.
I setup a reading@ address. It’s perfect because it reminds me what it’s for. It gives me a place that’s not my primary mailbox to dive into at length and know I will find long, quality messages there. It’s been a perfect solution for me. I can open it on the phone, or on a computer and dive into as many or as few letters as I want at a time.
I can enjoy them in a quiet, peaceful space without other messages around them screaming for attention. Moving these newsletters out of my screaming, needy Inbox and into their own home, means I can read them with the slowness and patience of a good book rather than a screaming Twitter feed.
I’m starting to think about what other things I can change the context to enjoy more.