How to Read (and Learn From) Every Email Newsletter You Subscribe to

Martine Ellis
3 min readSep 17, 2022
Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

I love email newsletters — especially those that curate and share interesting articles.

Unfortunately, the problem with newsletters is that they can clutter your email inbox and go unread. This is especially true if you subscribe to a lot of newsletters (like me). Thankfully, I have a process.

This is how you can read and learn from every email newsletter you receive.

Set Up a Sub-Folder

Set up a sub-folder in your email program, under your inbox, called EMAIL NEWSLETTERS.

File Email Newsletters Immediately

When an email newsletter arrives, drag it straight to the new sub-folder.

If you process emails on a mobile device, you should be able to set up a specific swipe gesture to do this with one touch. For example, I use Spark for email on my iPhone, and a long, slow swipe to the left sends an email to my EMAIL NEWSLETTERS sub-folder.

It is possible to remove this step with automation (you could set up a rule that sends all email newsletters to your sub-folder). However, I prefer to create a small amount of friction — it gives me a few seconds to think about whether the email is worth the effort of swiping (if it is not, I unsubscribe).

Read Weekly

Next, decide on a time every week when you will read all your email newsletters and add the time to your calendar as a recurring event.

I read email newsletters (and recommended articles) every Sunday on my iPad as part of my Weekly Review.

Highlight and Annotate

If, like me, you mainly read curated email newsletters that recommend articles, videos, and other forms of content, you need a read-it-later app.

I send all articles I want to read to Matter. Any highlights and annotations I make sync to Obsidian (my notes app) via Readwise. These highlights go to my INBOX folder in Obsidian, so I know I need to process them.

Highlights and annotations in Obsidian become atomic notes which inspire future articles I write. This is an example of the Generation Effect.

Martine Ellis

Wellbeing-driven productivity systems and strategies for people who are neurodivergent (or think they might be). Weekly email digest →