axbom.blog on coaching, design and ethics

Convert newsletters to Atom/RSS feeds

From inbox clutter to reader bliss

I found a useful tool allowing me to partake in the joy of well-written newsletters without having them fill up my inbox. The website Kill the Newsletter! (KTN) simply allows you to add them to your feed reader.

Here’s how it works when you go to kill-the-newsletter.com

  1. Enter the name of the newsletter. This is for your eyes only but it’s generally a good idea to choose something that actually is close to the name of the actual newsletter, and maybe the provider.
  2. KTN now provides you with a unique e-mail address for this newsletter. This is the e-mail address you use to subscribe. Do that as soon as possible.
  3. You are also provided with a link to the Atom feed. This is the feed address you enter into your feed reader (Feedly or something like it).

The step-by-step instructions in an image.

There’s one caveat to remember, a step number 4. If the newsletter is doing things right by you, they will ask you to confirm your subscription. The first e-mail will be the second item in the feed. So just load that article and cut and paste the confirmation link into your browser. Now you’re all set to read via feed.

Why is it the second item? Because the first item is the note about having started the feed, and a reminder about your unique e-mail and feed addresses.

Pro tip

You can subscribe to several newsletters using the same address, just remember they will become part of the same feed.

Additional advantage

By using a unique e-mail address you become harder to track.

Risks

The creator of this brilliant tool, Leando Facchinetti, is of course just one person. While the site has been running for years now, I would also suggest you keep a list of the newsletters you are subscribing to, in case the website has issues. Of course, if you’ve given the newsletter a good name in the first step above, you actually have this list already in your feed reader.

Time to start enjoying e-mail newsletters without the e-mail.

Bonus: 3 of my favorite newsletters

  • Imagine. A newsletter by The Conversation which presents a vision of a world acting on climate change.
  • Dense Discovery. A weekly newsletter helping web workers be productive, stay inspired, and think critically. It’s published by Kai Brach, the person behind Offscreen.
  • Stratechery. A paid newsletter providing analysis of the strategy and business side of technology and media, and the impact of technology on society. Written by Ben Thompson in Taipei, Taiwan. To be fair, this one actually already provides you with your own RSS feed as part of the offering – and the weekly articles (also available via feed) are free.

Would love to see you share your favorite newsletters, here in the comments or on Twitter.

Per Axbom

Per Axbom

@axbom

Per Axbom is a Swedish communication theorist born in Liberia. For two decades he has educated digital professionals and helped organizations with digital usability and accessibility. His job is to listen to people and make sure technology does not become a controlling and limiting factor, but instead a sustainable, caring aid. You can hear his voice on UX Podcast.

Digital compassion book cover Per's recent handbook on managing ethics in tech, Digital compassion, is available to order from Amazon in Kindle format. Send an e-mail to Per for more options.

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