The Mix Tape, Vol. 41
Welcome! Here in Florida, things are slowly coming around:
Traffic is increasing.
The neighborhood gym and pool are open.
The county mosquito trucks have roared back to life, spraying God-knows-what chemicals on slumbering neighborhoods in the wee hours.
Onward we roar as well, in Volume 41.
A newsletter for newsletters
“It’s Not a Newsletter” is a monthly publication loaded with information about making great newsletters.
And, in a triumph of marketing truth, “It’s Not a Newsletter” is actually not a newsletter. The creator uses a Google Doc to publish each month:
Welcome to the May edition of Not a Newsletter, a monthly, semi-comprehensive, Google Doc-based guide to sending better emails! I’m Dan, the founder of Inbox Collective, an email consultancy, and the former Director of Newsletters at The New Yorkerand BuzzFeed. Every month, I update this doc with email news, tips, and ideas. Sign up here to be notified when a new edition goes live!
Lots of good stuff on writing, email deliverability, growing a newsletter, and more.
Supercharge your iPhone with Siri Shortcuts
Siri Shortcuts might be the most powerful thing you’re not putting to work on your iPhone or iPad.
And that’s a shame. Shortcuts can:
Shorten simple and common tasks, like starting a text message to someone you text often, or
automate something very specific to your individual workflow, like adding information to a document or spreadsheet you use frequently.
I use Shortcuts for one-tap access to Apple Music playlists, to launch the Nike+ run tracker, and much more.
The best part is: you can use Shortcuts without knowing anything about programming.
(Although you can also get fancy and build your own Shortcuts in the Shortcuts app.)
Want to get started using Shortcuts?
I wrote a Siri Shortcuts beginner’s guide here.
App recommendation: Remember sports?
The Retro Bowl iPhone game is a soothing salve for our sports-starved age.
(And we are starved. I mean, six million of us watched two old quarterbacks play golf in the rain last weekend.)
Nostalgia trip: Retro Bowl harkens back to days of yore, when we played Tecmo Bowl on the Nintendo Entertainment System, swilled Mountain Dew with reckless abandon … and chucked controllers at our friends when video-game Dan Marino threw interceptions.
It’s fine if you’re old and slow: Retro Bowl’s simple gameplay won’t punish you (um … me) for your (um … my) declining quick-twitch skills.
Dirt cheap: The basic version is free. The $1 upgraded version provides deeper gameplay customizations.
Worth checking out. (Mountain Dew is optional.)
Writing advice for 2020
Writer and entrepreneur Derek Sivers, on his writing process:
Sounds about right.
This week’s hopeful chart
Slowly coming back.
This week’s therapy for a concertless world
Shawn Mullins puts on a great one-man show. He’s an excellent storyteller, guitarist, and singer, and he’s doing his first Facebook livestream show Sunday at 6P eastern.
The Rolling Stones have been working on an album, and accidentally created the anthem for our times: “Living in a Ghost Town,” written before COVID-19 sneezed all over our lives.
As someone said in the YouTube comments: “I think this band has a future.”
Our mailing list is growing
I know! I don’t understand it, either! 🤷🏼♂️
But I truly appreciate you taking the time to read.
If you know someone who might enjoy The Mix Tape, please
send them to the signup page.
See you next week!