Gone are the days of flipping on the morning cable news as you dress for work and prepare for the day.
Especially for young urbanites—many of whom, myself included, don’t even have cable TV—the smartphone is the new car radio when it comes to starting the day well-informed.
Here are seven digital tools, from email newsletters to mobile apps, for getting your headlines in a handy fashion when you’re getting ready for work or en route to the office.
My go-to of the bunch when pressed for time, Need2Know is a free weekday morning email digest that distills the most important news of the moment into easy-to-understand, relatable summaries. For pop culture junkies that want their highbrow intel, too, Need2Know offers a satisfying mix of the latest in breaking news, politics, sports, business, media, and entertainment—plus “Other Shtuff” (read: the latest viral video or ridiculous meme).
Another bonus: The team selects a hilarious relevant tweet to tack onto the end of each email. Nothing wrong with starting your day with a laugh!
Similar to Need2Know, theSkimm is a weekday e-newsletter that condenses the most important news of the morning into pithy summaries and insightful commentary written as if by your smart and sassy co-worker. The clever “What to Say When…” section makes the act of reading the news less staid, spinning of-the-moment information into entertaining new narratives (“What to say when you feel the need to WebMD,” “What to say before a family dinner”).
If you want to have your news and read it from its original sources, too, The Daily Beast’s Cheat Sheet is for you. Delivered to your inbox on weekday mornings and afternoons, the Cheat Sheet aggregates must-reads from the cream of the news crop (think Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Associated Press, and Reuters), providing a summary, photo, and link to each original article if you’re interested in deeper reading. Check out examples of past newsletters here.
When great apps are acquired by internet titans, the result is often a quiet death for the standalone app as its technology and team are absorbed into the larger enterprise. But for Pulse, its fusion with LinkedIn actually made the news app even better. Now, you sign into the Pulse app, available for Android and iPhone, using your LinkedIn credentials, then get access to a customized news stream based on your professional interests and your industry connections. You can also see what’s trending among professionals worldwide and like, comment, and share articles with your LinkedIn network. All before your workday even gets started.
Evidence of Marissa Mayer’s revitalization of Yahoo, this sleek, user-friendly iPhone app delivers twice-daily definitive summaries of all the news fit to print—er, post. Each of the mini news stories in the summary are created from multiple reputable sources, and include key quote call-outs, video clips, Wikipedia excerpts, relevant maps, tweets, and more. There’s also a helpful countdown that clues you into when the next digest will drop.
New York Times’ editor for news presentation Patrick LaForge has curated a very helpful Twitter list composed of 58 top news sources across the globe, including NBC, Fox, CNN, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Der Spiegel, and more. If you’re a Twitter nerd like me, this is a great way to get your news fix efficiently in the AM.
Startup investor and long-time news junkie Dave Pell curates a daily collection, in both e-newsletter and iPhone app form, of the day’s most interesting reads. If your interests are wide-ranging, you’ll like NextDraft’s miscellany, with topics ranging from heart disease research to World Penguin Day.
What’s your favorite method for reading the news before you start your workday?