The 25 Most-Clicked Links from My Newsletter in 2018

Photo by Matteo Pezzi

What do roughly 1.5 million subscribers to my newsletter care about most? Or put another way, if they voted with clicks, what most caught their attention in 2018?

The 25 items below are good candidates.

They are the most-clicked links from my weekly “5-Bullet Friday” newsletter from January to December 2018. The most popular item received 75,000+ clicks and the 25th most popular still had more than 42,000 clicks.

5-Bullet Friday is a short email of five bullet points, sent out each Friday, and it has become somewhat famous for crashing websites (AKA “the hug of death,” as one reader put it). Each newsletter describes the five coolest things I’ve found or explored that week, often including books, gadgets, experimental supplements, tricks from experts, and weird stuff from all over the world.  


[And if the spirit moves you, you can subscribe to 5-Bullet Friday here to see why it has one of the highest open rates in the newsletter world.]

Here is the top-25 list, from most to least clicked:

Most popular post on Instagram —
“I just bought a 40×30 print of this…”
[75,637 clicks, published in January 26, 2018 newsletter]

What I’m reading —
On Needing to Find Something to Worry About.” I expected a fluff piece based on the headline. Instead, I got an incredible (and incredibly short) essay that I saved to Evernote and now read several times per month. It won’t apply to everyone, but for some of you, like me, it will have a pronounced “Oh… fuck” realization that could change things. Once you read it, I bet you’ll be able to guess which specific line carried the most weight for me.
[67,704 clicks, published in November 23, 2018 newsletter]

Article I’m rereading —
Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think. This remains one of the most empowering articles I’ve read in recent years. It’s hilarious and amazing. For double trouble, pair it with my interview with the author, Tim Urban.
[62,618 clicks, published in September 28, 2018 newsletter]

Tote bag I decided to purchase, and I never buy tote bags —
School of Life bag, which reads “No one…” 
[61,941 clicks, published in October 26, 2018 newsletter]

Resource I’m excited to explore —
How to Configure Your iPhone to Work for You, Not Against You by Tony Stubblebine (@tonystubblebine). My team has already found this article extremely helpful.
[59,474 clicks, published in December 7, 2018 newsletter]

Device that’s saving my back and neck —
The Body Back Buddy, recommended by Dustin Moskovitz (@moskov), co-founder of Facebook, in Tribe of Mentors. I woke up one day this week barely able to turn my head to the right, causes unknown. 10 minutes with this gadget did the trick and released everything. Here’s what Dustin had to say in the book, in response to the “best purchase for <$100?” question: “The Back Buddy by the Body Back Company is my favorite purchase from the past five years, bar none. Most basically, it allows you to administer self-massage anywhere on your back with the full leverage of two hands, but I’ve also really gotten to know and appreciate all the little knobs and other features over the years. I’ve even learned how to manipulate parts of my skeletal structure (i.e., self-chiropracty) and incorporate it into my yoga practice.”
[57,125 clicks, published in June 29, 2018 newsletter]

Backpack I’m loving —
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L. This was given to me as a gift, and, truth be told, I let it sit for months. This is because I stupidly tossed the literature aside and tried to use it like a normal backpack, which it isn’t. One day, when I sat down and actually read the instructions (yes, read them), I was blown away and embarrassed that I’d waited so long. Most of the features are non-obvious and incredibly helpful. Note: I load everything from the sides and only use the top latch (as cool as it may be) for stuffing in a sweatshirt or workout clothing. This was the key decision after reading everything.
[56,971 clicks, published in November 23, 2018 newsletter]

Most popular post on Instagram —
My standard low-on-time breakfast for early morning flights. Don’t let travel be an excuse to eat garbage…
[56,765 clicks, published in March 30, 2018 newsletter]

Purchase I’m enjoying —
Sundale indoor/outdoor floor chair. I use this for morning meditation, and its ultra-lightweight design makes it a breeze to move and store. I face it out a bay window towards grass and trees, as I’ve started meditating with open eyes occasionally per instructions from Sam Harris.
[56,229 clicks, published in August 17, 2018 newsletter]

Sleep aid that I’m greatly enjoying —
Gunnar Optiks VER-06701 Vertex Computer glasses, smoke/amber. These glasses were recommended to me by one of my favorite doctors and thinkers, Peter Attia, MD, after I noticed him wearing them at a group dinner. Among other things, these glasses block blue light from screens and elsewhere, and I (like Peter) have found them to substantially speed up falling asleep and reduce tossing and turning. What makes this new? Unlike most options, these glasses don’t make you look like a complete idiot, and you’re more likely to get compliments instead of laughs.
[56,211 clicks, published in February 9, 2018 newsletter]

Most popular post on Instagram in the last few weeks, which I also use as a reminder for myself —
“My favorite coffee mug I’ve found in a while. Also my first non-beverage purchase from Starbucks.” [54,513 clicks, published in February 9, 2018 newsletter]

What I’m watching —
Dealt documentary (Amazon, other options) directed by Luke Korem. This absolutely blew my mind, and I don’t want to spoil it with description. Trust me and watch the short trailer here. Truly amazing. I can’t remember the last time I finished a documentary, only to want to immediately watch it again. I also can’t remember a doc that made me as emotional as this did, pushing me from laughter to tears. It’s a masterful visual biography.
[53,993 clicks, published in April 20, 2018 newsletter]

What I’m reading (and going to listen to) —
The 50 Best Podcast Episodes of 2018. This is a spectacular list of great podcast episodes. The topics are varied, often unexpected, and hit the nail on the head for me in a bunch of cases. I’ll be listening to many podcasts I never would have found on my own.
[52,553 clicks, published in December 28, 2018 newsletter]

Most popular on social this week —
I’ve been telling my mom to spend more time barefoot on the grass… so she got me these.”
[51,079 clicks, published in August 3, 2018 newsletter]

Most popular post on Instagram —
25 Principles of Adult Behavior.
[47,627 clicks, published in February 16, 2018 newsletter]

The coolest upside-down truth I’ve found, which I’m putting here to revisit often —
Here it is
[46,842 clicks, published in February 2, 2018 newsletter]

Most popular post on Instagram —
Sometimes the graffiti says it all
[45,964 clicks, published in March 23, 2018 newsletter]

New person I’m following on social —
National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting on Instagram. Here is the pic and description that caught my attention.
[45,646 clicks, published in March 23, 2018 newsletter]

Most popular post on Instagram —
This is me for most of this week…
[45,349 clicks, published in March 2, 2018 newsletter]

App I’m using daily —
The new Sam Harris Waking Up meditation app. I absolutely love this app and have recommended it to nearly all of my closest friends. I was a beta tester for months and provided feedback, but I have no stake in it whatsoever. What makes it different? This app offers a guided meditation progression that builds multiple skills as you move from one class to the next. It’s a logical sequence, instead of a collection of ad-hoc readings. Sam has succeeded at producing a world-class program for mind training, IMHO.
[43,592 clicks, published in October 5, 2018 newsletter]

Genius video I’m once again sending to friends (I never get tired of this one) —
Apple Engineer Talks About New Macbook Pro.
[43,578 clicks, published in September 7, 2018 newsletter]

Gadget I’m experimenting with —
DCT ProFlex for strengthening, prehabbing, and rehabbing my lower legs and ankles, especially the right ankle, in which I recently tore two ligaments (disgusting pics here). I learned about this device from the amazing Ryan Flaherty, nicknamed the “savant of speed.”
[42,534 clicks, published in March 23, 2018 newsletter]

P.S. — If you’re looking for an OUTSTANDING book to read,
here is one to order. I got an advanced copy, and my quote on Twitter says it all: “Not to sound like a mullet-wearing Long Island boy (which I’ve been), but Michael Pollan’s new book is going to make a HUGE fucking impact. Mark my words: tide shift.”
[42,506 clicks, published in February 23, 2018 newsletter]

Article I’m reading —
How to win the Tour de France, in one image” (Fast Company). I was led to this piece by Dr. Peter Attia (@PeterAttiaMD), and here’s a short preview: “Practically speaking, the energy savings is the equivalent of pedaling 9.3 miles per hour while actually flying down the road at 33.5 miles per hour.”
[42,431 clicks, published in July 27, 2018 newsletter]

What I’m reading —
The Risk of Discovery” essay by Paul Graham (@paulg), which is only a few paragraphs long. It’s worth rereading a few times.
[42,068 clicks, published in June 1, 2018 newsletter]


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