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12 Email newsletters where Arif & Ali get their Inspiration.


Other than blogs and podcasts that I read/listen, there are quite a few enewsletters that I am subscribed to. Most are free, some are not. Below are the ones that I get most value out of and have survived my ruthless email filters and unsubscribing-trigger-friendly finger.

Business:
McKinsey Quarterly Top Ten Newsletter
The McKinsey quarterly emails me the best/most popular articles of McKinsey consulting for the past quarter. Itís something that Iíve subscribed to just so that Iím some what in touch with the best practices in the Corporate Circle. I have not got tremendous value from it yet. But since the newsletters are just once a quarter, itís not that much clutter that I need to unsubscribe to it.

Verneís Insights
Iíve found more handy information from Verne Harnishís weekly newsletters. Theyíre shorter, punchy and let me know of what are the cool useful things that Corporates around the world are up to and if thereís anything that I can implement at Vakil Housing immediately.

Metaphor Minute
Some people are born with the Metaphor gene. The can put their point across to you in mere moments by explaining you what they mean with the most appropriate Metaphor or Similie. Itís a skill I have long envied. Anne Miller has written this brilliant book called Metaphorically Selling where she explains a methodology on how to come up with a Metaphor on the fly. I have read it and highly recommend it. In her monthly newsletters, Anne gives really good examples of metaphors that you can use and prods you to keep your eye open for them. This newsletter is probably one of my favourites and can be subscribed to here.

Entertainment:
Go Comics
Itís the Comics and the TV pages that enticed me as a schoolboy to begin reading newspapers. Unfortuantely the comics I enjoy do not always appear in the newspapers I read today. I have recently renewed my subscribtion to Ucomics, by paying $11.95 for the year. Now Everyday I get emailed to me the latest Calvin & Hobbes’s imaginative world, or Jasonís latest tiffs with Paige in FoxTrot or Diane make obvious the nonsense of the political world in Non-Sequitur.

Personal Development
GTD Connect
GTD Connect is premium membership service where one can get access to a whole range of Audio, Video, Text material to help enhance your personal GTD process. Click here to learn more about GTD. Being such a busy bee that I am, I donít get much time to hand around the GTD Forums to see what conversations are taking place or whatís the latest Audio/Video material on GTD thatís out there. However, being a member of GTD Connect, I get an email of whatís the latest out there in the GTD World. If you are serious about implementing GTD, I highly recommend becoming a member of Connect, even if itís just for a month or two. Give it a try, sample the Audio material that they have in store, specially the Tele-seminars by David Allen. Itís been worth my investment.

Productivity Principles Newsletter
For those who are not ready to be members of GTD Connect, but still want to gain traction on your practice of GTD, you may subscribe to the newsletter of David Allen himself called Productivity Principles, where he writes tips and reminders for all to stay strong in the GTD Wagon.

Emails by Vital Smarts
Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations are two brilliant books by the Vital Smarts team. Infact I’d say they almost the next best thing after GTD (and you all know how much I love GTD). One of my personal challenges in life is to be able to hold a Crucial Conversation and/or Confrontation with skill so that both parties come out as winners. Whatís a Crucial Conversation? Well, common examples are possibly when there’s something you need to tell your collegue but he’s highly sensative about it, or you have a difference of opinion on an important business issue, or possibly even dealing with a customer complaint. etc.

In all the above conversations the common elements are that:
- Both parties have conflicting opinions/interest
- Emotions run high
- Stakes are high.

Observe yourself itís when these three elements are in place that you get a crucial conversation. When faced with a Crucial Conversation, there is a roadmap on how to get from tongue-tied, raging emotions scenario to a cool, slick, dialogue smart situation. The Roadmap is long, and thatís the topic for another blog post, however, to get started you may subscribe to the newsletter by Vital Smarts Team. In each edition they address they demonstrate how one can talk one’s way through seemingly impossible highly sensitive topics. Examples of Crucial Conversations addressed in their newsletters are:
- Conversation with an employee over mediocre Performance
- Conversation of a Parent with her daughter on being overweight
- Conversation with a sibling on a difference of opinion on a certain matter in their family business
You can access the above and further past newsletters in their archive here.

Continuing Education:
Learn Out Loud free resource of the day email
Itís been a really long time that I was meaning to blog on the excellent material that Learn Out Loud has. Do browse this website. There is amazing education I have got from many of their Audio programs. In addition to those, you may also subscribe to their daily newsletter where they are continuously scanning the web to find inspirational/motivational/educational audio/video content.

BBC Breaking news alert and Documentaries:
BBC, is the best International news site there is. Period. They hit you with just facts, no exaggeration, as less biased as they can be, and provide you with sufficient analysis and history so that you can make your own opinion. To stay upto date on the latest breaking headlines round the world, Iíve found the BBC Breaking news alert really handy.

Furthermore BBCís documentaries are also the most insightful in the world. To stay abreast of the documentaries coming up on BBC World in the coming fortnight Iíve subscrived to their BBC World New enewsletter here

Quotes by Dr. Mardy
Iíve recently subscribed to this quotation service, by Dr. Mardy. Iím generally quite conscioius of the number of emails I receive and if a newsletter Iím subscribed to doesnít really add value to the subjects/topics Iím interested in, Iím quick to unsubscribe to it. The weekly quotes that I receive from Dr. Mardy have held my attention for the last couple of weeks. I admit I donít read every single email I receive from Dr. Mardy. The days I have my inbox flooded, I am quick to delete the email without giving it a second glance. But the days that I have the time, Iím glad I have I subscribed to Dr. Mardyís service. Here is an excerpt from his weekly email for the week ending 2 May 2009:

“I want to be thoroughly used up when I die,
for the harder I work the more I live.
I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me.
It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment;
and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible
before handing it on to future generations.”
George Bernard Shaw, in a 1907 lecture

“I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.”
Jack London, a remark made to friends in 1916

Misc.
Baby Centre
As soon as my Sunshine gave me the “good news“, I began scouring all over the net for books, websites on pregnancy, babies etc, till I came across Baby Center. Baby Center provides this terrific service with their weekly updates, that let you know just the information that we needed throughout the pregnancy. Which was emailed to us just in time. It really saved me immense amount of time in researching the same online or in books. Furthermore the service continues till date guiding fledgling parents on the little nuances in bringing up children. I highly recommend parents and parents to be to subscribe to this service. The best part is that this service is also personalised for India, so get tips specific to the Indian context.

Top 5 ads from Adforum.com
Advertising. An old crush of mine. I used to be a subscribed member of Adcritic and keenly track the latest TV spots being released all over the world. Now I quench myself with the Top 5 Adforum weekly email that email me the most popular 5 TV ads over the week.

*Phew* that’s one hell of a long list.
I had no idea I was subscribed to so many enewsletters till I began compiling them. Any of the above enewsletters that you are glad you got to know about? Is there something else that you are subscribed to which you think I and other fellow blog readers would enjoy and look forward to. Do leave a note in the comments if so. Happy reading.

Naked Economics- a Book Review & a Great Election TV ad

Ever since the beginning of the Economic Crises, I’ve been gobbling up every editorial, analysis, documentary and book on it, trying to understand in as plain words as possible what exactly is going on. †It’s not as simple as, “it’s because of, American Greed and the sub-prime crises”. †The main question that bugs me is that Real wealth lies in natural resources and human capital. †And there hasn’t been a natural disaster that has wiped any of that away. †Then what’s all the hullabaloo about? †It just a question of sentiment, then? †Anyway, I’m personally quite far from understanding what’s happening economically, nonetheless I’m in a MUCH better position to understand editorials and reports than I was several months ago. †And one reason for that is a recent book I completed titled “Naked Economics” by Charles Wheelan. †

Naked Economics, explains all the necessary economic concepts in a highly-entertaining way. †Those of you who want a jump start in understanding whatís happening, this book has great value to offer you. †Furthermore his constant reference of the different economies in the world (including India and the Middle East) makes this so much more relevant. †

Since I read this book, I’ve been tracking the movements of the author Charles Wheelan. †And what do you know he’s running for Congress. †Here’s the third in a series of TV ads that he’s done for his election campaign. †For his target audience I think he’s done a swell job. †It’ll have high retention value, It’s viral in nature and most of all I can see him getting votes. ††

Ps. Update: Charles Wheelan didn’t win a seat in the Congress.

A great Global Warming ad.

If the ad doesn’t play below, click here.

Steve Jobs wishes everyone a belated Ramadhan Mubarak!

I found this ad, really cute :-).

See this ad in hi-res here.

You may visit Ad blog Arabia, for more Ads released for the Middle East market.

Another cool No Smoking sign.

We Kick Ash

Not bad eh? Click here to see the no smoking sign that I had spotted at Pizza hut.

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