Did you do your yearly review of your subscriptions?

every year I conduct a battle royale or survival of the fittest competition to cull my sub herd.

2021 Winners that got renewed.
Adobe Creative

2020 Losers that got canceled.
Weather Channel
Sleep Watch


I’m constantly reviewing my subscriptions, as I would prefer to pay once for items, unless it’s providing something that has ongoing costs, like storage - I’m not a fan of SaaS. However, there are items I have to pay for that are only subscription so I grin and bear it.

Currently the winners are:

  • 1Password (solely for 1PasswordX, as I also have a standalone licence)
  • YNAB
  • iCloud Storage
  • Synology C2
  • Amazon Prime

Won’t be renewed/ended in 2020:

  • Fastmail (I’ve moved my email to my web host and it works perfectly)
  • Netflix


  • Apple Music (haven’t bit the bullet for streaming yet)
  • Ulysses
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I don’t review my Apple subscriptions yearly. Instead, I cancel a subscription the day after I buy it. That way, I’m always have a short position on subscriptions. I’ve never lost any data this way, and might wait a year or more before reupping, if ever.


Just stopped by to congratulate you on this choice of words. I love the image of the apps getting in the ring and duking it out to earn a place on your renewal list.


I think this is a wonderful idea!


I also think this is an excellent idea. My only concern is that if the developer increases the subscription price, do you lose the cheaper price because you cancelled? Just thinking out loud … Draft is the perfect example of this as the developer increased the price from 1 Jan

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I put an all-day event in my “deadlines” calendar, which I use for “hard deadlines” that hurt or cost me money if I miss.

I keep a spreadsheet with all my subscriptions and reoccurring payments that I review every month. I am generally happy with everything I subscribe to. My only disappoint is that Bear Notes doesn’t seem to update enough and is taking far too long for their new editor. It’s only $15 a year though, and I really like the program, so I keep it.

That said, I do have subscription fatigue. I have too many of them and don’t really want any more, so it has to be something special. Such as the new DevonThink To Go which sounds like will be subscription based.

I do a continuous review since subscriptions renew throughout the year. I’ve got everything on a spreadsheet, of course.

I only have subscriptions that have a continuing service that gives me value. No software that runs in isolation.

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That’s a great idea, although I also monitor my subscription year-round as they renew.

Current list
Apple Music
Obsidian sync
Carrot Weather

Recently cancelled or to be cancelled
Overcast (stagnating development, have lifetime Pocket Casts and prefer it)
Airmail (it’s hopeless)
Diarly (moving to Obsidian)
Tile (because they side with Epic and the service is meh)
TV+ (not interested and I’d rather Apple makes great devices than original TV content)

I don’t necessarily do them on a date, but when they come up for renewal. I try to really think if I’m using that service and/or want to support the developer.

My subs:

  • CARROT Weather
  • VSCO
  • Overcast
  • Simply Piano
  • Gaia GPS
  • Lose It Premium
  • PDF Expert Pro
  • Fiery Feeds
  • Strava
  • Pocket
  • Ten Percent Happier Meditation
  • Apple One (mid level)
  • Slopes
  • Fitbod
  • Todoist
  • OpenSnow
  • flowkey
  • TV Forecast
  • Peloton
  • GIFwrapped


  • Day One
  • Apple Fitness

I employ the same technique when subscribing to a new app. If I renew it for the second year I have it on auto-renew.

My subscription for this year:
1Password Families
iCloud (2TB)
Setapp (still doing monthy review)
Apple Music Family
Apple Arcade (on/off basis depends on the game I’m currently playing)
Carrot Weather
Criterion Channel
Prime Video (THE EXPANSE)
Nintendo Switch Online (just for Animal Crossing)

I just realized that this list is 30% shorter than when 2020 started and nothing new was added.

Update (apps I forgot to include on my list)

I parted company with

  • Setapp
  • Dayone
  • Peleton
  • ATV+ will not be renewed beyond the free trial

Sticking with

  • Mind Space
  • Amazon prime
  • oCloud storage
  • Stream Deck mobile app
  • Fitness+ at the end of the trial

I’m not really keen on software subscriptions, I have purchased a lot of full versions this year, but regarding subscriptions:

My winners:

  • iCloud (Big winner here, as I expanded to the bigger storage tier)
  • HDPiano
  • G Suite
  • Amazon Prime
  • iTunes Match (don’t know the name it has these days)

My losers:

  • Evernote (won’t be renewing next summer unless some magic happens, still keeping some hope)
  • Inoreader (went to News Explorer and Reeder, sticking with News Explorer).
  • Todoist & TickTick (explored them, not the best for time-blocking)

Out of curiosity, what did you replace Overcast with?

Agree that overcast don’t have latest features, but when it comes to sound it is my favorite podcast player. Other have VoiceBoost etc, but don’t near as good as overcast.

Other thing which annoy me with third-party podcast players that most of them have this old ‘Now Playing’ view, which is terrible and outdated.

I agree that Pocket Casts’ trim silence is inferior to Overcast’s. But… the active development, the widgets, the interface that makes more sense win (it would have won even if I didn’t have a lifetime license; I’m happy to pay for better products, but Overcast has not been that in a long time, and support is abysmal).

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If anyone is looking for a standalone podcast player for Apple Watch, I have had a great experience with the $0.99 Outcast app

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One that didn’t make the cut for me this year was Banktivity. Used it for 5+ years, gladly paid for their minor updates every couple of years for $60. Then they went subscription based this year, but bundled the features in a way that for the minor things I need, I have to buy a $70 sub full of things I don’t want. They are the perfect example of a bad subscription model for me.

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You should switch to Apple One. With what you are paying, you could also be getting Apple Fitness and News (which is worthless for news but great for magazines).

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