Okay friends… I have an idea that I’m just floating out there. I understand that the subscription model is great for developers and helps get updates out faster and lets them buy their shoes. But I am in a place where I’m trying to meter my spending a little better. So let’s try a little experiment:
If you had to set up your worklife using only apps marketed with the traditional model or something similar and could not use subscription based apps, what would you use? I’m looking for what you think are the best. To set it up, I’ll list what I currently use and what some better alternatives may be, then it’s your turn.
Text Creation (the majority of what I do): I currently use Ulysses because I write in markdown. Replacement: iA Writer
Notes: I use a combination of Evernote and some others but in the interest of simplification, replacement: Notebooks
Utilities: Currently use Clean My Mac and Gemini through Setapp. Replacement: I have no ideas
Password Keeper: Currently 1Password. Replacement: Actually I probably wouldn’t replace this one. Love 1P.
Get the idea? There are more categories I’m not covering so add yours.
P.S. I know this is very close to the subscriptions topic they covered on the podcast a few months ago but time has passed…alas… Have fun.
We budget very closely and don’t subscribe to software unless there is no practical alternative, or if we are forced to for professional reasons. Our headroom for subscriptions in our budget is not high and any software we were to subscribe to would have to be sufficiently useful or provide enough value to pay for itself (literally or figuratively).
Most of my subscriptions are for services, and not a piece of software or a product per se (though I recognize that there really is no boundary).
For example, I subscribe to Backblaze, which I deem to be a service that just happens to use software (it’s macOS client). This type of thing was never really marketed any other way than a subscription so I don’t include that. The only way to not subscribe is to not have an offsite backup (because even if you rolled your own you’d still have to pay for server space or colocation space).
I see iCloud Drive or Dropbox as similar: you’re paying for an ongoing service. Same for email. I subscribe to FastMail, and going to a free alternative is not an apples to apples shift.
I have an Office 365 subscription through my employer so I don’t count that either – though I suppose I’d buy a standalone license or use iWork (which would not be practical in my line of work) if my employer didn’t take care of this.
So with that definition in mind, the things I’d have to change:
1Password: I currently subscribe to a family plan. I’d need to buy a standalone license for myself and my partner.
other than that I don’t subscribe to any software.
Not opposed, just haven’t found software that requires a subscription that is critical to my workflow or is better than what I already have.
When the shutdown started, I created a list in Numi (so it was accessible in a second from the menubar) of everything we spend on recurring payments. Not just software or IT services, but everything else in our household spending. I keep the list close because I frequently run across annual bills, etc., I had forgotten about. Part 2 of this procedure is the “cancel or reduce list” – as I take action on the “recurring payments” list I move the item to the “cancel or reduce list” to keep track of successes.
I’ll never eliminate 100% of the recurring payments, but just having the list shows me lots of opportunities. And not surprisingly, the bulk of the spend is not software or IT services. So I’m finding it’s a good idea to expand the scope of subs-reduction across the whole household.
I’d have jumped onto Setapp if I didn’t already own 30 of the apps in the bundle (nb I own too many apps), though Setapp has another 8-10 I’d love to play around with. Setapp is a fantastic deal and pays for itself if you can use even a small percentage of the apps (most of which are very high quality).
So… I’ve got nothing against purchasing apps, but I’m also very much in favor of good subscriptions.