Great subscription apps: what ones do you love?

In the spirit of the idea that subscription apps/services can be done right, I’d love to hear about the subscriptions you are proud to pay for.

(It’d be nice if we can avoid repeating the “I’m against subscriptions” mantra, somehow, because there’s plenty of places for that on this forum!)

I’m particularly interested in apps that have shown rapid feature development since switching to a subscription model, or services that are well worth their monthly cost. Bonus points if they switched from a one-time purchase model and are better off for it.

I’ll start:

  • blog just by saving Markdown files to a Dropbox (or Git) folder. $3/month. It’s incredible.
  • Agenda: note service that provides permanent access to features released while you are subscribed. The Agenda team is also amazingly responsive to their own Discourse forum.
  • 1Password: 1Password offers nice one-off purchases as alternatives to subscription, but I found the pricing to be fair enough that I went with the subscription. They’re Canadian after all! I may switch to one-time purchase now that they have a new focus on business (and a boatload of investment funding).
  • I love soundscape apps and I love subscription apps that offer lifetime purchases. I bought in to at release with a one-time lifetime subscription at a decent discount. Nowadays I kinda wish that had been Endel, though.

I also pay for PDF Viewer Pro and Overcast Premium, though I’m less enthusiastic about those.

And yes, Fantastical is a valid answer. :wink:


This may be slightly off-topic but I think it’s relevant…

It’s my impression that the 1Password subscription requires you to start an account with them in addition to paying the subscription fee. Is that correct?

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There are two areas to this: apps that have feature enhancement on a regular basis and those that have ongoing content growth.

In the first (feature) enhancement, I would definitely include Drafts which has had excellent regular updates as well as expanding to the Mac.

For content, I also like Headspace and Calm.


In terms of app & app-services only:

Adobe Creative Cloud
Hello Weather
Apple Music
AnyList (unlocked)
Day One
Apple News (on 3-month free trial, but am probably going to start paying in a month)


Newsblur RSS service (+ iOS app)

Might have forgotten something, but I think that’s it.


For me:

  • 1Blocker
  • 1Password
  • Adobe CC
  • Carrot Weather
  • Day One
  • Drafts
  • Dropbox
  • Fantastical
  • Headspace
  • iCloud
  • Instapaper
  • MS Office
  • Nomorobo
  • Overcast
  • Sanebox
  • Slack for Business
  • TextExpander
  • Todoist

And media:

  • Amazon Prime
  • Apple Music
  • Disney+
  • Hulu w/ ads
  • Netflix (steaming only)

Speaking of apps and app/services only (even tho I love too)

Apple Music

I abandoned
Day-one (I journal too little and fancy to do it in drafts)
Ulysses (switched back to iawriter - and the tons of text editors I own - and waiting for nvultra)
Adobe cc photography (for Capture one)

Paying for MS office but don’t love it :stuck_out_tongue:

Not much more as subscriptions go (might have forgotten something)

  • 1 Blocker
  • 1 Password :star:
  • Day One
  • Drafts :star:
  • Fantastical :grinning:
  • Footpath Route Planner
  • iTunes Match (yes there is still someone !)
  • MS Office :thinking:
  • OS Maps
  • Overcast :star:
  • Pushcut
  • SaneBox
  • TomTom Go
  • Weather Pro

I’m also lifetime subscriber use it daily - glad I caught that deal

  • Habitica - been playing with some friends for years; been with them since habit RPG days can see where the money has produced a more polished app and growing

*Strides - my #1 habit tracker - got the notification yesterday its time for my annual renewall will pay the $30 w/o blinking twice

  • Insight Timer- meditation app; excellent and aligns with personal values

  • Daylio - Mood tracker; important to me so i pay for it

*Key Tools in my life: Todoist, Drafts, YNAB, Youtube Red, Spotify, Carrot Weather, Day one, Strong(strength training)


My total apps and services subscriptions are:

  • Bear Pro
  • Day One Premium
  • iTunes Match
  • KeepIt (contemplating going back to Evernote as I just don’t have the time to start over and pull everything out of Evernote…)
  • Calm - I paid a life subscription for that app, which I generally prefer and I would do the same for Day One in a heartbeat, and maybe also Bear.
  • On the fence about Fantastical. I love the app and use it a lot but I haven’t looked into which features I’m not getting without the subscription

Subscribe and love:

  • Drafts
  • Castro
  • TextExpander

Subscribe and the jury is still out:

  • Setapp

Subscribe with regret and under duress:

  • MS Office

For me:

  • 1Password
  • Netflix
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Prime
  • HP print Connect (horrible)
  • TextExpander
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Backblaze
  • ($1 a month for 2 months)

Subscribed and CleanMyMac crashes my machine so Setapp may be on its way out.

  • Setapp

Welcome to the forum Dr. Drang. Looking forward to some well nerdy posts from your hand :grinning:

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Welcome Dr. Drang!
I’m a fan of your work.

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Subscriptions I’m happy to have:

  • Dynalist
  • SetApp
  • 1Password
  • Drafts
  • TheBrain
  • AnyList

Subscription I need but dislike the service

  • Apple Music
  • O365
  • iCloud (data storage)
  • Dropbox

Subscription I have but would throw overboard in a pinch

  • DayOne
  • Bear
  • Agenda (pretty stagnant)
  • Apple TV+

Active Subscriptions

Carrot Weather
Text Expander
Adobe Creative Cloud


ARQ Cloud

Health Apps Dropping


Amazon Prime
Apple TV+ (Bonus from iPhone purchase)

Subscription Dropped/Dropping

Dropbox Pro
Evernote after 12 years. I think time to quit.
Hiya Premium
HBO Now (after GOT and Successor ended)


I dropped Gyroscope too! It seemed so good for the first couple of years, but it started going in a weirdly metric-fetish “visualize and arbitrarily quantify everything!” direction.

I have thought about often, but haven’t subscribed. Ironically I wish Exist had a few more visualization tools.

Something between these two would probably secure a subscription from me.


Yes. It was very good at what it did in the early stages. It went in the Jack of all trades direction and hopelessly get lost in what you want to eventually get out of it.

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Omg. “Find happiness by contemplating your mortality.”

Probably the most creative one we’ll see on here… can you talk about the experience more?

A couple of colleagues of mine (futurists) worked with the future of death in different ways. One built a design fiction experience to let you live through your own death in order to facilitate this kind of reflection. I didn’t get to try it, but these morbid-yet-healthful initiatives are forever curious to me.

It looks like it—I know I have an account. And I might’ve been wrong about their offering a one-time purchase option—the Pricing page doesn’t say anything about a “buy the app” option. Boo.

That’s the aspect I dislike, the requirement to create the account. It makes me wonder where my data is, and when the data is passwords, I don’t want to wonder.

The “buy the app” option for 1Password still exists but it’s not obvious (purposely, I think). The key word is “download”. Boo, indeed.