Mac Power Users 459: My Life is a Subscription


Important points re: OmniFocus subscriptions:

  • Only OmniFocus for Web has a mandatory subscription ($5/month, I think)

  • OmniFocus for iOS/Mac can still be outright purchases if you prefer.

  • Can get subscription to both for $10/month

I’ll still buy the apps outright, and don’t need OmniFocus on the Web, but I like the way they’ve approached this.

Ken Case also tweeted:

Discounted annual pricing will also be available: $99.99/year for the OmniFocus subscription that gives you the web service plus OmniFocus Pro on your Mac and iOS devices; $49.99/year for just the web service.


My Life is a subscription.

Earlier thread from July.



My argument is that the subscription model means my most important and private data is under the control of someone else and by building a big data silo it becomes a much bigger target for hackers. I will never do a cloud based subscription model that depends on the cloud for operation ESPECIALLY for passwords and other private data.


I wouldn’t be so sure on this, I know a lot of people who are forced to use Windows at work while preferring macOS at home, myself included. I also don’t feel Smile has lived up to their end of the bargain, but I continue using it because nothing else is all platforms and for $21 a year it’s a bargain to the time saved.

That said, just today they announced some pretty nice changes:

Due to being stuck on Windows at work, I am going to have to pay the $49.99 a year for OmniFocus web access, but really feel it shouldn’t be that much. They don’t have custom perspectives and said they won’t at launch, there isn’t a forecast view, and default deferred time isn’t respected and it’s anyone’s guess as to when these will be released. I feel like it should have only been about $30 at most for the year for only web access.


+1 for Jeremy’s post… Check the e-services at you local Library. I also get Magazine and Lynda through my library at no cost.


I get full access to through the VPL (Vancouver Public Library). I just sign in via my VPL account.

I haven’t been able to find a comprehensive list of libraries that offer, but if you Google something like "Lynda free library name" you should be able to find out if your local provides access pretty easily.

p.s. @MacSparky (and anyone else in Orange County) — It looks like you’re eligible for free access. You’ll find more info here:


Office 365 is something I had a subscription to last year.

I didn’t use the Microsoft cloud storage so I got a home use licence. Lots of people work places where you can get access to the home use program. Even if you have to purchase a new full licence every year it’s a big saving.

For me I bought 1 windows copy and one Mac copy and it was under $CDN 40.00


I recently found that in Canada, all Quebec residents, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and probably more all have access to thru the library.


Adobe creative cloud.

If you just use one app and not the whole suite you can get just one. For me photoshop alone makes sense.

They recently had a great deal on photoshop only with lots of storage space for Black Friday.


I believe this is true for many/most/all? US Public Libraries. I know it’s available through the New York Public Library.

You can also gain access to all Lynda courses as part of LinkedIn’s premium membership ($24.99 a month if you’re billed annually or $29.99 if you’re billed monthly – getting you two services for the price of one). Also, US veterans can access LinkedIn Premium for free, which then gets them access to Lynda for free.

(FYI: LinkedIn bought Lynda in 2015, and Microsoft bought LinkedIn a year later.)


Ooooooh! That’s very interesting. We moved to NY state last year, and I’ve just learned that anyone in the state can get a library card for the NYPL.

Thank you for this very valuable tip!!


@katiefloyd Regarding the online storage solutions, you only mentioned Dropbox and iCloud.

Are you still using a Synology NAS?

If so, what about leveraging the built-in Synology Drive solution?

In my case, that’s what I use to replace the now defunct Transporter Sync service and a way to help with GDPR compliance (I’m moving business-related data from Google Drive to my Synology so that the data resides in my office in Luxembourg, on EU soil).


My position on the whole subscription thing is that it is really a subset of a larger issue, e.g., does the software itself, whether it be a subscription service or something else, have some value (fun, higher productivity, etc.). This probably harkens back to the @MacSparky point that the software or service has to earn it’s place.

My own approach is to keep software on my devices to a minimum, and preferably with few redundancies. For example, for my uses, I would never get Textexpander because Apple’s built-in text replacement works great, syncs across all my devices, and is available in essentially all text fields. The same goes for 1Password (which I used to have but not anymore). Keychain does the job for me on all my devices.

My only significant subscriptions are Office 365 (which I get from work and don’t have to pay for), iCloud (2TB option), Anylist, and Apple Music.


I will download David’s Numbers spreadsheet… even though I’m a cheapskate in comparison, as a retiree I need to keep an idea on hidden expenses. So far:

DSL (Verizon, I hate the Comcast alternative)
TracFone (no joke, saves me a heap)
SiriusXM in the car (useful for cross country trips when my mother was ill, I could cancel it but…)
Apple Music (annual)
iCloud storage (unlike some, I don’t mind paying for this)

No software subscriptions but I pay for upgrades, some frequent enough to,qualify as a subscription.

BTW, to ape is indeed a verb with a long history outside of Southern California.


I believe this is it for me - just a hair under $2000/year, I think:

  • Cell plan
  • Cable internet
  • BackBlaze
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Ulysses
  • Amazon Prime
  • Todoist
  • Anylist
  • Apple Music
  • iCloud storage
  • Hello Weather
  • Day One
  • Newsblur RSS


Re. Acorntv. I subscribe for all the reasons David does. However, acorntv is not all about BBC and includes only a fraction of BBC’s offerings. It curates television programming from UK (not just BBC), Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. A smaller part of its offerings is non-English television, Italy, France, others. At dinner I often ask my husband ‘where are we going tonight?’ Monday it was Italy, Tuesday New Zealand.


I recently listened to this episode and agree with the creeping in of all sorts of subscriptions in all parts of life. I like getting good deals though, so when I can find one for a subscription service it’s even better. Looks like today Amazon has discounts on Office 365, which David has recommended in the show and is kind of a must have in certain jobs. It’s $55 for a year of Home, or $40 for a year of Personal. You can add up to 6 users on the Home plan and install on a bunch of computers, while Personal limits you to one user but can still install on multiple machines. This should be a link to the options available, deal going today only:

I think it is possible to stack codes up and get multiple years, and usually around the holidays you can find a similar deal to keep extending it.


Long-time Acorn TV subscriber too. Definitely worth the $60/year. Just wish I could convince my husband to get rid of Comcast TV and save a ton of $$.


Well, my subscriptions amount to 50 Starbucks Lattes per month.

I took the file from @MacSparky and added a couple of items. Sharing it, in case anyone else wants to play with it. :slight_smile: my base fx is RON but you can play with the cell settings to switch back to USD/EUR

  • Allows for more than 1 exchange rate

  • includes chart for categories of spend

  • Includes monthly spend in lattes