Software purchases that are useless to me

Have you bought software that is useless to you? If so, why (why is it useless, not why did you buy it)?

The list is long for me, but here are a couple:

  • SmallCubed Software’s Mail plugins $48
    A flakey set of plugins for Apple Mail that allow you to tag emails, create reply templates, etc. Might be okay if your job is email, but if you email to do your work, perhaps not. Functionality was minimally helpful (tagging in MailMate is much better). The frequent losses of compatibility due to macOS updates were annoying too.

  • iMindMap $199.75
    Good ideas, but so slow as to be unusable. (2015 rMBP 16GB)


Over the years I’ve picked up software bundle deals that included apps that were superfluous, weird, ugly, underpowered or that just were inapplicable for my needs.

Looking at my old registrations they include apps like iStopMotion, SnowTape (v.1 was terrible, and I refused to pay for v.2 upgrade), RapidWeaver 4, iVolume, TurboTax Basic (from 2010), My Living Desktop, Attachment Tamer, Braid, MoneyBag, Painter Lite, Artboard, LightFrame, Color Strokes, Little Inferno, Snood Plus, Poser Debut, Freeway Pro, and Supercard Suite.

I wasted (a whole) $1.99 on Brett Terpstra’s StretchLink app, which turned out to have been a wrapper around a Google service, IIRC. Google (or whomever) pulled the API and the app was therefore broken when I bought it in mid-2016, sight-unseen but based on Terpstra’s reputation. And he never fixed it.

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I am a big user of Mail Act-On but the developers have often lagged behind OS updates and Mojave is no exception — they sent out an email today indicating they don’t expect to be ready until 15 October.

They are merging all four products and Mojave seems to have thrown up a bunch of new complications for automation but it was still a bit disappointing to see a delay again. Past uncertainty and delay plus the lag of tags on iOS have kept me from really incorporating MailTags into my workflow.

But…I don’t expect to upgrade to Mojave early on anyway so will see what happens.

Hazel. I’m too split between macOS and iOS, and I don’t have a desktop mac that’s always running and ready to get things done.

inShort - A project planning tool that just did not fit the way I work.


My habit is to buy fine software because it intrigues me. I just deleted Ferrite. Never used it …stopped podcasting a couple years ago. I own first rank digital recorders, software, decent microphones… I even rigged a Nexus 7 with a external mic. There’s no need to add more paths to capture and process sound. But… Ferrite was interesting.

Sheesh — task manager extravaganza, notetaking apps galore… But I did use them all semi-seriously and found personal keeper apps.

For me it was the user guide / demonstration workflows. While it appears to be a very powerful app, it was too confusing to pick the right tool for the tasks I wanted to complete.

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Sadly, OmniFocus and OmniOutliner fall into this category for me. I tried OO for a couple of months after purchasing and it simply didn’t work all that well for me at all. While I really liked OF, Things 3 was a far, far better match for my needs (both schedule-wise and aesthetically).

Oh, and another one that has been quasi-useless was Flexibits’ CardHop. This is one reason I haven’t purchased Fantastical.

I rarely use Cardhop too, but do not allow that to discourage you from Fantastical. Fantastical is their crown jewel imo. Coupled with Drafts and Automators episode 1 or 2 for mass entries, it is amazing. I’ve been reliant on Fantastical on Mac and iOS for years now; couldn’t imagine using the stock app any more and never liked any other calendar apps I tried.

Another tip that has been helpful for me was setting up a new Siri shortcut with Fantastical. I simply ask Siri “Fantastical Summary” to get a quick visual of appointments for the day. I imagine the same could be done with the stock calendar app but haven’t looked into that.

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