You know the analogy, right? Try to put a frog in boiling water and it will instantly leap away. Slowly heat the water that the frog is in, and by the time the frog notices that things are getting uncomfortable, he’s no longer capable of leaping away.

Of late, more and more services have switched to subscription payment models. Good for them. Why shouldn’t they? I want them to be well paid, so that they support the product and continue to develop it.

Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on the costs:

Omnifocus £74

Fantastical £39

Ulysses £36

Readwise £93

Stoic £39

Elevate £39

Day One £39

Sanebox £220

Apple 1 £359

Timery £9

Keep it £9

Fiery Feeds £10

PDF Expert £49

Drafts £18

£1,033 or $1,400. A year.

Is it me, or is the water getting a bit hot?

Review Time

Apple 1. This is the new bundle, including Apple TV+, Music, Fitness+, News+, Arcade and 2TB of memory. All for Mrs L and I. This represents good value - if we use it. I shall keep an eye on it.

Sanebox. Sanebox is great for taming unruly email accounts - of which I have several. However, I am rationalising my e-mail, and will be able to significantly reduce this to £72 per annum from September, or even eliminate it entirely. Saving £148.

Readwise. This is a lovely app - but, much of what it does can be achieved in other ways. Will not renew. Saving £93.

Omnifocus. The fully-loaded Mac Pro of the productivity world. I need a MacBook Air. As it happens, I own the MacBook Pro, or Things, which is not a subscription app. Saving £74.

PDF Expert. I used to use this a lot. Now, I don’t. Saving £49.

Fantastical. Highly thought-of, and good. But there are alternatives, including the calendar that Apple bundles in. Saving £39.

Stoic & Day One. Two excellent journal apps. I own a notebook shop for heaven’s sake! Saving £78.

Elevate. Brain Training. My way of keeping sharp. I think just over £3 a month is, for the time being, worth it. I use it every day.

Ulysses. I write in this every day. However - I am taking closer looks at alternatives, especially as I am sometimes in Windows / Android these days.

Drafts and Keep It, I don’t use, so they will naturally fall off. Saving £27.

Timery, this is a paid front-end for Toggle. I will try Toggl alone to see if Timery is earning its annual fee.

Fiery Feeds. A RSS reader. There are lots of free versions out there - I may even have a few one-off purchases already. I’ll look into it.


That’s over £500 ($700) saved already, with potentially more to come.


I would recommend every single app and service above. Individually, each is excellent. However, it’s astonishing how these reasonable fees add up to an unreasonable total.