Today is a little off-topic, since I am writing about tools I use every day and not specifically about FinTech.
At the end of my studies I signed up for Xing (German version of LinkedIn) premium. As many other people in the same situation, this was a helpful tool to connect to others in order to find the right job since the basic version has lots of limitations. However, since then I am a premium member but advantages were rather little for me since usage of LinkedIn was anyway predominant. Now I have finally lapsed my subscription and feel quite happy not to pay the 90 EUR per year for a service I don’t actually use.
But there a lot of services out there, that are so helpful that I am actually happy to pay for them. Of course, there is always the questions if you need to subscribe for a certain service or if the free version is not sufficient. However, I believe when you use the tool continuously and have a decent advantage of it you at least need to consider upgrading for some tome. And you definitely cannot complain if a service you are using for free gets shut down after being acquired (just have to think about my preferred calendar app Sunrise being shut down after the acquisition by Microsoft 🙁 ).
Among all my paid services my top three choices are:
1. Feedly: feedly.com
Feedly allows you to aggregate all your news sources into one service. Super convenient for the daily morning news check since you avoid checking many many different sources. With premium you have the chance to share your lists (mine is https://feedly.com/fintech) and have no limitation in adding sources. I have actually started paying for Feedly before knowing the advantages – I just enjoyed it that much that I had to get premium. Feedly Pro is about 5.50USD per month and you can get infos on Feedly Pro here.
2. Focusatwill: https://www.focusatwill.com/
Focusatwill is my source of music for work. Yes, I am also a Spotify Premium member and Spotify also offers playlists for “work” or “focus” but nothing is even close to the scientifically developed stuff on Focusatwill. It’s hard to describe but different music styles from classic to more EDM style music (that they are all without lyrics comes without saying) is the perfect sound in a busy office. Especially the “deep work sessions” of 90min are perfectly to focus on one topic and get it done. By the way, my favourite play lists are Classical Piano and ADHD Type 1 (which is basically just a lot of noice but helps somehow to focus a lot). It’s not cheap (about 100USD per year) but the increase in productivity is definitely worth it (at least for me). You cannot use Focusatwill without a subscription and get details of pricing when you signed up for a free 14-days trial.
3. Fullcontact: https://www.fullcontact.com/
I never really felt the urge to use a service to arrange my contacts and I have to be honest, when I signed up for Fullcontact my contacts got first a little messed up (many duplicates). However, since that is sorted I enjoy Fullcontact and it’s my first app I open to find a name, number or email address. All contact details get extracted from different sources (Gmail, iCloud, LinkedIn,…) and shared into all of them (if possible / enabled), thus, there is no chance to lose contact details or missing a contact detail that was saved “somewhere” before. Fullcontact suggest also to merge contact entries that have the same name (who doesn’t have like five Steve Miller’s in his/her contact book?!) and also retrieves updates from many social media platforms. Fullcontact premium comes for 100USD and is definitely a yearly investment you should consider making into managing your “Vitamin-B” – definitely more worthwhile than Xing / LinkedIn. More details about Fullcontact Premium here.
What are your favourite services you are paying for and why? I would love to hear about them!