Setapp Review: How One Service Is Helping Me Stay Productive
Remember the old iPhone 3G commercial with the catchy line - “there’s an app for that.” That’s what using SetApp feels like every day. Want to write your next blog post - there’s an app for that. Want to track your time so you can bill your customers - there’s an app for that. Want to edit photos, code your next app, block apps and website to remove distractions, edit PDFs, manage projects, and do anything else you can think of - there’s even an app for all that.
SetApp is the first app that I install when I set up a new Mac. I am in love with the service, and by the end of this article, I am sure that I will convince you to try it out.
SetApp Review: What is SetApp?
SetApp is often described as Netflix for apps. You pay a monthly subscription and get access to more than two hundred apps. While this line of reasoning is not wrong, it’s nowhere close to the truth.
When you buy a subscription to a service like Netflix, there’s no data-driven way of knowing if you are getting your money’s worth or not. With SetApp, things are a little different, and I will talk more about it in the pricing section below.
Now, everyone’s definition of productivity is different, so in this article, instead of convincing you that SetApp is beneficial for you, I will show you how I use SetApp and you can decide for yourself if it’s worth your time and money or not.
SetApp Review: How It Helps Me Stay Productive
Setapp Makes Me Productive by Being an Ally Against Resistance
In his novel, the “War of Art,” author Steven Pressfield coins a concept called Resistance. Resistance is the thing that stands between the life you are living and the life you want. To succeed in life, whatever your definition of success may be, you will need to embrace resistance, and fight it.
One way Resistance strikes you is by saying that you don’t have the right tools for a job. Even though you could write a novel on paper, you tell yourself that you need a MacBook to finish your novel. Even though you can write your novel in Pages, you need Ulysses to write it.
It took me a long time to come to terms with Resistance, and now I am starting to fight it. Whenever Resistance fills my head with useless thoughts that I need a better calendar app for managing my schedule or a better task manager to manage my tasks or a better blogging app for writing, I can’t blame the absence of apps.
SetApp has all the apps I need. I have access to Ulysses for writing, Mockuuups Studio for creating beautiful images, CleanShot X for taking screenshots, Keysmith for creating automation, and so on. When I need a specialized app for doing a task, I can find it on SetApp. So, SetApp helps me overcome at least that part of the resistance.
Setapp Gives Me Access to Apps that Make My Life Easier
While it’s true that you can complete your tasks without needing any specialized tools, having them surely makes your life easier. You should never let an absence of something deter you from working towards your dreams. However, if you can access better tools, you should take advantage of them.
Let me give you a simple example. When I take screenshots for an article, which sometimes can have 30-40 screenshots, I need a way to rename those files for easy access. I can either rename them one by one, which wastes a lot of time or use the built-in rename tool in Mac, which is not powerful enough. Renamer - a specialized app available in SetApp - helps me rename hundreds of files in one go with the precision I require.
Similarly, I can clean up my Mac and run maintenance scripts manually, which takes a lot of time, or I can use CleanMyMac and be done in minutes, if not seconds. I can either manually type all my emails or use text snippets via the Rocket app and reply to emails in a jiffy.
SetApp offers several such apps that make my life easier. Bartender lets me manage Menu Bar icons, BetterTouchTool lets me create easy automation, AirBuddy handles my Bluetooth connections, GoodTask gives me a better interface for reminders, and so on. I have already mentioned a dozen apps, and I am not even close to listing all the SetApp apps that I use daily.
Setapp Has Apps that You Might Only Need Once
There are times when you need to perform a specific task that requires an app that you may never use again. And buying an app for a single-time use sucks. So, you first try using some hacks or free apps that are a total waste of time even if they work. Since I am using SetApp, I never had to deal with this problem.
I can tell you two such instances. I needed to download a video from an obscure website. None of the extensions that I used or shortcuts that I created worked. Instead of wasting time to find solutions online, I searched inside SetApp and remembered Downie. It took me minutes to successfully downloaded the video, and I moved on to my work.
Another time, I needed to share a PDF file that was too large, and I needed to compress it. I didn’t trust online services to do this because they either don’t work or are not secure enough that I can trust them with my documents. Again, I searched in SetApp, found PDF Squeezer, and it works like a charm.
This has happened to me numerous times, and I can’t tell you how much time and money I have saved because of SetApp.
SetApp Is a Great Place to Discover New Apps
I love trying out new apps and reviewing them if I find them useful, and SetApp is a great place to discover new apps. Since the apps are curated, I also know that these apps are good. The service keeps adding new apps, and whenever I receive a notification that a new app has been added, it’s like a small treat for me.
Even if you don’t get the same joy in discovering new apps, you still have plenty to look forward to. You might be using apps that can be replaced with better ones and improve your productivity. SetApp gives you a chance to try out apps without the self-admonishment of wasting money on new untested apps.
SetApp: Is it Worth the money?
SetApp costs $9.99/month if you use it on a single Mac. The $12.49/month plan lets you use the iOS counterparts of available apps, and the $14.99/month plan unlocks the service to up to four Macs.
So, is it worth the money? It absolutely is for me, and I can give data to support my statement. My choice of writing app, Ulysses, costs $5.99/month. I use the excellent ClearVPN app for securing my connections and accessing region-blocked content. Even if you get the cheapest good VPN service out there, it will cost you at least $2.99/month. NotePlan 3, my note-taking and task management app, costs $6.99/month.
If you add the costs of only these three apps, they will cost me more than SetApp’s most premium subscription. I have not even factored in apps like Mockuuups Studio that help create the beautiful mockups you see on this website (see the featured image for this post). That alone costs more than $10/month. I use Timing for tracking everything I do on my Mac to get a data-driven view of how productive I have been. It costs $5.99/month.
There are a dozen such SetApp apps that I use regularly and two hundred more that I don’t use, but you might.
The world of apps is switching to subscription, so why not pay for one subscription and get them all.
Getting the SetApp subscription is an absolute no-brainer decision for me.
Can I function without these apps? I can, but the thing is, I don’t want to. I adore these apps, and they make my life easier. With the apps side of the equation taken care of, I can focus on the work on hand, and I have become more productive because of this.
I unequivocally think that the SetApp subscription makes sense for most Mac users. I recommend that you use its seven days free-trial and then decide for yourself.