My subscriptions and how I track them with Notion

Screenshot of my Notion database where it shows a list of my subscriptions

With Apple and many more raising their subscription prices, I decided it was time to look closer at my subscriptions. The idea from this post initially came from Devon Dundee and Greg Morris articles, but more recently, Niko and Maymeow also wrote about their subscriptions. After trying several dedicated apps, I also wanted to share how I currently track my subscriptions with Notion.

Contrary to most people, I love subscriptions, specifically App subscriptions. If I integrate an app into my daily workflow and routines, I want that app to be constantly updated, up to date with new iOS features, and have good support. Sadly, the subscription model is one of the best ways of reassuring this.

After seeing other people’s subscriptions, I feel like I fall on too many. So, I hope writing and rationalizing about each one helps me narrow the down.

Tips to save money on subscriptions

  • I try to use the "A la carte" approach for subscriptions as much as possible. If there is a service, we use many more subscriptions that will not be listed here but only subscribe when needed. For example, if I want to watch a Walking Dead show like Daryl Dixon, I would subscribe to AMC for the duration of the show and then unsub. Although this applies mostly to streaming services, I also use it for some apps like Flighty.
  • Most apps offer discounts if you subscribe yearly. I always try to subscribe first to the monthly one and measure my use of the app for five months or so before deciding if it’s worth switching to yearly.
  • For subscriptions like are more services and not apps, always compare the pricing on their own website vs the app store. Many services like YouTube or Feedbin cost more if you subscribe via the App Store.
  • Cashback services like Rakuten often have cashback on subscription services such as Setapp and Netflix
  • Always check on the App Store's app page under In-App purchases to see if there are any active promotions
  • One cool thing about subscribing to trials is that you can immediately cancel the subscription and still keep the trial.

My Subscriptions

Here’s what I’m subscribed to as of December 2023, grouped and ordered by descending monthly costs.

Household / Family

This could have been a “streaming” category, but I decided to group this subscription under household as they are all used by my wife, me, and our dog Max (He has a YouTube account for his background music, lol). Therefore, I consider these essentials and don’t feel guilty or selfish.

  • YouTube Family Premium:
    • Cost: $23.99 / month
    • We watch a LOT of YouTube, so having ads would be very annoying. The family plan allows us to have a joint account for what we watch together and an individual account so my wife’s feed is not bombarded with Lego stuff. Our dog Max also has his own channel for when we are out on background music for him. I wish they had an annual plan for the Family tier.
  • Apple Music Family
    • Cost: $16.99 / month
    • Our music streaming service of choice. I listen to a lot of music while working out, so any music subscription is necessary. Nothing is worse than getting an Ad in the middle of a heavy bench press set, lol. Also, my wife has gotten used to Apple Music and likes creating playlists. I can't wait for the collaborative playlists.
  • Disney+
    • Cost: $139.99 / yearly = $11.67 / month
    • We watch all the Marvel and Star Wars content, so between those 2, there is enough to warrant a yearly subscription.
  • Amazon Prime
    • Cost: $139.99 /yearly = $11.58 / month
    • We rely on Subscribe and Save for our monthly home essentials. We also order a lot from Amazon, so faster shipping is necessary. We rarely use Amazon Prime Video or the other perks.
  • iCloud + 2TB
    • Cost: $9.99 / month
    • Both my wife and I saved everything to iCloud. This is currently also my only off-site backup storage for my data. If there were a 1TB plan, it would be perfect since we only use about 800 GB. We also need this tier to be able to use more Homekit Secure Video cameras.
  • Apple TV+
    • Cost: $9.99 / month
    • This is one of the services I used to have A la carte, but lately, there has been a lot of back-to-back quality content. The latest one I hooked on is Monarch. So, for now, it stays month to month.
  • Uber Eats
    • Cost: $9.99 / month
    • The app says this has saved us $268 lol. I'm unsure how true this is, but we often order out. We meal prep our lunches and always have breakfast at home, mostly for dinners. I need to keep monitoring this one.
    • Household Total: $94.20 / month

The streaming category is the one that keeps getting the most price increases lately. We could cut Uber Eats one, but the rest are intrinsic to our daily rituals, so it would be difficult to let go.


I have a love-and-hate relationship with App subscriptions. While I use almost all of them multiple times a day, I feel the most guilty, and they are the ones I consider cutting.

  • Craft
    • Cost: $44.99 / yearly = $3.75 / monthly
    • My favorite writing app and the one I'm using to write this draft. I just want it to be written, though. I still use Apple Notes for notes and Notion for databases and information. I just prefer their block approach for writing and editing. It has great Markdown export options, which I use to export to my blog.
  • Hevy
    • Cost: $23.99 / yearly = $2 / monthly
    • I rely on this app for my workout routine and to track my gym progress, so it’s essential for me. It gets constant support and updates, plus it has good live activities.
  • Sequel
    • Cost: $2.99 / monthly
    • I've gotten used to using some sort of media tracking app. I tried Notion as a free alternative, but it was too manual. I used Sofa for a while, but I enjoy how Sequel tracks episodes and releases. It’s one of the more expensive apps, so I’m still considering it.
  • Pushcuts
    • Cost: $1.50 /
    • I have a shortcut that logs all my meetings daily to Timery. Pushcuts sends a notification to all my devices of the meetings that it logged.
  • Countdowns
    • Cost: $0.99 / monthly
    • This one might go as most of my countdowns are movies or TV shows, and Sequel takes care of this perfectly.
  • Chronicling
    • Cost: $0.99 / monthly
    • Also, in the "testing" category.
  • TV Forecast
    • Cost: $0.99 / monthly
    • I was testing between this and the sequel; while I like TV Forecast’s upcoming widgets, the UI of the sequel is superior. So, it might be canceled soon.
  • Pocket Casts
    • Cost: $9.99 / yearly = $0.83 / monthly
    • My favorite podcast app. It syncs perfectly between devices and has a lot of customizable settings. I’m currently testing out Apple Podcasts again. Depending on how that goes, this one might get canceled.
  • Timery
    • Cost: $9.99 / yearly = $0.83 / monthly
    • I don’t know if I time track because I love Timery or the other way around 😆 Time tracking is essential to my workflow, so Timery is an essential one. If I had to use Google’s own apps, I would consider abandoning the practice.
  • Parcel
    • Cost: $3.99 / yearly = $0.33 / monthly
    • We order more online than we should, so this saves a lot of time. I used to use Deliveries, but it was not getting regular support.
  • Habit
    • Cost: $0.29 / monthly
    • I've been going back and forth testing habit apps, and this one has been my favorite because of how they handle their weekly view
  • Apps Total: $21 / Month

Honestly, I was expecting a lot more. But 13 apps are still a lot. Thankfully, apps, compared to services, seem on the lower side. Even though I have a lot, it does not add too much. I do have to have a lot of auto-control because I’m a bit impulsive and want to subscribe to any new app I try.

Services & Memberships

This is technically the misc. section of subs I had no idea where to categorize.

  • Tesla Premium Connectivity
    • Cost: $9.99 / monthly
    • This enables real-time traffic on the GPS, allows me to stream Apple Music, and lets me stream shows or watch YouTube while we charge. I recently unsubscribed for a few months but missed most of the features. My wife and I have “charging dates” each week when we go to charge; we order food and watch videos while charging each week; it’s priceless.
  • Club MacStories Plus
    • Cost: $80 / yearly = $6.67 / monthly
    • This is my favorite "media" subscription. Their weekly newsletters highlight my weekends, and their content always sparks side projects that are becoming integral parts of my workflows. I have the plus for the dedicated RSS feeds and discord community access.
  • Feedbin
  • Pokemon Home
    • Cost: $15.99 / yearly = $1.33 / monthly
    • Sadly, This is necessary as I have stored most of the Pokemon I used to pass all my GBA and DS games.

Services Total: $22.00

Website tech

These are the paid tools I use to run my website.

  • Webflow
    • Cost: $274.37 / yearly = $22.86 / monthly
    • It’s the service that I use to host and design my site. I pay for the CMS tier for the blog. This one can’t go.
  • Make
    • Cost: $9 / monthly
    • I used their free tier, but sadly, it only supports three automation. I use it to connect and automate Notion to my CMS. I could cut this, but I enjoy publishing from my iPad.
  • Google Domains
    • Cost: $17.99 / yearly = $1.50 / monthly
    • The most straightforward domain provider that does not try to oversell unnecessary features.
  • Website Total: $33.36

While Webflow is my most expensive subscription after YouTube, its the core of my website so I view it was justified. I was not counting on having to pay for Make but I might find a free tool later.

Apps Paid up-front

It’s also worth mentioning a few paid upfront apps that, if we were to choose another app, may have been subscriptions, too.

  • Things 3 (Todoist costs $4 / month)
  • Good Links (Readwise costs $4.49 / month)
  • Secrets (1Password costs $2.99 / month)
  • Mona (Ivory costs $2.99 / month)

Bonus: Tracking subscriptions in Notion

This article would been very difficult without any sort of tracking system for all the subscriptions. I’ve been using a custom Notion database I created for the past year, and it’s been amazing so far.

I have tried tons of apps to track my subscriptions. (Ironically, with subscriptions themselves). But almost all of them try to do too much by merging subscriptions and bills. Or they are not universal apps.

I might write a separate blog post going more into detail, but here is a quick overview of my setup.

I have three main views. The first one has all the subscriptions grouped by their status of Active, Paused, or Canceled. The second one is grouped by Category, which was useful for this post. It also shows me the monthly total for each category automatically. The last one is a grid view filtered by Yearly subscriptions that gives me a bird’s eye view of upcoming renewals. I can also set reminders for the Renewal date.

I've been using this database for over a year, and it's been fantastic. It's easy to edit and keep up to date and helps me get a clear view of how much I'm spending.

Here are a few more tidbits or features:

  • For the costs, I created a formula where you can enter the app costs, which calculates monthly and yearly totals. It lets me see the monthly/yearly costs side by side, regardless of how I subscribe. Sometimes, looking at the yearly amount helps put things into perspective.
  • I can add the app icons to each item so it looks nicer.
  • I added a feeling column where I can add notes on how I feel about the subscription: Essential/Kepp, testing, To cancel.
  • The frequency of use column lets me compare the costs of an app vs. how often I use it: daily, a few times a week, weekly, monthly, or yearly. This helps me evaluate the real value of the subscriptions.

I'm working on creating a proper template, but in the meantime, you can get the database on Gumroad for just $2.

Final thoughts

So, I spend around $173 a month and $2,083 a year on subscriptions in total. That is a lot. 😳 Even though this is all included in our budgets. But as I went through the list, I considered most of them essential, and either my wife or I got enjoyment out of them. The household category might stay as is, but the Apps and Services could be trimmed down slightly.

To be honest, my realistic goal for next year will be to try to keep it in that range and not have it go up by adding extra subscriptions. If I want to subscribe to something new, I must let one go. Overall, this was a fun and enlightening experiment.

What do your subscriptions look like?

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