People in my closer circle or FocusX know I like to go premium on tools. Just because I see time as a commodity and my net returns on money and time using premiums are totally worth it.
For 2024, not much has changed and lots of my stack is based on a minimal but optimal flow for the majority of my work and business. I did not include the subscriptions added – for teams or other people I pay.
I eliminated tools specifically designed for verticals or industries (finance, capital markets, e-commerce, etc) but focused on what I consider an absolute must to function on a daily basis.
Superhuman $300 per year
This one sparks the most convo. Lots of people question why paying this much for ‘just’ an email client/program.
But honestly, for me this is a life saver and can sometimes mean the difference between taking more breaks and free up more time without friction.
I also have a personal assistant (not including the cost here) and she saves about 6 hours a week.
I myself about 4 hours a week, which is at least 16 hours a month. 16 hours I can spent on sleep, other tasks or taking an extra day off is totally worth it for myself.
But if you need to know a number: By paying for Superhuman $30 a month for my PA, I save about $1960 per month in hourly costs.
Most people look at Superhuman being ridiculously expensive. I say it’s insanely cheap knowing the economics and how much time I get back.
Not only that, it’s flawlessly integrated with my Zoom, a great clean calendar, great shortcuts (which I save most of my time with) and frictionless on iPad, iPhone and Mac.
Monday.com $576 per year
A platform I can’t function without. People tend to forget how powerful Monday can be when handling multiple types of businesses or verticals if you need to delegate a lot.
Granted that, you’re forced to take a min. amount of seats, I pay under $600 a year to manage:
- 90% of my entire flow
- All media assets
- 52 contractors moving stuff around and plan everything with care
- Build internal docs for the team
- And much much more.
Spending less than $600 saves me about 6000 work hours in total (team combined) per year.
Notion $96 per year
I am not a fan of Notion, but there’s still lots of merit using it and sharing spaces with other people. Admitting that the Plus version is worth it for me and I use it frequently enough to justify this small cost.
Primarily used to throw up ideas with others that are not familiar with Monday, and I use it to manage an array of clients under LaunchPad, or regular consulting.
I do NOT use it for personal note taking or turning it into a rabbit hole for myself. But it’s still a great tool for specific needs.
MS Office Business Premium $200 per year
I am no fan of the Google Docs or Sheets (but I need Gmail for Superhuman) and since I primarily work in Excel and communicate a lot in MS Teams this is a better way for me.
Again, I eliminated the costs from business, because then my bill is about $3100 for 12 core members of the team I pay their subscription for.
Plus, MS teams has a great integration with Monday and that optimizes my internal flow a lot.
I will always wonder why so many people hate MS Teams, but there’s lots of merit if used correctly with the integrations.
Zoom Pro $150 per year
Whilst a lot of platforms offer voice chat for free, Zoom Pro is worth it based on the volume of calls I have per week. Plus that Zoom has a flawless, if not the best integration with Superhuman which makes my life even easier.
Primarily, calls can take longer than 40 mins and hosting lots of group calls under the new format with FocusX is even a greater reason why Zoom Pro has the most upside for me.
Yes, there is Cal but I had freaking flow issues with it and even though I pay premium for Cal – I found Zoom was a much better fit based on my stack.
Tresorit $150 per year
I am no fan of Google Drive, and Tresorit never failed me since I started using it. Works great on Mac and I prefer using an independent platform outside of the Google ecosystem. Plus Swiss and their security is top notch.
The only drawback I feel is that uploading larger files can take a bit longer than most cloud storage I use but I am also using it with the idea of separating files from larger ecosystems with the premises of a 3-2-1 backup rule.
Google Workspace $1382 per year
For multiple email adresses handled by PA and a general inbox that handles most of the flow internally. The only product I use actively because it’s yet again needed to make Superhuman work.
But I never log into Gmail web application. Ever.
I don’t even use Google Chrome, nor is it installed on any device.
Obsidian $96 per year
I use Obsidian all day every day. For consulting, taking personal notes and especially typing on iPad Pro. Tried a lot of note taking apps and yes it’s more complex and less intuitive than others but it works smoothly for my needs without going down a rabbit hole making the second brain ultra complex.
The major pros of Obsidian is that it’s in MD format and the interface is as clean as it gets. The sync function, which is where the $96 cost comes into play works flawless on all Mac and iOS devices.
Yes there are workarounds not to use the premium function and still sync your notes on all devices but I read more headaches than solutions and I prefer to buy convenience.
Timepage $25 per year
For me, the most sexiest and smoothest layout in calendar applications for Mac and iOS. Perfectly integrated with Superhuman and Zoom and in my opinion, Timepage is superior versus lots of apps.
The entire application works flawless and brings me actual joy to open a calendar on my phone, iPad and Mac.
With lots of smart features I actually enjoy using and lots of customization. Starting the day with a more colorful calendar is far more pleasant than a dull one.
Cal.com $348 per year
Alright, this one. I am currently not sure if I want to keep it. Because it gave me lots of frustrations in the past.
And yes, Cal is free but I wanted to claim bragging rights on a 3 letter username and that costs $29 a month.
One of my goals in January is to take a closer look at it, and still see if Cal adds enough value for me. Not price tag wise but workflow wise.
I spend $3323 per year on my personal stack, excluding specific tools or niches I am active in.
Which equates to about $277 per month, running and managing multiple businesses and blogs.
Don’t get confused: this is merely the managing part and not adding all the other software platforms or tools that are needed to provide output for the businesses.
Overall, I think this number is very acceptable for what value it provides to me personally.
I always consider time a huge commodity and paying premium can be worth it (if you can afford it).
Free can more often than not be very expensive and if people would think in time saved x productivity x value and net returns premium will make a lot more sense.
What works for me, doesn’t mean it will work for you and I am not trying to preach my stack is superior over what you pick. Because circumstances are different for each individual and one should stay neutral in what to recommend to someone else.
No reason for me in 2024 to change this stack because I go with the principle what’s not broken don’t fix it.