Setapp for the Work at Home Save

The Netflix of apps pulls through in this “work-at-home” world we live in right now…

I have written about Setapp before.

Just the other day I had a great work-from-home use case and I thought I would share it with you.


At my work the software we are given to manipulate boring things like PDFs is lackluster to say the least. Last week I needed to convert over 200 pages of a word document (that was broken up in to 60 word files) in to a PDF.

Yes, I could have printed all 216 pages and scanned them to a PDF…or… I could make good use of the various Mac apps I have at home.

PDF Expert

My primary PDF reader/editor I use on my Mac is PDF Expert by Readdle. In my opinion it’s the best app that works across the Mac and iOS platforms. However, when I was trying to figure out the best way to use the software to open up 60 word documents and merge them in to one big PDF I was stumped.

PDF Expert

That is when I remembered some PDF software I used pay for before I found PDF Expert…PDFpen.

PDFpen by Smile Software

This was one of the first PDF editing/manipulating pieces of software I ever paid for a few years ago and it’s still a fantastic piece of software…but I eventually got priced out of the Pro version that had the advanced features I wanted.

When I was a recruiter I used to work from my home office a lot, and had to collect various documents and merge them and send them off for processing. PDFpen was my go to mac app to get this done.

As I was trying to figure out how to use PDF Expert to do just this, I remembered my past workflow…but I didn’t own PDFpen any more.

Damn!!

That is when Setapp popped in to my head. Did the “Netflix of Mac Apps” have PDFpen PRO?

Setapp search function

Setapp

You’re damn right it did!

I opened it up, searched for PDFpen and had it downloaded and open in less than a minute.

PDFpen let me open up the first word document directly in it, then all I had to do was drag each of the 59 other word document to the side bar. That’s it! Once I had them all over in the left hand thumbnails area, I just saved the document and boom…a 216 page PDF.

Easy breezy.

Worth It?

With the way that most apps are moving to subscription models, I would say YES.

Rather than paying $150 a year for various applications that you will use, you can pay about $100 a year (or $10/month) for those same apps and a ton more!

There is always the risk that one of your “must-have” apps isn’t in Setapp…but they’re updating their repertoire often.

Might at least be worth checking out.

Fujifilm X-100: The BEST Point and Shoot Camera on the Market

The perfect blend of old school styling and the newest technology…all in one unassuming package.

I bought the X-100F back when I first was downsizing my camera gear and wanted one super high-quality camera for my then budding family. There is a newer model now…the X-100V, that steps up the video shooting game of this amazing camera.

I sold my X-100 about 18 months ago and I really regret it.

When it comes to portrait shooting I think it is unbeatable for the colors it gives you and the slight softening of skin tones while keeping the crisp details that make your subjects pop.

Honestly, if I can ever convince my wife to let me buy this camera again I will.

I cannot recommend it highly enough.

This Video Has How Many Views?

It’s not just about the views…

The script this guy uses to update his video title is pretty neat.

Even cooler is his explanation of how the internet has progressed in various areas in relation to scripts like these. Tom Scott has obviously been around for a while and does a great job explaining it simply.

However, the real kicker is at the end…watch the whole thing.

The message will resonate with you whether you know code or not.

Apple and Patagonia Close but Continue to Pay Employees During COVID-19 Pandemic

Companies with a clear ‘why’ shine during crisis…

My Dad works at an Apple store back in my home state. He actually told me about this before it hit the news.

Apple Closes Retail Stores Outside Greater China Until March 27th and Outlines Steps It Is Taking to Protect Employees

We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers. Our online stores are open at http://www.apple.com, or you can download the Apple Store app on the App Store. For service and support, customers can visit support.apple.com. I want to thank our extraordinary Retail teams for their dedication to enriching our customers’ lives. We are all so grateful to you.

Tim Cook

I am a self admitted fan of both of these companies.

When I saw that Apple and Patagonia were both doing this, I was reminded that there is a reason these companies have “fans” like me. As Simon Sinek says, they have a why at their core that is about more than the bottom line.

PATAGONIA CLOSES WEBSITE AND STORES DUE TO CORONAVIRUS, WILL CONTINUE TO PAY WORKERS

It is actions like this that help keep me and many others faithful to brands like Apple and Patagonia.

We should remember that, even when starting a blog, a vlog, or any endeavor.

Links of the Week (3/09/2020)

Deep dive on my WP theme, mesh WiFi routers, and that company that raised their minimum salary to $70k a year…

I’m the Grinch who grumbles about every WordPress theme. Except one. After years of resisting change, I finally switched FilterJoe to a modern, responsive theme: Twenty Sixteen—the new default theme included with WordPress 4.4.

My only temptation has been to leave WordPress for a simpler and more writing-focused platform like Ghost or Medium. While WordPress was for blogging at first, it expanded over the years into content management and an online application platform. The original focus on blogging has been diluted, and WordPress themes often reflect that.

However, WordPress now offers Twenty Sixteen for modern blogging, and it is good.

In this post, I detail how Twenty Sixteen makes me comfortable with it as a wonderfully content-focused blog theme.

This is the Theme I am running right now. This guy nailed it in so many levels.

The Grinch who Changed to the Twenty Sixteen WordPress Theme


A few new opportunities have arisen recently, offering up an equally exciting opportunity to reassess my camera kit. Now, I have friends — knowledgeable friends, very wise friends — who have made it clear I have very little rational reason to make any changes. But want is a pretty significant factor, specifically when it comes to photography kit.

Many of us can identify with this.

First Impressions of the Canon EOS R, a Reader’s Setup, and More – The Sweet Setup


Amazon’s Eero routers are the first out of the gate with HomeKit support, which promises to provide greater security to your Internet-connected HomeKit devices.

The update, which appeared today via an update to Eero’s iOS app, walks users through the setup process of adding their Eero gateway to the Home app. Along the way, the Eero app explains that enabling HomeKit support allows Eero to firewall off each HomeKit device, so they only communicate with approved devices and services.

I bought an Eero mesh WiFi router when I moved to a bigger house. Totally worth it.

Eero WiFi Routers Add HomeKit Support


Remember a few years ago when the owner of a credit card payment processing company based in Seattle raised the minimum wage of his employees to $70,000/yr while taking a huge pay-cut himself and capitalists the world over, afraid of their beloved & apparently suuuuper delicate system collapsing from such madness, flipped out?

🤔

What Happened to the Company That Raised Minimum Wage to $70k/yr?

Links of the Week (2/24/2020)

Awesome apps, subscription pricing, and why site stats matter…

Last year when Apple Music Replay was introduced, Apple specified that the feature wouldn’t just serve as a year-end collection of your most-played music, but it would also become a weekly-updated playlist that you can enjoy throughout the year. Up until this weekend, however, the 2020 version of that playlist hadn’t yet been made available. Our Federico Viticci first discovered its debut on Sunday:

This article has a link to where you can find your own 2020 playlist. I love mine.

Apple Music Replay 2020 Playlist Now Available


Today I’m thrilled to announce the release of Dropzone 4.

Dropzone 4 is a big release not just in terms of the app itself but also the business behind it and how I plan to run Aptonic moving forward.

Great app just got powerful but also switched to subscription pricing. I don’t use a lot of the advanced features Dropzone 4 offers, but if you read my Setapp article from last week, you can try Dropzone 4 for free here.

Dropzone 4 Released « Aptonic – Blog


People ask me all the time if forever transaction business models are ethical. And I think the reason they ask me is because they’re dealing with subscription fatigue right now. A lot of people are really frustrated with subscription business models for a few reasons. The first reason is what I call product market fit. In other words a lot of companies build subscription models that aren’t very good business models requiring you to subscribe in order to access something that you only need one time, for example. Or bundling in a lot of stuff that you don’t want and then requiring you to pay for it. So a lot of people feel like hey, I used to love this product and now I have to subscribe to it and I have to pay more and I’m not getting what I really need. That’s the first problem and that creates a lack of trust between the individual and companies. The second thing is what I call subscription overwhelm which leads to subscription guilt which is they say something like this. I love this business model. I love this subscription. It’s really great except I never use it.

Speaking of subscription pricing, this article digs in to just that concept.

Is the ‘forever transaction’ business model ethical?


These sorts of stats do matter to me, because I want to see when and where people stop reading and understand how to keep people engaged with me. Not because I want to manipulate them and monetise them like the standard technology obsession. There is no attention economy here. I do want to build up a conversation with them and encourage replies to my posts.

​I’m slowly exploring SEO more and this blogger has the right mindset when it comes to why SEO and site stats can help make a blog/website better. Conversation. I love it when people comment and I get to converse with them on something we both find interesting.

When Site Stats Do Matter

Setapp: The ‘Netflix’ of Mac Apps

Ever want to try an expensive Mac app but not pay the full price?

I first heard about Setapp on a tech podcast. (if you’ve never listened to The Cultcast and are a mac/apple person I HIGHLY recommend it…very entertaining) I checked it out in it’s early days and decided that it wasn’t quite worth it for me. Even though I was constantly (and still am) on the lookout for an awesome new Mac application I didn’t want to pay the monthly subscription. I continued to pay for apps I found individually and write about them on my previous websites.

I had been writing on my last site for a year or two and had taken some time to write up some of my own serious reviews of Mac and iOS apps that I liked. Then, out of the blue, I was contacted by a representative from Setapp asking if I would like to check out the service for free if I was willing to write about it. Seeing as how this almost never happened to me, I gladly accepted.

Hopping over to the Setapp website for the first time in a couple years, I was flabbergasted by how many applications they had added!! I did some quick math and, with how many apps are moving to a subscription model anyways, I realized very quickly that Setapp would actually save me money because I use a TON OF APPLICATIONS that they cover in their Netflix type service!

Here’s a quick list of what I use that they offer:

SOME of the apps offered by Setapp
SOME of the Apps offered by Setapp

I’m not exaggerating with that list…and I know there are more apps with the service I haven’t even tried yet. All told, I probably could have paid the monthly subscription fee for Setapp for a year or two with how much I paid for all of those I bought on my own (including occasional upgrades).

Speaking of upgrades, Setapp gets you those application upgrades at no extra cost (from what I’ve seen).

If you’re interested, you can follow my affiliate link (it doesn’t add any extra cost) and try it out for free.

SETAPP – the Netflix of Mac Apps

Links of the Week (02/10/2020)

Some amazing apps, map books, and how to foster your creativity…

It’s been a little over five years since our last coffee table book guide, so I think it’s high time we revisit this space to see what other reading materials — with an emphasis on art and design — are worth keeping out on display in your home rather than on a shelf.

My favorite on this list is the map book of imaginary lands.

Coffee Table Books (2020 Edition) — Tools and Toys


The latest update to Overcast includes a feature that I’m especially proud of that took over a year to build.

Voice Boost 2 is an all-new audio engine that includes professional-grade, mastering-quality loudness normalization.

​I use Overcast constantly. Occasionally I’ll try out another podcast app but nothing compares with the features and smooth UI of this app.

Introducing Voice Boost 2: Remaster your podcasts – Marco.org


The all new Fantastical 3 offers a huge number of new features and a whole host of new actions for Shortcuts. These make doing some actions that would otherwise require you to fine tune the native calendar shortcuts much easier, and easier to integrate into your workflows. Fantastical supports both calendar events and reminders/ tasks, so I’ll cover each of these.

This is a fantastic calendar app. Probably the best one in the App Store for all it does. The new price is kinda steep, but worth it if it supports these developers.

iOS Calendar Automation with Shortcuts and Fantastical 3 – The Sweet Setup


But I have to be real with you. I know this system works, but I still struggle with resisting the temptation to take shortcuts. Even though I’ve seen time and time again that developing my ideas first actually reduces the total time I spend creating, it’s easy to make excuses and say, “I just don’t have time for that right now.”

In my experience, this is the problem most people struggle with when it comes to creativity and productivity: they know what to do, but they have trouble following through and doing it.

I can identify with this sentiment. Largely because I have 3 small kids and work a lot, but I always find the time I tend to value most (aside from family time) is time I can take to be quiet and think.

How and Why to Make the Time to Think – The Sweet Setup

Links of the Week (01/27/2020)

Taking time to think, 2019 must have apps, and how mind mapping helps writers…

Just thinking is harder than it seems in an age of constant stimulation, but not impossible. Thinking about things is not the same as letting your thoughts run free; it takes practice and attention to what is going on. Otherwise, there is a genuine risk or “miles away” from those around you.

I enjoy the way Greg writes and thinks out loud at times.

Just Thinking – Greg Morris


I’m not too fond of ads. I promised myself I would never show them on my blog and hate the way they looked on websites that did. With all this said, I have turned some on for a little experiment and wanted to share why.

​I appreciated this short post from a writer/blogger I found a while back. His intent to create a little income from his site is similar to mine.

I Have Started Showing Ads


This entire story features a collection of the 50 apps I consider my must-haves on the iPhone and iPad, organized in seven categories; whenever possible, I included links to original reviews and past coverage on MacStories. As for the traditional list of awards for best new app and best app update: those are now part of our annual MacStories Selects awards, which we published last December and you can find here.

Let’s dig in.

An article I look forward to every year. SO many good apps here.

My Must-Have Apps, 2019 Edition


Don’t Skip Straight to Create

When it comes to developing your ideas, you cannot skip straight to the creative part.

Many folks do this, and it’s a rookie move, to be honest. Because without more clarity about your idea, you will hit the blank wall.

So, while it is great to have your list of ideas, there is still a critical part of the idea system that cannot be skipped over.

You need a way to develop your ideas before moving on to creating and building them.

It’s funny I never thought of using mind mapping as a tool for writing here on the blog. I used it extensively when writing basically anything for my Masters Degree…I think I’ll bring that habit back here and see how it works out.

I highly recommend mind mapping for the reasons they spell out in this article.

Why Mind Mapping Works – The Sweet Setup