January 15, 2015
by Neil Turner
This week saw the launch of the Productivity Pack – premium subscriptions to five services for $60 USD – about £40. Buying them all together at once saves over $120, as individually they’re worth around $185.
It’s of interest to me as I use two of the services already. Here’s what’s included:
In 2012 I made a new year’s resolution to use what was then called Read It Later, now known as Pocket, as a way of saving interesting articles and videos to read at a later date. It integrates with most Twitter apps, along with Reeder and Feedly, and I reckon I save around 10 things every day. I was therefore not surprised when Pocket emailed me to tell me I’m in their top 1% of users, both in 2013 and 2014.
Because I use Pocket so much, I’d already signed up for a Premium account. I don’t use the extra features much: these include better search, tag suggestions and archiving of everything you save in case the original web site goes offline. But since I rely on Pocket so much I’m happy to pay to keep it going.
As an early adopter who bought the paid-for Read It Later app (before all Pocket apps became free), I’m entitled to a lower subscription fee for Pocket Premium. Whereas it normally costs $50 per year, I pay half of that.
I use Evernote from time-to-time – mostly for keeping shopping lists or anything that I need to note down quickly. I’m not a power user by any means. I’ve had an Evernote Premium subscription in the past – I think it came with a purchase of an app bundle – but I let it lapse as I don’t really use the extra features that it offered. I really just need it to keep my notes in sync between devices.
It’s nice to have, I guess, but not something I’d use very much. Normally this is $45 per year.
I’ve heard of Wunderlist but never used it. It’s a tool for managing lists, whether they be to-do lists, shopping lists, planning checklists, or anything else that’s listable. Lists are kept in sync between devices, with apps available on both mobile and desktop, and lists or list items can be shared and delegated. Whilst a free account will do these things, a pro account lets you attach bigger files, and delegate tasks to more people. This is worth $50 per year.
At the moment tasks are split between my work Office 365 account (for work things, obviously), Reminders on my iPhone and Mac, and the occasional to-do list or shopping list in Evernote. I suppose I could use Wunderlist to organise these things better, but I don’t think the extra perks of a Pro account would be useful for me.
Lifehacker readers named LastPass as their most popular password manager, and it’s certainly the one that I’d recommend first to people. That being said, I don’t use it – I use 1Password instead. LastPass is much cheaper – most of its features are available for free and Premium accounts are normally only $12 per year. Paying a dollar per month gets rid of the advertising and removes restrictions on its mobile apps. 1Password is more expensive, but it’s what I’m used to using and it works fine for me.
New York Times
As a bonus, the Productivity Pack includes free unlimited access to the New York Times web site, albeit only for 8 weeks rather than a full year as with the other four services.
Should I buy the Productivity Pack?
That depends on how much value you’ll get out of these. For me, I can’t see myself buying it – I’m already getting Pocket Premium at a discount and I don’t think I’d be able to get my money’s worth. However, if you can see yourself using two or more of the services included in the Productivity Pack, then it’s worth it. It’s a limited time offer which may expire at any time.
When you buy the Productivity Pack you’ll get redemption codes for each, which you can use yourself or give to someone else if they would find it more useful, and if you’re already a subscriber then you’ll just add an extra year onto your existing subscription.