7 Free or Buy Once Apps to Replace Important Subscriptions

5 min readNov 30, 2022

There are always opportunities to save money and it is easy to look past financial issues when faced with an onslaught of recommendations.

That is why I always like to consider those free or buy-it-once products that are more than good enough or even beat out those ongoing subscription fees.

Let us take a look.

(1) Forest $3.99 iOS or FREE on Android to replace Timely — Forest is the most recommended Pomodoro timer there is. There is a simple joy in using Forest and it has spent a fair amount of time on my homescreen despite tough competition.

When other pomodoro-type apps and time trackers try to do things more formally and offer a vast array of other features for time tracking, for me, this is just not necessary. I am tracking time using my productivity system. A focused timer app like Forest serves this purpose as a specific tool and that is good enough to save me on another subscription.

(2) Endel to replace Brain.fm — I use both, but there is a reason for that. I am doing a long-term test of the difference between the free version of Endel and the subscription-only Brain.fm. Time will tell, but both seem to provide me with the benefits I am looking for, be they placebo effects or not.

But is the value there with Brain.fm when you can use the basic Endel for free? I am not sure just yet.




Sharing what I know, what I’ve read and what I think, or thereabouts.