The web is filled with with online applications and services that “Only cost a few bucks a month!”. While they are certainly a lot cheaper than buying desktop software, not all of them area always worth it. These are the apps that I feed a few bucks to each month.
Freshbooks makes invoicing clients easy. Dealing with poorly formatted excel documents and keeping track of payments are a thing of the past when you use freshbooks. At around $15/ month, the service pays for itself even if you are sending just a few invoices a month.
Could App is a new addition to my paid services as I only signed up for the premium membership a month ago after using a free account for 7+ months. The app is very simple, take a screenshot and it automatically uploads it to the cloud and embeds a short URL into your clipboard – all within about 2 seconds. The premium account (at $5/ month) allows me to upload any type of file up to 250MB as well as use my own snazzy domain name ‘b-w.es’.
Basecamp is a project management and collaboration tool created by 37 Signals. Ask any developer, designer or team lead what tools are in their toolbox, and they will likely say Basecamp. The premium service allows me to manage large projects, collaborate communication, organize to-dos among other time savers. If you’re pulling your hair out because your email inbox is in disarray, its time to check out Basecamp.
Dropbox is a file syncing service that has grown to become the standard in the web design and development industry. I work right out of my Dropbox folder and always maintain a safe backup both in the cloud as well as on my other computers. It even acts as sort of a source control system when working on a project with more than one developer. The revert history function has saved my ass many times over to make it worth the $100/year.
Keeping your skills sharp is an important part of being a developer. The TutsPlus network provides an array of sites that offer up premium tutorials to paying subscribers. The tutorials are always top quality and definitely worth the few bucks a month I pay. I check NetTuts daily but also keep an eye on Web Design Tuts Plus, Mobile Tuts, and PSD Tuts
Website analytics company Reinvigorate fills in the gaps where Google Analytics falls short. With realtime tracking and really awesome heatmaps, the data I get from them is worth the $10/month.
Groove Shark (Almost)
I’m a huge Groove Shark user and have considered their premium plan many times. The only thing that is holding me back at the moment is the ability to use the forward and back media keys on my laptop. The day they implement this, I’ll be first to sign up