It’s almost tax time, well, in the way that time zooms by faster than ever almost time.
That means itemizing expenses for those all-important tax deductions. It also means we get to see how many apps or SAAS (Software as service) productivity tools and other business-related products we are subscribed to.
Some we forget we’re even paying for…
Take Acorn, the British streaming service we subscribe to. I forget we have it until I see the charge. We NEVER use it. But we might and it’s only $5/month, so it stays.
For business, like you, there are subscriptions-a-plenty and for good reason. There’s accounting, web hosting, social media posting, podcast hosting, and on and on. And all of these services add up. So, when I find a tool that does more than one job or bundles a few services together and the price is right, I am all in.
These two services, SETAPP, and Descript are those kinds of tools.
If you podcast, create videos, host presentations or create courses, this futuristic software deserves a look. (I’m not an affiliate of this company.)
Descript is an all-in-one tool for audio and video editing, screen recording and transcription. You can use it to podcast as well. Let’s say you record your podcast on Zoom or another video platform. You’ll likely need to do some editing to tighten up the conversation or presentation before publishing.
Pop the file into Descript and it produces a transcript using AI. You can read the transcript, listen to the audio, and/or watch the video for filler words or anything else you want to edit out. Edit on the page and it edits on the video at the same time. And the transitions are barely noticeable!
There is so much more to this software and I’m in love, even though I’m only using half of what’s it capable of.
I used to pay for editing because the programs I tried to use do not speak in a way my brain understands. And my cuts would create awful transitions.
Here’s what a few people have had to say about it, “one of the most earth-shatteringly spectacular pieces of software I’ve downloaded in years, makes me feel like I’m living in the future, black magic, mind bending… I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to edit audio in any other way again.”
Let’s look at the cost. You can get started for zero dineros. That will give you 3 hours of transcription. Next step is $12/month for 10 hours + watermark free videos, $24/month buys you 30 hours plus extras I haven’t even looked into yet.
Here’s how the savings look for my biz. My plan is $12/month.
BD (Before Descript)
$12 for 3 hours which worked out to just about a month’s worth of podcast transcripts. Plus 45 minutes or so of my time per episode to edit the transcript. (AI is not perfect but it sure makes life easier unless you can afford $1/ minute or more for a human)
- Audio editing
$20/hour or about $160/month. (This includes putting music and any pre or post episode content.
- Most of the videos have yet to be edited and branded because I hate(d) editing. If I’d hired someone to do it, add another $80/mo ($ episodes).
Total BD: $172/month (Without the video editor)
Total AD: $92/month + about the same amount of time as before.
I still pay my audio guy to put the music etc. in place and now he adds images and CTAs at the end of the videos since they are edited by me!
There’s a learning curve, but it’s the easiest editing software I’ve ever used.
Before I found Descript I used HappyScribe for transcription and subtitles. It offers both AI and human transcription. I bought a lifetime deal on AppSumo for $69 which gives me 3 hours per month of AI. Current pricing is .20/minute for AI. They have a free trial. It is similar to Descript in that you get the transcription and can play the recording or not as you go through and edit. It does not work with video though.
Now for Setapp
Caveat on this one, it’s for Mac/Apple users. I scoured the Google to find something comparable for Android and PC peeps but found nothing. Looking for a business opp for the new year? Duplicate this for your fellow Androiders.
Setapp is a membership program that gives you access to about 230 apps in categories like Lifestyle, Productivity, Mac Hacks, Security, Personal Finance and more. Their pricing is tiered.
$9.99/month for use on one Mac, $12.49/month for use on 1 Mac and iOS devices, or $14.99/month for use on up to 4 Macs and all your devices. (Annual pay plans save you 10%)
For my $107.88/yr), I use:
- Gemini to optimize storage on my (5 year old macbook) $19.95/yr.
- CleanMyMac, an app that finds duplicate files, bugs, and security issues, $34.95/yr.
- Chronicle for tracking subscriptions and bills $29.95/yr Because 2022 is the year of smarter expense management.
- iThoughtsX Mind mapping software $11.99 For the projects that have landed in my brain for the year ahead. If I can see it I can get it done.
- CameraBagPro photo and video editing software $50 because this is the year I conquer Insta.
- Ulysses writing app $49.99/yr or $4.99/month is one beautiful and multi-functional writing tool. It presents you with an uncluttered page that looks like a piece of paper. You can edit, check grammar, and export fully formatted to Medium or your blog.
If I were to buy/subscribe to these apps individually I’d spend $154.88 per year (vs $108) + another $62 one time. Saving $100-ish may not seem like a big deal, but I love getting a deal, don’t you?
With Setapp I get to try any of their apps without setting up an account for a free trial (which not all apps offer). If something looks interesting, I can play with it simply but hitting install. Within seconds I’m in the app and watching the tutorial.
DIY vs. done for you comes down to two things: affordability and sensibility. It’s not sensible to struggle and waste time on tasks that we aren’t adept at. And sometimes that means finding a way to pay for someone else to do it.
Now that there is a SaaS or app for almost every task that used to be human-powered, time spent in on the learning curve might be sensible. And you can spend the money you used to pay someone on something new and fun. It feels good to pay someone and I will always hire talent for the things I’m bad at — graphic design and the whole behind-the-scenes side of my business.
In the coming year I’ll be spending money where it makes the most sense and getting over my (erroneous) belief that I can’t learn to edit photos or make simple graphics in Canva, so I don’t have to.
To spend it or save it/reinvest it is an ongoing question for the entrepreneur. Luckily tech offers ways to save a bit that we might have spent and to learn some new skills along the way.
Got an app or software you love? Leave a comment and let me know, I’ll share it in an upcoming email.