Software I actually believe in
Posted by Luke on the
Filed under technology
I do a lot of complaining about privacy and annoying products, but there are some that I believe really do a good job. These are some companies whose products and missions are appealing enough I'd want to work there.
YNAB (You Need A Budget)
YNAB is a very interesting take on budgeting. I used to swear by my old way of using a spreadsheet, but it sort of falls apart when your pay is irregular (like for self-employed people or freelancers with variable income). You can connect your bank accounts for automatic transaction feeds but I prefer doing it manually as it seems to make you more mindful about your spending.
I'm a real metric head, so I appreciate some good graphs.
Age of money
Age of money tells you how long between getting paid do you spend your money. It's very encouraging to see yourself breaking the cycle of pay-cheque to pay-cheque.
Net worth is pretty self explanatory. It tracks your assets versus your debts and gives you a nice net worth graph over time.
You also get a categorical breakdown of your spending which you can click into to see more specific information about each category
Free budgeting resources
The bulk of their blog posts are not YNAB specific, but include general advice for budgeting, so if you're struggling, it may be helpful for you.
If that sounds appealing, there's a link below which includes a referral (if you sign up I get a free month. If you aren't cool with that, just search for YNAB). They offer a month long free trial if you feel like giving it a shot.
According to their website, Cloudflare now powers nearly 10 percent of all Internet requests. I've been using them for a few years now and I'm still in awe of them. First of all, when I started using them I was still paying for SSL certificates, then here comes this start-up that offers DDoS protection, SSL and caching and it's free... Where's the catch? I do find it somewhat suspicious that they're able to offer these services for free. Presumably the money they make off enterprise accounts offsets the usage at the free tier.
The DNS settings are really easy to use too. I use the analytics on this site and it seems to block a few threats a week.
They are now offering domain registrations which I haven't taken advantage of, but they seem to be cheaper than your run of the mill registrar.
They also do a lot of very interesting technical writing. Curious why their office has a wall covered in lava lamps?
Technical version - https://blog.cloudflare.com/lavarand-in-production-the-nitty-gritty-technical-details/ Non-technical version - https://blog.cloudflare.com/randomness-101-lavarand-in-production/ Article about it - https://www.fastcompany.com/90137157/the-hardest-working-office-design-in-america-encrypts-your-data-with-lava-lamps
Check them out: https://www.cloudflare.com/
Password managers are certainly rising in popularity and it's a good thing. The password is a very flawed authentication method especially when you re-use the same weak password across multiple sites. If you can instead remember one very strong password, you'll be able to generate strong, unique passwords for every service you use. They also now have built in support for the Google Authenticator protocol with TOTP tokens.
I really like the mobile and desktop apps and they have recently released a browser only client. Along with their provided cloud sync options, they also offer personal cloud storage syncing.
You can also enable travel mode for when you're overseas which stops syncing sensitive vaults.
I use the shared vaults a lot to share with coworkers.
I'm planning on keeping this list updated should anything change, so keep your eyes on this post.