5 Tools & Services I’m Ditching This Year

This year, I’ve decided to simplify a few things around my business and replace old tools and services with new ones that are simpler and more cost-effective. For too long, I’ve been pondering whether it’s a good decision. After all, it can be painful to move data, establish relationships with new contractors, and learn tools I haven’t used before. But 2024 was the year. From notes to data storage and accounting, I’ve done it all. Read more to find out how it’s all worked out so far.

Email Host: From Google to iCloud+

For years, Google has been one of the best and cheapest providers of custom domain email addresses. It’s very convenient if you’d like to have a name@yourdomainemail.com. On top of the email services, Google also provided cloud storage on Google Drive. But, over the past three years, the bill has doubled from around £6.00 to £12.00 for two email addresses. It wouldn’t be such an issue; however, last year, Apple started providing the same service and included it in the existing iCloud+ packages that start at £2.99.

Switching from Google to iCloud+ meant losing storage on Google Drive but gaining more on iCloud. Additionally, my husband (business partner) and I would need two iCloud packages (to be more precise, only my husband would—I was already on one).

It was a no-brainer. For the price of £5.99, we would get more iCloud storage, and it would include custom domain email addresses as well.

The setup was rather smooth. First, we moved all our emails to iCloud and made sure we weren’t missing any important contacts. Then, as soon as we updated our Domain Servers, the email started working in a couple of hours. The more difficult job was getting rid of Google Drive and all the cloud space we were using.

Saved total per month: £6.00

From Google Drive to Free Google Accounts and iCloud

To delete our custom domain email addresses, we also needed to get rid of our Google Workspace Drive (or Google Drive). This meant going through thousands of files and hundreds of folders, making backups of data still needed, and deleting the rest. It was a tedious task, but it had to be done.

The results are amazing, though. No more files we don’t need. No more mess in our work folders. We moved some files that were easier to keep on Google Drive to our personal Google Accounts. Others, I moved to my iCloud and Notes on Apple.

Saved total per month: N/A

From Evernote to Apple Notes

Apple Notes have really stepped up over the past two years and added many new functionalities, including sharing, editing, and even scanning documents. Needless to say, it’s the best time to migrate your notes from Evernote now as they changed the owner again, and continue annoying users with a limitless amount of popups to upgrade your account to the paid version. I didn’t pay for the previous account, but the fact the service started to be too restrictive (a limited number devices, notebooks/notes available, space, etc.) started to annoy me so much that I just didn’t want to use it anymore.

Saved total per month: N/A

From Large Company Accountants to Smaller Ones

Since 2018, we’ve used an accounting company based in Bournemouth, UK, to file our year-end company taxes, manage payrolls, and submit our personal self-assessment tax files. They’ve been useful, but as they grew, our personal accountant left, and the company changed the following personal accountant a few times thereafter. A few inaccurate returns and VAT submissions later, we started to be unhappy. Plus, the prices went from just above £100.00 per month to £151.00 per month. That’s a huge increase, especially when things aren’t going that great.

Luckily, we found out that the first personal accountant we had started her own business after maternity leave. So, we decided it was time to move and come back to someone who was a lot more reliable and had lower prices, too.

Here, we went from £151.00 to £120.00 per month. Not bad, considering it helped us save further…

Saved total per month: £31.00

From Lloyds to NatWest

We had our business account with Lloyds since we started the company, and it felt like the right choice. The bank was always reliable, and we never incurred any issues. However, our new accountant said if we switched to NatWest or The Bank of Scotland, we could get a free accounting system, FreeAgent (similar to Xero).

This was another winning step for us because, with the previous accountants who didn’t use such a system, we had to save all receipts on Google Drive and then submit them in their system. Basically, we had to do the same thing twice.

With FreeAgent, we’re saving 1-2 hours of work each month. Additionally, NatWest charges only for a certain number of transactions made on the account, meaning it’s mostly free for us. It means we went from £7.00 for a business account to £0.00.

Saved total per month: £7.00

What We Took Away

In conclusion, switching to new tools, systems, and companies has been a lot of work. It took us hours to simplify our operations. However, now it’s paying back big time—we have more time, and we save money every month. So, if you’re looking for one last sign to start a similar transition, I say: go for it, it’s worth it!