February 12, 2017

I saw a post from Stephen Hackett a few days ago and found it very interesting. Stephen looks at where he currently has data stored and I thought it would be valuable exercise to audit and evaluate where I choose to keep my personal data and think about whether I’ve made the right choices.

Where’s my data

Services on the right of the diagram are free ones and those on the left are those I choose to pay for. I’m a firm believer that when you use a free service you are the product and paying for a service buys you a better level of service.

Amazon S3

I backup my photographs and documents to Amazon S3 using Arq to provide an offsite backup


I have used Fastmail as my email provider for years. I can’t over-emphasise just how great they are!


When Flickr went free’ a few years ago I decided to stick with the paid pro plan. I never think of Flickr as a backup of my photographs but they’re an important part of my file and I choose to share them there.


I signed-up for Pinboard very early after it was publicly available and it’s not just a backup of my bookmarks, it’s central to how I manage them. Each of my browser’s bookmarks are generated from Pinboard, synchronised via the application BookMacster.

Day One

Perhaps not quite a paid service, other than the cost of the applications, Day One is where my journal (I think of it more as a commonplace book) lives.

Free Services


I’ve never used Apple’s iCloud enough to pay from more data but I think of it as a paid service via the high cost of Apple hardware.


My use of Google is as limited as I can make it.


Much of the utility of Dropbox comes from the ecosystem of applications that use Dropbox to share data. One example is how it enables me to quickly send tasks from Drafts form iOS to my Taskpaper files.


I have used Simplenote for years to manage basic text files and notes across my devices. The syncing is effortless and I can live with its peculiarities in editing. I wish this were still a paid app.


The whole issue with Instapaper this week reminded me that read later’ is not read forever’.


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