As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ve been on a mission to replace as many Google products in my life as I possibly can.
Along my journey, I’ve found some really great products – many of which I would strongly argue are better than their Google counterparts. Some are free, some are not. But either way you slice it, whatever they charge is worth the peace of mind I get knowing that my online activity is not being tracked and my data isn’t being sold to the highest bidder.
So without further ado, here’s my list of alternatives to Google’s top products.
Since I have a website and hosting, I set up private email through CPanel and use Spark (free) on my phone and laptop to manage email. (My GMail accounts are still active so nothing falls through the cracks, but I’m hoping to get rid of them completely within the next year.)
I use Brave – my best find on this list. Not only does it block Google from tracking me, it blocks all the other sites I visit too, so my data doesn’t get sent to their Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, or whatever other tracking apps they use. It’s free and built on Chromium, so it functions almost exactly like Chrome, and I can still use Chrome extensions. It also has a huge side benefit – no ads on YouTube ever.
I use a Notion calendar view as my main calendar, which is free. It works for me because I don’t book many external meetings, but if you’re someone who uses GCal to connect with others, it might not work for you. Instead, you might want to consider Fantastical ($5 per month) if you’re an Apple user or Microsoft Outlook’s calendar (free) on Windows.
Google Drive / Google One
While there are multiple options out there, I’ve always been a fan of Dropbox. I use the free version (with some bonus storage) because that’s all I need, but for $12 per month, you’ll 2,000 GB of space. You’d have a hard time filling that up. Google’s pricing for extra storage may be lower, but they also offer less space.
I now use Fathom Analytics for $14 per month and it’s worth every penny. The layout and data is waaay easier to understand and I don’t have to do GDPR disclosures on my sites because they don’t track unique user data. I can manage all my clients’ websites on that flat fee package, but even if I didn’t have clients, I’d still use it for my own.
I still own an Android phone because it doesn’t make sense to get a new phone right now, but I am strongly considering getting an iPhone as my next device (considering I have a Macbook). I’m also keeping an eye on the Librem 5 – a privacy-focused phone running open-source PureOS software. There’s also the option of moving to LineageOS with my current Android phone, but it all seems like a lot of work.