This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
Recently I became aware of an interesting tool that allows you to keep track of your existing software licences, subscriptions or recurring expenses for online services. The user is shown how much the monthly/annual costs for tools and subscriptions are and given the possibility to receive notifications when the next debit is imminent. Plus, one gets at a glance the saved costs for cancelling the respective services.
Basically, I was (and still am) very satisfied with https://trackmysubs.com. What bothered me a bit, however, is that while the provider does a very good job of showing what the expenses are and the potential savings – the price for this subscription is not exactly a bargain at A$12.00/month (Entrepreneur).
It wouldn’t have bothered me at all, and it’s interesting in itself to see a breakdown of all the expenses you have – you’d be amazed at the tools you still pay for – but last week I got the idea to replicate what TrackMySubs does so well.
ClickUp is my project management tool that I have been using for over 2 years. It’s very powerful and flexible and you guessed it – the perfect tool to implement my requirements described above.
No sooner said than done, I set up a new list called Subscriptions.
One task = 1 licence
Whether you want your software package, Netflix or Apple One family licence on your radar. Everything starts with one task in the Subscriptions list.
In addition, I have stored other custom fields so that I can better filter and make use of the relevant information, categories and details for later evaluations.
Here is a quick overview of the custom fields:
The manufacturer or provider of the service or software.
The custom field type simple text field.
The annual cost (here in CHF) for the expenditure.
The type of the custom field is currency.
The frequency when the next debit will occur.
The value of the dropdown are: Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Yearly.
A short description, e.g. whether it is a family licence. The type a simple text field.
To be able to assign the output to a category, I have created a dropdown with its values Security, WordPress, Tools, Learning and Entertainment.
- Monthly Costs
This custom field calculates the monthly costs by using the type Formula.
The formula itself is quiete simple: Costs/ 12.
The field type dropdown stores the method for the payment.
The values are PayPal, Creditcard and Free.
Defines whether the payment is recurring or a one-off payment.
Only the values Yes and No are available within this dropdown.
The type corresponds to the type of settlement.
I have defined the dropdown values Subscription, Trial, Lifetime and Revenue.
- URL Link
I have also added the link to the manufacturer if I want to navigate there quickly.
The power of views and ClickApps
But the real magic happens in the Kanban and list view when you have stored all the entries.
ClickUp provides so many different views on the same database that both list and visual thinkers get the best view of your information.
The total costs at a glance
With a right click on the Costs column, the totals can be made and you can see the expenses per year in the overview.
At the same time, I have found that, analogous to the custom field Group (see above), the additional use of Status as a group has an advantage, which I describe later.
The status, which represents the actual Group, e.g. “Tools”, can be used to show the total costs per year.
The next settlement can be determined via the Due Date. This allows the expenses to be visualised elegantly via the calendar.
The next debits
Using additional views that I have created on the list view, the data can be displayed according to the next debits of the next 7 days, or in this month.
This corresponds to the list view of the calendar described above.
To define tasks as recurring events, all you have to do is click on the calendar symbol within the task and then on Recurring.
It is important that you activate the option Same day each month and On schedule. Mostly, for example, monthly recurring subscriptions are debited on the same day. By On schedule you tell the task that when the due date is reached, it will automatically jump forward by one month without you having to select the task as completed.
With the higher paid versions of ClickUp, e.g. Ultimate, a great feature, the dashboard, is available to you. Such a dashboard, which you can create yourself, can be used, among other things, to show the distribution of costs for your expenses on a pro rata basis.
With 1 you can access the dashboard Subscriptions. The illustration shows 2 widgets.
On the left side you see again the summary of your licences and subscriptions. The right widget shows the percentage distribution of your categories. This is also the point mentioned above, that you can additionally define the grouping via the Status.
Because you use the status, you can additionally use Inactive. This assigns the task to its own board, as if it were closed. Because we let you calculate the sum of the costs, you can see what the savings would be if you would close the contract.
As you can see, ClickUp is extremely flexible and can handle information that helps you stay more organised, even alongside pure project management tasks.
“One App to replace them all” – ClickUp brings us one step closer to the vision of the company.
Stay inventive – it’s worth it.