One of the first things I focused on, as I embraced simplifying my life, was finances, since money or the lack thereof, can be a huge source of stress.

I began by implementing the Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball. And one of the first things I looked at, was recurring monthly charges I could eliminate to roll those fees into the monthly snowball. With that goal in mind, some “low hanging fruit” that was easily picked, was my Amazon Prime membership and my Office 365 subscription.

Amazon Prime subscription: I don’t need free two day shipping. If I need something that bad, I buy it locally. I use Pandora (non subscription) and iTunes, so Prime Music never entered the equation. And I use Netflix for my video streaming, so Amazon Video added no value either. It was a no brainer, cancelled.

Microsoft Office 365: I hadn’t been happy with Microsoft lately, and I really don’t like the Office web experience, so this one took some planning as I had purposefully transitioned my work flow from an online experience using Google and Evernote to a PC desktop based experience using Microsoft Office 2016.

I never stopped using Gmail, so jumping from Outlook back to web based Gmail was not a big deal. Using Google Calendar again was not a problem. Google Docs is more than adequate for my spreadsheet and document creation needs. Google Keep just isn’t heavy duty enough for my note taking and archiving needs, so I had to look at Evernote again. I was afraid my biggest hurdle in freeing myself of Microsoft was going to be moving all of my notes from OneNote to Evernote, but it wasn’t. The Evernote import tool made the process very painless.

I did renew my subscription to Evernote, at $70 a year, so it’s not a huge savings over Office 365. However, every bit adds up, and I happily rolled the difference into my debt snowball.

And from a performance perspective, I am happy with the move back to Google and Evernote. Both services work on my iPhone, my iPad, and my laptop (which began to perform slowly when running Office after the constant barrage of Windows Updates it has experienced, but performs more than adequately when working strictly in Chrome).