Google Free before 23
Note: I failed this experiment. It’s 2023 and I’m still using Google. 🙁
2022 is the time to finally ditch Google from my personal and professional life, as much as possible.
- I don’t align with its values
- I’m disturbed by the insane power that a single corporation has
- There are plenty of functional and awesome alternatives
- I’m done sacrificing my values for convenience
In other words: I can’t bullshit myself anymore that it’s too hard. It just takes some time.
If you need more convincing on why ditch Google, there are some resources at the end of this post.
Wanna chat about this? Tweet me.
Using Google is a habit
As I embarked on this journey, I noticed that quitting google is very similar to quitting a bad habit. Over numerous year of interacting with the internet, I have conditioned myself to default to google, and it’s not easy at all to give it up.
This is a powerful realisation, because I am a certified habit building coach, and I have worked with clients (and myself) in the area of habit building for quite some time. This means I know exactly how to approach this situation effectively, or at least give it my best shot.
The critical idea in habit-building is to steadily keep moving forward with a tiny habit, rather than overcommitting. This is why I don’t intend to migrate away from google in a week or so, but rather see it as an ongoing process, which I’m going to document here.
Here’s my (ongoing) process:
I always preferred Firefox. Brave is cool too (I use it on mobile). Easy peasy.
Mojeek + DuckDuckGo
I swapped to DuckDuckGo years ago and it used to be my default search engine until I read this amazing article exploring private search engines. Turns out DDG stores some information, plus it is US-based, which doesn’t inspire my confidence at all.
I’ve decided to move to Mojeek as my primary search, and supplement it with DDG whenever necessary.
Youtube for music
I’ve quit youtube for music when I joined Spotify. I have a family premium account. Other alternatives I like are Soundcloud and Bandcamp . The latter is a great way of supporting artists I love financially and downloading music for offline use, which will come in handy when I move to a sailboat ⛵️.
I love cryptdrive and it was a no-brainer to switch. I’m using it for all new files, but I still need to migrate documents from Google Drive.
Unfortunately, this is one of these things that have a tendency of sending me down a rabbit hole of over organising folders etc. I admit my drive is a combination of well organised PARA system and a folder with all the mess that I made over the years, which I never got to really clean up.
It’s worth noting here that I’m redesigning my computer experience for offline-first and obsidian-centered.
After going on a rabbit hole of research triggered by this article about secure emails, I reached a conclusion that there is no fully private option on the market. Even Protonmail and Tutanota have serious issues.
After considering different pros and cons, I made my decision to go with protonmail. It’s not perfect, but definitely better than gmail.
Unfortunately, this is where the migration becomes tricky.
1) All my digital world relies on multiple @gmail addresses and the process of moving to Proton is essentially an opportunity to practice one of the virtues I’m not so good at – patience.
2) My recovering-perfectionist mind wants me to create a perfect combination of email addresses, for personal, work and secret purposes.
The habit-building work begins here. I created my free protonmail account and started using it for creating new accounts, subscriptions etc. I’ll eventually move to a paid plan, as I ditch my business google accounts.
There are three problems with Proton Calendar:
- the design on mobile is quite poor for my use case, and since I have to use the dedicated app I can’t fix it with a third-party app
- development cycles in Proton are ridiculously long.
- can it work with calendly or other scheduling tool?
For now I started migrating some of my events there, and I’ll continue the process over time.
⚠️ research phase: D.tube and Odysee
I just caught myself automatically going to youtube to look for something (LYT obsidian videos), which yet again brings me back to the idea that quitting Google is like quitting a bad habit.
I noticed though, so I went on to try alternatives. Dtube gave me nothing, but Odysee shown more promising results.
I’m still not convinced to go with it and migrate all my youtube content there, but I am considering it.