Is Setapp the Perfect Subscription for Students

Is Setapp the Perfect Subscription for Students?

By Jake Harris

As a student, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to be doing next. I am a computing student with a focus on programming, however, in the first few months of starting university I had to do design work, essay writing, project planning, and all sorts of things in between which I was never prepared for. I would often end up searching the internet for an affordable app that I could learn quickly and would produce what I needed; often this didn’t work out and I’d end up stuck at the university library using their normally outdated software.

Just at the end of 2016, I found on Twitter that a company called, MacPaw, was beta testing a new subscription app service, Setapp. Of course, I quickly signed up to test out the service and got to spend 3 months using it, in this time I quickly became a fan of the idea and started to use more and more of the apps available. I must admit once my 3 months had ended, I didn’t start paying for a subscription as $9.99 a month was a little much as a student but in August 2017 this changed when Setapp announced a 50% student discount.

Anyway, that is enough of the backstory; let's get to the apps! Setapp is now home to over 100 apps ranging from personal finance apps to productivity apps. Of course, I am not going to list all the apps here (Here is the list if you are interested) but I do want to tell you about a few of my favourites:


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Ulysses is my favourite way to write, in fact, I am writing this blog post with the app now!

Ulysses offers a clean, distraction-free interface that puts your writing first; I have found this to be great when sitting down to write an assignment that I really don’t want to do.

Behind the simple interface of Ulysses hides powerful features that makes it the perfect app for both small summaries to writing your dissertation. In fact, Ulysses is well regarded in the writing world for being one of the best apps to use.

Once you have finished writing in Ulysses you can use their impressive export features to generate a Word document, PDF or even an ebook; plus, all of these options have a selection of styles to choose from so you can make your work look professional with just a few clicks.


I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told to make a mind map for some reason or another. Lucky, iThoughtsX makes it simple!

All you need to do is add your points to the mind map and iThoughtsX will automatically organise and layout your mind map to make it look professional. To add more information to your mind map you can use any of the built-in clipart/icons or import your own images to build the mind map to exactly how you need it.

Much like Ulysses, iThoughtsX has a variety of export options to make sure you can get your mind map where you need it.


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I have some lectures where I know every week I’ll need to open three different websites and several apps; I also know that each week this will take me a few minutes to get everything ready. This is where Workspaces steps in.

Workspaces is a relatively simple menu bar app. You simply make ‘workspaces’ such as ‘Monday Lecture’ and then add websites, apps, or files to that workspace. Once you have made your workspace it’ll then appear when you click the Workspaces menu bar icon, you can then select the workspace you want, and all the related apps, websites, and files will all be opened. So, in the case of the ‘Monday Lecture’ workspace, the three different websites and serval apps will all open with just a single click instead of the few minutes of getting ready I would have had before.

Workspaces is a great little app just to make something your do regularly a little less painful.


Being someone that likes to use and try out lots of Mac apps my menu bar is often jam-packed with shortcuts and utilities for different apps, right now I have 20 different icons sitting up in the menu bar.

If you understand the problem of an overflowing menu bar, you’ll also love Bartender. Put simply Bartender is an app that allows you to clean up your menu bar by hiding less used icons in a hidden submenu. Bartender has enabled me to take my menu bar down from 20 icons to just 4 and makes my Mac feel much more organised because of it.

These are just a few of the app I use through Setapp but I’ll be posting more articles about some of the many other apps I also use in the future.

Jake HarrisJake Harris