Like most people, I don't like to be tracked more than I need to be. I believe in privacy policies that do the minimum collection needed as opposed to the maximum collection possible. I am also the founder of the search engine that doesn't track you, DuckDuckGo. For these reasons, I personally don't use Google services where I don't absolutely have to, and honestly it's not very hard to do because there are good alternatives. I get asked a lot what I use instead of Google services, and this post answers that question.
Practically, switching away from as many Google services as possible will help alleviate the most obvious issue of the bulk of your personal data being in the hands of one company since Google already passively collects click/browsing history through Google Analytics and their ad networks embedded across the Internet. It will also alleviate some non-obvious issues like ads following you around the Internet and getting trapped in your personal filter bubble.
To be clear, these are the alternatives that I personally use as this is my personal blog and I am relating in that context. I am obsessed with productivity and will quickly ditch anything that isn't being productive for me, which I've done repeatedly. Like everyone I also have some nuanced constraints (e.g. family, professional, app integrations, etc.) that impact these decisions. In other words, your mileage may vary. I'm completely open to suggestions though and I will update this page as things change.
Finally, there are of course many other alternative services you could choose in these and other categories, many of which are listed at prism-break.org. Some do a better job of not tracking you, but may involve more sacrifice.
- Search: DuckDuckGo
- Email: Fastmail
- Browser: Firefox (desktop) / Safari (mobile) (On top of the browser I use these add-ons to reduce tracking further; also, note that private browsing mode and the do not track setting will not stop you from being tracked.)
- Maps: OSM for places (via DuckDuckGo) / Apple for directions on mobile
- Phone OS: iOS
- Storage: BTSync
- Video hosting: Vimeo
- Video chat: Zoom
- Calendar: iCloud
- Docs: Draft / Office
- Analytics: Clicky
- News: DuckDuckGo Search & Stories, Twitter