blog by J.W. Boelens


I’ve started de-Googling my life. Google is no good. I want more privacy, control and owning things. So I’ve been looking into other options to host my stuff.


I’ve had a Gmail address since the early 2000’s I think. This was my main email service for many years. About two years ago I’ve setup email on my own domain using Fastmail, with the intention to keep the 2 mail addresses separated and use them for different things.

Using Fastmail has been such a pleasure, that over time, I switched more services to use my Fastmail address instead of my Gmail address.

Last month I went through my Gmail archive and deleted everything I had saved for no reason.

What I had left, I exported using Google Takeout and imported in Fastmail. Voila: all of my email was now in Fastmail.

Every once in a while I still get a mail in Gmail, which is a nice reminder to either switch the mail address to Fastmail or cancel my account to the thing.


Google Photos has been my main photo album / storage / dump for years. On Android and iOS photos are automatically synced to Photos, so over the years I created an archive of about 60.000 photos. Luckily, with Google Takeout, you can download all your photos at once. I put them all on a NVMe SSD in my desktop computer and on a USB hard drive. I also created a folder in Dropbox with my favorite photo albums, as a separate backup.


I used to watch a lot of YouTube. It was my main source of everything video. I had the YouTube Lite subscription for 6 euros a month. YouTube decided that they needed to cancel the Lite subscription here in the Netherlands, so my only option was to pay the full amount for YouTube Premium: 12 euros a month. So that’s a nope. I don’t want the included music subscription, I have my own music.

I exported my subscriptions and imported them in NewPipe, which I use on my Pixel 6. Love that app.


I’m glad I got rid of Google in my tech life. There are plenty of alternatives these days. Thanks to Google Takeout it’s very easy to export your data and put it somewhere else.