One of my many New Year’s resolutions for 2015 was to declutter my house, and magazines are a consistent clutter culprit for me. This is especially true around the holidays, when I buy extra piles of magazines for their gift guides.
So I’ve been checking out Next Issue, a magazine app that offers unlimited access to more than 140 magazines for a monthly fee. Plans are available for $9.99 or $14.99 a month, and the only difference between them is that the $14.99 plan includes all the weekly magazines in Next Issue’s catalog (not just the monthlies).
I’m kind of loving this service. I can link five devices to one account and share access with my family. The catalog is pretty extensive, with more than 140 big name titles like Time, Vogue, and Food + Wine. I don’t read a lot of weeklies, and I probably spend $10 a month for magazines on average. That would get me all of the titles Next Issue offers that interest me, plus all of those back issues. The back issues are marvelous to have, and they go back to fall of 2013.
The favorites option puts your most-read periodicals in one place, and you can set push notifications that will tell you as soon as the newest issue is available. I do not have to stalk newsstands anymore, which can be embarrassing for the occasional guilty pleasure read. Another bonus: No one visiting my house has to see all the piles of Martha Stewart Living and Food Network Magazine that I accumulate.
Next Issue can link to your Evernote account and whatever other share options you have switched on for your device. Evernote has been a very cool way for me to bookmark pages I want to save, and the combo is helping me fulfill even more of my resolutions.
I’ve got files for recipes and crafts I want to try this year, makeup and clothes I want to check out, articles I want to read, even travel reviews to help with vacation planning for the year. My Evernote is becoming like Pinterest for my magazine bookmarks. This is so much better than the magazines I hold on to for years or the pages I tear out and inevitably lose (in college, I actually put those pages in clear sleeves and kept them in binders by category—I was a librarian before I even knew it, apparently).
There are, of course, a few downsides to Next Issue. The biggest one is that you really need to read a lot of magazines to make this worthwhile, especially if you already subscribe to some and have access to those digital versions. And the smaller, niche titles (like School Library Journal and all the quilting magazines I read) aren’t available with the app, and that’s where I spend the bulk of my magazine budget.
Sharing with my family’s devices is great, but I couldn’t make separate user profiles under one account. So, we all see the same list of favorites and get the same push notifications when new issues are available.
And the download time can be a bit sluggish. You have to download each issue to view it, and those are big files. So, if you’re planning to read on the plane you’d have to remember to download what you want the night before.
But to me those were all small downsides for what I think is a really worthwhile service for heavy magazine readers. I am cutting back on so much magazine clutter these days, and that alone is totally worth the price.
GeekMom received free unlimited access for review purposes.