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Nick Taylor
Nick Taylor

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What our your thoughts on the new Hey email service?

I ran a poll on Twitter that is still going, but I'm wondering what folks on DEV think of the new Hey email service. Is it worth it or are you fine with GMail and the rest of the old guard? I am still conflicted.

Top comments (34)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I like what Hey stands for, but I also think the product itself is a little bit more flash than substance. I like that it's causing some shake up in email, but it also strikes me as a little inelegant the way I've, honestly, found Basecamp to be when I've tried it.

I'm still on their side in the culture war they're waging, but I still have mixed feelings.

deepu105 profile image
Deepu K Sasidharan

That's kind of my feeling as well. I support the idea and I would even buy it if it was just an Email client (with Linux support of course). I'm using GMail currently and it works quite well for the 100s of emails that I get daily (most are from my open-source projects). Junk and spam are caught well and promotions and updates get sorted well so it will be really inconvenient to switch everything to another service especially one which I could lose the email if I don't pay for some reason at some point. And also I'm not that much of a private junkie I guess as I still use a lot of Google services, Twitter, a lil bit of FB and so on.

theuserll profile image

For me, Gmail is just fine. :)

leob profile image
leob • Edited

Agree 100% !

Switching away from Gmail would arguable cost me a non-trivial amount of time and effort - just think about the various accounts where I've entered my email, I'd have to update it in all those places. That's a big waste of time and effort, to achieve which benefits exactly?

Besides, Gmail (being free, rather than $99 per year) has a number of great features, e.g. powerful search (I also like the system with the labels), integration with Google Drive, etc. Plus it's super reliable, has a straightforward UI, and spam/junk email is virtually non-existent.

So yes, interesting idea, but for me it would be merely a distraction with no tangible benefits, Gmail is already perfect for me.

Maybe it's only worth it if you're on a total privacy crusade, so then you also need to stop using Google for search, start browsing in private/anon mode, stop using Facebook, etc.

patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

Every email providers are pretty much the same for me. One cannot even sell me an email client as well.

Yes, I have a problem with too many emails, but nothing would be a deal breaker, unless you can auto-read my so-long emails, and summarize them into the brain for me.

Currently stick with Zoho, because it lets me use a custom domain for free.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

unless you can auto-read my so-long emails, and summarize them into the brain for me

As soon as this is a thing it will inevitably be ruined by marketers somehow. There is no winning this game.

weppami profile image

I am not going to subscribe after the 14 days.

  • Proprietary client : you have to use a separate client for @hey address = pain
  • No custom domain
  • No calendar
  • Labeling system limited
  • Bold UI (personal opinion)

I see it as a service for millennials, where emailing is scarce and not for professional use.

On the other hand @hey address is cool !

xapidev profile image
xAPI dev

I paid for it, and already regret it.

At first I thought I enjoyed the somewhat automated sorting, but as time goes one, I constantly worry that important emails are getting screened out more often than I worried about email going into my junk folder.

I also don't always know where to put things based on their categories. In Gmail, I have tons of automated sorting set up, and again, I never really worry about it, because most of it is highly contextual. If I see a pattern that bothers me, I can create a filter to handle it. With hey, I end up putting some addresses in my "paper trail" that occasionally send things I might want in my Inbox (also, I'm not calling it Imbox).

Overall, yeah - if clout's your thing and you believe a email address brings you that - go for it, but as for me, I'm content to keep my Gmail and custom domain email addresses.

Great poll though!

jamesroyston profile image

This! I find myself checking hey all the time because no notifications by default, for everything! If it’s important, I won’t get notified until I’ve asked hey to notify me, so I’m stuck wondering if I should check my email constantly.

heytimapple profile image
Tim Apple • Edited

I am a paid user and am very happy. I like that it's simple. I like that I don't get alerts for stuff I don't care about. It made me realize about 80% of the time I checked my email it's for advertisements or other junk.

I have always been sort of a fan of minimalist systems though. And have thought less is more most times. So maybe I'm the type of person "hey" was designed for.

Nothing can be the right answer for everything, but as long as it helps a few of us its a good product in my eye.

janmpeterka profile image
Jan Peterka

I decided to pay for Hey since I am trying more and more to pay for products I value (for both how they improve my life and how they align with my personal values) and support smaller businesses.

As mentioned many times, I really like what Hey (and Basecamp team) stands for.

I also love how Hey makes me quite enjoy opening my e-mail. That didn't happen in a long time.
There are many features I find amazing - Screener, merging and renaming of threads, Feed.
Saying that I am a bit unsure about some workflows and features - I miss some more granular filtering of mails - there are some mail addresses from which I get mainly unimportant stuff I would like to screen out (or put in Paper Trail), but sometimes I might get really important one.

I guess I will see in a few months if it's just a fun temporal change for me or something for life.

cartucciam profile image
Matteo Cartuccia

I think that Hey has good concepts but not enough to justify its price. The overall UX isn’t as smooth as I had hoped it to be. I miss Google Inbox and the way it could help my productivity, since it was decommissioned I haven’t found a good replacement.

phm200 profile image
Peter Miller

I'm about halfway through my trial period. I like it. The Screener, Feed and Paper Trail features make sense to me and promote good habits. It is a well thought out and lovingly crafted product that is highly opinionated, so it steers you in certain ways. If you don't like that way, then it won't be for you. Folks are underrating how hard it is to pull off something that is clean and simple, while still powerful.

There are a few UX bumps in the client that I hope to see the Basecamp team fix over time, including some additional keyboard navigation shortcuts and edge cases around keeping track of scroll position.

I don't care about being "trapped" in their client. Their whole ethos is to put a different twist on email, which is dependent on their client. I also don't care about a custom domain.

I'm a long time user of Gmail and Hey is much faster and more responsive in my experience. Hey also does a better job of surfacing files/attachments and has some neat features around managing threads.

Just my 2 cents, but I'm quite impressed

easrng profile image

I haven't tried hey, but I just miss Inbox. RIP Inbox. 😭

fdocr profile image

I think G Suite is a necessary evil (don’t be evil irony pun intended). I also agree with others here: The effort required for a “real migration” is off putting.

What I love the most from Hey so far is that I spend near zero time deleting emails I don’t care about (I’m an inbox zero person). There’s a few seconds/minutes every day spent sorting through my gmail inbox, which is small but meaningful if accounted for over a year. Hey transformed that into a Feed that I can scroll through whenever I want without worrying about all the “clicks“ I’m giving away via spy trackers. I don’t see Google implementing any strong privacy feature like this in the future.

I’m also on the fence, but leaning more towards paying and sticking with it. Email is an established industry and a new player won’t just walk through the door with the perfect replacement for everyone. The important missing features should come eventually if that’s what people want/need (giving Basecamp the benefit of the doubt that they will listen to feedback)

xoubaman profile image
Carlos Gándara

The point with Hey is about privacy and the approach to email.

The flows are designed to optimize the time you spend managing emails, compared to standard email clients that over the years optimized the flows that have been there since forever.

I think a lot of features from other existing clients are not there because they don't need to be at all. I wonder how many of them we miss because the classic approach to email vs what Hey proposes.

I am not a hardcore email user. I am totally fine with Gmail. I will pay for Hey because of what it stands for. If I eventually fully migrate, time will tell.

sandipagr profile image
Sandip Agrawal

Late to the party but I created a browser extension that adds Hey's email screener and one click filtering directly on Gmail -

While supporting Feed and PaperTrail, it also works with your existing labels and filters. Would love to hear what people think of it and ideas on making it better.

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair • Edited

My thoughts are that it's completely self-aggrandising.

They've created artificial scarcity and hype to get people to join, and they're playing off the fact they they made Basecamp, which is inexplicably popular. Basecamp has any number of usability issues. Most people I've met hate having to use it. It's not a recommendation except in that it's a recognised brand.

I say it was hyped, but I hadn't heard of it until someone posted here about making a bot to scrape invitation codes from Twitter.

Hey doesn't do anything unconventional. It has a couple of big friendly buttons instead of a menu item to make your own filter, which is how pretty much every other email client or SAAS product does it. It's also more expensive than its competitors (it's over twice the price of Protonmail for example).

One of its selling points is that you can get an email address. To me, that's desperation to fill out a bullet list. You could say the same of any hosted email provider and really, if you're prepared to spend $100 per year, you're likely to have your own domain name for your email address anyway, one that you've been using for the last decade.

You can't "revolutionise" email by moving things around in the UI.

I think it's possible that in a year everyone's using them. Of course I think it's possible - we've seen that happen time and again with products that seemed to offer nothing - but I think it's more likely they'll be the new Yahoo! mail.

twigman08 profile image
Chad Smith

I still don't understand it.
Everyone keeps trying to explain it to me, but everytime they explain it I just keep thinking to my Gmail accounts and saying "I have that already." Sure maybe I don't have it exactly how they do it, in terms of the UI, but the function is still the same.

I have my Gmail accounts setup exactly how I want them. I honestly can't think of the last time I saw a spam email in my inbox that I didn't want to see.

I have the filters setup exactly how I need them. Emails from certain services or people automatically go where they belong as soon as I receive them. I don't have to worry about moving them myself.

So really for me I guess I still don't get why I need to pay $99 for same type of thing I feel like I already have.