For years, I've been on a quest to find the perfect email service. Spoiler alert: it doesn't exist. However, I've stumbled upon some gems along the way, and Hey Email is one of them.
Why Hey Keeps Pulling Me Back
I've been using Hey since its inception. Despite its quirks and the few features it lacks, there's something about Hey Email that keeps me coming back. Maybe it's their approach to email management, which breaks away from the traditional folder and rules system. Hey's way is unique, and uniqueness has its charm.
Editorial Update: January 11th, 2023
Before we dive in, here are a couple of updates:
- A Shoutout to the 37Signals Support Team: With my background in Customer Support, I can't help but praise how exceptional the 37Signals team is. Their skill level is top-notch, surpassing many others I've encountered in this field. Kudos to David, Jason, and the entire Support Team for setting high standards.
- The Three-Month Decision: It took me a full three months to write this piece. I was waiting to see if I would renew my Hey subscription for another year. Spoiler: I did!
What Sets Hey Apart
The Founders' Vision: Jason Fried (Jason) and David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH or David) bring a bold and innovative approach to the email world. Their ideas might seem unconventional to some, but there's no denying that they're making significant waves in how we think about email services.
- All or Nothing Service: If you buy into 37Signals' philosophy, you're going to love Hey. If not, it might not be the best fit. Everything about Hey, from its features to its user interface, reflects the founders' opinions and approach.
- The Hey Workflow: It's all about control - deciding who can reach you and when. The Screener feature is a game-changer, giving you the power to filter your contacts effectively.
Hey's Unique Features
- Imbox for Important Mails: Unlike the traditional inbox, the Imbox (IMportant BOX) only shows emails from contacts you've approved.
- The Feed and Paper Trail: For newsletters and receipts, respectively, these features help keep your Imbox clutter-free.
- Notification Control: Hey takes a minimalist approach to notifications, again emphasizing the 'you control' mantra.
- Your Forever Email: Once you've subscribed for a year, your Hey email address is yours for life, even if you later discontinue the service.
Where Hey Falls Short
- Pricey: At $99/year, it's not the cheapest option out there.
- The Jason & DHH Way: It's a love it or hate it deal.
- No SMTP Support: A big miss, especially for business users.
- Search Functionality: It could use some improvement.
- No Email Import Option: You start with a clean slate, whether you like it or not.
- Not for Everyone: 37Signals' opinionated approach can be polarizing.
- No Native Apps: This could be a deal-breaker for some.
Where Hey Excels
- Control with the Screener: Decide who gets to email you.
- Useful Features: Rename email subjects, share emails with links, set aside important emails, and a 'Reply Later' function.
- Hey World for Microblogging: A nifty feature for those who want to blog without the hassle of maintaining a full blog.
- Ad-Free Experience: Your $99/year also means no ads and no email trackers.
What's New? Hey Calendar!
Launched on January 2, 2024, Hey Calendar is the latest addition. I've just started using it, and while it's too early for a full review, the initial impressions are positive. Stay tuned for a detailed post on this!
Remember, these are just my two cents on Hey Email. Love it or hate it, it's always about finding what works best for you. And as always, I'm eager to hear your thoughts and experiences.
Published also in Hey World 👋