I tried to like HEY, I really did.

The idea of Basecamp, a bootstrapped company, taking on email giants like Google and Microsoft was a compelling story to be apart of. However, the novelty of using and supporting HEY has slowly worn away over the past five months, and I made the decision to cancel my two HEY email addresses today.

I don’t have too much to say about it.

  • HEY is too different. That’s what some people love about it. I don’t. Prior to using HEY, I had four active email addresses configured in a single app – Apple Mail on my Mac and iPhone. The idea of having to use another app (HEY) just for email got very annoying over time.
  • The iOS app doesn’t feel like an iOS app, and the Mac app doesn’t feel like a Mac app. I hate those kinds of apps – just my personal preference.
  • HEY’s Screener was useless to me. Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I don’t get much spam in my Gmail inboxes. As I used HEY daily, screening contacts started feeling like more of a chore than something truly useful.
  • The idea behind HEY’s Feed is interesting – a stream of stuff you want to read. In practice, I don’t think it was well executed. I think it would’ve been cooler if HEY actually extracted the contents of Feed emails, and presented it in a clean and beautiful way. Also, a “Mark as Read” option would be nice. There’s no way to tell what I’ve already read with the current UX design.
  • HEY’s pricing model is too expensive for me. A starting price of $99/year for an average-at-best email service with no other productivity tools (calendar, documents, spreadsheets, etc.) is not a good deal.
  • Initially, I signed up for two HEY email addresses because I wanted to support the development of the personal email product. Since signing up, HEY’s main focus has been on HEY for Work. That felt a bit weird to me.
  • I was finally able to admit to myself that I bought into HEY and continued to use it because I saw it was a novelty. I thought a @hey.com email address was cool, so I convinced myself the product was great.

At the end of the day, none of HEY’s features benefited how I use email – this might change in the future as HEY matures, so I’ll be keeping an eye on it for sure. For now, HEY makes my email workflow less efficient, so there’s no sense in paying for it. On paper, I still think HEY is a decent offering for some people. Most importantly, if using HEY makes you feel good, you should continue using it. Basecamp is fighting a good (and important) fight with HEY, and I will continue cheering them on from the sidelines.

For now, it’s back to Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) for me.