Elise Shaffer
Back Jul 07, 2020

Why I Paid For HEY

I wake up every morning to an inbox that is almost unmanageable. It’s overrun with LinkedIn notifications and marketing emails. Email has become a stressful slog that I find myself procrastinating. Prior to the announcement that Basecamp was working on an e-mail service, I had spent a few months trying every email client in the App Store. But, I ultimately kept defaulting back to iOS Mail and macOS mail. So, I was open to trying a new service.

HEY is $99 a year. That sounds like a lot when Gmail is free, but HEY brings a few tools and a lot of opinions that make email fun again.

The Screener puts me in control

HEY starts by putting you in control of who can email you. The first time someone sends you an email, that email will end up in The Screener. The screener lets you opt in to receiving email from that sender. If you reject the email, that sender will be hidden from your inbox.

I love this. I was recently looking for work and communicating with a few recruiters at a time. I’m no longer looking for work, but I’m still getting a bunch of LinkedIn messages in my email. This feature lets me screen those emails out, so I don’t need to deal with them.

Notifications are way better

I don’t use notifications for email. A few years ago, I learned that very few things I would see in an email were so important that I needed them immediately. However, there have been times when I’ve wanted to get an important email and know when it was delivered. For example, during my job search, I had a few recruiters that I was further in the process with and wanted to know when there were updates.

But, most email clients treat notifications as an all-or-nothing affair. Either I can get notified for every email, or none of them. HEY treats notifications much differently than other email clients. Notifications in HEY are turned off by default. Then, I can opt in to get notified for specific senders if I want. It’s so thoughtful and well designed. I love it.

Attachment Browser is a game changer

The attachment browser is a game, period, changer, period. I get so many emails with attachments and I often need to reference them a month or two months later. The attachment browser lets me search for files. It’s an incredibly obvious feature that I’m surprised no other service has done before.

They take privacy seriously

I’ve been a fan of the Basecamp crew for a while. I love that they are outspoken issues in tech and I love that they take a stand. Their stance on email tracking in HEY is great. They remove tracking pixels and proxy images so when you open an email, you know that you aren’t being tracked. They also alert you to the tracker to let you know about it.

It’s worth it

HEY’s $99 per year is definitely not for everyone. Several of my friends were surprised I’d pay for it when Gmail is free. The ninety-nine dollars works out to $8.25 per month. I pay more than that just to get rid of ads on YouTube and that purchase is probably worse for me.

HEY solves so many problems I’ve had with email. I still have to use Gmail at work and by the end of the trial period, it was painful to check my work email. It’s a night and day experience and there is just no going back. HEY puts me back in control of email and I think that’s worth its asking price.