Another new email service ( from Basecamp) looks interesting, from Basecamp. $99 a year. Have yet to dig into the details but there is a 14 day free trial


$99/year for a ‘wildly opinionated’ spanking new email service.

I like the separate areas for receipts and newsletters, but Gmail largely does this (or can be configured to do it) already. And the design to screen all first-time senders can be useful. Clippings from email is pretty cool though.

Not sure if it offers $99 worth of value to me, but if it’s privacy-first as claimed it might be a useful alternative to the likes of Protonmail and Fastmail.

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Thanks for posting. Looks interesting. Invite only - just sent my request. Looking forward to trial.

I’m pretty excited about this. No IMAP or POP access is pretty bold. That means that it will be impossible to use other email clients to work around any issues that come up. Performance of their apps will be really important. But I’m planning on putting it through its paces. I did a quick estimate today and I think it’ll save me 3-5 hours a month in not having to pick over the inbox, if the design works well. I signed up in February, so c’mon. :slight_smile:

Signed up quite some time ago. At least I tried…

How much time is there between signing up and getting an invite?

(I want to test it, but I don’t think it can compete with Fastmail for me)

They lost me at “you have to use a new address”. I have a domain name that’s part of my branding and I’m channeling everything through that. Apart from that, I don’t see much that’s worth 99$ a year. The design is both too opinionated (you have to use our tools and platform) and not enough (I don’t seen anything there that Sanebox coupled to a power client like Airmail or Spark cannot almost replicate, at least enough to make your life way easier). I’m going to watch the video but this again looks like one of those email reinventions that end up not really reinventing as much as hoped.

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So this is a proprietary email provider that doesn’t support IMAP or even POP, so you’re forced to use their email client. It doesn’t support custom domain names until “Fall 2020” or later. There’s no calendar support, and I don’t think contacts can be synced from other services so it’s a static one-way/one-time import.

Why didn’t they just build an email client?

I’m going through their killer features and this all would be perfect if it was just an email client.

Since their email doesn’t even support IMAP/POP it’s not like they care about you being able to export the metadata you create, like which emails are blocked and which ones are approved. If I signed up and quit after a year and export my data, it sounds like all it would give me are standard email data that can be imported into another email provider. I’d already lose all the custom bits like renamed email subjects and the like. Nothing in their feature set couldn’t have been built as a layer on top of a standard email account (cf. Fantastical with their custom metadata like individual event coloring and so on, all built as a layer on top of your existing calendar provider).

Also one of their features is personal/private comments in email bodies. That… seems like a recipe for disaster.


Yep. Lost me with no IMAP and delayed (if ever) support for own-domain mail. The marketing-speak is well-crafted, the site itself is beautiful, and I’ve read that the code behind it is impressively “performant,” as the kids say these days, but … nah.

Just forward your mail from the existing account to test.

Just watched the video in detail. My two cents (which turned out to be quite long):

I think there’s value in the proposition of Hey. They have refined all the “hacks” and services power users have used for years to get email under control. They have essentially “baked in” the triage / GTD concepts to their inbox, decoupling processing from answering, secondary information and reference from things you need to act upon. It’s smart and I can totally see people many people (such as my parents…) taking great advantage of such a service.

However –

It’s no wonder we are so lukewarm towards this service on this forum. The concepts Hey talks about have been known to us for years, but we have to remember they are not known to the wider world.


  • You already apply the GTD workflow of processing emails as soon as they come in, to identify tasks and defer them to get them out of the inbox as soon as possible, and archive important data where you can find it later
  • You have some kind of filtering in place (whether Sanebox or custom rules)
  • You ruthlessly unsubscribe to newsletters or forward them to read-later services (Instapaper, feed readers…)

Hey will add nothing to your workflow.

Additionally, there is something that bugs me in the Hey philosophy, which is totally understandable, but which I don’t think is how email should ultimately work. It is that you basically keep all info (notes, tasks, attachments) inside Hey attached to emails. I get the design choice: once again, people whose digital life is a mess and who don’t have the time (or interest) to implement a paperless system will be happy to find that information at least somewhere (inside their email app, where it used to live anyway but they couldn’t find it).

But personally, I don’t think ideally this is how information and tasks should live.

  • We have increasingly diverse communications channels (social media messengers, instant messaging, Slack, and of course email). Having information live in those silos is a recipe for scattering. In true GTD fashion, I believe the important information should be lifted out of the silos as soon as possible and put into your information repository of choice (notes app, “second brain”).
  • Same goes for tasks. The advantage of having email tasks (or tasks signalling you’re awaiting replies) all centralised in your task system is that you can immediately see where the bottlenecks are. If you’re awaiting replies from people currently on vacation to move forward on a project, you will see it right away alongside the other tasks instead of wondering why this is not moving forward (“Ah, yeah, I must have put a note in Hey, what was it, ah, okay, Jill is on vacation…”)

I have recently committed to adhering strictly to a task-manager based email workflow as an experiment, putting tasks in there with backlinks to threads when I couldn’t answer to stuff on the spot. This initially seemed like a lot of overhead but actually the time investment pays back. When I “do” email I just have to go through that task list, and more importantly, I have the “waiting-for” in the same place. There’s a lot to be said for centralised systems when it comes to processing information and tasks.


I’ve been looking forward to seeing what this product would be all about.

It looks beautiful. But it’s not for me.

I’ve written a blogpost outlining how to replicate most of these features with a combo of Fastmail, SaneBox and MailMate.


I don’t know. They are starting slow and inviting more each day. They said they will get through their invite backlog within a few weeks. By July 15th, anyone can sign up.

Good comments above. I’m willing to give up some manually crafted email setup if the UX of Hey works well enough. There isn’t an email client like theirs. I also want a email address with just my name (they’ll keep it forever, even if I stop paying, and let me forward it.)

Overall I suspect this will appeal to people who kind of wish they could do all their emailing inside of Basecamp. I’ve been such a person for years. :slight_smile:

Here’s my ideal mail client, roughly

I don’t want a long list of items, I want conversations with people. When I look at my inbox, that’s the mental transformation I have to make. A layout like this would reduce the cognitive load of email (IMO).

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My low-ranking opinion commentary here (I can’t really add to what others have said, so I’ll play the role of cranky old man):

  • $99 feels a bit steep. I like what I see but I’m also distrustful, given how they took Basecamp, a platform I knew well, and gimmicked it up.
  • If I’m paying money, then I would rather support Protonmail, as I am far more conscientious about secure email and restricting government.
  • Get off my lawn. :joy:

This. This is what I’m trying to get away from. I want to get email related things out of my email client. I don’t need more organization within my email client. I don’t want yet another thing to have to organize or think about.


Same for me, but that’s us. Most people, especially at work, use email for or with task management and reminders.

I think this could be useful for most people because don’t have a good GTD or zero-inbox workflow, and the pricing offers enough functionality over Sanebox to justify it.

Then again most people refuse to pay for email, so the market for this product - and its focus - should be on businesses and teams, which will pay for a product like this if it can improve the morass that email can be. Given the company behind it I’m a little surprised they didn’t open it up first to existing customers and GTD-YouTubers and the like. This is really not a consumer product, because the consumer market doesn’t have enough people willing to pay $100/year to help revamp their email.


But it can’t be a business product either because no business is going to have employees use email addresses.

So the market must be for home users.


That’s one reason why the rollout seems like a mess to me. (And Basecamp has had problems targeting customers before.) Pricing seems fair, but it they’re focusing on the consumer market that Sanebox uses, they’re aiming at a really small niche.

Maybe they released too early, as they’re promising user domain email support by the end of the year.

They’re launching the business product later, along with custom domains.

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So this is essentially a paid beta test using excited individual Basecamp loyalists, before they roll out to where the real money is in businesses?