My thoughts on after using it for a few days

Was lucky enough to get an invite so penned my thoughts. On a side note, writing things down makes the decision process easier for me.

Its an 8 minute read so I thought its probably not best to paste the whole thing here.

In summary, is not a good fit for me for the following reasons:

  • No archive folder - alternative from Hey is “everything” section
  • No Sent folder
  • No way to bring emails from your previous email provider
  • My issues with IMBOX, The Feed
  • I cannot always use the HEY apps forever. I want choice
  • HEY requires me to subscribe to their email philosophy for life
  • lack of comprehensive rules support
  • Hey’s spam filter capability is still unknown to me

The one thing I want everyone to copy from HEY is the NO PIXEL TRACKING feature. Please, just copy this one feature.

and how good is the domain. I can only fantasise about having

Happy to hear thoughts of fellow Mac Power Users :slight_smile:


great write-up. Very helpful. thank you…

Your writeup saved me a lot of time. That’s a pass.

Nice review. I’ll also be interested to see what they do for the sent email view for the business product. They have some useful “here’s what you did” views in Basecamp that could be an improvement over traditional email if adapted here. In the meantime its absence is curious but not totally surprising. :slight_smile:

Do you not find the Everything view equivalent to All Mail in Gmail?

Even before, there were three major reasons for HEY to not even be considered. First, the fact I cannot use my own domain. Honestly, that alone disqualifies it. A custom domain is essential for control over your email. Secondly, with the lack of IMAP and SMTP, as you pointed out, HEY “holds you hostage.” The third and final blow, related to the previous one, is the inability to use your own mail client. These three reasons make the platform far too restricted for something that is mostly and should be open: email.

I read through your post, and now I am going to stay away even more. I did not look into HEY too much (for the reasons described), but almost all of those you listed sound horrible, especially the no archive or sent folder. Perhaps if I actually used it, I would think different. I will not though, as in its current state, HEY does not allow me to control my email.


There is no Everything view that is at all equivalent to “all mail” in Gmail. Things we take for granted like All Mail, Sent folder, Archive folder are all missing from HEY.

The issue is not that HEY isn’t good. Its great but its not great for me and how I use email.

and thank you for reading my review. It helped me decide as I am big fan of basecamp ethos and was torn as this product is just not for me.

1 Like

Great review, thanks! I hadn’t contemplated the lack of drag and drop into other apps. That’s a big issue.

I also love my Fastmail. Such a good service.


What does All Mail do for you that “Everything” in Hey doesn’t? I am looking at them and they both seem to be a reverse chronological list of all received and sent mail. Sorry, not trying to be overly pedantic, just understand.

Definitely no sent view or search that is equivalent (I search from:me in Gmail more than I view Sent and can’t do that in Hey.)

The archive being replaced by the river of receding emails that happens automatically I think I prefer, but it feels weird to not have to process my email at all as I read it.

I think this is the blessing and curse of email as an open standard. It’s incredibly hard to make advancements while still having interoperability and get enough buy-in from users to make it worth while. I think the “easier” answer is to skip email altogether and use different communication mediums, and perhaps that’s the better way to think of Hey; as an alternative proprietary communication format, rather than a traditional email client.


From Hey/Basecamp support:

Right now we don’t have a sent-only view, but it’s high on our list of things to add after this initial launch. For now you can see your sent messages in the Previously Seen section of the Imbox.

The previously seen view obviously isn’t good enough for viewing all sent email, so hopefully it’s actually really high on the list.

Didn’t think about it like that, that Hey is a different communication format.

I agree that it is hard to actually make advancements in email that is not through a client or changing something server side before it is served through IMAP. Still, I do not think HEY is the solution to our email problem. Frankly, email is outdated and we should strive towards far better communication platforms. I appreciate them trying to fix it, but I would rather use email as it is and be unrestricted.

If I could at least use my own domain, I might try HEY. Maybe it will be the solution as it matures.


I thought most email apps blocked pixel tracking these days. Very few apps download pictures as standard.

1 Like

I’m also skeptical of the 37 signals crew behind it after getting burned when they shut down Backpack. They seem to pose as visionaries but not always follow up.

You are right there. However, emails do not look good without pictures

It has been brought to my attention that FM does go a bit further than most email services but this feature is limited to when using Fastmail through the web site.

Exact quote:

@jokull @dhh Hi Jökull! Fastmail webmail loads all images through our servers, not your computer, so image owners know as little about you as possible. You can also choose in Settings → Preferences to block images. More info on privacy here:

1 Like

Backpack is still active. I just updated something in a backpack account last month.

You are right. Their version of Everything view is similar to ALL Mail in Gmail.

I updated the post accordingly. I must have missed that one. Kindly thanking you for brining this to my attention.

I also added the lack of alias as an issue for me. I use aliases - Clearly Mere Civilian isn’t my real name. However if it was, it would be rather cool lol

1 Like

Every single email app I have ever seen has permitted images to show on all emails not flagged as junk, out of the box. And turning off images to stop possible tracking is not a tenable option for most people; I know I see dozens of emails and newsletters daily with pics in them, and I want to see them.

However, if you use a Chromium browser or Firefox there are extensions to block 3rd-party tracking pixels in Gmail (there’s one built into Edge too, which is darkly ironic given how Edge hard-codes a Microsoft tracker in Edge that cannot be disabled), and there are separate extensions that block images from known adservers and trackers. That’s a much better option than the blunt tool of removing all images entirely.

Thank you for a great article, a good review and for saving me some time/money. I will stick with “Load remote content in messages” unchecked in Apple Mail.

Great write-up! I’ve also been using HEY and have an alternate perspective for those interested.

1 Like

Nice review! I agree the benefit ultimately comes down to the speed/design of the app and the time it’s saving, whether or not you think it should be based on the feature set.

I thought I had been good about my filtering system, but I’ve been surprised how much is actually in my feed when I go through it.

Unfortunately I’ve found a flaw with long email threads that doesn’t allow every new email to be read if the thread is 111 or more and you have 11 or more you haven’t read. While Gmail handles this situation, performance is awful, and I think Hey just erred too far on the side of performance and overlooked something. Hopefully support will prioritize this one for me.

1 Like