How Hey changed email for me forever

Image for post

I have a love-hate relationship with email my entire life. I gave up on email and then Google Inbox came along. It was a perfect product at a perfect time. I achieved inbox zero with it and never had issues maintaining it. It was a combination of perfect design, great features like bundling ad emails together that allowed me to sort through my email in minutes. I never got that with vanilla Gmail.

Than google decided to sunset Inbox. The day they announced it I was horrified “Am I suppose to use that ugly piece of software called Gmail?” It’s worse than Outlook at this point. I tried a lot of apps claiming to be Inbox replacement, it wasn’t even close. I was stuck using Gmail. My inbox zero went out of the window, my emails piled up in random tabs that you are forced to check (if you disable them it’s even worse) notifications seem more or less random. And those ads masked as emails. I started to hate email with passion.

Then I noticed a lot of buzzes around hey and apple on twitter. I do not use Basecamp so I had no idea earlier. Hey seemed awesome. Clean design. Their manifesto seemed very well reasoned and I wanted in. I received an invite and was hooked from the beginning. I actually look forward to receiving emails now.

The key thing in Hey for me is that I actually pay for it, which means no ads, not paying for it by my data. There is not AI that figures out what emails go where instead there is a very clever screener mechanism, when someone emails to you for the first time, you need to decide if you ever want to see it and future emails from that address. When you screen the email you choose to put it into imbox (not a typo), paper trail, or the feed. Imbox is for emails you may want to replay too, you may mark is as Replay later or Set Aside or leave it be. If you choose the feed, you can later browse through your feed, all the emails are pre-opened, perfect for newsletters that you actually care for. Paper trail is your order confirmations, receipts, etc.. It’s simple. And it works.

You can email me at

Pavel Polivka
Pavel Polivka
Full stack developer

Father, developer, bad sci-fi writer, love to learn stuff