"We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?" - Steve Jobs

Solving a Problem That Doesn’t Exist

Isn’t it amazing what our brain decides is important sometimes? Instead of laying here at gone midnight getting some much needed sleep, I’m instead thinking about email. Or, more specifically, email services. Yes, I’ve hit peak exciting …

If my timeline is anything to go by over the last few days, I’m not alone. It sounds like quite a few people are considering dropping Hey and switching back to other alternatives. I’ve blown hot and cold on Hey since signing up almost a year ago and, seeing as my renewal is fast approaching, I’m back to considering if I get any benefits from using the system.

I’ve commented recently about a need to just try things because they are new and shiny and this perfectly encapsulates that mindset. Hey is an interesting and clever approach to the problems with email. The issue is, however, that it’s not a problem I actually have. I receive very little email that isn’t rubbish (which I can happily just delete, block or unsub from). Anything I I do receive is because I’ve signed up to a newsletter or I’ve purchased something. When I switched to Hey I signed up to a bunch of newsletters but have since found that a) I ended up not reading them because I signed up to too many, and b) The Feed in Hey isn’t actually they great at doing what it was designed for. In fact I’m finding many aspects of the system don’t really work for me. Now that things are starting to open up a bit with the pandemic, I’ve started to book a lot of trips or things to try and make up for lost time my daughters had. These bookings all get lost somewhere within Heys flow unless I set them aside but then I have a big list of emails in the corner of the very crowded Imbox.

These are small little niggles, but they do highlight just how much Hey is designed very specifically around a small group of peoples idea of what it should look like. It’s very rigid and almost hostile if you want to manage your emails slightly differently.

This frustration, in turn, leads me full circle back to my original thinking that my email wasn’t a problem before Hey and my setup wasn’t crying out for a solution. My limited email from Gmail and iCloud flowing into Apple Mail and being flicked through once a day really is all I need.

I started this post with the intention of just highlighting that I’m not sure about my Hey renewal despite liking the service and the people behind it and then go on to detail some of the alternatives I’ve been looking at. Through the course of writing it, however, I think I’ve convinced myself that considering another move to Protonmail or FastMail or yet another alternative is a fools errand and would result in me just throwing good money after bad. I’ve started forwarding my Hey email to my iCloud account, along with my Gmail and Outlook.com account1 for the next few days to see if I actually miss it. I have a feeling I’ll miss the feeling of being part of the cool kids more than I will actually jumping through hoops to manage my email that didn’t need managing, but we’ll see.

I feel like I’ve already invested too much time in email, when my usage of it is so tiny, though this is the nerd way I suppose!


  1. Three accounts are a bit much, but I needed the Outlook one for my Xbox and the iCloud one for my Apple stuff. [return]