Members 80. Phew! What a scorcher.

Is it me, or has time accelerated? This last week has flown by. Summer has turned up the heat in Cyprus, and is playing havoc with my schedule. I’m lucky and privileged to have these problems, and they come every summer, but I still haven’t found an effective counter to them.

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Working Tools 40. HEY for Work

I’m a paid up subscriber to the new email service that I wrote about last week. I’m on the lists for custom domains and work accounts.

My personal mail has gone from needy and demanding, to chilled and supportive. I have no notifications switched on, and when I check for new mail, HEY mostly, tells me “Nothing new for you”. Even though I’ve received 30 messages, they have all slipped into the Feed or The Paper Trail. Similar to many other users, I’ve found that I’m reading more newsletters. I read, in the feed, when it suits me, rather than hurriedly scanning and archiving, in a rush to hit inbox zero.

Reply Later works really well for me – at one point in the day, I can focus and reply, and get all those mails responded to in a non-disruptive flash.

Much of this functionality was available to me elsewhere, if I chose to think it through and set it up, but HEY has spelt out to me workflows, and the rationale behind them. I’m settling in, and now, using other clients feels unwieldy and awkward.

Tweaks and bug-fixes are coming thick and fast across all platforms. An altogether delightful experience so far.

My manifesto for HEY for Work

Well, if HEY can have a manifesto, so can I.

Separation.

For too long, all manner of communication has been piling up in my e-mail client. A thread about a golf trip sitting side by side with a Nero’s Notes customer support issue, and a detailed investigation of money laundering for Lime. I want all of those mails – but on my terms. I don’t want to triage all of them in the same visit. So – I worry, when I read about unified inboxes.

It may be that separation can be achieved with a funky account switching function. I’m betting those clever folk at Basecamp will work it out, and on the evidence so far, I imagine their solution will be better than mine.

I would like the accounts to be separate and visibly so. A visual cue as to what mode I’m in (Formal Corporate / Friendly webshop / Personal) is incredibly helpful.

Signatures

These are a legal requirement for UK entities, of which I have two. I’m all for reducing the clutter, but not to the extent that I’m breaking the law.

Timed Send

Sometimes I schedule an hour at the weekend to clear email. HEY has the excellent Focus and Reply feature for that. But…I don’t want my replies to go out on a Sunday afternoon. I want to schedule them.

Now, assuming they deliver all this, how am I going to tell Clare that her Nero’s e-mail is going to be radically different?

Members 79. Victim of its own success.

As I write, Cyprus, both the Republic and the occupied territories of the North, have no in-patients being treated for Covid-19. Some days, a new case is reported, usually from a repatriation flight.

My writing is supported by people like you. The remainder of this post is reserved for Patrons. Patronage costs £5 per month. For this, you will get access to subscriber only posts in writing and audio, direct access to a patrons chatroom , and a digital copy of any and all work that I publish in the year. Become a Patron

Working Tools 39. Hey! Yay! Nay?

Today, I’m writing about the dance craze sweeping the nation.

Only kidding. I’m still blethering on about e-mail.

I have been trialing Hey for more than a week. I’ve read the manifesto (seriously, there is one), watched the 37 minute walk-through, and a ninety minute “Q & Hey” on Twitter. I do like a good pun, so that’s a definite plus.

Day one

“What? I can’t archive? Ridiculous.” My palms were sweaty. Not knowing exactly where every e-mail was, made me anxious. I have forwarded my legion of accounts into Hey, but still have them downloading to other clients as a control.

Day three

“Where’s that email gone? WHERE IS IT? This is nonsense.” (It was in the “already seen” section.)

Day five

“Right. I’m going to watch the Q and HEY.” Jason Fried, CEO of Basecamp talked of the “toughest period of launch”; the first few weeks after release. He explained how feedback pours in from early adopters, users like me, attempting to make the new thing more like the old thing. Everyone tries to mould the new app to their existing workflow. Apparently, the trick is to nod, empathise, and ignore this feedback. The whole point is to change the workflow. “Pah!” I sipped my coffee dismissively.

Day seven

“You know, that Fried fellow might have a point. Perhaps for personal e-mail, Hey and its backward workflow is just the ticket. Impossible for work though.”

Day eight

Isn’t e-mail fun? Work would be fine in this, once they enable signatures.

Day nine

Today. They’re on to something. They have turned how I think about email on it’s head. There are things that can be improved, and one or two of them already have been. All the signs are that the service will go from strength to strength. Hey for Work, custom domains etc, are all in the works.

Conclusion

Will it be for me? At the current rate of evolution, my opinion by Day 14, may have moved all of my accounts irrevocably to Hey.

There are a load of really interesting features on Hey. Too many for me to go through (read about it here)– but the the key change for me – is the reset of the default.

My inbox-zero driven workflow is all about decisive action. Open a mail and deal with it, kill it, file it. Never do nothing.

With Hey, the default is…let it go. Do nothing. Unless you need to. It’s all a bit zen.

Nevertheless – right now, my issues are…

  1. Custom Domain. “Look – you can have firstname@hey.com, isn’t that cool?” Well, it’s OK, but I can also have anything@stuartlennon.com which ain’t bad either. Besides, my first name, and its diminutive, were gone by the time I arrived. If I sign up now, my outbound mail will come from a hey.com address, that ultimately I will dump, in favour of my own domain. Wouldn’t it be better to wait until custom domains are available?
  2. Split apps. I really like having my work / personal mail split. I don’t want a unified inbox. Nor do I want several inboxes (or even imboxes) in one app. I’d like to have three instances of the app on my phone, each with a different coloured icon. Why? Because sometimes, I’m not at work.

So, where am I?

I will subscribe for personal mail. My custom domain will forward to it until there is an offering from Hey, at which point, I’ll have another decision to make. You can email me at stuart.lennon@hey.com

My writing is supported by people like you. Patronage costs £5 per month. For this, you will get access to subscriber only posts in writing and audio, direct access to a patrons chatroom , and a digital copy of any and all work that I publish in the year. Become a Patron

 

Members 78. Goals and Projects

Last week, I wrote about the importance of routines, and how I was defending my time against all-comers.

On the 1857 podcast, TJ and I were discussing productivity in general, and the productivity industry (or racket) in particular.

My writing is supported by people like you. The remainder of this post is reserved for Patrons. Patronage costs £5 per month. For this, you will get access to subscriber only posts in writing and audio, direct access to a patrons chatroom , and a digital copy of any and all work that I publish in the year. Become a Patron

Writer Interrupted

Episode 3 of Writer Interrupted, the Patrons-only podcast released yesterday. Patrons can log into their account for a personalised link.

My writing is supported by people like you. Patronage costs £5 per month. For this, you will get access to subscriber only posts in writing and audio, direct access to a patrons chatroom , and a digital copy of any and all work that I publish in the year. Become a Patron

Adulting 101

1857 a podcast that I record with TJ Cosgrove, released a new episode yesterday. A long one too!

Get it wherever you listen to podcasts, or here