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

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