A noncomprehensive look at Basecamp's love letter to email

HEY is a new email service designed, built, and backed by Basecamp. And whether or not you have a bad relationship with email, HEY offers a fresh perspective on a fixture of everyday life. Here are my first impressions 10 days into the free trial.

Why HEY?

I don’t get a lot of personal email. A high-volume day for me is receiving 20–30 emails. And of those, only 1 or 2 warrant a reply. The Gmail web interface paired with the Simplify extension has done a good job keeping my inbox clean. So why bother with HEY?

Curiosity (and/or marketing) got the best of me. I read several testimonials from people I follow including Kevin and Darya Rose, Adrian Holovaty, and Ryan Hoover. I also respect the Basecamp team. They’re smart, opinionated, and aren’t afraid to try new ideas. I wanted to see what they came up with.

First impressions

An important email sent to the Paper Trail
An important email found in the Paper Trail
HEY Contacts page
Contacts, even for spam

HEY isn’t for everybody. And that’s okay. I appreciate the new perspective Basecamp brings to email. They did a lot of things right, and I hope other companies take notice and continue to push email forward.

With 4 days left in my trial, I have yet to decide if I’ll pay the $99 for HEY. It would be an easy yes for me if there wasn’t the high cost of switching emails. I have over 300 online accounts. It’s probably not worth it if I can’t justify the value like I mentioned above, but there’s a lot of promise. We’ll see what the future brings.

HEY is available today without an invitation. Learn more and sign up on

Update July 4, 2020: I paid for the first year of HEY. Converting my existing web/app accounts is going to take time, but I really appreciate the sense of calm HEY brings, and I check my email much less often.