Over the last three days, I have started moving all my online accounts, newsletters, and personal communications to my hey email account (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Why the sudden love?
One word: Limitations
In tech, there is a false premise that choice is good. Not always. And perhaps only in a few instances. By limiting choice, you might eliminate the 1% of cases where you needed some option, but there is a fighting chance that the other 99% will work well.
Take Medium, for example. A lot of the choices on formatting, styling, embedding content, etc., have been removed for the writer/publisher. Medium is just about writing.
Likewise, hey.com is just about email. Hey.com is definitely email with an attitude. An attitude is what we need to make email useful again.
Email was not built for all the ways we now use it: file transfer service, newsletter distribution service, record keeping, link distribution, quasi instant messenger, etc. Hey.com’s rules put these functions in their place and focus your attention on the emails that matter.
I have made fun of the problems with productivity and platforms, but it is a genuine issue. So far, hey.com is putting email back in its place.
Here are a few of ways that hey.com has changed my work life in the past days:
- It is easy to limit the number of times I check email during the day. I know that if my wife or someone else who is important emails me, I will get a notification. Otherwise, my emails will be there when I get around to them.
- No longer do I have an inbox filled with messages flagged for follow-up, read-later, etc.
- And I don’t have to remember to check my spam for receipts and other one-off messages that I do want to process and select. I have multiple email accounts with various AIs trying to filter spam, sometimes way too aggressively or not enough. Processing addresses through hey’s screen takes a lot less time in the long run. And, I really don’t want to add every business I work with to my contact list.
- Even though I have an email newsletter, I am okay with tracking pixels getting blocked. I am tired of all the micro-targeting based on what I read or click.
- Finally, I am less inclined to push my colleagues or students to a magic new platform in hopes it will kill off email (slack, MSTeams, Asana, etc.).
Now if we can just get Basecamp to go after texting/imessages….