My first annual subscription to Basecamp’s HEY email service is about to expire, meaning it’s time to decide whether I will be renewing.
I don’t think I will.
This makes me sad, because I really like using HEY for email. They’ve done a great job re-thinking how we interact with email and most of their decisions have been spot on.
I forward baty.net email from Fastmail to my HEY account and, now that they support SMTP forwarding, I can reply from there as well. Soon, they are likely to fully support custom domains, meaning I could move email@example.com directly into HEY and be done with it.
And that’s where I have a problem. Email is the most important account I have. It’s the key to everything. HEY is not “normal” email. There’s no access to it via the standard IMAP interface or even POP3.
One of the reasons I like HEY is that I can’t change email clients. This is nice, because it means I’m not wasting time looking for the perfect tool. I just use HEY’s apps and that’s settled then. I trust Basecamp, but with HEY they control my email and it’s in a sort of black box, with no access to it outside of HEY’s own clients. This gives me hives and I’m not sure I can learn to be comfortable with it, despite appreciating the constraints.
Another factor is that I’m planning to move my wife’s email away from its current host and going to HEY might be too big a leap for her, workflow-wise. I can add her to my Fastmail account for $30/year where a new HEY account would be another $99.
I’ve got a couple weeks to decide, but right now I’m leaning toward sticking with a known, safe, stable quantity: Fastmail.