One Year of Hey

It’s time for me to leave this innovative but frustrating new take on email behind

Marius Masalar
6 min readApr 19, 2021


It was my fault: I knew from the start that Hey wasn’t for me.

Still, I soldiered on because I was excited by the first real re-think of email since its inception; I wanted to make sure I gave it a proper try. I did my best to adapt, to use it as it’s designed to be used…but it’s been nearly a year now and I’m afraid I have to throw in the towel.

For all of its benefits — and there are several important ones—Hey turned my seamless experience with email into a slow, frustrating, opaque mess that I haven’t been able to get used to and that has negatively impacted my productivity and email efficiency for months. I won’t go into too much detail around why because I covered the majority of the reasoning in my initial pieces about it.

Instead, I want to discuss what the process of migrating away from Hey was like.

A Middle Ground

At first, I thought I should try to adapt my usage of Hey to something less fragmented by using only the Imbox and pretending the Feed and Paper Trail don’t exist.

After all, one of my core complaints was that the cognitive load of deciding which “bucket” to put email into (and seeing when there are new messages in each) is heavier than the load of simply dealing with email in a traditional inbox zero fashion as I’d done for years. About two days into my attempt to consolidate existing messages into the Imbox, I gave up on this middle ground.

Hey actively fights against non-standard usage. There is no way to select all messages in any given list, so something as basic as moving all messages from the Feed to the Imbox is a tedious nightmare. To make matters more complicated, I wanted to ensure that no messages go into the Feed in the future, which meant opening each message, going to its sender’s contact page, switching delivery to Imbox, and then backing out and moving on to the next message in the list.

One by one.

Mercifully, if you have multiple messages from a contact in a given bucket (common for newsletters and other bulk mail), they do get moved together when you make this change. Even so, that…



Marius Masalar

Senior brand content strategist at 1Password. Occasional game composer, frequent photographer.