129 / Rethinking my email

The Agenda for Friday, June 19, 2020

I’ve spent much of this week taking in (and talking about) the launch of HEY, the new email service from Basecamp. HEY is invite-only right now, but I was fortunate to get on the list early and ended up getting my invite this past Tuesday. They’ll be opening up HEY to a public launch in July.

In short, I’m loving it.

So, why would you spend $99/year for email in 2020? That’s a fair question. Listen to the latest episode of the REWORK podcast for more on HEY and its value proposition. I really enjoyed it.

In the meantime, here’s my email story. The year was 2004. The Athens Olympics were in full swing, and I remember shelling out a whole dollar to get… an invite to Gmail, Google’s “beta” email service. (Google kept that beta moniker on Gmail for about five years!)

Gmail’s main pitch was a modern “web 2.0” interface and 1GB of storage, and I remember wondering how we’d ever fill a gigabyte of anything.

I was an early adopter then, and 16 years later, I’m still an early adopter. Email’s still around, too, but it’s become bad in the way that it was before Gmail in 2004. (My college webmail was so, so awful.) HEY is a breath of fresh air for a technology that’s been with us for so many years. Thoughtful, innovative features, a central focus on privacy, and a human touch — that’s why I think HEY is worth the price of admission.


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photo credit: Adam Solomon on Unsplash

1. Also new this week: a Pocket edition of the Full Focus Planner, my daily driver. (Like I mentioned last week, you can save $10 when you use my link.) I may give this version a shot when my annual subscription is up.

2. And speaking of gear, Typewolf published 40 Products on Amazon for Designers. I just love rundowns like this! Lots of cool gear on this list.

3. Please, no one tell our boys: LEGO Super Mario sets arrive August 1. I think these are going to end up on some Christmas lists around here.

4. Google Street View on the International Space Station. Cozy.

5. Garmin’s new MARQ Collection of smart watches are as beautiful as they are functional. Check out the MARQ Golfer, with an appearance by the great Greg Norman and no less than 41,000 courses built in. ($1,850)

6. Hush is Twitter without all the clutter — pick a few of your favorite accounts and follow them in peace.

7. The ElevationHub is just what I need for my WFH setup. You strap this little guy to your USB-C MacBook charger and it tacks on a USB port, SD card slot, and cable management while passing power straight through. ($40–$50; ships in July)

8. It never ceases to amaze me that I can wear my Apple Watch in the pool with no problem. It’s really something. Ever wonder how the water gets out?

9. I often read on my beloved Kindle Paperwhite, but lately I’ve also picked up a few book-books: The Money Tree by Chris Guillebeau, No-Fail Communication by Michael Hyatt, and Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography by Fred Schruers.

10. This year’s Back to School promotion from Apple includes free AirPods when you buy a Mac or iPad. Not too shabby.

P.S. Do you like this email? You might also like the Morning Brew, a daily digest of news, business, and tech. I read it every day. (Not a sponsor, I just like ’em.)

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