Why I Switched Back to Superhuman from HEY

HEY is very nice. But Superhuman is exceptional. Here are some of the main features (among many) that make Superhuman stand out from the crowd.

Why I Switched Back to Superhuman from HEY

My email app journey over the last few years has looked something like this: Newton —> AirMail —> Spark —> Superhuman —> Hey —> Spark —> Superhuman.

I’m probably missing a few in there. Needless to say, I’ve tried them all. But, when I started using Superhuman a few years ago I was convinced that was my last stop on the email app train. Superhuman was, and is, best in class.

My business was thriving and my Inbox was exploding. I needed something to tame the chaos. And Superhuman delivered.

But, then, two things happened. One, my Inbox slowed down considerably during the pandemic, and, two, my company started using Basecamp as our project management software.

So when Basecamp rolled out HEY, their take on email, we were intrigued enough to give it a shot. There’s a direct correlation between email and project management, so I was also hopeful Basecamp would more closely integrate the two apps (spoiler alert: its for this reason I hope Superhuman also dips their toes into project management).

So, for most of 2021, I have been using HEY for my work and personal email accounts. HEY is a deeply considered new take on email with a lot of excellent touches. The Screener has kept thousands of unwanted messages out of my Inbox without going through the unsubscribe rigamarole, which is always more of a wing and a prayer anyway.

Plus, HEY has some truly excellent work collaboration features like shared notes and the ability to add teammates to email chains without CCing or BCCing them. Features that my colleagues and I came to depend upon.

It was the team collaboration features that made switching off from HEY feel untenable. But, then, and thankfully, business started to resume to its normal pace and my Inbox was once again a flood of incoming email. And HEY, well, it never really improved in the ways we were hoping it would.

Triaging large amounts of email in HEY was cumbersome and unpleasant. So, about a month ago, I began the switch back to Superhuman for my work, and then my personal, email accounts.

And what a difference. HEY is very nice. But Superhuman is exceptional. Here are some of the main features (among many) that make Superhuman stand out from the crowd, which are even more apparent after some time away from the app:

Speed & keyboard shortcuts

The copy on Superhuman’s website says it’s “blazingly fast” and they mean business. Triaging dozens of messages with keyboard shortcuts shaves hours from of my week since I no longer need to switch from keyboard to mouse and back again.

Inbox Splits

Incoming email can be automatically sorted into discrete views, what Superhuman calls Splits. This is great for keeping me focused on one project at at time without context switching.

Countless Time Saving Tools

Between saved text snippets, and now smart snippets, I can call up and reuse commonly used sentences that I would normally have to write manually dozens of times a day. Especially great when sharing conference call details, our mailing address, or anything else that we get about daily.

Schedule Send and Snooze is Best in Class

Scheduled send and snooze are mostly table stakes for email apps these days. But Superhuman’s implantation is lightyears ahead of the competition. Using natural language you can quickly Schedule or Snooze an email down to the exact minute. “Tom morning,” “Sun 1:37a” or “8 in Tokyo” are just a few of the countless phrases you can throw at Superhuman.

As I wrote about above, and back in September, Superhuman is behind on implementing the team collaboration features that are standard in both HEY and Spark. But, even with those features absent for the time being, if you receive dozens, or even hundreds of emails a day, there is simply nothing else on the market that will get you through your Inbox more quickly and with less stress than Superhuman.

What email app are you using? Have you switched between HEY and Superhuman? Please let me know on Twitter @danielkuney.