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Tips for Migrating from Gmail to Hey

I recently decided to give Hey email a shot. Along the way, I found a few tricks to make it easier to migrate from Gmail to Hey. When I signed up for my trial, Hey provided a great onboarding experience – one of the best I’ve seen. And part of that onboarding was setting up a migration from your old email provider to Hey. The instructions were easy to follow, so I’m not going to repeat them here. These are just a couple extra, more advanced tricks that you might want to be aware of if you’re an advanced email user.

Tip 1: Set up a Gmail Label

When you set up forwarding by following Hey’s instructions, it can be a little difficult to tell whether an email in Hey was sent directly to Hey or sent to your old Gmail address. It would be nice to know if it came from Gmail because that would help you know who’s still using your old email address.

One of Hey’s features is labels, and a cool part of this labels feature is that it supports “plus addressing”. If your email is amusing.bytes@hey.com and you set up a Label called Gmail, any email sent to amusing.bytes+gmail@hey.com will work like a normal email but it will already have the Gmail label applied.

Hey label settings

To set this up, first create the Gmail label in Hey. Then, when you set up forwarding in Gmail, set it up to your +gmail@hey.com address. After doing so, any mail forwarded from Gmail to hey will have the label automatically applied!

Gmail forwarding settings

Tip 2: Advanced Handling of Forwarded Email

Maybe you want to try Hey but you’re not sure if you’re ready to commit yet. When you set up forwarding in Gmail, you’re given the options to keep Gmail’s copy in the inbox, mark it as read, archive it, or delete it. But I wanted more capabilities than that. Specifically, I wanted to mark it as read and archive it and apply a “Forwarded to Hey” label to keep things organized in Gmail. As it turns out, you can actually do all this with Gmail, but you have to use filters instead of the normal “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” section.

To do this, you need to make a Gmail filter that catches every incoming message (or at least everything you want to forward to Hey). And Gmail won’t let you create a filter with no parameters, so you have to filter something. I created a filter for “Doesn’t have” “forward-all-email-to-hey”. Assuming nobody sends me an email with “forward-all-email-to-hey”, this will catch all incoming mail. I set up the filter to skip the inbox (archive it), mark as read (since I’ll read it in Hey), and apply the label “Forwarded to Hey”. This filter made it really easy to try Hey while keeping my Gmail organized so I know what email has gone where.

Gmail filter settings

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