Nook is Now Bloks

Why we’re changing our name and how we’re building a note-taking app that helps you think clearly.
Marc Gingras
January 12, 2023
4 minute read

When we named ourselves Nook, we had a different goal in mind.

The world was struggling to adapt to hybrid work, and we wanted to make an app that allowed people to share with their co-workers where they would be working from—their little “nook,” so to speak. This led us to build a calendar app that made scheduling meetings, booking time in the office, and carving out space in your calendar easier.

We had some early success, including winning Product of the Day on Product Hunt. But the more we tried to bring clarity to people’s days, the more we realized that scheduling was only one part of the problem. People were increasingly overwhelmed by the amount of information they were encountering, capturing, and sorting through, making it harder to organize their thoughts and get things done.

We chose to pivot and began building an intelligent note-taking app that helped busy professionals capture, organize, and surface everything they wanted to remember—from meeting notes and conversations with clients to quick thoughts, big ideas, and important to-dos.

The name “Nook” suddenly made a lot less sense. So, we decided to change our name to Bloks.

Why Bloks?

In his book, Building a Second Brain, productivity expert Tiago Forte describes digital notes as more than just words you quickly type out and forget. They’re “knowledge building blocks”—discrete units of information that stand on their own or are “searched, retrieved, moved around, assembled, and reassembled” to become something greater than the sum of their parts.

From the mundane to the momentous, notes form the foundation of many people’s long-term goals, important decisions, and daily actions. But most apps offer little more than a blank page and a basic hierarchy for organizing and finding information. The input matters more than the output, and many apps don’t look or work much better than a traditional notebook. 

Despite countless note-taking apps in the App Store, innovation in the space has also been limited, with a few major players dominating the market and a handful of upstarts creating tools geared towards academics and pseudo-intellectuals but not the average person.   

So, in addition to our name change, here’s what we’re doing in the short term to build a better note-taking experience with Bloks:

Dark Mode by Default

Roughly 4 out of 5 people use dark mode. It extends battery life, prevents eye strain, and, frankly, looks cool. We’re making it the default, so your text pops, and it’s easier to find information.

New Look

Everyone from Banksy to the White Stripes to Coca-Cola plays with a white, black, and red color scheme. It’s minimalist, powerful, and synonymous with strength, clarity, and professionalism. Perfect for both avid and everyday note-takers.

New Functionality

Most apps organize your notes into notebooks or folders. But the process of capturing thoughts and ideas is rarely that linear. 

As we previously mentioned, notes are more like blocks of information you can assemble into something greater. And that could be anything from a deep dive into a particular topic to a collection of meeting notes, interactions, and articles relevant to a specific business or person.

Our app functionality reflects that. When you sync your email and calendar to Bloks, it automatically creates company, people, and events pages that aggregate relevant information—like notes, emails, people, and events—associated with them, giving you additional insights and more context. 

But that’s only the beginning. 

As always, we’re proud to create an app that strives to help you think clearly.

Whether you’re new to Bloks or have been with us since the beginning, thank you for supporting our growth. We look forward to having you on the journey as we shape the future of note-taking. 

- the Bloks team

Whether you’re a sales superstar, in-demand consultant, busy recruiter, or someone who simply needs to schedule a lot of meetings, one thing’s for sure—you’ve probably booked a lot of them over the past two years.

Hybrid work has forced the majority of our meetings online, and while we appreciate being able to wear sweatpants during normal work hours, the time-consuming ballet that is sharing your availability, finding a time to meet, and adding it to your calendar isn’t quite as enjoyable. 

Speaking with everyone from solopreneurs to seasoned professionals, it seems like a lot of people find meeting scheduling software either costly, impersonal, or just plain boring. And Calendly and other alternatives don’t always cut it.

We hear you. 

Everyone is different, and so is how they work. Making good first impressions is important, and you shouldn’t have to pay a premium for them or basic customizations and integrations with your meeting booking system.

Nook Calendar’s meeting proposal feature is already used by tons of high-performing teams for selecting and proposing meeting times outside of their organization. 

Now, we’re making things even easier by letting you build personal pages with shareable calendar-booking links, right in Nook Calendar. Add them to your LinkedIn profile, email signature, website, or messages when finding a time to meet.

We think it’s the best meeting scheduling software out there, and we’re excited for you to give it a try, so let’s get started.

Here’s How to Set Up a Personal Booking Page in Nook Calendar

First off, if you’re new to Nook Calendar—hello! (If you’re already a Nook user, you can skip ahead.)

You’re going to start by syncing your calendar—either from Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook—and entering your work email address.

Once you approve any necessary permissions, you’ll set up your People Bar. Search for any connections and add the people you interact with the most when scheduling meetings.

From there, you can add any additional calendars you want to see (add your personal one, if you like, to further prevent any overlaps when scheduling meetings), integrate with Zoom (so you can launch calls straight from your calendar), and choose your preferred display setting—select Match OS, Light Mode, or Dark Mode.

Launch Nook Calendar, and you’re ready to set up your online meeting scheduler.

Now, the fun begins

You’re going to start by claiming your unique URL for sharing your meeting availability page. 

Your first name appears by default, but really, it can be anything. We recommend using your full name (e.g., /john-smith).

(You can always change your URL in the future, as long as it’s still available.)

From there, you want to complete your profile. 

Your profile pic is automatically pulled in from your Microsoft or GCal account.

But you can add your name, job title, welcome message, and links to social media profiles or professional website, so guests know a bit more about you when booking a meeting. 

Then, you can start setting your weekly availability.

Nook Calendar defaults to traditional time blocks—9–12 a.m. and 1–5 p.m. These are the hours someone can book a meeting from your personal page. Adjust them based on your availability. 

Your timezone is automatically set to your local time, but you can change it if you primarily work with people in a different timezone and it’s better to visualize that when setting your availability.

Choose which calendar you want to accept meetings in—it can only be booked in one, but Nook Calendar will automatically reference your availability in other calendars you’ve synced to prevent double-bookings when someone schedules a meeting.

Now, it’s time to set up some paramaters. 

You can set up your preferred meeting duration in either 15, 30, 45-minute or one-hour increments (or a custom time).

You can also add buffer time to give yourself a break between meetings, or set a lead time of up to 24 hours, so no one can book any last-minute meetings.

And you’re all set! You can preview what the page will look like, then share it with contacts or add it to your LinkedIn profile (we suggest adding it as a secondary URL), email signature, and anywhere else you do business.

Once someone books time in your calendar, you’ll receive an email and get a notification in the Pulse.

If you ever need to make any changes, you can access your personal meeting page in the bottom of the Magic Panel and make any adjustments—either to your weekly availability or personal information.

You can also remove your availability by simply creating events in Nook Calendar and marking them as Busy to block off time and prevent any bookings.

Nook Calendar’s new personal pages for sharing meeting availability are available on Web, iOS, and Android. 
If you have any questions or thoughts, we’d love to hear them. Hit us up in our Slack Community or contact us through Support.