Feeling Scattered? You’re Not the Problem—It’s All Your Apps

Information and cognitive overload are causing us to reach our limits, and the tools available are no longer working for us. Bloks plans to change that.
Marc Gingras
July 26, 2022
5 minute read

Time is our most valuable resource. And over the past two years, it’s been in both excess and short supply.

As countless workers transitioned to remote and hybrid working arrangements, previously time-starved individuals found themselves with more time on their hands than ever before. 

Gone were the daily commutes and time-consuming office interactions. In their place, space for friends, family, rest, and deep thought—basically, everything that’s essential to a meaningful life.

At the same time, many people had less time on their hands as meetings increased and the boundaries between the virtual office and home blurred, leading to longer work hours.

When we created Nook Calendar, we felt like we were solving a major problem that was impacting people’s ability to work. Meetings were on the rise, and workers found it hard to schedule Zoom calls efficiently and know when to plan their visits to the office. If we simplified the most tedious aspects of scheduling someone’s day, the time saved would compound, giving them more time to direct their attention toward more important tasks.

But when it comes to saving time, scheduling is only one part of the problem.

Extreme App-athy

Technology was supposed to make our lives easier. But in some ways, it’s merely expanded our to-do lists by adding more things to keep track of as we go about our lives.

In Asana’s Anatomy of Work report, knowledge workers in the U.S. said they used an average of 9–10 apps every day. The overall negative impact on productivity is clear: 19% of respondents reported that constantly switching between apps reduced their attention, and 17% admitted they worked longer hours than usual to make up for their lack of focus.

Similarly, a joint report by Qatalog and Cornell University’s Idea Lab discovered that context-switching between apps and tasks made people less productive and more fatigued, with survey respondents saying it took 9.5 minutes on average to return to their workflow. 

Meanwhile, a separate study from Wakefield Research found that 54% of U.S. office workers spent more time searching for documents and files than responding to emails and messages.

There’s an App for Everything, But It’s Harder to Do Anything

There have never been more productivity and collaboration tools available. But each one comes with new sets of data, documents, and information to capture, organize, and sort through—and it’s slowing us down.

When Stepan Pachikov came up with the idea for Evernote, his goal was to overcome the limitations of human memory by creating a product that acted as an external brain—helping users collect their thoughts, so they were available when (and wherever) they needed them. 

But the amount of information we’ve grown accustomed to dealing with now weighs us down, and the tools that once felt like extensions of our cognitive and physical abilities—be it digital documents, shared drives, task management apps, project management tools, or software for real-time and asynchronous communication—are actually impairing our ability to function.

It would be unfair to blame technology entirely for the problem—recent unprecedented events and unfair workplace expectations all play a role in our current state, which often feels fractured, overwhelming, and disorganized.

But information and cognitive overload are causing us to reach our limits, and the tools available are no longer working for us.

Rewiring the Future

When the Nook team attended Collision 2022 and made the bold decision to pitch and promote something different, we were nervous about what the response would be to our pivot. We were optimistic its message would resonate but prepared for some confusion.

So, we were happily surprised when nearly everyone we talked to reported experiencing similar problems but were stymied when finding a solution on their own.

That’s why we’re working on a new app that will finally declutter your brain and help you think clearly. 

We plan to share more details in the coming weeks. In the meantime, join our waitlist to be part of our private beta when our new app launches this fall.

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.