We regularly say there is no such thing as an all-in-one app. At the Paperless Movement, we are wise to the spiel of new tools promising to have more than one specialty, however, that’s not to say from time to time, our heads might be turned a little to the left. Clover is a digital notebook that blends notes, tasks, whiteboards, and a daily planner into one streamlined app. We have witnessed many new apps come to market and go, just as quickly. This awareness of an unforgiving market has cultivated our super-high standards of what constitutes a good app. We at PPLMVMT also know, no app is perfect from the get, which means we enjoy being open and flexible, as we’re always on the lookout for new ways of thinking and revolutionary ways apps tackle a problem, so we are very excited to discover more about Clover with Co-Founder, Tom Giannattasio.
Let’s dive right in! Always struggling to find a productivity tool that allowed for visionary and optimal thinking, Clover soon became Tom’s personal passion project. [OK let’s tackle the elephant in the room… and no we don’t mean Evernote! Which Tom, is Tom? To avoid any confusion let’s call Tom Giannattasio – Tom G. and Tom Solid – Tom S. There! Now that, that’s out of the way, back to the post 😉 ]
Tom G.’s background in engineering and design has cultivated a truly special combination of function and finesse, crafting a UI/ UX that is both practical and insightful as well as a joy to use. Earlier this year, at Product Hunt’s Annual Golden Kitty Awards:
Clover took home the converted Prize of Best Design Tool Category! (Think, the Oscars of the Tech World!)
As you know, Tom S. is a big Miro fan, but there is something unique about Clover that gets him super excited! And he insists we all try it!
Hit play to listen to the Podcast! Take it all in – digest the full blog post below!
Punching above their weight and winning
Co-founders, Tom Giannattasio and Adam Christ are not your average startup tech boys. These gentlemen have worked in design and tech with the big boys, killing it for companies like Apple and Oracle. But that’s not all! Tom G., previously led a team working on design tools at InVision, he founded Macaw (Yes, macaw.co, that was him!) He worked at nclud the digital agency and went to Twitter by way of an acquihire (and for those of you unfamiliar with the term; Acquihire is when a larger company buys out another company, primarily for the skills and expertise of its staff, rather than for its products or services.) And, if that isn’t impressive enough, he helped MIT design and launch edX.
In this podcast and blog post, you’ll discover how all their tech experience has led them to create cloverapp.co, a new type of app that combines the power of a text editor, with flexibility and potential! They have created a workspace that combines your productivity tools with your creative thinking tools. If you are a visual person with lots of ideas, your creativity will feel boundless.
Clover believes* that their app is “where ideas grow” and that “It’s time to rethink text!”
What is Clover
Clover is for people who have ideas! Ideas that they want to grow. Often, we get creative thoughts, scribble them onto a piece of paper or a note app, and that’s where they go to die! Stuck to our sticky notes, like a fly in a fly trap. Clover offers you a better way, it gives you the chance to let your ideas soar! You see, it’s designed to be a ‘thinking tool.’ Helping you organize your thoughts in a more visual way so that you can fan your creative sparks into the flames that power your business.
Clover’s must-try feature is their ‘Surface Documents!’ It combines the power of a modern text editor with the flexibility of a whiteboard. In fact, they are way more than just whiteboards, think of them more like an infinite canvas, one you can work on in any direction. It’s a new type of document; a freeform, spatial document with a heavy emphasis on text capabilities. It enables better brainstorming, enhanced memory, intuitive organization, and also a lot of fun to get creative!
How does Clover Work
The concept of Clover came to be, because of what typically constituted as brainstorming when using digital tools. Taking notes in one place, recording voice notes somewhere else, and planning it all in yet another disjointed tool. As a result, our exciting ideas are fragmented across so many tools, or worse forgotten and misplaced. Traditional text docs are great for writing, but thinking and especially creative thinking requires something more eloquent.
Our goal is to make it easier for you to manage your ideas from beginning to end with a single tool, so you can spend more time in flow and less time switching between apps.Clover
Clover’s new style of text editor supports your creative thinking. Having a tool that breaks the bounds of a document produces new possibilities for your creative process. With their non-linear style ‘Surface Documents,’ Clover allows for more intuitive visual ways to take notes, brainstorm, mind-map, and manage tasks.
Clover’s Special Features
Clover consolidates some of our daily-used tools, however, they are not trying to replace every single tool we use. Instead, Clover is designed to act as a hub, that you can return to throughout the day. Maintain your workflow, and not get sidetracked by switching tools. It’s also a place where you can ‘do’ work. This is a place where you can think through ideas. With their ‘Surface Document,’ you now have a blank canvas to explore, to your heart’s content!
- Consolidate Your Tools: replacing tools such as Notion, Miro and
- Use Surface Documents: In contrast to whiteboarding tools, Clover offers robust markdown support, rich-text formatting, networked pages with backlinks, inline tasks, and everything else you’d expect from a text doc
- Take Daily Notes: this popular dynamic document can be used as your Homebase where you can plan tasks, and take notes throughout your day. Uniquely, incomplete tasks automatically roll over to the next day.
- Manage Projects: Inline tasks make it simple and intuitive to manage projects large and small. Add due dates, color-coding, and status all alongside your notes.
Clover enables people to … get into their flow and stay in the flow.Tom Giannattasio
App Development – The Better Way
Having a frictionless user experience should always be your app’s fundamental goal. For Tom G. and Adam, Clover is deeper than simply getting people from point A to point B as quickly and as creatively as possible. Clover has been designed to be a user’s Homebase, one that people use throughout their day. The tool’s purpose is to keep you ‘in the flow.’ And, as Renat from Bardeen says 29 minutes into his chat with Tom S.: “as people who work with our heads and our computers, ‘Flow’ and being in the zone is our most important resource. Even more important than time! Because, ‘flow’ translates into you doing things faster” and more creatively.
This means our state-of-flow shouldn’t be crippled by apps because they are riddled with bugs. There are so many productivity apps available on the market, and with the nature of apps, they’re constantly evolving. Once evolved, these mature apps are great for the user, but experiencing the growing pains of the company and dealing with the hiccups and technical bugs associated with an app’s evolution can be a huge challenge for us as consumers and directly affect our flow-state.
Having worked in the tech industry, Clover’s Co-founders understand the importance of not including features just for the sake of it (unlike certain apps). Instead, you can see their app has been carefully considered and designed so that Clover seamlessly fits into your daily workflow. They know their skillset and expertise, as well as their market. They want to provide an app that actually works, without the need for setting up a template or needing to take a 2-hour long course, filled with tutorials that take you another 2 hours to get the hang of. No, Clover is an app you can download and just get going, as well as having the flexibility to customize it to your own personal needs. Because, as we all know, we all have our own unique workflows.
The Future of Apps
Tom G. believes that the market is hyper-saturated with tools and apps designed for specific use cases, and consumers are exhausted with the choice and having to manage them all. From the feedback he hears from his customers, Tom G. believes the apps that have the systems to consolidate other apps together are the ones that are going to stick around the longest.
We only know what we know. The Paperless Movement is here to educate our community and those who are interested in becoming paperless. We show you how to connect the dots with your information, and the explosive potential of options you now have.Tom Solid
Is Clover the all-in-one tool?
Well, that depends on the tools you currently use. It definitely could replace certain tools for specific use-cases. Even for people that have their favorite note-taking apps, Clover has been built with foresight and tech that allows them to build upwards. Certain popular apps may find it difficult to include new future updated features that resemble the current features Clover already has to offer. As this would involve reshaping behavior, and if they have a large user base, it could prove difficult to expand. However, with new tools like Clover, being built from the ground up, you can see that they have the potential to evolve with the times and keep evolving.
Their Surface Documents is certainly a game-changer. The document’s boundless nature creates new possibilities for the creative process and unlocks the ability for divergent thinking. This freeform creative workflow is exciting for those who want to write and think.
They may have a way to go to catch up with the likes of Notion or Coda, but for those looking for a well-designed, frictionless creative workspace. An app that will grow with your ideas, we think it is brilliant, and one to definitely check out!