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The Clay Method

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At Clay, we believe people matter.

People make us laugh, challenge us to improve, support us when things are tough, and celebrate with us once they get better. But being more disciplined, more generous, more punctual, more conscientious, more considerate with those people? That takes effort.

Almost all successful people naturally identify the importance of conscientiousness in their lives and careers. They create band-aids, personalized ad-hoc systems to remember the most important parts of their careers and their lives: other people.

Personally, we grew tired of our endless toggling between apps, of the scattered, slapdash nature of maintaining close personal and professional contacts in notes apps and Excel files, emails and text messages. We wanted a more streamlined and thoughtful approach to keeping in touch with our ever-growing network. After a fruitless search for something better, we built it ourselves.

We ascribe the difficulty behind being thoughtful and helpful to factors such as the fast pace of our lives, yet its importance is something we all know intuitively. To achieve more, to be more successful, to be happier, we need to start thinking about others first.

How Clay Helps

We believe there are 4 core principles to maintaining informed and intentional relationships.

  1. Remember the important things.
  2. Embrace serendipity.
  3. Do your research.
  4. Show up.

These are things you may be doing already! But if these four are consistently done well, they lead to healthy and fruitful relationships that last a lifetime.

Luckily, we’ve built Clay to make all four of these principles easier to incorporate into everyday life—let’s dive in.

➊ Remember the important things.

We all like to be remembered.

From the big stuff to the small stuff, it feels good when others care about what’s going on in our lives.

Yet, how often do you forget details you wish you remembered? Birthdays, kids’ names, people you know in common, book recommendations—many details that come up when chatting are often forgotten.

While they may seem insignificant in the moment, these tidbits of information ultimately represent opportunities to make others feel remembered and cared for.

How it works

We’ve designed Clay to make taking notes easy and relevant. Notes are always attached to the person you’re writing them about and are stored in chronological order.

Whether it’s from your phone’s lock screen, the Home view, or Search, we’ve made sure that jotting down a note is a tap away. You can also use Markdown formatting to make the note as organized as you like.

Be helpful. Write down what someone needs help with, even if you can’t think of how to help now. No matter what someone is navigating at the moment, writing it down means that as they show up again and again in Clay, you’ll actually remember what they said and how best to help.

Be unique. By writing down things like a favorite dish, a go-to drink, a mentioned podcast, or a recently-finished book, you’ll be able to give the perfect gift when the holidays or a birthday rolls around.

Be present. Even if you’re taking notes while talking to someone, Clay’s minimalist writing interface is designed to get the note down while respecting the other person’s attention.

When in doubt, write it down. We’re usually overly optimistic about what we’ll remember from a conversation a month later. You never know what might be helpful to remember in the future and there isn’t a character limit in notes, so you might as well go off and write whatever feels right.

➋ Embrace serendipity.

Some of life’s greatest moments happen when you least expect it.

Bumping into a long-lost friend in a foreign country, going to a concert last-minute and meeting someone new, or deciding to go for a spur-of-the-moment bike ride and running into a colleague from work on the way.

You can call these moments whatever you want: serendipity, coincidence, luck, even magic. All we know is that we love them and want them in our lives more often.

How it works

Every part of Clay is designed to introduce serendipity into your relationships, much like running into someone on the street.

Home: The Home view surfaces moments, events, or news regarding the people in your life so you have the opportunity to remember and consider them in ways you may never otherwise have. Clay works around-the-clock to keep updated with the news and happenings of people you know, so you can have chance encounters as you scroll with the people you haven’t seen in a while.

Search: Clay’s incredibly powerful Search returns the right person or people but intentionally introduces some serendipity into search results. Consider a search like people I know in France. While the top results will be people who live in France as you’d expect, lower results might include people whose bio includes rode in the Tour-de-France or people whose interests include French hip-hop. By including a broader set of results (sorted by relevance and how well you know someone), Clay lets you figure out who might be a good fit, and also helps you discover people you might not have thought to consider.

➌ Do your research.

We all know the feeling: meeting for coffee with the discomfort of not remembering pertinent information about the person sitting across from you.

Where’d they work again?

Where did we meet?

The best conversations happen when everyone is prepared. Investing time to remember key details makes every chat more enjoyable.

How it works

Before Clay, you’d have to visit LinkedIn, your note-taking app, your to-do list, and your calendar to get all the relevant information on the person you were about to see.

With Clay, it’s all in one place: their card. Just tap on any name to see all their relevant information.

Curious to see recent bio changes or articles that mention the person? Check their card.

Want to review all notes you’ve taken from previous interactions in the same view? Check their card.

Want to dive deeper into their personal website or social profiles? You guessed it, it’s in their card.

Informed questions are the best questions. Besides the fact that you’ll likely get a more helpful or interesting answer, informed questions make the person you’re asking to feel a bit more special inside.

A 1-minute review is better than no review. A little bit of information can go a long way, so even if it’s 30 seconds before connecting with someone, it doesn’t hurt to check their card for a quick refresher.

➍ Show up.

We want to help you show up more.

Show up for yourself. Show up for others.

We believe that the more you show up for the people you know, the more good things tend to happen in your life. It doesn’t always come naturally, but the more you practice thinking of others, the easier it gets.

How it works

Remind yourself with intention. Our aim is to make showing up easier through setting a reminder. Whenever a time-pertinent piece of information arises, we recommend making a reminder for it. Whether it’s a life event, a specific follow-up, or just to reconnect, we believe setting an intention in-the-moment is a powerful act that pays dividends.

Reach out with purpose. A “long time no speak!” is okay but isn’t the most respectful of someone’s attention or time. By reminding yourself of what you chatted about last time or congratulating someone on a recent life change, you show that you care about the other person and the things going on in their life.

Have questions or comments?

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