Unlike other virtual assistants, Clara neither requires an installation of an application nor requires you to repeatedly talk to it. You simply CC it on your mails and Clara takes care of all your scheduling woes.
Clara is an AI-driven virtual assistant that schedules your meetings. The way it works is that when you initiate a conversation with someone for setting up a meeting, you CC Clara on the email. Clara would then eliminate you from the process of setting up a meeting and converse only with your recipient, saving you all the time and cognitive load that back-and-forth emails come with.
In case your recipient forgets to reply, Clara automatically sends them follow-ups. Although it’s driven by artificial intelligence, Clara interacts with everyone in a language that seems natural. It’s like having a personal assistant who lives in your email. Dillon Carter, an entrepreneur who uses Clara with Greenhouse says, “Most “AI-driven" tools that have recently come out feel too gimmicky or 70% of the way to the ideal outcome. Clara feels 100% of the way there. It consistently works and yields results.” You could even make Clara match your brand by changing its name to whatever matches with your company’s brand identity. After a meeting, Clara also automatically sends an email to the interviewers and candidates to get feedback and help everyone improve future interviews.
As much as it sounds enticing to steer clear of back-and-forth emails, be aware that sometimes you can be taken aback by unprecedented calls appearing on your calendar. You also probably won’t save enormous amounts of time by using Clara but even the little time you save in a day gets compounded. Clara’s real value lies in saving you from an ever-present distraction and cognitive load, much like a personal assistant would.
Compared to other vendors, Clara is on the pricier side, even if you go with their cheapest plan. Unless you deal with a high volume of emails for scheduling meetings or are considering hiring an assistant for booking meetings, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to use Clara when you have free alternatives at your disposal.
Clara serves both individuals and companies. Some of the top companies that use Clara are Pinterest, Mattermark, Experiment, InVision, Noom, Plaid, Rubrik, Whirlpool.
Clara integrates with a bunch of tools that are used for video conferencing, applicant tracking, and for setting up coding interviews. These include Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Office, Greenhouse, Lever, HackerRank, and CoderPad.
Clara has four pricing plans:
Apart from the broad differences mentioned above, there are more features available in the more expensive plans. Clara also offers a 20% discount on all pricing plans for NGOs. You can avail this by emailing them about your NGO.
Clara serves companies of all sizes. However, it would be best for companies that already use email for scheduling meetings and also companies who are seeking an assistant for booking meetings.
The implementation process for Clara is very easy. It’s cloud-based, which means you don’t have to install a new app. All you have to do is sign up with your email address and start your 14-day free trial. Once Clara has access to your email account, you can set which calendars Clara should use to inform your free/busy time.
After setting up your initial preferences in your dashboard, you can update your preferences for different types of meetings by simply emailing Clara about it. For example, you could write “No coffee meetings after 2 pm” to Clara and it would implement that change across your calendar.
Clara has a support page with detailed articles and how-to guides to help customers configure the product by themselves. Do note that most of the how-to guides are not accompanied by screenshots or video walkthroughs. You can also reach out to their support team via email.
You can also book an optimization call with them, which is run by their team of specialists to help you make the most out of Clara.
Clara or Clara Labs was founded by best friends Maran Nelson and Michael Akilian, both of whom grew up with entrepreneurial parents. Maran mentioned how during their teenage years, she and Michael “were already pitching crappy startup ideas to Michael’s dad, who usually told us that reality did not work the way that we thought it did.”
The idea of Clara came to light when Maran had to deal with a high volume of emails while trying to sell a product for her previous startup. Upon reflection, she found out she could’ve done better had she properly managed calendar invitations, follow-ups, and time-zone conversion.
Clara was built with the vision that there is a humongous amount of value in being able to save somebody hours a week by doing tedious work for them and making them a better relationship manager. After five years of its conception, Clara was acquired by TopFunnel in 2019. However, it still goes by Clara and works in the same way it was intended to.
Does Clara have a mobile app for scheduling?
Clara works with your email, so you can use it on your mobile. You don’t need to download any mobile app for it. Simply CC Clara in your emails.
Does Clara sync with your calendar?
Yes, Clara determines your availability based on all your integrated Calendars. For Clara to work properly, you must set your Google Calendar setting for "Automatically Add Invites to my calendar" to one of the "Yes..." options.