Evernote champions design amid "domestication of the office"

Home product designers suggest we've been witnessing a 'domestication of the office' over the last five years in which the workplace/home boundaries have been blurred.


SAN FRANCISCO---Evernote is arguably most well-known for its cloud-based productivity toolset, but the software company is constantly eager to show its love for physical products.

Reminscent of some other tech giants (see: Apple), Evernote's criteria is that these products must fill two objectives: improve a worker's deskspace while also bringing a bit of "warmth" to it.

That is to say, these accessories are all about revolutionizing standard office products in a beautiful way.

Jeff Zwerner, vice president of branded products at Evernote, explained at the company's EC4 developer conference on Friday that every employee at Evernote has been "pushing at all of these levers" for form and function, aiming to ensure those two things co-exist as strongly as possible without one having leverage over the other.

Evernote Market first launched one year ago, stocked with Evernote-branded wool messenger bags and optimized Moleskine notebooks. On Thursday, Evernote CEO Phil Libin admitted the Etsy-like shop was a bit of a gamble. But he touted Evernote Market has produced more than $12 million in sales to date.

Zwerner was particularly excited for Evernote's new snap-case business card holder. He gushed how designers took something as simple as a business card holder and "turned it into a bit of magic" through embedded magnets intended to enhance the Evernote scannable app for business cards.

"It's all getting put into the pot, stirred together, and getting into this body of work that defines the new workspace," Zwerner described.

Some of the new products unveiled at EC4 and making their way into the Evernote Market include laptop stands made from smooth, molded plywood by Pfeiffer Labs, a San Francisco-based firm focused on designing "products with purpose." 

Eric Pfeiffer, principal of the local business, explained that up until now, he and his designers have been focused primarily on the home but slowly moving into the office.

"The workplace has stresses on objects that the home never encounters. The usage scenario is very different," Pfeiffer said. It's also not as simple to roll out handcrafted office products, which not only take considerably longer to make but are also more expensive for the quality of materials and craftsmanship.

Zwerner noted most of the work has been moving these products into the supply chian to manufacturer them at scale with an order of at least a few thousand in the pipeline at a time.

"It takes a village," Zwerner quipped with a laugh.

Nevertheless, Pfeiffer suggested we've been witnessing a "domestication of the office" over the last five years in which the workplace/home boundaries have been blurred.

Thus, the new Pheiffer Labs collection for Evernote consists of three stand form factors: desktops, monitors, and tablets.

Image via Evernote Market