Author Archives: Lord Dodo

A Dodo Pad diary – Your Constant Companion

ddp66-ddp17rainbowLong term users of our quirky Dodo Pad have laid their lives bare and spoken of their love affair with it as part of celebrations to mark our milestone 50th anniversary.

A mother keeping the memory of her late daughter alive through the pages of her notes and doodles. Two lost friends reconnecting over shared memories after years apart. A divorcee knowing they’ve always got someone to turn to. A priest wanting to stand out from the crowd at clergy meetings.

Their lives could not be more different. But they all have one thing in common – the Dodo Pad diaries they have kept as a constant companion to chronicle their lives over many decades, through good times and bad.

We recently launched a search for stories from our ‘superfans’ to give them the chance to share in the celebrations of our rich past. Renowned for its innovative weekly planning grid design, quirky drawings and witty anecdotes, generations have used the Dodo Pad to document their lives and keep their day-to-day goings on in order. So many people now treasure their collections of old Dodo Pads built up over the years, having filled them with their innermost thoughts and life milestones.

adp1112-spread3-jj

This Acad-Pad belongs to a student who started aged 13, is now almost 21 and loves it just as much!

Sarah Vokes said: “A friend of mine way back at university 40 years ago had a Dodo Pad and I envied it enormously. She was rather eccentric and I wanted to be too. I have recently been reunited with this friend, who lives in France, and on meeting again, we shared Dodo memories.”

rachel-rushent-image

Rachael Rushent couldn’t function this year without her Dodo Pad after her mother accidentally threw it away whilst tidying up – and she had no problem rummaging through the bin if it meant getting it back!

She said: “I broke my leg and my mum helpfully came round to help me tidy the house. She managed to scoop up dear Dodo and throw him in the dustbin. I was lost for three days before I decided to have a rummage. After delving through the bin, I found Dodo. My life was restored and I shared my story on Facebook.”

Lady Bridie Graham has been using Dodo Pad diaries since 1978, and can laugh at many a comical tale she has documented of her children growing up through the years.

dodo-pad-bridie-graham

Bridie Graham’s Dodo Pad – October 2016

Recalling one particularly funny memory chronicled within her treasured Dodo Pad pages, she said: “I used to put funny things my children said in it. For instance, I was carrying my two-year-old up to bed for her nap and she said ‘my eye is sore, mummy, we are just going to have to buy me a new one’.”

C of E priest, Cilla Hawkes, said her Dodo Pad stood out from the crowd during clergy meetings. She added: “I like to have my Dodo Pad out at clergy meetings to be a bit outrageous. The Church of England Diary is of course is very useful and good, but using my Dodo Pad lets me not be subsumed into the system. It really is an essential part of getting through life. Its light-heartedness and its mad ideas make me feel I belong to the Dodo Pad family.”

dodo-pad-jo-hidderley-collectionFor Mr Jo Hidderley, his Dodo Pad is a friend he can always rely on. He said: “It’s great fun. The design is brilliant in that it’s so practical and functional it keeps me organised, while still being a joy to look at. At 67, divorced and living on my own – It’s my best friend (Aaah!) It’s also house-trained, very clean, doesn’t take a lot to feed and once purchased it is exceptionally cheap to run.”

Jenni Staunton, aged 60, said: “I love everything about the Dodo Pad and it sits by my side for the whole year. I will keep every one of them forever. I have used my Dodo Pads to record every important moment in the lives of my five children.”

lifeinadodopad

Some exceptionally well-filled Dodo Pads!

The Dodo Pad has also proven to be a genuine friend and source of comfort through the most tragic of circumstances.

“The Dodo Pad means a great deal to me, having used it daily for 40 years.  I have kept all the copies over the years – quite a collection by now – and treasure them with all their memories”. We were very touched when Carole Scott told us: “It is especially poignant because my beautiful daughter Karen died very suddenly and tragically, whilst giving birth to her son in 2002.  It is something which I will never truly get used to, but I have so much of her life chronicled in the Dodo Pads of her youth, which I cherish, along with all my wonderful memories of her.”

dodo-pad-jenni-graham-holden

A proud collection of Dodo Pad diaries stretching back to the 1970’s…

Designed by the late writer, painter and illustrator, Sir John Verney, as a way or organising the hectic daily comings and goings of his family-of-nine, Dodo Pad diaries burst on to the scene back in 1966. With their unusual and family oriented theme, the Dodo Pad immediately became the must-have ‘uber-cool’ organiser.

Fast forward 50 years with me Rebecca Jay, mum-of-one, at the helm, we’re still making waves. We’ve just been included again, for the 5th year running, in The Independent’s IndyBest Top Ten diaries for 2017. Not bad for a 50 year old – and still as relevant today as in 1966.

I’ve been overwhelmed with the response from our ‘Super Fans’ for the heartwarming tales they have shared and the fact that so many people treasure their Dodo Pads as lifelong friends. It really does have a personality and people relate to it. It’s funny, it’s warm, it’s witty and it’s quirky and creative. It’s a unique brand that people love. What other diary brand have you ever heard people say they ‘love’ or ‘couldn’t live without’??

It has been especially moving hearing what an important part the Dodo Pad has played in so many lives over decades. It is more than just a diary – it is a true friend. People use it to tell their innermost thoughts, share milestone moments from their lives and those of their children, remember the happiest times, and use it to comfort them in their worst times. Think of all the things you value in a true friendship – loyalty, dependability and companionship – and that is what people say the Dodo Pad brings them.

I saved Dodo Pad from extinction almost 21 years ago and, when I read what a difference it makes to people’s lives, I feel incredibly proud.

The 2016 50th anniversary diary range was created with a decadent gold and purple cover to mark our ‘Golden Jubilee’. The new 2017 diaries feature a bright and beautiful zesty lime design to stand out from the crowd and welcome in the next 50 years.

ddp17rangewith50yrslogo

 

2 Comments

Filed under General

Dodo Pad paper now available for your planner (Very proud reblog)

This post originally appeared on the very influential Philofaxy blog on Monday 11th July 2016. Since I’ve not worked out how to reblog a blog from Blogger on WordPress, here it is in its entirety. Suffice it to say we are a just bit proud of the fact that our new paper was given a resounding A* in comparison to the other papers tested for ink showthrough! Ours is the only paper with absolutely no show through at all! And we were up against Filofax and Rhodia Pad papers.

“You might recall a few weeks ago we featured a post asking for thoughts on Dodo Pad making packs of paper available. Well on behalf of Rebecca at Dodo Pad, thank you to everyone who responded to the post either in the comments or by email to Rebecca at Dodo Pad.

After some hard work the packs of paper are now available on the Dodo Pad website for purchase. Rebecca kindly sent me some samples of the paper to try out and share the results with you.

New Dodo Pad A6, A5 and Personal size 100gsm paper for 6 holed planners

Whilst I’ve done some paper tests in the past I sat down and thought about this one a bit more than the previous ones. I wanted to present the results in a fair and balanced way as possible.

As we all know what pen you use and what paper you use can often bring about some compromises as to what pen you can use with what paper you have in your organiser. We are always on the constant hunt for paper that will take fountain pen ink or gel ink without feathering or bleeding through.

So for this test I set out with a selection of pens, which are predominately fountain pens with medium or fine width nibs. My hand writing is not the best for broad width nibs…. or just bad in general! Yes I know! I included a couple of gel pens which I use on a daily basis and a standard Bic ballpoint as a ‘control’ standard.

I scanned in each sheet using a flat bed scanner and without manipulating the images in any way at all joined the front and reverse sides so you can see the front and reverse in one image.

The scanner of course uses a bright light source to perform the scan, of course on white paper this will show up writing on the reverse side depending on the rate of ink absorption and paper thickness etc. But as each paper sample was scanned in the exactly the same way the results should give you a reasonable assessment of each paper sample.

To give you a better idea of how well the Dodo Pad paper performs I conducted the same set of tests on Filofax white paper (approximately 70 gsm), Filofax Cotton Cream paper (80gsm) And Rhodia lined pad paper (80gsm) as well of course as the Dodo Pad paper (100gsm)

So here are the results starting with Filofax white paper:

Filofax White (60-70gsm)
Filofax Cotton Cream (80gsm)
Rhodia Pad (80 gsm)
Dodo Pad (100gsm)

The results are not too surprising. The Filofax White thin paper can not take any form of wet ink without bleeding through, it is almost like blotting paper!

Filofax Cotton Cream is slightly better. But paper weight isn’t obviously the only factor for the performance of paper with regards to wet inks. Compare the Filofax Cotton Cream with the Rhodia Pad paper, it is the same paper weight yet the Rhodia pad shows no bleed through at all. On the Rhodia paper there is a faint shadow of the writing of all pens, but in every day use I doubt if this would bother most users.

And finally a clear winner in this test the Dodo Pad paper, no bleed through and no shadow at all.

The Dodo Pad paper as you can see is square ruled on one side with a discrete logo in the lower right hand corner and plain on the reverse side.

It comes at present in three sizes, Personal, A6 and A5 sizes. It is available in packs of 25 sheets or at a discount if you order it in packs of 50 sheets.

So how much does this wonderful paper from Dodo Pad cost?  A pack of 25 sheets of Personal size or A6 size will cost £3.75 per pack or £4.50 for 25 sheets of A5 paper.

If you buy two packs at the same time you save 10% on the overall product cost.

Dodo Pad have also given buyers a special offer on their delivery charges.

Their standard UK postal/processing charge is £3.50. They realise that this is quite high if you just want to try the paper out, so they will reduce the UK delivery cost for up to three packs of paper or a shopping cart value of £10.50 (whichever is the greater) by 50% to £1.75. Enter 16PPR at checkout This code will work until 31st March 2017.

You can find the whole range of organiser compatible products including diary inserts on the Dodo Pad website.
Thank you to Rebecca for supplying the paper samples. I’m sure this new line is going to sell well.”
Thank you to Philofaxy for their review. The paper is available with the discounts on our website and also Amazon (but no discounts there I’m afraid!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Fabulous Products

Lord Dodo (sorry, Kitchener) WANTS YOU!

#DodoPadFact File A series of occasional posts bringing you a little more background about some of the more unusual or unexpected facts recorded in Dodo Pad and Acad-Pad diaries…

Lord-Kitchener

Who is Lord Kitchener? Horatio Kitchener was a national war hero in WWI born on this day in 1850 in County Kerry, Ireland.

He is perhaps most famous for the iconic recruitment poster:  “Your country needs YOU”. This famous advertisement was responsible for the enlistment of millions of men and has since become one of the most recognised propaganda pieces of the war.

Despite its huge success, only 10,000 copies of the poster were made and now, sadly, only three survive. Two hang proudly on display in museums on different sides of the world – one being the Imperial War Museum, London, and the other in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. The third poster was put up for sale in 2014 and fetched a staggering £30,000. The previous owner bought the poster for £100 in 1983 – we’d call that a pretty good return on investment.

A bit more than a face on a poster…
Horatio Herbert Kitchener wasn’t just a face on famous poster though. He was a British military leader and statesmen in the First World War. He foresaw the war lasting several years, rather than months, and planned accordingly, despite being in the minority among his colleagues who thought this. Thankfully, due to his military prowess and foresight he was able to organise armies on an unprecedented scale.

He vastly expanded the army from 20 to 70 divisions within two years – known as Kitchener’s Army. Kitchener effectively oversaw war strategy for the first year-and-a-half of the war. After the Battle of Mons in 1914 he traveled to Ypres to stiffen the weakening resolve of Sir John French, commander of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).

Sadly, his cabinet colleagues did not share the public’s love for Kitchener and following an attack by Lord Northcliffe’s newspaper in 1915 over a shortage of shells, responsibility for munitions was taken from him; later that year he was stripped of control over strategy.

His involvement with the Dardanelles campaign led to a further tarnishing of his reputation in the cabinet. In June 1916, Kitchener was sent on a mission to Russia to encourage Russian resistance to Germany. Kitchener’s ship, H.M.S Hampshire struck a German mine off the coast of Orkney and sank. Kitchener sadly drowned on 5th June 1916.

#DodoPadFact File

Leave a comment

Filed under #DodoPadFact File

#thanksabundle for an amazing school year!

Thanksabundle-competition

It’s that time of year again where the sun is shining (hopefully!), sports day is just round the corner and we’re on the final straight for the end of another school year.

We all want to thank our children’s teachers for doing a wonderful job, helping them out and encouraging them to be the best they can be. I can still remember my primary school teacher, who made me feel on top of the world!

To help you, we thought we would run a competition with our ‘Thanksabundle’ gift set which includes our 2016/17 Acad Pad diary, a Dodo Blank Book, a crystal tipped pen and a pen loop (to attach to the Acad Pad and hold the pen!) – a perfect end of year gift for your favourite teacher and you can have a bit of fun at the same time.

All you/your child has to do, is simply tell us why that teacher is THE best – what have they done that makes you want to nominate them?

This is the fun part: to enter you or your child can be as creative as you like! You can either produce a beautiful picture, a handwritten note or a simple tweet to explain why your teacher is the best.

Please tweet us @lord_dodo and make sure you include the hashtag #thanksabundle together with your teacher’s name, the school your child attends and their age. We will share every single entry we receive. Lord Dodo will pick three winners who will be announced on Monday 27th June.

Thank you for taking part – we can’t wait to see your entries! Most of all have fun and be creative 🙂

Happy Summertime Greetings!

dodopad.com

Dodo Pad ‘Thanksabundle’ Competition 2016 – Terms and Conditions

● The competition is open to all residents in the UK, excluding employees of Dodo Pad Ltd. and its affiliates or agents, the families of such employees and any other person connected with this competition. Please note condition regarding delivery of prizes below.

● There are three Thanksabundle Gift Set prizes available comprising a 2016/17 Acad-Pad desk diary, a Dodo Blank Book, a pen loop and matching pen.

● The competition commences on Monday 13th June and will run for two weeks until Friday 24th June.

● Entry is via tweets posted which include the #thanksabundle hashtag which must be posted by no later than 5pm (BST) Friday 24th June. Tweets must include the name of the teacher, the school and the age of the child commenting on why they are the best. This can be in words or via a picture drawn by your child.

● Dodo Pad Ltd. will not be liable for competition entries not received or delayed after the closing date and time.

● The three winners will be announced by Monday 27th June and winners must provide details to claim their prize by Friday 1st July 2016 for dispatch the following week.

● Winners are responsible for providing a UK delivery address to which the prize may be delivered at any time during normal UK working hours. The prize is as stated and cannot be transferred, sold or exchanged.

● Dodo Pad Ltd. reserves the right to substitute the prize with a prize of equal or greater value in the event of unavailability due to circumstances beyond their control.

● By entering this competition, winners agree to their email address being kept on a secure database for the purposes of future communications from Dodo Pad Ltd. Details will never be shared with any third parties for marketing purposes without express prior permission.

● Entrants agree to be bound by the rules and by any other requirements set out in the promotional material.

● Dodo Pad Ltd. reserves the right to terminate or cancel this competition at any time without prior notice.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Competition, Offers

Dodo Pad – the future: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

Dodo Pad is transforming the way we do business to secure our future after seeing our profits hit heavily by increasing High Street retail demands and huge online discounts that have been out of our control.

Cover-image-Jan-2015

Our much loved brand has been around for 50 years now and we’re clamping down on the range being sold through Amazon and eBay at hugely discounted prices and we will no longer sell our diaries in John Lewis stores – which has been a flagship retail partner for 20 years.

Instead, we will regain control of distribution and concentrate on selling our products through our own website www.dodopad.com where we are able to offer our direct customers the best discounts and deals. We will continue to sell a selection of the range in branches of Waterstones and WH Smith and will only sell on Amazon and eBay through our own official channels.

Why are we doing this? Well, volume sales have maintained a steady increase year-on-year overall but, despite this, we’ve been hit financially due to an increasing attack on our already tight margins by big High Street retailers and Amazon and eBay re-sellers.

We are not the only ones suffering here! The issue is symptomatic of the situation faced by thousands of other small companies nationally, as multiple retailers demand bigger chunks of supplier margins in order to allow them to remain profitable.

I’ve been forced to take this action to secure the healthy future of the business and ensure that the Dodo Pad brand doesn’t become extinct. There are a number of factors responsible for the current situation, including:

  • The recession in 2008, causing everyone to think carefully about expenditure
  • The growth of Amazon and eBay, fuelled by the recession, creating an expectancy for huge discounts on products
  • Re-sellers taking the opportunity to make money from the growth of these online giants. (Re-sellers sell the products on Amazon and eBay at unrealistically low prices and then make their money from postage contributions, meaning the supplier or manufacturer is left with practically nothing)
  • High Street retailers responding to this by asking for typically 75% of suppliers’ margins in order to compete with the low prices

Dodo Pad’s prices have not been increased above inflation over the past seven years and have barely been raised at all in the past three years.

The situation has really deteriorated too far. Enough is enough is enough. Brands have been under attack for the past seven years. The recession started in 2008, quickly followed by the huge growth of Amazon between 2009 and 2013.

The recession is not over and people’s attitudes have changed irrevocably in that the default position for most of us – right across the social spectrum – is to look for a bargain, part-fuelled by the recession which hit everybody who needed to worry about disposable income, coupled with the availability of products at a discount because of the rise of the internet.

The fact is that we are selling as many, if not more, of our diaries but making far less money and we have had to make a big decision about the way we do business in order to secure the future of the brand, which continues to be well loved by customers old and new.

We will continue to sell a selection of our diary ranges through WH Smith and Waterstones and to supply selected distributors, but we’ll be imposing strict conditions on re-sellers who wish to list on Amazon or eBay.

We will also continue to supply selected independent retailers to sell the brand in their stores or on their own websites. Bricks and mortar retailers will be able to sell our diaries and calendars and compete with the online price without the cost of post and packaging on top, so hopefully this will go some not insignificant way towards helping them too.

This is all about making relatively small changes that have a big impact. Dodo Pad is a brand that continues to be adored after 50 years. We have customers who have been using Dodo Pads for decades and we continue to attract new users who share the same passion. It truly is a brand that is treasured.

We are fighting to ensure the Dodo Pad brand does not become extinct so we’re around for the next 50 years.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!

Rebecca Jay, Managing Director

8 Comments

Filed under General

10 Top Tips to help with your Exam Revision

It’s nearly exam time and the dreaded ‘R’ word is being rammed down your throat at every turn – Revise. Revise. Revise.

Sadly, we can’t wave a magic wand and make all of those lessons and lectures miraculously stick in your mind without you putting in a bit of graft before the big exam season. But here are some top tips to make your revision sessions really count.

take-lots-of-breaksTake a lot of breaks
This isn’t, should your folks ask, an excuse to skive off actually working. Research shows that shorter 20-30-minute bursts of revision work best because concentration is much higher. Create a timetable with regular short breaks and work on up to three subjects in a day to keep your brain fully engaged.

Mind Map

Get creative
We’re not talking about creating artistic masterpieces here – just simple diagrams, learning maps, doodles and colourful notes that will make your documents easier to memorise for when the exam arrives. Lord Dodo has even been known to make up original ‘songs’ and rhymes filled with subject information to make it easier to stick. All together now… “In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue”

Post it

Post-It Note it so you don’t forget it
We have a tendency to remember things that we see a lot so write important points on post-it notes and stick them in places you walk past regularly like the kitchen sink, fridge, toilet or light switch.

A quiet place

Find a quiet place
It may sound obvious but a crowded/loud place filled with lots of distractions is not conducive to a successful revision session. Find somewhere you can work best and concentrate on the job at hand – whether it be a desk in your bedroom, a library or even sitting in the sun in the garden. Having some light music playing at a low volume in the background should be OK, but blasting out rock anthems or trying to concentrate on the latest happenings in Hollyoaks whilst you’re trying to study is a big no no.

Revision with friends

Revise with friends/family
As the BT man always says, ‘it’s good to talk’ and sometimes sharing revision sessions with friends can be a huge help. Share your revision notes and techniques and set each other mini tests and quizzes so you’re all learning together and finding the best ways of making sure the info sinks in. Revision doesn’t mean you have to sit in silence!

Test papers for a mock examination for GCSE in Science Physics

Take past exam papers
It’s important to identify your weaknesses early on so sit plenty of past papers to get a feel of the areas you really need to focus on. Once you have completed three or four past papers, you’ll get a good feel of the way exam paper questions are worded and the best techniques to answer them to gain the best possible marks.

exercise-main

Exercise
A quick jog may be the last thing you fancy after a day of having your head buried in the text books. But even a short jog could do the world of good for your exam preparations. Exercise increases heart rate, making blood circulate faster, ensuring the brain gets more oxygen which increases productivity and reduces stress. So there.

List of Topics

List out your topics
Don’t go in for a day’s revision totally blind. List the topics/subjects you plan to focus on each day and make sure you stick to the plan so you’re not drifting off and getting distracted. Be realistic with your plan though – nobody’s going to be able to successfully revise the entire contents of six subjects in one session.

alarm-clockGet started early in the day
The thought of getting up early and getting straight into revision mode may fill you with dread but research shows that you’re more likely to get all your work done if you make an effort to start early as you’re more likely to get tempted to do other things the later you leave it. If you put in a good shift in the morning, you’ll have the evening free to enjoy away from the study books.

reward

Reward yourself
It’s not all about work and no play. Set yourself strict times to revise and make sure you leave some free time so you don’t find yourself exhausted, frustrated and chin-deep in revision notes 20 hours a day seven days a week. Strike a good balance between study and social life and make sure you plan a cinema date, shopping trip treat or a catch-up with friends after a productive day of revision.

The very best of luck from all of us at Dodo Pad!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Brussels Attacks – chipping away at our resolve?

It started as just another day, but ended with the world not quite being the same again. Again.

Not for the worker whose daily rush-hour commute will now forever be haunted with visions of horror. Or for the child whose terrified screams as he is carried along the smoke-filled Metro tunnels to safety have been played across the world. Or for the father queuing for an Easter trip away who scooped up his tiny baby like a doll and fled for their lives as the carnage unfolded around him. Or for the heroic baggage handler whose selflessness tending to blood-soaked casualties will cause him nightmares for the rest of his life. Or for the dozens left maimed, limbless and disfigured. Or for those still clinging on to life.

Or not even for those watching the aftermath of the terror on a TV screen thousands of miles away who are now imagining how it could have just as easily been them.

The attack on Brussels has come just a little over four months since Paris, our close neighbour, was devastated in the same cowardly manner.

Just hours after that attack the world came together in a show of resilience. “You and your bombs are not going to make us hide inside our homes,” we proudly declared to the terrorists as we sat defiantly at the cafe window seat and booked tickets to watch our favourite band at their next concert.

And today, with the Brussels Metro network already reopened and its airport preparing to take flights tomorrow, we are once again reminded of the same spirit and sentiment.

We must never let these cowards win. We must go to the cinema, keep that dinner date, pack into a crowded concert hall, take the Metro to work and continue to book holidays abroad. We must continue going about our lives as normal if we have any chance of showing them that they will never succeed in changing our way of life.

But it does not change the fact that every one of those poor people caught up in the atrocities had woken up with plans for the day ahead, with plans for their future, only to have that ripped away in an instant through no fault of their own. I just wonder how many attacks like this it will take before we stop throwing caution to the wind and living our lives a little less ‘normally’ and carefree than we should be? Because the truth is that we all know that it could just as easily have been any one of us.

Rebecca Jay

Managing (most of the time) Director, Dodo Pad

1 Comment

Filed under Musings