Category Archives: General

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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

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Me, myself and I…Oh, and the rest of the world

There was a time not so long ago when people kept their daily rants, moans, info on their latest weird crushes and philosophical thoughts on life to themselves and their diaries.

Then a little thing called Twitter came along and everything changed. Suddenly people thought that everybody else really cared about how their boss had spoken to them at work (we probably don’t), what they were eating for lunch (we REALLY don’t) and how cute their baby looks eating/sleeping/dancing (OK, we concede on that one, but just occasionally).

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A page from the 2011 Dodo Pad diary

Worse still, the world of celebrity went into overdrive and egos already bigger than the stratosphere expanded even further as millions of people tuned in to see what their idols were getting up to at every second of every day.

Twitter provided an amazing platform for people to speak out and reach audiences they could only have ever dreamed of. But it’s become more a public forum for everyone to take out their beef with the world. And while it’s funny for the rest of us to sit and watch, more than one celeb has found themselves an international laughing stock as the result of a Twitter outburst.

Take good ol’ Kanye West for example – a man adored by millions with a successful rap career, pretty hefty bank balance, a stunning wife, two beautiful kids, numerous homes etc. etc. However, when Kanye was feeling a bit sorry for himself, he thought he’d share it with the world.

A few misguided tweets later (slating his ex, Amber Rose, and critics of his music, moaning about being in debt and begging Mark Zuckerberg for cash etc.) and the world just frankly thinks he’s gone bonkers.

His wife, Kim Kardashian West – who has proved herself quite the savvy businesswoman after being  thrust into our attentions with a leaked sex tape – joined her hubby in the public embarrassment stakes when she took to Twitter to pose nude (again) and then slagged off everyone who dared to criticise her on International Women’s Day.

The Wests are not the only ones of course. From Courtney Love threatening designer Dawn Simorangkir in a series of misspelled Twitter ramblings, to Alec Baldwin’s outburst against American Airlines, Charlie Sheen’s public meltdown and Aston Villa Joleon Lescott alienating fans by tweeting a picture of a £120,000 Mercedes after his side lost 6-0 to Liverpool (he later claimed it was sent accidentally in his pocket – but fans weren’t buying the excuse), celebs from all walks of life have learnt how easy it is to lose friends and alienate people at the click of a button.

Celebs – and humankind as a whole – please take note. Twitter is an amazing tool for voicing an opinion to the masses. But sometimes the world doesn’t need to know your thoughts (or what you’re eating for dinner). Before taking to Twitter, take a moment to decide if what you’re saying is really worth inflicting on the world – or if it’s probably best kept to yourself and a rather more private diary.

@lord_dodo

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Not just a diary: 10 alternative uses for your Dodo Pad

As diaries go, the Dodo Pad is pretty damn cool. Even if we say so ourselves.

But when the late, great Sir John Verney dreamt up this unique and quirky organisational tool, did he realise he’d also created a pretty nifty gadget for other day-to-day stuff that quite frankly means it’s genius, not just cool?  Here are a few ideas below (but feel free to to tell us any other weird and wonderful ways in which you put your Dodo Pad to good use)…

1. Chair prop1. Propping up a table Everyone knows sitting down for dinner at a table with a wonky leg is one of the most annoying things known to man and womankind. But, fear not, if you’ve got your Dodo Pad on hand, wobbly tables and sliding bowls of soup will be a thing of the past. Alternatively, if folded into eight, a single Dodo Pad page is perfect for wedging up a rickety table or chair or even stuffing into a shaky sash window.

2. Making paper boats Finished sheets can be torn out and are especially suitable for making paper boats, darts, aeroplanes, book markers or tapers for lighting a barbecue. Of course, that’s if you can bear to rip up your beautiful diary. P.S. paper boats will not survive in real water for long and paper aeroplanes are not suitable for long-haul flights.

2. Paper boats

3. Swatting flies The Dodo Pad makes an ideal weapon for swatting flies. Held flat on the palm of the hand, it can also be used as a missile against wasps and mosquitoes on the ceiling. No pics to demonstrate, sorry, the flies have disappeared into the ether…

4. Burglar distractor “While he was giggling over my Dodo Pad I was able to get dressed and call the police” (Name supplied)4. Burglar Distractor

5. Doodling/learning to draw    Special facilities are provided in the design of the Dodo Pad for this essential activity. The Dodo Pad encourages you to doodle to your heart’s content – thereby preserving utility bills, catalogues and newspapers from random scribbles. NB. It’s fair to say that not all doodles will be as good as the one below which won Lord Dodo’s 2015 National Doodle Day competition…do try your hand this year if you’ve not already done so – you have until 28th March to get your entry in and all donations go straight to Epilepsy Action.
5. Doodling.learning to draw
6. Unusual Wall Art We all know the Dodo Pad is a work of art when it’s not coming into its own organising life, how about using it as alternative art for your home? Certainly not to be found on the shelves at Dunelm Mill, but thinking outside of the box never did Tracey Emin any harm did it? Of course, there’s always the monthly Dodo Planner Calendar for the more traditional among you.6. Unusual wall art

7. Laptop ventilator

7. Laptop ventilator Here’s a practical one. Simply place the metal coil of your Dodo Pad under your laptop (as illustrated) creating an air vent to stop your machine overheating. It also works as a raised stand for comfier typing – both achieved in one simple move!

8. Scrap book

8. Scrap book When you run out of grown up things to write down (you know, like appointments, meetings and other serious stuff) use your Dodo Pad instead as a scrap book/journal/photo album to create a keepsake of cool things you’ve done. Check out this beautiful specimen from an actual Dodo Pad fan.

9. 0s & Xs

9. Play Os and Xs If you’ve some spare time to kill and haven’t yet filled your diary with important stuff to do, the unique grid design makes a handy little board game on the go.

10. Origami Lord Dodo, ever the artist at heart, has preserved some precious Dodo Pad pages by creating some pretty cool origami. As it’s Easter time soon, here  are some origami bunnies, which it’s fair to say are actually rather cute. Thanks to Vicky and Georgie for their paper folding efforts 🙂 !!

Now, over to you. We’ve given you a good start, but we can’t wait to hear some of your quirky uses for your Dodo Pad.

Look forward to hearing from you!
Rebecca - email sig -small 450
Dodo Pad, Managing Director

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ICYMI*: How the Power of Words has shaped history over centuries

The written word has saved lives, preserved traditions, given generations an insight into moments in time and ultimately helped to shape the world we live in and the values which we live by.

The way in which we communicate and write continues to change and evolve – and, in my opinion, not always for the better. (I received a text message the other day that simply contained a ‘shocked face’ emoji and the over-used ‘lol’). But never underestimate the power of the written word. Quite how far our Snapchat ‘conversations’, throwaway text remarks or self-indulgent Facebook posts will go towards shaping the future is yet to be seen, but here’s a rundown (in no particular order!) of some written documents that have stood the test of time and made their mark in history.

Magna CartaMagna Carta In 1215, the barons of King John created the Magna Carta and it remains one of the most important documents in history. It is considered one of the first steps taken in England towards establishing parliamentary democracy whilst there are strong influences from the document in the American Bill of Rights, written in 1791. Even more recently its basic principles are seen very clearly in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, penned in 1948.

Anne FrankThe Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank: Heartbreaking, inspiring and often very funny, the diary penned by Anne Frank at the age of 13 whilst she hid from the German occupation in a secret annex in Amsterdam gives an unprecedented insight into her world as a Jew during the Second World War. The diary stops abruptly in August 1944, when her family are betrayed and eventually sent to Auschwitz death camp. Only Anne’s father Otto survived and published the diary in 1947. How wrong Anne was when she wrote: “Writing in a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me. Not only because I’ve never written anything before, but also because it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year old school girl.”

Domesday bookDomesday Book Compiled in 1085-6 on the orders of King William I, it is our earliest public record, the foundation document of the national archives and a legal document that is still valid as evidence of title to land. It describes in remarkable detail the landholdings and resources of late 11th-century England and was used for many centuries for administrative and legal purposes.The Domesday Book continues to be the starting point for most local historians researching the history of their area.

BibleThe Bible Made up of a collection of writings written over a span of 1,500 years – the earliest ones set down nearly 3,500 years ago – the impact The Bible has had, and continues to have, on civilisation over centuries is undeniable. The bible continues to be the most read and widely distributed book in the world.

Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone Carved in 196BC, the Rosetta Stone was the key to unlocking the secrets of the ancient world. It contained a Ptolemaic decree, written in three languages: Egyptian hieroglyphics, Demotic script, and Ancient Greek. After many years of studying the Rosetta Stone and other examples of ancient Egyptian writing, Jean-François Champollion deciphered hieroglyphs in 1822 and unlocked the ancient world.

The written word has been key in shaping the world for centuries. I wonder whether generations to come will be able to decipher our current ‘language’ of communication?

From my POV IDK myself…

Rebecca - email sig -small 450

*ICYMI: In Case you Missed It, *POV IDK: Point of View I Don’t know (The Dodo Pad’s GMC: Guide to Modern Communications)

 

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by | March 2, 2016 · 8:30 AM

Dodo Pad still holds the crown as King of the Diaries!

It’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years since the first ever Dodo Pad hatched back in 1966. Yes, other important events took place that year too – England won the World Cup, Harold Wilson’s Labour Party won the General Election and John Lennon announced that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus.

But, fast forward five decades and, while The Beatles have no doubt cemented their status as music icons and memories of that emphatic win over Germany continue to flood back during every international football tournament, I think you will all agree that it’s the Dodo Pad that’s really still standing the test of time!

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1966 – 2016

Our 2016 range – complete with its opulent gold and purple covers  – is a fitting tribute to the rich history of this much-loved brand and, as we hurtle towards Christmas and into 2016, we’re delighted to announce that we’re still OFFICIALLY the UK’s number one diary!

With 2016 marking the 50th anniversary of the beloved Dodo Pad, it’s an honour still to be king of the diary world – and Lord Dodo is pulling no punches when it comes to keeping his rightful crown out of the hands of the competition.

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According to Amazon, the 2016 Dodo Pad is the out and out leader of the pack when it comes to desk diaries – boxing away the competition from other big hitters including the ever-popular Royal Horticultural Society, Liverpool FC, Manchester United and Arsenal, Marvel Comics and The Simpsons just to name but a few.

As well as topping the best sellers list, the Dodo Pad is also officially the most-gifted diary in the pack whilst Lord Dodo has his boxing gloves on in a hotly-fought contest with Moomins for the crown of best-selling Mini Calendar. It’s a heavyweight battle that’s been dragging on for weeks so watch this space…!

I, myself have been at the helm of Dodo Pad for more than 20 years and I am absolutely dodelighted that this collection of diaries and planners I adore is still so loved after all these years.

And I’m sure the wonderful late Sir John Verney – the founder of this spectacularly quirky brand – would be over the moon to know that his creation continues to be such a valuable aid for thousands of people year in year out.

When he came up with the unique Dodo Pad grid diary concept – with added flashes of his own artistic and literary brilliance to brighten the pages – as a way of organising his chaotic family schedule, I wonder if he imagined then that 50 years later his planners would still be topping ‘UK best-seller’ polls?  

It’s an amazing achievement – and one that wouldn’t be possible without all of you wonderful Dodo Pad fans. In your words, the Dodo Pad is definitely not just a diary – it’s something you could not live without.

I, for one, am proud to help play a part in helping to keep people’s lives in order in our own unique Dodo Pad way. I’ll make sure Lord Dodo keeps those boxing gloves on to tackle any pretenders to our diary crown for a while yet… 😉

Merry Christmas! Deniz Nur tree_cutout with star

Rebecca Jay
Managing Director
Dodo Pad

 

 

 

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Desk delight for wilting workstations

Dodo doodlers, splendid scribblers, joyful jotters and noble note-takers behold! The Dodo Jotter has landed!

Our brand-spanking new, generously sized A3 desk pad has been lovingly designed to alleviate boredom and keep even the scattiest desk-dweller on the straight and narrow.

Dodo Pad Jotter

The dodelightful Dodo Jotter!

The Jotter has all of the charm (if we may humbly say so) of our much-loved Dodo Pad diary paired with the functionality that fans of the Dodo Pad have come to rely upon over the last *ahem* almost 50 years. With a segregated doodle area for scribbling on whilst on the phone, to a three-month planner and even special zones for biscuits and coffee, the Dodo Jotter is the perfect adornment and ideal distraction for any desk.

In the 'biscuit' zone

A perfectly sized spot for a choc chip cookie or biscuit of your choice!

It also doubles, triples and quadruples up as a saucer, hangman display board and somewhere to rest your head when it’s been ‘one of those days’. (The paper smells nice too – we tested it! 😀 )

Are you looking at your own dog-eared desk jotter right now? Do you see those crinkly corners? Well, on Lord Dodo’s Dodo Jotter, it’s the bottom edge that’s glued rather than the traditional top, saving corners from rolling up and becoming unsightly. Sorry, other jotters, it’s nothing personal.

With every crook and corner of our own Dodo Pads covered with doodles, notes, telephone messages and more, we decided the time was right to create a large Dodo Jotter to free up space to be creative and expressive as well as note any critical daily ‘To Do’s –or ‘To Do-Do’s as we say on this particular product!

There’s lots of space for thoughts, ideas, doodles and dates. As you will know, there’s little more frustrating than finding you’ve scribbled smiley faces all over the back of a very important document. Having a Dodo Jotter on the desk will alleviate such problems, and that’s why you can grab one now from our online store.

And don’t forget to keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages as there will be a chance to win one in the not too distant future and there’s even a baby-sized version on the cards – it’s a fast developing twinkle in Lord Dodo’s eye!

Happy Easter weekend!

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