When you just want to do anything to help… #GrenfellTowerFire

A week ago, last Wednesday morning, we woke up to the news of the unfolding horror of the dreadful fire at the Grenfell Tower block of flats in London. Some of us never woke up and that was and is, the horror of the reality of what happened. Hundreds of displaced people and a system that did not, from the official standpoint, kick in to help quickly enough. It is not for me to speculate here on the reasons why the fire happened – all I know is that I was moved that morning to do something, anything, to help.

I was travelling most of the day on a train from Cornwall to a meeting in Birmingham. During that journey, I resolved to donate a load of clothes I had stacked up ready to sell on Ebay or local Facebook groups to the survivor victims of the fire. I also decided to see if I could gather a group of other people in Cornwall to help with their own donations, which we, Dodo Pad, would arrange to be transported to London. By late evening almost 70 offers of donations had come in from people I have never met who also felt moved to just try to do something to help. I was overwhelmed with people’s generosity to reach out, but by Thursday morning we were being told by the media that the community was totally overwhelmed with donations and asking, please, not to send anything more but to send financial donations instead. So I did that.

But I still wanted to help in some tangible way that I felt would make a difference. So, having now made contact with the Grenfell Nursery who put out a plea for stationery and diaries (it is now operating from the Ilys Booker Stay & Play and Drop-In Centre for the foreseeable future), today we are sending almost 400 Dodo Pad diaries to help the families who have lost pretty much everything, reorganise their lives and move forward. I really hope they help in some small way and also make them smile.

A happy face - from the Grenfell Nursery website :)

A happy face – from the Grenfell Nursery website 🙂

Rebecca Jay, Managing Director.

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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 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!)

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