Long 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.
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.”
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.
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.”
For 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.”
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.”
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.