As readers of www.philofaxy.com you surely know Laurie's very recommendable blog www.plannerisms.com. Her enthusiastic reviews of the Dodo Pad intrigued me, so I ordered an Acad-Pad to fit in my Filofax! (See Flickr for more pictures.) The Dodo Pad diaries have been published in England since 1966 - not as long as Filofax, but nevertheless that's quite a while!
The Dodo Pad is called "a combined memo-doodle-engagement-weekly-planner-diary-organizer-message-ment book" - a sort of family organiser with five columns for different family members. Their website (www.dodopad.com) is gorgeous- just make sure to visit it yourself!
Beside the weekly diaries in different sizes there is a large selection of planners for garden, household, vacation, removal, cooking, wedding, pregnancy, pets, Christmas…
The spiralbound diaries are available in two sizes: there's a Desk Diary (9,5 " x 7,5 "/24 x 19 cm) and a Pocket Diary (4,25 " x 5,25 "/11 x 13,5 cm) as well as Wall Calendar (9,5 " x 7,5 "/24 x 19 cm). "Especially for people in love with or already wedded to their Filofax”, this year for the first time there's also a looseleaf version to fit in the Personal or A5 Filofax!
You may choose between the (family) diary for 2011 (available from June) and the so-called "Acad-Pad" for the academic year (August 2010 - August 2011) - meant especially for pupils, students, teachers and the likes. I actually ordered the Acad-Pad because I just couldn't wait for January 2011 to give it a try.
What makes the Dodo Pad so special is the fact, that each week is arranged differently, with pictures, riddles, jokes, quotes etc. The right page shows the weekly diary as a grid with five columns (each field merely 1.2 x 1.2 cm) and much space aroud it for doodling and/or taking notes.
Holidays for UK/USA/Australia/Canada (as well as Jewish and Islamic holidays) are preprinted - plus a remarkable anniversary each week to which the illustration on the opposite page refers. This left page has enough space for notes, lists, scribblings and so on. Unfortunately, the writing (at least in "Personal" format) is rather small - which sometimes makes it difficult to be read (or maybe I'm just too old for it...).
Additionally, there are annual planning calendars for the current and the next year, plus a Forward Planner for September 2011 - February 2012. There's also a page to record "Indodispensable Data" like telephone numbers or birthdays. And, not to be forgotten, the Dodo Pad provides "Instant Invisibility":
"The ACAD-PAD can be held up to head height and is made to measure (one size fits all) for immediate concealment of the holder at any given moment, particularly useful in cafés, library, and/or middle of the street for the avoidance of any number of tricky situations. It is a perfect hand held disguise for those unwanted/unexpected encounters."As you can see, this diary of full of quirky humor - thus being a nice alternative to more "serious" Filofax inserts. In order to fully enjoy it, a profond knowledge of the English language is a must - as well as a taste for this typically “British” humor.
If - like me - you don't have to plan for five family members (the cats have few social obligations, besides occasional dates with the vet…), you may use the columns for different subjects or as a sort of timeline (morning/noon/afternoon...).
Unfortunately, the Acad-Pad starts no sooner than August, 16th - I can hardly wait to use it!
I had planned to put it in my Metropol Slimline as my "Filo to go" - the one that I take with me when I'm out and about. However, the paper is thicker then the Filofax paper: it does fit into the Slimline, but makes it difficult to turn the pages smoothly. Anyway, the Acad-Pad looks great in my raspberry Metropol as well! I'm not sure if it can replace the Filofax week-on-two-pages diary - but I'm willing to give it a try! And I will report back to you of course.
In fact, there will be a Dodo Pad personal pod©, "a specially designed six hole ring-binder with pouches; for your Personal sized Filofax compatible Dodo Pad or Acad-Pad diary refill" available in July - that might be interesting, but by now I don't know any details about it.