I'm still stuck here in London due to the ash cloud, but am having a great time! Yesterday I spent all day at the London Book Fair, and it was an absolute blast. (Okay, maybe that makes me a geek calling a book fair an "absolute blast"). Rebecca Jay, Managing Director of Dodo Pad, was very kind and gave me a ticket into the fair. I got to hang out with her at the Dodo Pad display and talk to people about Dodo Pads!
It was lots of fun to hear people's Dodo Pad stories. One woman said her family has a "Dodo Pad dynasty" where every year at Christmas the tradition is for the women to give their daughters Dodo Pads. Her grandmother, mother, aunts, cousins, they all give a Dodo Pad to each of their daughters. What a great story! Other people had never seen a Dodo Pad before so I got to show them the diaries and organizers for the first time. Watching someone discover the Dodo is a fun experience--their eyes light up when they see the colorful art and quirky humor.
One of the first things Rebecca did was to show me her red A5 Domino Filofax, in which she uses the A5 Dodo Pad diary inserts! Wow!! I own a personal size Domino but had never seen the A5 before. It has huge rings so it can hold loads of pages, but the footprint of the book seems smaller than other A5's because there's no strap, and the cover seems narrower. And because the cover weighs next to nothing, it's so much lighter than my leather A5 binder. I was intrigued...
During the course of the day I saw lots of people carrying around their planners in their hand, which was a rare opportunity for me to see planners in action! I saw lots and lots of Filofaxes--mostly Personal size, but to my surprise many A5 Dominos! There it is again!! Taunting me! I saw one guy carrying his A5 Domino with a bunch of papers stuck under the elastic on the outside of the book for easy reference. Now I'm really itching for one!! I may have to make a trip back to the Filofax store before I leave London...
I also saw lots of Moleskine planners and notebooks. Which gave me an idea--I looked at the index and sure enough Moleskine was there! So I made a beeline over to their display and was thrilled to see their new 2011 planners on display! Silvia Salvadori was there from Milan to represent Moleskine, and she was very nice. When I explained that I blog about planners she was very happy to talk to me about their new products and answered my questions. I am very happy to report that she confirmed: All the 2011 Moleskine planners do have the month calendars with the days as squares large enough to write in! No more months as columns with a line per day. She asked if that is a good thing and I said absolutely yes, and that many Plannerisms readers have asked for this monthly format so a lot of people will be very happy. I'm sure there will be some who prefer the columns and lines, but in general I think people will be very happy with the new monthly format.
Silvia also very generously gave me two free samples of the Extra Small Moleskine planners: the Daily with the dark pink cover (which I adore) and the Weekly with the dark blue cover (which is very handsome). These planners are tiny, almost exactly the same size as a smartphone. Of course the daily is thicker, but still very small. It's almost exactly the dimensions of a pack of tissues. You could easily carry your extra small Mole planner along with your phone. When I get home I will do a full review of these with photos!
Silvia also showed me the new products in their Office line: the A4 folios, folders, binders and paper. They are very professional-looking, and have the clean Moleskine look and the elastic strap for portability. She also showed me the new Moleskine sticky notes set and index cards set, which look really nice.
Silvia was very happy to talk to me and said Moleskine loves bloggers because they really appreciate the feedback and love to know what their customers need and want from their products. I really respect a company that listens to their customers and works so hard to meet their needs. Bravo Moleskine!
In all it was a great day at the London Book Fair. If you get the chance to go, be sure to check out Dodo Pad at booth C510 and Moleskine at J605!