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Do you like to listen? Let me clarify, do you like when someone shares stories and just talks and you listen? I was unaware how much I love to listen to stories but more recently I seek it out. What sparked this recent desire to listen, well I have two kids now so most of the time if I have any piece of electronic on it’s playing kids songs, a kids movie or a kids app. I spend a fair share of my time in the car, driving to doctors appointments, soccer practice, school and work and so I decided to find my own thing to listen to. In searching for the perfect thing to listen to I stumbled upon season one of the Serial podcast.  If you have not heard this I HIGHLY recommend that you grab a cup of your favorite drink and dive in. In a nutshell the podcast follows the very strange case of Hae Min Lee and her murder in 1999. Why do I say it’s strange, well her ex boyfriend Adnan Syed is placed into prison and is still serving from the time he was seventeen for a murder that they did not fully have evidence to put him away for. The story has so many twists and turns, one minute you are saying he is innocent the next maybe not so much. I listened to this everyday as often as I could. I would place one ear bud in my ear while cooking dinner, folding laundry and you guessed it while driving my car.

That was it for me I was addicted to listening to stories. I wanted more after this! I am currently listening to Missing Richard Simmons.  Just the same I began plugging an ear bud in my ear while taking Hank my dog for his walk. Could not stop listening to the tale, I had no idea how many lives Richard had changed and how weird his disappearance is. It’s just fascinating to just sit and listen and have a story be told to you. I can understand completely what my daughter feels when I read her stories at night before bed and how she pleads with me to just read her one more. There is something that really pleases my senses to just listen. It also allows me to multi task so I can do more than one thing like cooking dinner but still getting my fix.

Now the whole mysterious thing might not be your cup of tea and I can understand that, for example if I dare share any of these two podcasts with my husband he could not be more disinterested than if I took him to a nail salon and forced him to watch them paint my nails. I have recently become pretty obsessed with audible as well. I was hesitant at first because I really do love having a book in my hands and taking part in the act of reading but I have to say the other day I was folding laundry and I started to listen to Norse Mythology and before I knew it I was 7 chapters in and quickly looking for my notebook to take notes. I never realized how much I love storytelling up until now. I guess it was always kind of in the back of my mind that I loved them but never really allowed myself to be told them.  I like listening to other podcasts too but I find that my mind really loves stories and it makes tasks go by quickly and being stuck in traffic not really a bad thing.

Something else that I have noticed is that I really love to listen with headphones. I know this seems silly but I have tried to listen on my computer and it just does not have the same effect. When I put in my  I just am immersed and nothing else penetrates. I highly recommend this experience with all of you. Do you listen to podcasts or books on tape? If so please share because I just can’t get enough and I’m afraid of running out!!

Last month I was so excited when the Dodo Pad company reached out and wanted to send me their inserts for review. I am always in the mood to test out inserts. I had heard of their inserts back in 2012 and was intrigued but for some reason I just never followed up. What peaked my interest initially is how long the company has been in business.  In 1966 the company came about! I always find it impressive when a company remains so invested in their products.  Here is an insert from the website that talks about why the Dodo bird was behind the name of the inserts.

And, why the Dodo?
Back in the deep recesses of the last century around 1966, the Dodo Pad diary (a week-to-view combined memo-doodle-engagement-planner-diary-organiser-message-ment book) was a new-fangled invention, instantly accepted by grateful users as utterly indodispensable. The ‘headline’ on the front of the Dodo Pad diary read (and still reads): ‘If you too are nearly extinct with the daily pressures of modern life, then try the Dodo Pad’ and on the back cover: ‘After using your Dodo Pad for a year you may find you’re not as extinct as all that!’ with an illustration of a mother and baby dodo. The pressures of modern life are still just as relevant today and we’re not extinct yet!

I thought this was a very clever and quirky way of explaining life and comparing it to the fact that if we aren’t extinct then we have daily challenges we need to accomplish and the dodo pad wants to help you navigate your life. There are plenty of sizes to choose from as well as some filler paper that is also offered on the site.  The shop accepts paypal so it makes it quite easy to order. They are coming from across the pond but the good news is that they come very quickly and packaged well and protected.  So lets take a look at the inserts themselves.

I have decided to go with the academic planner pad. My daughter is in preschool this year so for me my calendar is now more focused on the school year and I can easily follow and transfer things from the school calendar to my filofax. I am also in my A5 size malden, which I painted from purple to a beautiful aqua, here is a link to that video.  2016-09-14-10-12-33The inserts are unique in that there are little doodles throughout as well as fun facts. There are many holidays that are subtly placed throughout which I love seeing. 2016-09-14-10-16-11 2016-09-14-10-15-25So for those of you who love to have space to doodle and really free form plan then these are ideal. On the right hand side you have boxes to work with. In these spaces I broke them
down to have a really great overview of my week, what my daughter has at school, my husbands work schedule and any notes or must dos. I love having this quick look at my week. On the left hand side I have plenty of space to stick post its, notes, video ideas, links to things I want to watch later etc. I love having this free form space and it really helps me to have a place to brain dump and get ideas out of my head. The doodles in place really help you to feel like you are not messing anything up because it’s not a blank white page.2016-09-14-10-17-00 Many people feel like they will mess it up or don’t feel comfortable but I think that with all the gorgeous little doodles it really helps to overcome that hump. If you like to pretty plan but don’t always have he time the doodles help to enhance the page and always bring a smile to my face. The only draw back I see for these inserts is that there is not a monthly view. Now to be fair there is a wonderful pull out calendar of the entire year that really helps you 2016-09-14-10-13-29organize your life but for some reason I still really like to see my month at a glance. This isn’t the end of the world for me because I do have another set of inserts in my planner so I do have a month overview . In regards to paper quality I am really very impressed. I am someone who will be very turned off with inserts if the quality of the paper is not good. I like to use all kinds of different pens and I don’t want to be bothered with bleed through or heavy shadowing. When I did the pen test I was very happy that I only had an issue with the sharpie. It’s not surprising because the sharpie will bleed through most anything but my fountain pen the edison nouveau with a broad nib that has a pretty heavy ink flow did really well! I love that because jotting down notes quickly I try and reach for whatever is on my desk and that means I can grab a fountain pen and happily write away.

Overall if you are looking for some structure but still have the ability to have some free form planning then I HIGHLY recommend these inserts. I recommend them for the paper quality as well as the quirky little doodles and fun facts. There really isn’t anything else on the market like them. The entire academic year does not take up alot of space in my planner so if you like to add a lot of your own inserts you will not have an issue.

Do you have the Dodo Pad? Plan on purchasing? Please share what you think!

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