Paper + Pixels, The Making of DODOnotes with Patrick Buckley

Author Allyson Van Houten

Where did the idea for DODOnotes come from?

We noticed that everyone we had meetings with always walked into the room with a digital device and a paper notebook and pen. We asked ourselves why, and realized that paper is best for capturing ideas quickly, while computers and smartphones are best for organizing and sharing information. It’s our belief that people want and need both of these things. So we set out to find a way to make a paper product that complements your digital device in the most stylish, functional way.

What were your biggest challenges developing the product?

The biggest challenge was finding the right balance for integrating the phone with the journal—making it feel like a single unit but also making it very easy to get your phone in and out. We must have designed 50 different ways to hold the phone before settling on the carved tray and single piece elastic. What we found was that you often need to write something down on paper when you are on the phone so it doesn’t make any sense to attach the paper onto the back of it in a permanent way.

What were the steps involved in creating the final design for DODOnotes?
We have a box of 100 prototypes that were all wrong in some way. So you could say the process was to make 100 mistakes until we were finally happy with the final design.

How does this fit in with the DODOcase suite of products?
I think this is a really fantastic addition to the DODOcase family and natural brand extension for us. We have wanted to make a paper product for a long time. We make our bookbound cases in our bindery but they have never had any paper pages! From an aesthetic perspective I think DODOnotes will complement how our customers currently use our other products.

Why did you want to work with Mohawk on DODOnotes?
Mohawk has been an amazing partner. They are an all-American company like us and have one of the best reputations in the business. We wanted to work with them because they know paper better then anyone else. To be able to go to their paper mill in New York and see first-hand how Superfine is made was fantastic.

What do you like best about the DODOnotes design?
I like its simplicity. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do really well, and that is all.

Who will this product most appeal to?
This product will appeal to the creative person who has ideas all the time and needs a way to quickly capture them. I think it will also appeal to people who like making to-do lists.

How would you describe Mohawk Superfine – in one or two words -  to someone who is not yet familiar?
Quality. (Simply the best writing experience…ok, that’s six words).

How do you see yourself using DODOnotes? How will DODOnotes make your life easier?
DODOnotes is already making my life easier. I’ve been carrying one with me for the past month and can’t tell you how many times I’ve captured an idea from a conversation I am having with someone or been able to easily take down an address or phone number.

Which DODOnotes color is your favorite? 
I’m a fan of the flare red with yellow elastic.

Will additional colors – or products – be added to the line?
Yes, we plan to expand the DODOnotes line to accommodate other devices soon.

When you describe DODOcase, you often refer to ‘the marriage of tradition and technology’, and the launch of DODOnotes is another terrific example. What future concepts are you dreaming of that would continue to celebrate this concept?  
Technology is rapidly changing our lives in so many ways and this creates all kinds of opportunities for rethinking the products we need in the world. My hope is that we don’t charge ahead blindly but consider how we can link what was great about our past with the best of what is yet to come. I can’t say specifically what next products DODOcase will make but they will be inspired by this idea.


DODOnotes: The First iPhone Compatible Paper Notebook (by DODOcase)

DODOcase and Mohawk paper join forces to re-envision the relationship between paper and pixels. Completely made in the USA, DODOnotes interior features Mohawk’s Superfine paper known for its consistency and uniformity, while the exterior features DODOcase’s signature book cloth fabric with a carved tray and elastic to securely nest the device. DODOnotes exemplifies the evolution of accessories to meet today’s modern needs and is the perfect on-the-go solution for meetings, travel, to-do lists, sketches and more. It’s a happy marriage of tradition and technology.

And the Reviews Are In!

DODOnotes have been well received by the Apple authorities. We’re blushing…

“It brilliantly marries the iPhone with the analog notebook.” - SwissMiss

“Nothing works quite as well as a traditional paper notebook.” - Cult of Mac

“The company is embracing the technology often blamed for reducing demand for paper.” - Bizjournals

“DODOnotes: The perfect marriage of paper and iPhone.” - TUAW