For work, outside of my pen addiction, I am an account manager with a software company that helps small businesses. Each day I have the privilege of talking with small business owners literally around the globe which is an amazing and humbling experience. Listening to their triumphs and stuggles, I appreciate the efforts they put into creating something great for their customers. Mike, this is a paper review, right? We'll get to that...
As I'm sure you've noticed, most of my pictures have Doane Paper in them. Not because Chad is a sponsor of the site or asked me to do it, or that I've stolen the schtick of Mr. Dowdy (or didn't on purpose), but because I enjoy it and perhaps even subconsciously want other people to realize how great it is. Most paper reviews talk about the weight, bleed, texture, etc. This is all important, but with Doane, it's different, or at least it is for me.
Maybe you can or can't relate to this, but when I sit down at my table to write or do a review and I have my Doane pad, I am genuinely excited to write on it. I'm excited to simply have it and I look to it as a very unique and special product. For me, there is an experience of using Doane Paper.
Eluding to the start of the review, I really love small businesses. Food establishments, goods; I seek these people out. On a side note, you should check out this guy's work. With all of the products on the shelf we can buy, there is a disconnect with where it comes from. If I go to Staples (nothing against Staples) and buy a few pads of your basic white or canary legal pads, it means nothing to me other than a product to consume. Doane Paper has a story, and there is a small business owner named Chad Doane that dreamt it up and made it happen; I'm sure through his own triumphs and struggles. Now, I'm not suggesting that Chad is downstairs in his basement pulping trees to make paper and spiraling up our Idea Journals one by one, but this is his thing and he's a small business owner keeping the wheels turning for us.
The (small) Paper Review Part
Doane Paper is excellent. It is extremely heavy stock, absorbs most inks well, and of course has the signature blue grid + lines action going on. As Brad has discussed numerous times, I agree that the DP Idea Journal (above) is by far one of the best products around. The thick and sturdy chipboard cover and silver spiral binding coupled with the 60 lb paper makes a great addition to your desk. Again, when having and using it there is an enjoyable experience, not just consumption or filling a need.
I also purchased the Winter Session + DP Utility Notebook Cover and I love it. The leather is thick, durable, and looks and smells terrific. Eventually, I plan to pick up the leather four barrel holster at some point as well; maybe for my birthday. : ) Hopefully my wife reads my blog...
One thing I think might go well for another product offering is a stapled, softbound, larger sized notebook in the larger pad size. For portability, this might be something that could slip into a bag a little easier or perhaps, another leather cover product? Just some thoughts.
If you live in the US and haven't bought some Doane Paper yet, really, give it a go even just to try it. Kind of like your mother said, "you won't know if you like it until you've tried it..." You could perceive it as pricey (although no pricier than Rhodia or Moleskine) and if that's an issue, go halfsies with a friend on an order over $50 as Chad offers free shipping at that point. When you get your order, enjoy it. Soak in the awesome small business-ness that you just helped support and be glad that Chad thought up such a stellar idea and is critical of making sure the paper you get is super high quality.
Anyhow, Mr. Doane, thanks and keep up the great work.