If you have been looking for a wallet to carry a notebook and a small pen, Dialed may have what you need with their new Notebook Wallet. This wallet was successfully funded on Kickstarter November 28, 2015, which raised $62,163 by 1,235 backers. I received the large version last week, which felt like a quick turn around for a Kickstarter product.
Before I get into what I like and dislike about the folio, I got the chance to ask the dialed team some questions about how they got started on Kickstarter.
How did you come up with an idea for a notebook wallet?
Mark Durham, the Chairman/founder of the dialed brand, had been dreaming of a brand of slim, feature-rich products for travel and adventure for the last 20 years. The second he was exposed to Kickstarter and the crowd funding model, he saw an opportunity to collaborate with early adopters to bring the brand to life. He started with the Notebook Wallet as it would be a low price point to gain a broad base to build from and expand the brand menu. The prototype came together rather quickly as he had a background in stitched goods and stationery. Aaron Saxton was brought on board to add off-the-charts design skill and to help dial in the brand look in feel. (He had launched over 20 products out of New York as an X-Quirky employee).
Where were you when you found out you met your funding goal in only 9 hours?
I’m Jeff Durham (President/CEO) and I was supporting my father’s campaign with marketing etc. We had no idea what to expect. We launched the campaign early in the day and with the support of some successful Kickstarter creators, we had lined up a lot of cross promotion bringing their backers to our campaign page early in the day. That was the key to funding in the first 9 hours. I was actually navigating a corn maze with my wife and 6 kids that day in October when I received a text saying we had already funded and I got a bit emotional as I was floored by the incredible support of the Kickstarter Community. It was a day I will never forget. I loved helping my father bring his vision to life!
Did you incur any problems or issues during the campaign?
"We took a gamble early on in the campaign and pulled the trigger on production before the campaign had ended and even before the funding had been transferred."
This move bought us time and rescued us from a slip in production of the paper notebooks. The first production run did not meet our high quality standards. We rejected the entire batch and started over from scratch. Had we not begun production early, we would have had to deliver late to our backers as this cost us a few weeks in the production process. The calculated risks bought us time that we needed to come through on time with true “dialed” quality.
Will you do anything differently in the upcoming kickstarter campaign?
We will plan more time into the production schedule to allow for snags without having to pull the trigger on production before funding, we will invest more in the video quality to drive credibility, we will bring technology into the mix – which raises the funding requirement but also the wow/innovation factor. Our focus will remain on travel solutions. I like to say that we encourage adventurers to tackle their bucket list in style.
Any hints on what the next product might be?
The next campaigns will focus on solutions to support tablets and phones. (power solutions, light/charging cables, and cases) Stay tuned!
After a week of testing the wallet, here are the things that stood out the most.
- The best thing about this is the function to weight ratio. The elastic interior straps are all different to allow for a range of carry options, and it only weighs 2.33 oz. (with the notebook, credit cards, pen and a slim USB stick, it weighed 4.37oz.
- The notebook has a nice light cream color and similar to moleskine paper. The binding is sewn and holds up to some abuse I put it through.
- The first few pages are kind of weekly planner, which I skipped past but liked the option in case I wanted to use it for a specific project timeline. The remaining notebook is lined with check boxes on the right hand edge.
- The wallet is held closed with a woven 7/16in wide elastic band that holds strong even when I tried to pull it out.
The Not So Good:
- As popular as the small notebooks are like Field Notes, and my personal favorite by Code&Quill, Scribe, I was sad to see these notebooks didn’t fit inside. The notebook by dialed is a fraction smaller than the other notebooks, and the wallet would not budge trying to fit my other notebooks inside. This was a deal breaker for me.
- Same issue with the pen, the Pilot Hi-Tec C rolling ball pens were too think for the elastic strap. I imagine the Pilot Slims would fit but didn’t have any to test this idea.
- I am not a fan of the branding as it felt like it was all over the wallet.
I am curious to hear how other people liked or disliked their Notebook Wallets so let me know.