The term mapapel often has a very negative connotation when in Manila. So it comes as a witty irony that a brand of notepads named MaPapel is meant to counter the very same unproductivity that is ostracized when a person is being called mapapel in Tagalog jargon. It’s a brand for notepads and, more than that, it is a brand chock full of witty creations at its finest.
I have always been on the lookout for good productivity tools, but nothing beats the joy of having my things to do written using paper and ink. I have a slew of online tools, apps like RescueTime for my productivity analytics, Trello, and other project management software for intricate endeavors. Plastering physical to do lists and scrum boards on the wall still has its unique charm, though.
Suffice to say that my bulky coffee shop planner is my default go-to until I encountered MaPapel on Facebook by accident.
I noticed that some of my Facebook friends started liking this page, which turned out to be a brainchild of Ms. Des Buncio. I decided to get to know her and the products more and went to the offline store to shop for the notepads that I want.
Des tells me that her own need instigated her idea for the online shop: “We specialize mostly in notepads, not planners. This is because as a consumer, I, myself, never finish an entire planner. Like okay I’d buy one in January, but never get to finish filling it up for the rest of the year. Notepads, however, are cheaper and open dated so there are no tapon sheets or pages.”
The decision to create her own line of products started in 2010. Prior to this, she was designing notepads for clients as giveaways. Eventually, she found her own creative voice and ventured out on her own. And now, her designs have become something that I use to trick myself to like my to-do list and stick to it!
Here are six of her portable, anytime-of-the-year, offline, and creative products in my possession that I highly recommend:
Journal Therapy for Hugots and Hinanakits
Uniquely Flavored Task Lists
Non-Commital Weekly Pad for the “Fickle” Planner
Sorry Na! (and the lost art of Love Letters) For Happier Relationships
Hindi Ka Milyonaryo, Kumalma Ka! Budget Tracker
Push Mo Yan Teh Food Diary
Witty lines on the notepads make for wise words on an interview. When asked what Des’ advice is for creative people who want to venture in their own business, here is her advice: “Love what you do. Simple as that. Passion for something fuels everything. Don’t do it just for income because it be pointless. Do what you love, put your heart in what you do and everything will fall into place.”
MaPapel PH is an online store that can do both local and international shipping. If you have a flair for tradition like me, the items can also be bought offline at Sewn+ Store inside Greenhills Shopping Center and, soon, at a restaurant named Orange Whisk at BF Homes. She is also open to collaborate with stationary-related online shops or fellow artists.