10 Best Gifts for Productivity Nerds

By Bill Murphy Jr.

Give the gift of time. Want to be truly happy? True wealth isn’t about acquiring stuff. It’s about maximizing your time so you can spend it on the things (and people) you truly care about. So here are gifts to give to those on your list who’d like to be more productive—and have more time to spend on what really matters.

  1. For the home office worker… When I worked from home, these proved invaluable, and helped me turn one wall of my home office into an inexpensive but effective whiteboard. The Writeyboard 2-Feet by 3-Feet Transparent Adhesive Sticker goes for $24.99 at Amazon.com.
  2. For the power-hungry… Some of the best friends you’ll ever make are the folks you’ll meet in airports trying to charge their devices, when you pull out the Quirky PVP-1-WHT Pivot Power 6 Outlet Flexible Surge Protector Power Strip. Amazon.com, $17.00 AND for the person whose desk is just a mess… No, the Beluga Cable Clips & Cord Management System isn’t the most exciting gift ever, but if you’ve got all kinds of computer cords and electronic flotsam and jetsam on your desk, it might be one of the neatest stocking stuffers you can get. $7.95 for eight pieces at Amazon.comdecember12
  3. For people who do their best thinking in the shower… You can’t beat this: Aqua Notes Waterproof Notepad 40 Sheet Mountable Pad, so that you write down all those brilliant ideas you have while you’re hot, wet, and naked. Amazon.com, $8.99.
  4. For the person who would rather wake up happy… I think I want this one: the Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light With Colored Sunrise Simulation “provides a pleasant, natural way to start your morning. Featuring a colored sunrise simulation and 20 brightness settings, the light gradually increases between 20 to 40 minutes prior to your alarm time.” $124.64 at Amazon.com AND for the person who can’t get out of bed… Start by giving him or her a reason to get out of bed. Just try to hit snooze more than once when your alarm clock is basically a robot that runs away: the Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels. I’m not sure you’ll wake up happy, but you will wake up. Amazon.com, from $20.99.
  5. For the writer who writes on the fly… Fun fact: People type twice as fast on a real keyboard as they do on a phone. The Laser Projection Virtual Keyboard isn’t quite a traditional QWERTY, but it’s an interesting attempt. $100.86 at Amazon.com OR for the writer who didn’t like that keyboard… This one’s a little more tactile, which might make it easier to use: the Logitech Keys-To-Go Ultra-Portable Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad. $49.98 at Amazon.com
  6. For people whose presentation is your present… Better than some earlier editions that are shaped to hold the phone itself (and quickly become obsolete), the Brookstone Pocket Projector Micro turns almost any phone or even computer into a mini projector. $129.99 at Amazon.
  7. For the power-hungry who like the light… Solar power always seems like the personal technology that doesn’t quite work as advertised, but the Solpro Helios Smart 5000mAh Tri-Fold Solar Charging Power Bank claims to “collect enough solar energy in 90 minutes to charge a standard smartphone.” Amazon.com, $84.99.
  8. PDF LinkFor the person who wants to remember everything… The Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen can record sound—but more impressive even, it can record what you write with it so you can save notes, search for words, and share instantly. $111.25 at Amazon.com OR for the person who likes versatility… How many times have you been like, “I really need a 4-inch ruler or a screwdriver, but all I have is this pen?” (Maybe not, but it’s fun to think.) Never again with the Xtreme 6-in-1 Stylus. $9.99, Amazon.com
  9. For the hero who needs a little memory… Flash drives are the last recourse of early century technologists—and maybe spies. Why not use some with style? The Avengers USB 8GB Flash Drive (set of four) could make memorable stocking stuffers. Amazon.com, $16.
  10. For people who want to be reminded to move… Simple compared withto some other fitness trackers (but less expensive), the Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band tracks your sleep, counts your calories—and reminds you to move around when you’ve been sedentary for too long. Amazon.com, $49.99.

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