Productivity enthusiasts are a tough bunch to buy for. They loathe the distractions of clutter, so forego useless trinkets and get them something they’re sure to love: the gift of getting more done! Each of these gifts will bring greater efficiency (and a smile) to the face of your favorite prolific pal.
GADGETS & APPS
Tools that help you get more done.
1. Flic Wireless Smart Buttons Create a shortcut that initiates your favorite actions without pulling out your smartphone. Turn out the lights, hit snooze, take a selfie, start navigation, and more at the touch of a (physical) button. Pre-order it here.
2. Tile Attach these minimally-designed tiles to anything you'd hate to lose: your keys, luggage, bike, etc. The app shows you when you get closer to your lost item, or you can program your tile to make noise. Start your day organized and calm, instead of in a frantic rush of "Where'd it go?!" nerves. Get it here.
3. Alfred App Powerpack For your Mac laptop. Create shortcuts and hotkeys, search the web or your hard drive, create workflows, and more. Use it as a replacement for Spotlight and make your Mac more efficient. Get it here. (Or try the Free version yourself).
4. Spotify Premium subscription Listening to your favorite music (without the ads) puts you in a good mood and triggers higher brain function. And Spotify's "Deep Focus" playlist is great for getting in the zone (and staying there). Get it here.
5. Belkin WeMo Insight switch Turn your home devices on and off via mobile app. Works with IFTTT.com, or you can use “recipes” to complete specific actions. Free your brain from daily distractions like, “Did I leave the kitchen light on?” Get it here.
6. Noise-canceling headphones Minimize distraction with a set of noise-canceling headphones. You'll never have to worry about overhearing those "TMI" personal conversations in the office again. Bose QuietComfort: Get them here.
7. A simple alarm clock Stop using your phone as an alarm. It's more likely to distract you with incoming notifications and keep your mind racing than help you sleep. Instead, opt for a simple alarm clock that displays only the time. Retro Digital Flip Clock: Get it here.
8. Health & wellness tracker A healthy lifestyle is essential to productivity. There are dozens of options to choose from, including the Jawbone UP24, which will "nudge" you when you've been inactive for too long. A perfect reminder to take a productivity break. Find the perfect device for you here.
BOOKS & BRAIN-BOOSTERS
Get your brain in shape for the New Year.
1. The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin spent one full year trying science-based tricks and popular strategies to bring more joy to every aspect of her life. Find out what worked and add some happiness to your own life. Get it here.
2. Brain Rules (updated & expanded) John Medina’s bestseller explains the science of how our brains work and outlines 12 strategies for improving your brain's performance. Get it here.
3. The Mindfulness app Rejuvenate your mind and sharpen your focus with daily meditation. This app includes guided sessions from a quick 3 minutes to a half hour, or you can meditate silently until you hear the bells. Get it from the App Store or Google Play Store.
4. Action Method notebook Developed by Bechance founder Scott Belsky, The Action Method breaks every undertaking into three components: Action Steps, References, and Backburner items. This notebook is designed so that every page has clear sections to capture each component. Get it here.
5. Unstuck Productivity Tips Cards This deck of cards helps pinpoint the cause of productivity slumps and gives tips to help move past them. Also available in "Conjure Your Creativity", "Stop Your Procrastination", and "Stop Your Negative Thinking." Get them here.
ROAD WARRIOR PRODUCTIVITY
A long commute or hectic travel schedule shouldn't slow you down.
1. Portable USB charger No outlet at the airport? No problem. Anker Astro Portable Charger: Get it here.
2. Logitech Keys-to-Go Keyboard Work in comfort with this portable, durable keyboard. Pairs via bluetooth and runs on a rechargeable 3-month battery. Get it here.
3. Smartpen Record and replay on-the-go voice memos or reminders, and transfer handwritten notes scribbled on napkins and receipts into digital text so you can sync your analog & digital worlds. Livescribe Echo Smartpen: Get it here.
4. Powerbag This backpack contains a portable battery for charging your smartphone or tablet. Get it here.
5. Gigs2Go USB Flash Drives This tear-away USB pack is made of extremely durable recycled paper and plastic: it's shockproof, waterproof, and doesn't need a cap. Get it here.
PRODUCTIVITY-ENHANCING STOCKING STUFFERS
Sometimes big productivity comes in small packages.
1. Lemon-scented candle The pleasant smell of lemons improves focus and reduces errors by 54%. (If you're buying for an office buddy, you might want to stick with something non-flammable like this diffuser.) Williams-Sonoma Meyer Lemon Candle: Get it here.
2. Chocolate Aside from being delicious, chocolate releases dopamine, a hormone that motivates action, along with chemicals that promote calm and stimulate brain function. Godiva 72% Dark Chocolate Bar: Get it here.
3. “Make It Happen” Notebook by Panama For capturing goals big and small — and inspiring commitment. Get it here.
4. Aquanotes Waterproof Notepad For that buddy who claims their best ideas always come to them in the shower. Get it here.
5. Desktop organizer An organized worker is a happy and productive worker. Clear the clutter and save the 76 hours you spend each year looking for lost stuff. iStick Multifunction Desk Organizer: Get it here.
6. Cable clips Another simple organization item to keep your workspace tidy. CableDrop Cable Clips: Get them here.
7. Adorable desk calendar Looking at baby animals improves concentration and focus — and likely puts you in a better mood too. Who can stay grumpy with an adorable fluff ball always in sight? Puppies & Friends 2015: Get it here.
8. Colorful art print Use color psychology to beautify your office and stimulate your brain. Blue helps you concentrate and can make you more productive, while yellow improves your mood and can stimulate creativity. Water lilies by Monet: Get it here.
Having fun at the office is the new productivity essential.
1. Mustache paper clips Give your reports and memos some comical style. Get them here.
2. Clip-on desk cup holder Keep your caffeine close at hand, without worrying about accidental spills. Get it here.
3. USB rocket launcher Office warfare is serious business. Maximize your firepower with this nerf rocket launcher. Get it here.
4. Origami Sticky Notes Impress your colleagues by upcycling your used notes into fun origami masterpieces. Get it here.
5. "You Earned It" Bottle Opener Crack open a cold one in celebration of a job well done. Get it here.
6. I Am Very Busy art print Aren't we all? Get it here.
7. "You Can Do It!" mug For just the right amount of encouragement (and caffeine) on those days you'd rather be in bed. Mugs by Emily McDowell: Get it here.