Are you fed up of spending hours and hours looking for presents for your friends and family because you know they already have everything they need? Then why not give them one of the following productivity gifts and help them achieve their goals, feel less stressed and allow them to spend more time doing the things they love?
Go on, have a look at this productivity gift ideas guide and find something for all your loved ones.
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my top picks
I struggled a bit to select 5, but I thought I'd give you my favourite gift ideas for productivity nutters. They're not in any particular order:
- Focuster - cos it does the hard work for you and automatically schedules your day with all your new tasks. It's like having your own PA.
- Scanner - best for decluttering and uploading all those important documents and papers to the cloud.
- Deep Work - it's a must-read-more-than-once book.
- Brain Fuel Essential Oils - essential oils are a beautiful and pleasant way to improve your productivity.
- Dodow - cos in order to be productive you need to be well-rested.
- RocketBook Panda Planner - for environmentally conscious planner lovers.
best productivity gifts: productivity books
Books are always a splendid gift. But rather than just giving a fiction book your friends will love, there are also some motivational and possibly life-altering books everybody needs.
That's why I have included some productivity and motivation books in this list.
The lazy genius way
Becoming obsessed with doing more in every aspect of our lives means that we're doing a lot of things wrong.
And this is not the way to focus and become a productivity genius.
For those people that try too hard, the book helps them create systems that work for them and decide what really matters by giving them the right tools and tips.
One of the biggest productivity killers is having to spend time dealing with problems and emergencies every day.
But many times, these problems and emergencies are avoidable. And Upstream teaches you how to anticipate these problems and avoid them before they happen.
The book that will teach you how to make better decisions. With lots of practical examples and actionable tips.
Make your bed
This book is based on the advice given by Admiral McRaven in a speech that's been doing the rounds on Facebook and other social media, but it goes into a little more detail.
Full of anecdotes and experiences, it's an inspiring book that will show you there are little essential daily habits that can help you get ready for the day ahead.
And, even if it's a motivational book, rather than a productivity book, learning how to motivate oneself and change your habits is a necessary step to become more productive.
best productivity gifts: apps
Todoist is a list management app.
It's a good choice for those wanting a simple to-do list app.
You can have different projects ongoing, and each project has as many sections and tasks as you need.
It's good for all the little errands you need to run for the house and general office work.
Good all rounder, and it doesn't take long to learn how to use it.
The Premium plan is very affordable so you don't have to break the bank if you want to gift it to one of your friends.
Focuster is a lot more powerful than Todoist because it takes charge of your schedule.
Focuster automatically schedules your to-do list in your calendar, helping you maintain focus, prioritise tasks, and achieve your most important goals every day.
And it solves a productivity problem most people encounter, when they underestimate how long a task takes, and then everything else needs to be rescheduled. I just hate that.
For me, though, Focuster's best feature is in the Pro-Plan: Time Blocking.
It's in Beta but it allows you to block time periods for tasks that you can batch together or that are related.
Focus is a website and application blocker for Mac. As far as I know, there isn't a Windows option yet.
Focus sits on your menu bar, and when you click it, it helps you remove all distractions. You'll have to set up all the apps and webpages you want it to block, first.
And it works in Incognito Mode too!
With Focus you pay once and you have it for life, but there are three levels: Productivity, Professional and Unlimited.
I think the best plan is the Focus unlimited, because you get 5 licenses with it so you can use it at work but also block the kids from playing Fortnite or hanging out on Facebook on their computers.
And both the Unlimited and Professional Plan let you use the Scheduling, Break and Pomodoro options, so you get more flexibility.
There's a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out and see how it works.
Evernote is the tool you need to go paperless at home and in the office.
Like the Elephant in its logo, Evernote remembers everything.
You can organise everything in folders, but the really powerful thing about Evernote are its tags and its search function so you can easily find everything you've uploaded, shared, emailed or clipped to it.
It's integration with Google Drive is a time-saver, cos you can organise all the files for one project in one note and you're not wasting time everytime finding everything in Google Drive.
And being able to create templates for everything (or use the ones provided already by Evernote and the Evernote community) means you can create reports, documents, to-do lists much faster.
Integrates with task management and project management tools easily.
For those that feel tempted by Facebook every time they open their browser.
Not everybody has the willpower to close down Facebook or stop online window shopping (you get what I mean).
For when time tracking is not enough, and for people with thousands of things popping into their head all the time.
It's fully customisable, so you can choose to send emails but not spend all the time in your Gmail, or block Facebook but make a Facebook group available.
Works on Windows and Mac, and you can also use it on your Android phone.
There are two monthly subscription plans, or a onetime purchase Lifetime plan, for people committed to boosting their productivity at the computer.
best productivity gifts: planners
An awesome planner is one of the best productivity gifts you can give to anybody that wants to do more with their time.
All these planners are undated.
If you are looking for more planners, I have a list of more planners and organisers here.
The Simple elephant planner
Perfect for people that need to organise and schedule their week but they don't want to go into a lot of detail each day.
Good overall planner for people that trying to keep things simple!
Measuring 8"x 6", it's perfect for when you're on the go.
And don't forget to get extra sets of stickers!
Law of attraction planner
One of the most popular planners out there.
The Law of Attraction Planner is a planner for life and work that will help increase productivity and positivity.
For people that are a bit lost and don't know how to do their planning, the mind maps and the instructions on how to do everything are a great help.
Love the monthly and weekly overview cos it's easy to see what you have to do next.
There are also plenty of blank pages, so you have more room to write.
clever fox panda planner pro
This is a life and productivity tool that lets you set your long and short-term goals and help you achieve a work-life balance.
It's bigger and heavier than most other planers, so it's not the most convenient to carry in a handbag.
For people that need more room to explore their priorities, their vision and their goals.
The weekly view allows you to set daily priorities, a weekly goal, check your life balance to-do list and there's also room for weekly reflection and a habit tracker. So no need for a separate habit tracker.
Love that Saturday and Sunday have the same space as the other days of the week, so there's room to write all the family's activities.
The Legend Planner is A5 size, so it's not as detailed as some of the bigger planners, but it's still a great general planner for people that need to organise themselves and their work without having to go into a lot of detail. So not for the biggest and complex work projects.
Love that the yearly goals are separated into: Health and Fitness, Career and Business, Finance and Net Worth, Personal Developtment, Family and Friends, Romance and Relationships, Fun, Recreation and Hobbies and Spiritual, too.
Cos this gets you thinking about all the areas in your life so you forget nothing and can make them a part of your monthly and weekly goals.
Rocketbook Panda Planner
If you want to give a planner as a gift but feel they are expensive for what they are cos they only get used for one year.
The RocketBook Panda Planner is set up the same way as the Panda Planner, but it only has a few pages because they're reusable.
What I like about this planner is that it's an ideal productivity gift for messy people.
No more crossed words and messy doodles, cos they can be erased easily.
For people whose goals, schedules and projects are always changing.
As with other RocketBook notebooks, it's erasable and reusable if you use any Pilot Frixion pen and wipe it with a damp cloth (also provided).
Works with the RocketBook app so you can upload your planner pages, though the app needs improving.
Live Whale planner
This is not an annual planner, but a 3-month planner.
Because things change and you might have completely different goals every quarter. Since it's only 3 months long, it also means that it's cheaper than any of the other planners, and it could be a great starter Planner for somebody that's not used to using one.
The prompts are not as specific as they are in other planners, so it's a bit more free-flowing if you know what I mean.
I particularly like the Agenda to-dos and Daily Priorities of the Daily Layout, and the meal planner.
The only thing is that the section for affirmations and creativity is not very big, if you're into that.
best productivity gifts: gadgets
a robot vacuum
These are great time-savers and will help you free some of your time so you can spend it doing more important things.
Great present for anybody but specially good if you have pets, kids, and you want to spend less time on housework.
It's surprising how much dust they collect every time they run!
To make it even easier, combine a Robot vacuum with one of these Robot Mops.
a sleep aid device
Did you know lack of sleep can make you less effective and impact on your productivity?
Cos when your brain is tired it's not working at full-capacity and this stops you from being able to focus.
That's why I've included the Dodow as one of the best productivity gadgets you can give to anybody that needs to regain focus and insomniacs alike.
The Dodow is a metronome with a light system.
When you breathe in and out in time with the light the light, it calms you down and you get to sleep in only a few minutes.
a white noise generator
Most people I know that use a white noise machine use them to block noises that stop them from sleeping.
But they're also very useful if you want to block noises when you're trying to work at the office, trying to focus on something or you want to get a bit of privacy.
The LectroFanEVO has ten fan sounds, ten white, pink and brown noise variations, and two varieties of ocean sounds: calm and surf.
Some noises can be used to relax and get some better sleep. But there are also some noises that will increase your focus and concentration, so you can get more done!
heimvision sunrise lamp
For people who don't feel too good first thing in the morning and need several cups of coffee before their brain starts to work.
You can use the sunset simulation mode to go to sleep (there's also a setting for sleep sounds) or use the sunrise simulation to wake up more refreshed in the morning.
Or you can just use it as a night lamp or reading lamp.
It's a good choice if you've been looking at the Phillips SmartSleep but it's out of your budget.
Works with Alexa.
Best productivity gifts: for the office
noise cancelling headphones
Not everybody works in a quiet, private office.
For anybody working in an open plan office with lots of other people, or working from home, a pair of noise cancelling headphones will get rid of most distractions.
Love using them with some binaural beats tracks to increase concentration and focus.
I've given you a couple of choices: some over-the-ear headphones and some wireless earbuds for portability and practicality.
Which one do you prefer?
a pomodoro timer
The Pomodoro technique is one of my favourite productivity techniques. You set a 25 minute timer and work on one thing until the timer rings, then you get a 5 minute break doing something else: exercise, have a cup of coffee, tidy up your paperwork, whatever.
It's like having a little sprint that pushes you to complete your task in 25 minutes, and then you get 5 minutes for a brief break. So your brain gets a rest and can focus fully on the next thing.
These Pomodoro cubes are so easy to use, even the youngest children can use them.
moleskine smart pen and notebook
And then we have to type up our notes when we get back to the office. But with the Moleskine Smart Pen and Notebook, you don't have to waste your time doing that ever again.
It comes with an app that transfers what's written on the notebook page to your device so they can be shared, searched and edited easily.
a portable scanner
The DOXIE makes it easy to scan documents, it's tiny and you don't even need a computer to use it, so it's portable as well.
It will store up to 4000 pages before needing to sync.
Fantastic when you use it to upload all your important paperwork to Evernote.
As well as making sure you have a good night's sleep, having powernaps can also increase productivity.
Because they increase mental alertness, they improve your mood, and they also mean that you're less likely to make errors on the job, so you're not wasting time redoing things repeatedly.
The Ostrich Pillow is for people that want to be able to have an energy-boosting nap at work or when they're travelling.
Sticking your head in one of these means you can disconnect from the rest of the world and wake up completely refreshed.
But it's not a gift for the easily embarrassed!
Or if you think the pillow is going to be too claustrophobic, get the Ostrich Pillow Loop instead. It looks so cool!
best productivity gifts: wellness
Brain Fuel Essential Oils
Essential oils have therapeutic properties. And one of the best ways to use them is in a nebulising diffuser, so the oils are not being diluted.
This set of 3 bottles of Brain Fuel essential oils are blended to reduce stress, encourage focus and wellbeing. So you can use the right essential oil blend at the right moment to boost your energy and become more productive or to relax when you need it.
There's also an Unwind essential oils set, btw.
Love Zen Gardens because they look so pretty and elegant. And they can be useful when you need to learn to focus and clear your mind.
Best used with the Pomodoro timer I mentioned above. It helps your brain to focus on the right things when you're working and can't take the 5 minutes to do some other tasks.
But what about these lovely tea flowers that blossom when you steep them in hot water?
Wouldn't they be great for a little tea break?
Get the flowers only or the tea flowers and glass teapot set.
Meditation helps you focus on the present, increases your self-awareness, and reduces negative emotions. So you have a clear mind and can focus on what you're doing rather than being distracted by every thought popping into your head.
All you need to do is set a timer and work your way through the labyrinth.
By focusing on tracing the pattern of the labyrinth, you learn to focus and relax for a few minutes at a time.
And I bet your friends have never seen one of these before!
Using a Fitness Tracker like this one won't just help with counting steps and tracking your heart rate.
Used wisely, they encourage people to be more active, more aware of their sleep patterns and live a healthier lifestyle overall.
And this can have a positive impact on productivity levels, cos you're more alert, you're staying active and giving your brain a break when you need it.
If you prefer a much cheaper option here's a fantastic alternative.
time-marked water bottle
Drinking water can help boost productivity, because it helps you sleep better, think clearer, can keep you energised when you're working.
This bottle comes with a strainer so it can be used to infuse fruit into your water or use it with cold tea infusions. And I like that it comes with a little brush.
best productivity gifts: for when you absolutely have no idea
Setting your foot hammock can take a little while to get right, cos it needs to be at the right height for you.
But once it's right, you can use it to be more comfortable at your desk, which can help you stay productive throughout the day. So no more productivity slumps in the afternoon!
It's for people that have to be at their desk and can't take the time to go for a walk and/or can't get a standing desk converter.
A GIFT CARD
If you really don't have a clue but want to get them something they'll use, give them a gift card.
They can choose to spend it towards a much-wanted Fitness Tracker, books, or whatever they want to get.
This is for people that love reading but they have little time to sit down, get a book and read every day.
They can use it when they're walking the dog, going for a run, working out or taking care of chores.
So they get to do what they need to do and use the same time to enjoy a great story or learn something new.
lcd writing tablet
This LCD writing tablet is 12" long so it's big enough to use as a memo board.
I've used some similar tablets at home, but was missing the lock function. So you don't erase everything by mistake.
It's good to have several of these on the go, at the office and also at home.
You can use them as simple to-do lists, to draw mind maps, to organise your thoughts, for taking notes doodling while you're at an important meeting...
This productivity gift is best for to-do list lovers that can't get on with big planners.
I hope you found something useful in this guide. I've tried to include gifts for people that want to be more productive but have different needs.
For more gift ideas check out: