Updated 2019 edition
Celebrate the bloggers, writers, and other small business owners in your life with this hand-picked selection of 50 gifts and stocking stuffers.
It's that time of year again!
Hustling and bustling and shopping and cleaning and decorating and cooking and wrapping and OH MY GOD THIS IS EXHAUSTING!
Yes, exhausting. But still fun. Especially when you're giving gifts you know your recipients are going to love.
Most of the gift suggestions listed here have been tried and tested by me, a professional marketing writer and editor working out of a home-based office for almost 20 years.
I discovered many of these gifts while searching for a solution to a concrete problem, like “How can I keep these cords from turning into a jumbled ball in my bag?” and “Isn’t there a decent set of headphones I can plug into my phone for calls?”
Other gifts I discovered through my fascination with office supply stuff – all things paper, pens, and notebooks.
A few of the gift choices might stretch the stocking (and wallet), but the stretch is worth it.
And a few are gifts I’d like for myself <wink, wink, hint, hint>.
[NOTE: Many of the links on this page are affiliate links from Amazon, so if you click and buy I will earn a small commission. Hey — if you find one gift on here, then all my work will have been worth it.]
Ready? Here we go.
I'm a bit of a notebook fiend.
Okay, more than a bit.
I love notebooks, journals, and anything having to do with writing.
So it is with great joy that I recommend Code&Quill notebooks, particularly the Softcover Traveler Notebook.
The cover is, as advertised, soft and flexible. I just ran my hands over my white Traveler now. Even after feeling it for a while, the best description I can come up with is that it feels like what I imagine the underbelly of a lion would feel like.
That probably doesn't help.
Even if I can't describe it, I can tell you that it doesn't feel cheap.
Inside you'll find alternating dot and line indentation pages. I write on both the same. It makes no difference to me.
The pages lie flat while you're writing. A major win.
But the best thing ... the most amazing thing ... is how pens seem to glide over the paper effortlessly.
Really. I had no idea notebook paper could be this good.
And now I'm spoiled forever.
The Traveler is 5.50 x 7.70 inches; if you'd like something larger, check out the Monolith, available on the Code&Quill website.
Tell 'em Renae sent you.
Nah, just kidding; they have no idea who I am.
Any writer, blogger, notetaker, or listmaker will thank you for the Traveler or any other notebook from Code&Quill for that matter.
[Note: The publishers of the Creative Whack Pack just let me know that the product was recently discontinued, and has been replaced with the “Ask the Wise Fool” deck, which has many of the same cards along with new cards. If you’re interested, check out that deck, or any deck by Roger von Oech for that matter. I’ll be ordering the new deck, and will update the description as soon as I can!]
Have you ever been working on something ... a report, a project, an idea ... and found yourself getting fed up with your own take on the subject?
If you're a writer, you might understand.
I mean, there are only so many ways one can describe a widget.
That's where the Creative Whack Pack comes in.
Billed as a "creative thinking workshop in a box," the deck provides 64 different cards with 64 different strategies to be used individually, in meetings, or in a workshop setting.
With creativity stimulators like "Make a metaphor," "Change its name," and "Look somewhere else," the pack helps you see tired topics in new ways.
I keep it handy and pull it out whenever I need to lift myself off the floor after wrestling with boring content for a boring product.
(Hey, sorry ... I write stuff for products and services for a living. It's bound to happen.)
The Creative Whack Pack Card Deck will fit nicely inside a stocking, bringing the promise of sweet release to any idea person in your midst.
Another rendezvous with smooth, soft deliciousness.
Seriously, if you're into notebooks, then this Leuchtturm1917 notebook will set your heart 'a beating.
The cover -- gorgeous! Shiny! Shinier than she appears in the image.
The paper -- creamy, bleed-proof, acid-free, lined, and numbered, with space for the date at the top of each page.
Pens ice skate, dance, and swirl across it like an Olympic gold medalist.
The bookmarks -- two of them to keep you doubly organized.
The back cover -- a durable accordion-style folder inside to keep your notes and biz cards in order.
The book as a whole -- hefty feeling, with 251 pages that lie flat when open. Two index pages in the front are ready for your bullet journalling. Measures 5.75 x 8.25 inches.
I love this Leuchtturm notebook, and would like to fondle its silver and gold mates as well. Maybe my Santa-self will buy them and put them in my stocking.
What blogger, writer, or other fine person doesn't want to improve their vocabulary?
Here's a fun, affordable, easy way to do it in 2020, with the 365 New Words a Year Desktop Calendar.
Each day gives a new word, sample sentences, and details on pronunciation, word origin, and history. And because the calendar sits on your desk all day long, you'll have a much better chance of retaining new words.
This is an especially good gift for folks with kids in the house. I gifted myself the 2019 edition last year, and kept it in view of the dining table. Then, when the kids gathered 'round for feeding, we'd have a new word to explore and dine on.
I especially like the detailed word history on the back of each tear-off page.
Help someone you love get smarter in 2020 with this awesome gift.
According to Google Translate, that says, "I love these pens!" in Japanese.
Even though I love pens and notebooks and other office stuff, it wasn't until this year, through the amazing SCRIBEdelivery.com service, that I discovered the magic of pens produced for the Japanese market.
This particular pen arrived in my SCRIBEdelivery envelope without much fanfare. It didn't look like much. A Pilot? Eh. I had no expectation whatsoever when I pulled off the cap.
But then, when I set pen to paper, I was stunned! The lines were so fine. So clean! I'd never had a pen write like this before.
I looked up this Pilot Hi-Tec-C marvel online, and quickly found it on Amazon. As I read and learned about the 0.3mm pens, I connected the dots. I realized that the Japanese need such 0.3mm fine-lined precision for writing those beautiful characters!
Could you imagine trying to write those Japanese characters with a clunky, ink-blobbing, medium-sized ballpoint? If I were doing the writing, I'm sure it'd be an illegible mess.
Get them for your kids. For your friends. For your clients! For your neighbors!
And if you use these Hi-Tec-C black 0.3mm ballpoints in one of the journals I mention in this gift-giving guide ... WOW. You'll find yourself infused with a doubly amazing writing delight.
While looking at the black 0.3mm Pilot Hi-Tec-C pens, Amazon was kind enough to show me the colored set you see here, the Hi-Tec-C Maica ballpoints. In color.
Of course I had to buy a set.
And although the line comes in at 0.4mm instead of 0.3mm, you'll hardly notice. They write as beautifully as their black-inked counterparts. Only prettier.
The Pilot Hi-Tec-C Maica set will make a great stocking stuffer for the creative in your life!
A little backstory...
You might be thinking, "What? A fidget spinner? Why does anyone need that?!?"
I thought the same thing, until I bought a spinner for myself just to see what the big deal was about. (The one pictured is not the one I bought originally.)
The very next day, as I sat listening to a webinar, I grabbed my new spinner and ... spun away.
I must say, I was impressed with how quickly and smoothly the spinner turned. I set it to spinning, and then waved it around, feeling the force of it shifting in my fingers. I spun it again and again, mesmerized by the seeming perfection of the motion.
I kept on spinning it throughout the webinar. That's when I decided my spinner was a keeper. It now had a home in arm's reach on my desk so I could use it while listening to audio.
Now -- as to the D-FantiX Fidget Spinner Cube pictured. I'm sharing it with you here in this gift-giving guide for several reasons.
First, its spin is MUCH finer than my first spinner, which cost $5 in the checkout line at Michael's.
Second, the colors and shapes. Do they remind you of something? Like, maybe ... a Rubik's cube? That's because this is a cube spinner. The pieces move oh-so-smoothly, and you can mix them up and solve the puzzle, just as you would a Rubik's cube. There's a video on the product's Amazon page, so you can check it out.
Third, I'm also sharing this particular spinner because it comes in a nice package, almost as if it were a wedding ring. In a clear, plastic box. There's a storage bag for the spinner as well.
The last reason I'm sharing is because I received this spinner as a gift from my son, a Rubik's cube fanatic. Did you know there are cubes in different shapes, sizes, and configurations? And there is such a thing as a cubing competition? I had no idea such things existed! When my son discovered that his university didn't have a cubing club, he founded one. And now he and other club members participate in all sorts of competitions.
But here's the thing. When this son of mine was home from college over the summer, he showed me HIS cube spinner because he knew I was using a spinner in the office. I mentioned how awed I was by his because it felt so much better in my hands than my original spinner.
Then, the next time he was home on break, he said, "Mom, I got you something."
I opened up the package and there was a cube spinner! This cube spinner! I was so touched!
Until he told me, "Yeah, that was the one you played with when I was home last time. I thought the pieces turned a little roughly, so I ordered another one."
He gave me his reject, although it turns out that the roughness he originally felt had gone by the time he gave it to me. Lucky me ... lucky him!
Want to stuff stockings with boosted concentration, improved focus, and soothing spins? Check out the D-FantiX Fidget Spinner Cube.
One of the tricks I tell clients who struggle with writing -- and anyone else who will listen, really -- is to set a timer for 20 minutes, and then write just for that 20 minutes.
See how you feel.
If you're feeling inspired, set it for another 20. Or maybe 10.
And you can use this cool TimeCube timer to do it.
Mine is sitting here on my desk right in front of me. I don't use it for writing though. I use my TimeCube for two things:
- To work on important business-development tasks for nine 20-minute blocks of time each day (an idea from Chris Brogan's 20 Minute Plan Jumpstart; I don't always use the technique, but it's a fantastic way to get things done)
- To force myself into doing tasks I don't want to do, like setting up course pages in Memberium, the idea being that once I'm 20 minutes into it, it's much easier to keep going
Yeah, it's a mind trick. But whatever works!
By the way, I initially discovered this timer when searching for a Pomodoro technique timer. Pomodoro traditionally works on 25-minute increments. You can also go that route, if you wish, and get a traditional Pomodoro timer.
The Blog Post Inspiration Deck is my product. I created it to help bloggers, writers, marketers, and business owners answer the question, "What should I write about today?"
Inside the deck you'll find 60 cards divided into three groups of 20.
- Type cards provide ideas for types of content, like how-to content or a checklist
- Topic cards help you reach into your own life and work experiences to create unique content, content no one else on the Internet can produce; a photo on your phone and something funny that happened are but two examples
- Vibe cards take the idea a step further by suggesting the possible vibe of the content, like zeal or courage; maybe it's the vibe you want your reader to feel while reading your post, or maybe it's the topic of your post by itself
The way it works is that you pull three cards from the deck -- one card from each group -- and see what comes up for you in terms of ideas and inspiration. Sometimes one card is enough to give you a handful of ideas. Sometimes the combination of any two cards gives you a great idea. Sometimes none of the cards gives you an idea, and you draw again. And sometimes all three cards work together to inspire you to create a piece of content you might never have thought of otherwise.
The Blog Post Inspiration Deck isn't just for blogs, either. Use it to get ideas for social media posts, vlog posts, email messages, assignments, and more.
One elementary school teacher I know used the cards for 30 days to teach her young charges a new vocabulary word AND inspire a daily art project!
So many uses!
The Blog Post Inspiration Deck fits nicely in a stocking as well
And with an always-on Buy3ShipFree offer, you can give them to more than one person on your list!
Gifts don't have to be sexy to be appreciated, which is why this particular headset made it onto this gift list.
I've been using this GE stereo headset with my Android phone for many years; I think I've gone through two of them and two sets of ear pads.
Why I love and recommend it:
- It's lightweight
- The microphone is bendy; it also swivels all the way up so you can move it out of the way or bring it closer
- The ear pads are replaceable
- Sound is transmitted and received well
- It's affordable
The plastic packaging might be a bit of a stretch for a stocking, but this little headset is worth the effort.
My middle son brought cord organizers into my life for Christmas one year.
I was like, "What is this?"
My heart was touched that he thought of me, but, at the time, I had no idea why, when, or how I'd use them.
Now, many years later, I regularly turn to cord organizers to hold together one set of cords or another, which is why I always like to keep one or two handy at my desk.
These Avantree Reusable Cord Organizers aren't the exact organizers he bought me the first time, but they're similar.
They're also affordable, and would make a great gift for any gadget-crazy person's stocking.
It sucks when you're out and about and your phone, laptop, or tablet is about to die.
"Why didn't I remember to charge it?!" you scold yourself.
That need not happen ever again with this RAVPower external battery pack. I bring mine with me whenever we go to places like Carowinds, an amusement park in Charlotte. My family loves to go on the rides, while I prefer to sit in the air-conditioned dining area and watch videos instead. (My back won't tolerate more than the merry-go-round, and I hate sitting around waiting outside in the heat.)
Because the charger has three hubs, I can charge my laptop, phone, AND tablet at the same time -- not that I bring all three devices with me to Carowinds. And it's sure nice to have a solution at hand when your son runs up to you after his 14th time on Fury 325 saying, "MOM! My phone is about to die!" I speak from experience.
The RAVPower external battery pack also comes in four colors -- blue, red, black, and white -- so each stocking can receive a different color and you can avoid the maddening "that one's mine!"
Although I'm not a book purist, there really is no need to dog-ear your books, especially when you have a few sets of these lovely, leaf-shaped cherry-blossom bookmarks lying around.
After purchasing one set, I had to buy more.
I like to give these bookmarks, which are made from real leaves, as gifts by including them in with greeting, holiday, or birthday cards.
A lovely stocking stuffer for readers and book lovers.
Can five minutes in the morning and five minutes at the end of the day really affect your happiness?
Thanks to the Five-Minute Journal, I can happily say YES!
I keep this journal by my bed, and spend a few minutes each morning and evening celebrating, visioning, and being grateful. The result is that I can start the day with a clearer outlook and plan, and end the day thinking about the good things in life.
Use the journal to start a daily writing habit -- even if you're the type that has started trying to journal regularly many times without the habit "sticking."
I highly recommend the Five-Minute Journal for every stocking!
I used to believe that the Oxford comma was for grammar snobs only.
- WITH the Oxford comma: We invited the strippers, JFK, and Stalin
(Here we are inviting three -- strippers, JFK, and Stalin)
- WITHOUT the Oxford comma: We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin
(Here we are inviting two -- JFK and Stalin, both of whom are strippers)
- WITH: To my parents, Ayn Rand, and God
(To the three of you -- parents, Ayn Rand, and God)
- WITHOUT: To my parents, Ayn Rand and God
(To the two of you, my parents -- Ayn Rand and God)
The point is that I'm a believer in the Oxford comma. Yes, we could eliminate the comma by rewriting, but the comma comes in handy more often than not.
This mug would make a great gift for a largish stocking -- but only if you're sure that the recipient is, indeed, on Team Oxford Comma.
Sometimes the best gifts come in small packages -- like the gift of uninterrupted writing time.
This plastic door hanger will let the writer in your life tell the world whether he or she is writing, door opened or closed.
Fun, frivolous, 'ffordable, fits in a stocking 🙂
When you're sitting on your bum all day long, banging away at the keyboard, it's nice to dress up your desk with small, bright bits of art, such as these colorful stone coasters.
Even better, this gift is useful!
What writer or blogger or other desk worker doesn't work with a drink at their side? And when someone else pulls up a chair and gets ready to put their wet, slippery glass on your desk, you can say, "Ah! Wait a minute there. Let me grab you a coaster."
With cork on the bottom and an absorbent ceramic on top, your desk will stay safe, dry, and colorful. Just the way I like it.
Although my desktop has at least 50 pens within easy reach, only two pencils sit at the ready. One is a cedar pencil with an amazing eraser, and the other is the Kuru Toga Advance, both of which I received as part of my subscription to SCRIBEdelivery.
The Kuru Toga Advance, my favorite lead pencil, is another product for the Japanese market, this time for its lead-rotating technology that produces consistent lines and allows you to use more of each lead. The lead rotates in the chamber so you always have a good point to write on, preventing breakage and saving lead.
The packaging is entirely in Japanese, which makes the gift feel really special, too. "You got me a gift from Japan?!?" they'll ask, eyebrows raised in wonder. You'll smile knowingly, thanking this here gift and stocking-stuffer list and the magic known as Amazon.
We, the desk-dwellers of the world, often need help getting the hydration our bodies require. That's where this gift comes in--the Cactaki Water Bottle with Time Marker.
It holds 32 ounces, and helps track your water intake throughout the day. Fill it twice a day, get your 64 ounces in. Fill it four times a day, and you've chugged a gallon.
The lid opens and closes easily, and the strap is nice for when your thirsty recipient peels her butt out of the chair and ventures outside, shading her eyes like a night-dwelling creature would on its first foray into the sun.
Oh -- another bonus -- it also includes a strainer for making infused water, and an ebook with a few recipes. I don't go for infused water, but it's nice to know I can have it if I want!
These little memo clip holders are a fantastic invention, and will make a great stocking stuffer for anyone who sits at a desk.
I use them to hold notes, photos, tarot cards, mini artworks, phone numbers, brand color hex codes, and so much more.
There are 10 pieces in this set, allowing your grateful recipient to use them in the office and around the house.
This is one of those "can't go wrong with it" gifts.
Get a set of these memo clip holders for yourself, and one for all of the teen and adult stockings on your mantel.
This set of 10 smiling, googly-eyed paper binder clips makes a perfect gift for office folk, especially the creatives who like bright bits of fun and color in their lives.
It's amazing how such a small thing can bring a smile in the midst of an otherwise dreary day.
Maybe you're working along, doing your taxes, grouping your receipts, making sour faces about having to give up so much of your hard-earned income, and then you realize you have enough papers now to need a binder clip.
So you reach for one, and ... awww! Look how cute it is! Wiggle wiggle. <Smile.>
See? By giving a pack of these cute binder clips to your recipient, you'll be gifting little moments of lightness and happiness all year long.
Writers and bloggers as a whole tend to like to let the world know what they're thinking and feeling. That's why we're writing and blogging!
This Daily Mood Flipchart is a fun way to share your mood with the world. Mine has been set on Managerial for a while now, as I've been creating an online course and getting bogged down by a lot of administration and outsourcing.
I've also recently been Fabulous, Neglected, and Giddy.
And you better believe that I flipped my chart to let the whole house know
A fun, affordable stocking stuffer that fits well on any desk or counter space!
One of my sons used to collect all things sand art. He had timers, pens, and quite a few other sand art pieces, although none as nice as this Sand Art Sandscape.
How soothing it is to flip the frame and watch the sand gently, slowly, pour into new formations.
A point of focus.
A way to unwind.
A piece of desktop Sandscape art.
When your desk doesn't have much room but you'd like to be reminded of important to-dos and people in your life, turn to the NoteTower Desktop Mini.
Sticky notes fit underneath and into the side clips, which are good for business cards, photos, and reminder notes.
The base has small suction pads so it won't slip-slide away as you're using it.
A great gift for desk dwellers everywhere.
Although there are a lot of phone chargers out there, I bet few, if any, are like this OCOOPA rechargeable power bank, which also acts as an instant hand warmer.
As a gal who lives with a heating pad on her back and microwaveable booties on her feet, I can't tell you how much this gift will be appreciated by those who must press on and keep typing despite having frozen fingers.
The pocket-sized OCOOPA comes in black, blue, and pink, and fits into sweater and coat pockets just as well as it does a desk drawer.
I'm using mine right now.
Warm hands, at last!
If you've been reading along in this post, then you know I'm a pen and paper person. I love pens and journals and all sorts of office supply stuff.
So, naturally, over the years, I've wanted desperately to be one of those people who whips out a lovely planner when trying to schedule something.
Me: What's that? January 9th you say? <opens briefcase, pulls out lovely planner, and quickly flips to the right page>
Them: Yes, January 9th at 2 pm.
Me: <Reaching for my equally lovely Kuru Toga pencil> Great! I've penciled you in.
I've spent PLENTY of money over the years trying to find a planner I'd actually use for more than a few days or weeks.
Fancy ones, leather ones, ones with stickers, stiff ones, bendy ones, cheap ones.
Seriously, I've tried a LOT of planners.
So when I heard about the Essential Planner from a friend on Facebook, and saw that it showed a week at a time across a two-page spread AND hourly time slots, I had to try it.
I wasn't expecting much though, thanks to the aforesaid fails in using planners.
But this one! This one was different!
First of all, unlike most planners that go from January to December, the Essential Planner follows the academic calendar. So if you buy the 8.5 x 11-inch version that starts in June 2019 and goes through May 2020 , you'll be missing the last half of 2020. Even so, the planner is cheap enough that you can give it a try without breaking the bank. AND, if you like it, you can reorder early next year, when the 2020-2021 version comes out!
Second, the size of this planner is PERFECT for someone like me who wants to see upcoming appointments AND have plenty of space to write notes and to-dos. It's also spiral bound, and the spirals are not thin and chintzy. The pages turn oh-so-smoothly, and I can either leave it open fully to see the entire week, or folded in half to see the half of the week I'm in.
Third, the Essential Planner has a hard plastic cover that won't bend and tear as you use it and travel with it.
By Jove! It's a planner I actually use!
Maybe you or your gift recipient will love it, too.
The Essential Planner is perfect for students, writers, bloggers, small business owners ... and anyone else who needs to keep order in their busy life.
I know what you're thinking... "Wait, another planner?!"
Hear me out on this one.
I just discovered the Passion Planner, probably from an ad on Facebook or Instagram.
Despite the fact that I already have a planner I love, this planner lured me in for what may or may not turn out to be a long-term relationship.
First, the cover.
There are several cover styles and colors; I chose the green, engraved with a lovely leaf motif.
The two-page, weekly spread on 8.5 x 11-inch paper has plenty of room to pencil in appointments and jot notes.
The paper is smooth; I suspect it will be a pleasure to write on.
And the planner just feels so good in my hands!
While not spiral-bound, which means it can't be folded in half (the way my current love, the Essential Planner, can), the Passion Planner does lie flat when opened.
Another difference between my current love and the Passion Planner is that the Passion Planner has been designed to give you a four-step process for achieving your goals. I'm not sure whether I'll use this feature or not.
Finally, for every Passion Planner purchased, the company gives one away to those in need.
Will the Passion Planner replace my current love, the Essential Planner? Check back with me next year, because only time will tell.
A confession: I have more sticky notes than I'll ever use. So why did I buy these Post-It Notes?
I don't know. It's a sickness, I tell 'ya.
But I do use these cute and colorful sticky notes for lots of things: small notes to self, small notes to husband, marking pages in books, and organizing ideas all come to mind.
They'd also be nice for planning on a large wall. Maybe blue is for blog posts, pink is for Pinterest, and yellow is for y-social. (Okay, so I couldn't think of a "Y" word for social media. Oh well!)
Ah ... we're just about to enter the cold winter months, when chapped lips make their appearance. Fortunately, I recently happened upon CBD Daily Salve and Lip Balm.
What I love about this balm is that it isn't just for soothing and moisturizing your lips. You can also use it to target sore areas on your body.
It uses Hemp CBD and essential oils that do an awesome job at reducing dry skin conditions and promoting overall well-being.
CBD Daily contains hemp CBD and other lovely things that bring moisture where you need it most.
I'm sensitive to smells. Fancy ladies in fancy high heels reeking of overpowering, fancy perfumes send me running for clean air.
I also don't like greasy lotions.
So one day, while in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, I ran across a sampler of this Honey & Orange Blossom Hand Lotion in one of the shops along the main drag.
I gave it a go, and then continued shopping.
It smelled a-maz-ing! Fresh, not treacly.
But what really won my heart was how it made my hands feel!
Soft. Baby powder soft. Or that pink baby lotion. My hands had never felt so soft!
I bought one.
And just now, while writing to you, I reached over and applied another few dabs of hand lotion. Ahh! The soft, lovely smell and freshness is back again.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I love cats.
I love art.
I love card decks.
The Spirit Cats card deck allows me to enjoy three of those loves at once.
Of all the gifts listed in this post, I think the Spirit Cats deck is my favorite.
Each card is like a little piece of art. And the text on the backside is beautifully written. It's beautiful AND smart!
Use the deck for daily inspiration, pull one for a special message, or, do as I do, and choose a card to inspire you for a week at a time. (I stand the week's card on my desk using the desktop memo clips I talked about earlier.)
Nicole Piar, birth mother to all the kitties, also created a 2019 calendar showcasing her babies. Of course I had to have one! And she's created a new one for 2020 as well, although I don't know how many will remain from her first printing.
Enjoy the sweetness!
My husband and I had a deck added to the front of our home in hopes of being able to sit outside to enjoy the (relative) quiet and cool mountain air. We bought squirrel-proof bird feeders, which now are regular stops for one or two pair of cardinals, tiny birds with little white spots on their heads, bluejays, mockingbirds, doves, and other feathered friends.
That deck is one of two of the best home investments we've ever made. (The other was getting a real fireplace to replace a fake, propane-burning gas fireplace.) I love going out to the deck when the air is cool and the sun is warm, listening to the birds, the wind, and the goats across the way.
Selfie ring lights are required accoutrements for the online business owner who does live or recorded video or speaks to clients and others over Zoom or other video platforms.
I've tried a few different lights. Sadly, most have not been tall enough, as I have an extra-large monitor the light has to stand taller than.
THIS ring light though, works perfectly, and is tall enough to tower over my ultrawide monitor. You can change the light's brightness and color using the enclosed controller.
If you know someone who's just starting with videos, or someone you're tired of struggling to see over video because they're basically in the dark, you may want to send this gift their way.
I was so proud when I got this microphone. It made me look and feel just like a real radio broadcaster!
Seriously though, I had just started creating online courses and attending Zoom calls, so a good mic was a priority. I had no qualms about laying out the cash for this model, as it came highly recommended by the gurus of the time. (They're still the gurus of today, by the way!)
I can tell from the recordings of my videos (and from regularly asking the other parties I'm speaking with) that it transmits sound, crisp and clear.
And the Blue Yeti really does make you feel like a celebrity, at least for a while ... until it blends in and becomes another piece of schmutz on your desktop.
Just kidding ... no schmutz! The Blue Yeti is an impressive piece of hardware. Your recipient will be thrilled!
Click click click. Click. Click clickety click.
Complain though I might, I used to think that I had no choice but to use those dull-sounding, plasticky keyboards. There was no satisfying "click" when I pressed the keys.
Then came the chiclet keyboard. UUGH. I hated that style of keyboard, and hate it still, as it's the only kind you can find on laptops these days.
BUT ... my youngest son is a gamer. One day, he said his keyboard died. "Can you buy me another?" he asked.
So I did. It was the Corsair mechanical gaming keyboard.
When it arrived, and he took it out of the box and plugged it in, I was like, "WHOA, DUDE! That looks amazing!" The keys lit up in many colors! I, being a lover of lights, had always wanted one of those pretty keyboards....
Then, I heard him type. Click click. Click click click. Clickety click click.
I was like, "Wait a minute! Let me try that!"
And I was blown away.
This was the same sound and feel I loved, just like on those old electric typewriters. Each key gives a satisfying click when it lands, letting you know when your fingers have flown astray.
And did I mention the colors?!?
I'm not sure whom in your life you're thinking about getting this mechanical keyboard for, but I am sure that they're gonna love it.
Bloggers and writers are hoarders. I know, because I am one!
My digital haul includes free and paid stock photos, swipe files, writing samples, drafts and final copies of written work, course materials, spreadsheets of blog post and product ideas - and so much more.
I use Carbonite to automatically back up the contents of my main data drive. It works like a charm because I never have to think about it.
Until I do.
The last time my computer crashed, my computer dude, Aaron Tracy of Asheville Computer Company, recommended that I get an external hard drive as a fail-safe for Carbonite for two reasons: 1) the data will be quicker to access the next time I have a problem, and 2) he could also set the drive to back up all of my programs, too.
And I have to say, I'm glad I followed his recommendation. I haven't had to use the new external drive--yet. But just knowing it's there, mirroring my hard drive once a week, automatically, is well worth the price of admission.
The world may have gone digital but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the pleasure only paper and ink can bring.
If you or the writers / bloggers / business owners in your life are the type who love snow and snowflakes, as I do, or Snow Patrol, as I definitely, 100 percent, in-a-true-fan-girl-way do, then add this self-inking snowflake stamp to your cart.
(I have a similar snowflake stamp in Snow Patrol blue, but I purchased it from an online company that specializes in stamps because Amazon didn't have the right color.)
It's fun to stamp outgoing mail this way, during the holidays and, for snow lovers, all year long.
I also use my snowflake stamp in my journals whenever it feels right.
It will make a fun stocking stuffer!
I don't just like to "work" in my home office. I like to WORK!
As the years have gone by, I went from having a 17-inch laptop as my main PC, to adding an external, 21-inch monitor, to adding ANOTHER external, 21-inch monitor, to replacing the laptop with a desktop hooked up to this amazing, 34-inch Ultrawide monitor.
Now, I use it in front of my face, plus the two 21-inchers stacked on top of each other to the left.
The new Ultrawide comes with software that allows you to split the screen in various ways. My favorite way is to split the screen into three equal parts.
This means I can have open, at the same time, three documents or browser tabs on the extra-large monitor, and at least two more documents or browser tabs on the stacked, 21-inchers.
That's a lot of screen real estate -- and I love it!
I have become a bit spoiled though. It's awfully hard to work on just a single laptop monitor anymore, which, in I realize, is not such a bad problem to have.
Although this gift won't fit in a stocking, it will fit nicely into any home-office worker's life (as long as they have room for it on their desk).
Really, this Ultrawide monitor has been a game-changer in my life.
I've been meeting with lots of people on Zoom and creating lots of videos lately. And though I love my office, with all of its nooks, crannies, and cubbies, I felt that those nooks, crannies, and cubbies in the background behind me was a little distracting. It looked messy.
On a call with the members of my mastermind, one of the gals had a lovely room divider behind her, which gave me the idea to look for one for myself.
It took a while, but I finally found one I liked, although not from Amazon.
This 4-panel room divider from Wayfair was the right choice.
You can see it behind me in this screenshot from one of my videos.
I initially thought I'd put up the divider for videos or client calls, and then take it down the rest of the time. That turned out to be a lot more work than I wanted, which was fine, because this room divider looks nice enough to keep up all year long.
An amazing gift for anywhere in the home or office!
Shh ... listen.
Can you hear that?
Me, neither! And that's the point!
When I reorganized my office a few years ago, I found the coolest wall clock I'd ever seen. It was billed as "quiet."
Sadly, within minutes of having that "quiet" clock on the wall, I was pulling my hair out, listening to the very loud TICK TICK TICK TICK.
That clock went back to Amazon same day.
And then I discovered this one, a 10-inch wall clock billed as "silent."
I love it! It's silent as promised, looks sleek and modern, and is easy to read. I really like the font, too. That, coupled with the shape of the hands, and their smooth movement, made this clock a perfect (silent!) addition to my home office.
It will make a great gift for the right person!
I created a reading nook in my bedroom, and needed a light to brighten the area. Fortunately, I ran across this modern floor lamp, and knew I had to at least try it.
I'm so glad I did! The rings are adjustable; you can position them in any configuration. The light is also dimmable, and works by touch. Touch for on, touch again for brighter, brighter, brightest.
Not only does this LED floor lamp serve its function well; it's also a great conversation starter. Everyone who sees it asks about or mentions it.
If you want people to think, "Holy cow, this person gives amazing gifts!" consider giving this lamp. It makes MY day every time I turn it on.
It's no secret that sunlight can boost your mood and even your productivity. But not everyone has always-on access to the sun, for instance, if your home office is in the basement or if it's the middle of winter.
The HappyLight Compact light therapy lamp mimics that much-needed sunlight to give you the energy and focus you need to survive dark days.
My husband uses a large HappyLight in the family room. I use the compact size in my office. It really does make a difference!
Green tea + mints.
Who'd'a thunk it?!
I picked up these green-tea infused mints while playing tourist in Blowing Rock.
They're fun to snack on, for me, three at a time.
Buy one multi-pack, and you'll have more than enough for ALL the stockings!
If you've read this far, then you've probably realized how much I'm a fan of lights and cute, artsy things.
This 8-inch glow ball from Home Depot is one of them! I happened to spot it while walking through the store.
What's that? A globe lamp that changes color?!?
YES, please 🙂
I enjoy this particular model from Home Depot because it has a plug, so I never have to worry about batteries or recharging.
(All of the models on Amazon were wireless; if you're cool with that, then have at it!)
A pain in the butt, but also this gadget-loving girl's dream 🙂
When my last laptop started giving me signs of impending death -- like crashing all the time -- I started my search for a new one.
I didn't have to look far, especially once I discovered the Microsoft Surface 2; it's sleek and professional. And cobalt blue?! Yes, please!
Beyond that, this awesome laptop comes with the latest processor, not to mention 16 gigs of RAM. It weighs in at just under three pounds, making it perfect for students and those of us who love to travel.
P.S. This Surface 2 looks extra sweet inside the Samsung backpack I'll share with you in just a bit!
Alexa, add peanut butter to the shopping list.
"I've added peanut butter to your shopping list."
Alexa, set an alarm for 6:00 am.
"I've set an alarm for 6:00 am."
Alexa, who won the Flyers' game last night?
Well ... she can't give me everything 🙂
I have a full-sized Alexa in my kitchen. One day, I got tired of forgetting to add things to the list simply because I didn't want to trudge out to the kitchen when adding to the list was on my mind.
That's when I bought the Amazon Echo Dot for my office.
You don't need the larger-sized Alexa for this to work. The Dot works on its own, too.
And you can do a LOT of stuff with it: check it out, here.
The Echo Dot will make a great stocking stuffer for the guy or gal who has everything (everything but the Dot, that is).
I love flying. But I don't like having zero foot room remaining after cramming my usual laptop backpack under the seat in front of me.
Thus began my mission to find the perfect combination of travel gear that would let me keep my laptop at my feet without stealing all the room from them!
I tried MANY different options and combinations. The last option before I discovered this Samsonite Business Backpack was a supposed "under the seat" rolling carry on.
YEAH, RIGHT! Of six flights, that bag fit under the seat just once. And it left no room whatsoever for my feet.
It became kind of a joke at my house as I explained my ongoing travails to my husband and kids.
So, naturally, when I came across THIS backpack, my husband was skeptical. It was kind of small, but I figured I could bring it and a small purse to have everything I needed at the ready.
IT WORKED! During my last trip, I didn't have to use the overhead bins. And I had room for my feet. Sweet relief!
Several security agents and flight attendants commented on how nice it was, too. I guess finding a small but sturdy backpack is a quest for many!
I don't recommend this bag for college students, as it's far too small to carry textbooks, but I do recommend it for travelers who don't need to have a lot of stuff on hand.
If there's someone like that in your life, the Samsonite Business Backpack will make a great gift.
I bought this memory foam lap desk as a birthday gift for my husband. He uses it all the time while in his recliner.
I bought one for my dad for Christmas; he uses it all the time in his recliner, too.
My son took one to college with him so he can work in bed.
And I steal my husband's so I can work during those long three-to-five hour drives to visit that son and his brother and sister in college.
This deluxe memory foam lap desk is a practical, thoughtful gift for the laptoppers in your life.
My husband has a 12-sheet shredder. It used to make me jealous because my tiny shredder would always clog when I tried to put in what seemed a reasonable number of sheets.
Every time I complained about mine, my husband would say, "Get an AmazonBasics one like mine."
So finally, I did ... and I did one better by getting this AmazonBasics 15-sheet shredder!
Hear me ROAR!
Lol - just kidding.
But man, what a difference. Now, instead of tearing up those junk mail credit card offers, I just feed them right into the shredder, envelope and all. And the paper catch bucket is large enough that I don't feel like I'm always having to empty it.
If you or someone you know needs a new shredder, you won't go wrong with this one from AmazonBasics.
A standing whiteboard had been on my to-get list for a while. I imagined myself teaching students, live, and turning to the board to help clarify a point or to create a visual for whatever I was explaining.
I also imagined using a standing whiteboard to sketch out my plans and upcoming course content.
It had to be double-sided so I could keep a drawing if needed, and magnetic so I could keep important notes and papers handy. It also had to fold for easy storage, AND be able to stand on carpet without wobbling.
This standing whiteboard ticked all the boxes. I ordered it, and love it! It is sure to make a great gift for the course creators, bloggers, home schoolers, and students in your life.
I wanted to end this year's gift collection by telling you a little more about a service I've mentioned a few times in this post -- SCRIBEdelivery. Although you can't put it into a stocking, SCRIBEdelivery would make an AMAZING, thoughtful present for the pen, pencil, paper, and office-stuff lover in your life.
Each month, an envelope of happiness arrives in my mailbox, introducing me to a wide world of products I otherwise wouldn't have known existed! I've received notebooks large and small, gel and ballpoint pens that have expanded my favorites list, fountain pens and ink, and pencils from small manufacturers that, to my amazement, manage to exist despite the Walmartization of our world.
Each month's envelope also comes with a short letter that tells about each item -- where it's from, why it's special, and how to enjoy it the most.
If you order a gift subscription, tell 'em Renae sent you.
Join my tribe?
Do you sweat the small stuff? Do you want your online presence to inspire trust and confidence? Do you grit your teeth when others don't care enough about YOUR web experience? Are you all about creating an excellent website and excellent content that makes it easy for people to get to know, like, and trust you and buy your stuff?
I think we might be soul mates. And I'd love for you to join my tribe.
When you do, I'll alert you to new blog posts, new programs and products, and new ways for you to create excellent, frictionless, online experiences that lead more people to YES! I promise to be relevant and real, and to send only thoughtful content and advice.
EMAIL NEWSLETTER * MARKETING GUIDANCE
Thoughtful content. Real-world advice. Enter your details to get the next issue when it's ready.