20 Gifts for Productivity Nerds

As Marshall McLuhan said, “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.” The stuff we surround ourselves with matters.

With that in mind, the Behance and 99U teams have assembled 20 things that can help you in your day-to-day — whether it’s keeping track of your tasks or making sure you always have enough tunes.

Think we missed something? Drop us a note in the comments or @ reply us on Twitter.


Calendreco calendar
If you take care of your Calendreco, you may never have to buy another calendar again. Switch the days of the week, not the months to keep your date book current without flipping pages or, more importantly, buying another calendar.
Sure, we’re biased, but we love our brand new Action Pad minis. It’s the standard Action Book grid layout, but now in a smaller size (6″ x 8″) and a sexy new color. We also have limited-edition Dot Grid Mini notebooks as well.

Bose QuietComfort Headphones ($299.95)
Whether you use them to listen to music or to simply block out office noise, the Bose QuietComfort Headphones can do wonders for your ability to focus. They even have a three-button remote on its cord so you don’t divert your attention from your work to change your music.

Braun Clock ($50)
The Braun Clock has everything you need and nothing you don’t. Winner of a Red Dot design award, the clock simply displays the current time and the time you’ve set your alarm with an included backlight. No more, no less.

Power Pod ($99)
Replace your bulky and unsightly powerstrip with this minimalist power hub. The Power Pod houses six outlets and can double as a small storage container for pencils and other small desk items.


If you’re without a landline, power outages like the one brought by Hurricane Sandy can cripple your ability to contact with the outside world. No worries, Eton’s hand-powered battery charger has a USB port so next time you can read your iPad, charge your smartphone, or pass time reading your Kindle — even if your house is off the grid.


Jawbone Up
Track your mood, diet, and sleeping patterns with Jawbone’s refreshed Up bracelet. Designed by former 99U speaker Yves Behar, the Up connects to your phone so you can monitor all of your biometrics and adjust your behavior accordingly. It can even act as a kinder, gentler alarm clock that only wakes you after you’ve left the deepest part of your sleep cycle.

Ten Principles of Good Design Poster ($40)
You can have legendery designer Dieter Rams watching over your workspace like a guardian angel with this 10 Principles of Good Design poster. Mantras such as “Good design makes a product understandable” are surrounded by some of his most iconic designs to give you a little bit of inspiration when you’re stuck.

native-union-mm03i-moshi-moshi-curveNative Union Wireless Handset ($130)
As much as we love our smartphones, there’s just something satisfying about slamming down a handset after a phone call. Reenact the old days by coupling this bluetooth headset with your mobile.

funny_bundle_loresMcSweeney’s book bundles ($10 – $56)
It’s hard to find a McSweeney’s book bundle that doesn’t make us want to make room on the shelf. Not only do they feature the work of writers like Judd Apatow, Maurice Sendak, and Nick Hornby, they are thoughtfully designed and beautifully illustrated.

20×200 Prints (price varies)
20×200’s prints are all independently designed and printed so you can support a great artist — rad folks like Mike Monteiro, Joseph O. Holmes, and Wendy MacNaughton all have work available — and decorate your living room at the same time. Plus, they’re wildly affordable.


Ryan McGinness To-Do List Calendar
Each page has a unique Ryan McGinness illustration, space to write to-dos, and a calendar view for the current and next months. It’s big enough to handle your busy day and small enough that it won’t consume your desk.


Write Like A…. Mug
Because there are two things that all writers like: cursing and coffee. The excellent quote comes courtesy of Dear Sugar.

Projecto ($25)
What good are all of those Instagram photos you’ve taken if you can’t show them off? Projecto creates an tiny old-school projector reel of your Instagram photos to display on a wall or coworker’s desk.


No matter your gadget, it’s likely Baggu has you covered. They now have cases for laptops and iPads in dozen of patterns. Plus, a variety of snazzy, smaller zippered bags that are great for storing cords and such when you’re traveling.
walletTGT Tight ($16)
We’re fans of avoiding the George Costanza wallet in favor of more minimalist options. The best example we’ve seen? Tight, the tiniest wallet that still maintains its functionality. The project is funded through Kickstarter, there are multiple patterns and sizes, and it’s all handmade here in the U.S.A. Nice.

Hydros Bottle ($27.99)
If you’re obsessed with drinking your eight glasses of water a day, you can’t do better than the Hydros Bottle. Not only does the bottle save you from buying plastic alternatives, it’s BPA free, filters water quickly, and part of the proceeds go a community in need of clean water.

Incase Hardshell Roller ($299.95)
We love Incase’s entire new line of travel gear — it’s all designed specifically for the gadget- and design-obsessed traveller. This hardshell roller keeps your stuff safe and even has a fold-open compartment so you can get through airport security without removing your laptop. (Theoretically.)
Inspiration often strikes when you’re away from your notebook or computer. That’s why we like Evernote, the app that helps sync and organize your notes across all of your devices and computers.
Drip.fm subscription ($9 – $15/month)
While services like Spotify and Pandora are great, we miss the notion of owning our music. Drip.fm lets users “subscribe” to individual record labels so you get a guaranteed supply of new music from people you trust in your inbox every month.

More Gifts

If the above items aren’t doing it for you, below are some of our favorite online stores to grab gear that we love.
  • Wirecutter – Tech guides that tell you everything you need to know about getting the right stuff.
  • The Fancy – An irreverent collection of things that readers “fancy.”
  • Fab – A constantly updated shop of well-designed gifts with the goal of making you smile.
  • Uncrate – Must-have gear for guys that’s highly curated.
  • Yliving – Furniture and other stuff with a focus on modern design.
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