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The 2014 Gift Guide for Getting Things Done

Need some gift ideas that will give the recipient a kick to get things done? Presenting the 99U holiday gift guide: 24 must-have items for streamlining your life.

We like our gifts like we like our advice: thoughtful, fully functional, and easy on the eyes. This year’s gift guide comes fully stocked with items we’ve gifted to others, drooled over, or have purchased for ourselves (so we won’t judge if you pick some up for yourself too). 

Death Before Decaf Tee

If you know someone who has considered rioting after learning the coffee maker is broken, they probably need this shirt. They might also need an intervention.




The Native Union NIGHT Cable uses a weighted, adjustable knot to anchor a Micro-USB or Apple Lightning cord so it’s always within reach.


Starter Drone

The Nano QX RTF is the perfect starter drone. A cheap but sturdy quad-copter, it’s small enough to fly around the office. (+10 points for every intern you buzz.)


Bottle Opener

Nothing says a job well done like a cold beverage. And if you’re going to celebrate, do it right with this fancy bottle opener from Owen & Fred. Bonus: it’s so hefty it doubles as a paperweight in between those post-work beers.


Solar-Nano Smartphone Case

Juse’s smartphone case promises to perpetually charge smartphones via solar power. It works as long as it has access to sunlight, and promises to deliver even in “low office light.”


Hand Warmer

Perfect for the winter adventurer or daily commuter, the Zippo Hand Warmer keeps fingers toasty for 12 solid hours while fitting snugly in a pocket or glove. Bring it on, polar vortex.



Studio Roller

This wall-mounted paper roller by George & Willy replaces the cold dry-erase stuff with kraft paper to bring class back to the conference room.


Karma Go

For anyone who needs to travel a lot for work (or for those lucky few, pleasure), the biggest frustration can be trying to find consistent wifi. Luckily, this portable, pocket wi-fi comes with no monthly plan or hidden fees. They simply pay as they go, for as much 4G LTE as they need (and up to eight devices).



Unstuck Tip Card Decks

The brilliant people behind the Unstuck App are now offering their tips in handy little card decks. Each one is geared towards a specific “stuck moment,” such as procrastinating or negativity, allowing you to oh-so-thoughtfully choose whichever fits your recipient’s struggle best.


Flic Button

The Flic button creates a one-push, tactile shortcut for complex smart functions. They can be programmed to control lighting, call for an Uber car, send a location, or as a remote shutter for a smartphone’s camera. (Note: It’s on pre-order for another 30 days or so, and won’t deliver until March 2015.)


Showerhead with Wireless Speaker

For the multi-taskers, this Kohler showerhead allows them to listen to their favorite playlists, morning news, or the latest episode of Serial, all while soaping up for the day ahead. As one Amazon reviewer put it, “The only thing better than a shower beer is having a shower beer while safely gyrating to jams in the shower playing through your waterproof shower head speaker.”


Year Wall Planner

For those in your life with big plans ahead, or who are just big on planning, Crispin Finn’s wall calendar allows them to see the entire year in one glance. The absolutely gorgeous design doesn’t hurt either.


Ultrasonic Essential Oil Heater

Between your deskmate’s tuna sandwich and the musty file cabinets, offices can get pretty funky sometimes. But while candles can feel a little too sexy (and a fire hazard), the Stadler Form Jasmine is a sleek, ultrasonic essential oil heater that can be set to function on 10 to 20 minute intervals to keep the whole day smelling decent.


Legacy Box

The Legacy Box offers a digitizing service for everything from Super 8 film, audio reels, VHS, and 35mm negatives, which makes it great for everyone on your list from avid collectors to grandparents. Simply mail their collection in the well-packed, crush-proof box and they’ll return it safely along with DVDs and digital files, ready to enjoy.



Your very busy friends are probably also too busy to buy and hang good art on their walls. Do them a favor and get them this cheeky Bando print. They’ll thank you later (when they get a free moment).


Six Mile/Ten KM Pencil
 ($12.50 for four)

Lyon & Lyon’s pencils can drag their graphite across six miles of paper before running out, giving your giftee a whole new way to track their writing or drawing progress. You can also choose between the Six Mile or Ten Kilometers Pencil for whichever measurement suits them best.


Gigs 2 Go Flash Drive Pack

Sick of constantly losing expensive flash drives? Gigs 2 Go are made of recycled material, but are surprisingly rugged, waterproof, and more importantly: cheap. Simply tear one off to share.



Retractable Roller Work Ball Pen

If we’re going to shell out money for a fancy pen, it better do more than just look nice. This one, designed by Shigeru Ban, uses a triangular shape to fit comfortably in your hand with a working architect’s scale built-in.


Zip Transport Tote

It’s hard to find a work bag that looks good while working as hard as you do. We can personally vouch for the moxie behind Madewell’s leather zip tote. It fits a 15” laptop snugly, with plenty of room leftover without becoming bulky or uncomfortable, and looks better with time as the leather wears.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 11.54.34 AM

Emoji Pillows

Emojis have become an integral part of daily email and text conversations, and are arguably changing the way we converse online for the better. It’s hard to not smile at these giant, plush versions; and is probably the only time we’ve ever called a giant, smiley poop “cute.”


Floyd Legs

Floyd’s clamp desk legs can create a desk out of any surface, for as temporarily or as permanently as desired. They even come with a handy carrying case for those who really work on the go.


Beyonce Mug

Caffeine is the daily kick your body needs to get in motion; your mug should do the same for your brain. Queen B is just as intent on paying her (telephone, automo’) bills as the rest of us—if she can do it, so can we.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 12.00.47 PM

Coffee Rambler Kit

There’s a 90 percent chance your recipient’s office’s (or hotel’s) coffee maker sucks, and stopping at a coffee shop every day can quickly add up. Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which makes a dang good bean, put together everything needed to craft a dang good cup on the go; including bag, aeropress kit, mini grinder, and two enamel mugs.


Manage Your Day-to-Day | Maximize Your Potential | Make Your Mark ($14 each, $30 for all three)

Featuring hard-won wisdom from leading entrepreneurs and designers, our three volume set takes you from making the most of your every day to optimizing your career potential, all the way to building a business with real impact. Our newest book Make Your Mark will arm you with practical insights for launching that purpose-driven business, refining your product, delighting your customers, inspiring your team—and ultimately—making something that matters.

How about you?

What products are your must-haves this year? 

More Posts by Sasha VanHoven

Sasha is the Associate Editor of 99U. You can watch her tweet here.

Comments (17)
  • Horreurs Musicales
  • Joe Nicklo

    The only thing worth buying is the very last item. The rest…bullshit.

  • dude

    If only that mug said “same number” …

    • Sasha

      In terms of time, it’s one of the exceptions where you can use “number of” or “amount of” interchangeably. (You can google this and find it on any number of grammar rules/blogs. Here’s one to start: )

  • Horreurs Musicales
  • BMoney

    Pencils without erasers? I guess it’s for those who never make mistakes.

  • Rahul K Soni

    Still Confused!!! Go Gift Card
    Vouchers: If you
    think you cannot get right gifts for your wives or for your girlfriends you can
    simply gift her special gift vouchers of jewellery stores.

  • eztephen

    Purchased ‘Make your Mark: The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business with Impact’. Will be my train-ride book for inspiration. Looking forward to reading it cover to cover.

  • Guest

    What a fab list, I am certainly going to forward it to my wife to suggest some possible presents.

  • iain

    I think that the coffee ramblers kit is the best one on the list! I am certainly going to show this page to my wife to help her pick out presents for me!!

  • James

    I *want* the solar nano case, but the link is giving an error message :/

    Gigs to Go also very cool – thanks!

    But the Beyonce mug is grammatically embarrassing. You don’t have an “amount” of hours, you have a “number”. What, does Beyonce have 24lbs of hours?

    • Sasha

      Oh no! I think Juse’s page has become overloaded, whoops! Thanks for the head’s up. 🙂

      And as per the Beyonce mug, it’s actually correct. As I responded to an early comment: When you’re speaking in terms of time, it’s one of the exceptions where you can use “number of” or “amount of” interchangeably. (You can google this and find it on any number of grammar rules/blogs. Here’s one to start:… )

  • Sky

    Let’s not beat ourselves up. Beyonce, unlike most of us, can afford to pay people to do all the mundane, time-consuming stuff. If I had a personal assistant or 7, think of the extra time I could have to be creative.

  • PerryTheInventor

    My favorite tool is a ColorCutter marker. I use them all the time, and not only because I created them, they are just a better/natural way to cut paper. And my french press too.

    • Sasha

      Link us your ColorCutter so we can check it out!

      • PerryTheInventor shows the ColorCutter Markers. We’re releasing new versions this year that are awesome. I’m tired of seeing kids entire play pattern be moving their thumbs on a screen. So I started a toy company and am making real toys… like the ColorCutter marker and more. Thanks for asking. Keep up the great work at 99U! Love it!

  • Jewel Clicks

    These are interesting items to give! I like the shirt, planner, gigs to go and the books! :O

  • Nancy Klinko

    Have you seen the NeuYear calendars? They’re our current favourite in terms of size, layout and prettiness.

  • Carme

    I like very much all these ideas, thank you. I think you also may like the Wallplanners of Octàgon Design, take a look

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