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10 Gift Ideas for Product Managers and Designers
The holiday season is upon us once again (I know, I’m struggling to believe it too). But that means egg nog, sugar cookies, and giving gifts.
You may find yourself looking for ideas for holiday gifts for those special people in your life. Or struggling with ideas for your own gift list. And if you or anyone you know happens to be a product manager or a designer, we’ve got you covered.
Or maybe you’re looking to start a trend of giving gifts for work anniversaries? We agree completely. And have got the perfect options for you for any time of year.
We’ve been doing this gift guide for a few years now, and it’s becoming a fun tradition. Like our Holiday Gift Guide from 2020 or from 2021, we’ve gathered some of our favorite gift ideas for this year. And if you want to check out our discussion, we’ve already got the podcast ready for you.
Once again, I’ve arranged the list starting with some affordable options and then moving into price-is-no-barrier. So you have your pick of all types of gifts.
Let’s jump in.
Magnetic Poetry Kit - $20
Who doesn’t like creating fridge poetry (or desk poetry)? This magnetic poetry kit gives you everything you need to mix and match words into poems, messages, or whatever else you have in mind.
Complete Sherlock Holmes - $25
There are many books about product management and design, and we appreciate those books. But it’s also important to get our heads out of our industry and into other fields. One of my favorite series of books to read each year is all the stories of Sherlock Holmes. Originally, these were spread through several books, but now you can get them in a single volume like this one. I’d highly suggest it. You don’t have to read the whole thing either, since the stories of Sherlock are broken into shorter episodes. Each story giving you something to learn about the art of deduction. Highly worth it for product managers, designers, and anyone else, in my humble opinion. I even wrote an article about things we can learn from Sherlock. But you don’t need to learn anything to enjoy it.
East Fork Mug - $40
Whether it’s a cup of coffee in the morning, an afternoon tea, or an evening hot cocoa, we all need some good mugs. And this mug from East Fork is consistently among the top of the list when it comes to great mugs.
Hot Chocolate Maker - $55
I’ve been using this hot chocolate maker/milk frother for a couple seasons now, and it rocks. Whether you want a nice cup of hot cocoa on these cold winter days, or a rich froth for your cappuccino, this little machine is perfect. Add some gourmet cocoa and you’ve got yourself the perfect holiday gift set. So fill up that new mug with some amazing hot cocoa and enjoy.
Squire Rollerball Pen - $59
This pen from Baronfig has been amazing. Joey and I did a podcast episode (see below) and he graciously sent me several items from his site. This is by far my favorite. I’ve been carrying it with me everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Over the past few months I’ve traveled to Italy and the Netherlands and I’ve been carrying this pen, taking notes and making sketches. It is an amazing pen. I actually bought a second because my family has been stealing the one Joey sent me and I didn’t want to be without it. So you literally can’t go wrong getting someone a really nice pen.
It’s no secret that I love Lego. If you’ve read this newsletter or listened to my podcasts, you know I have many Lego sets and love working on new ones. But you don’t have to be a Lego lover to appreciate the beauty of some of their new desktop plant sets, like the Birds of Paradise. So encourage that product person or designer in your life to take a break and create a beautiful Lego set they can display on their desk, without having to keep any plants alive.
Jabra Elite 7 Pro - $119
Whether you are back to commuting, in the office occasionally, or remote full time, we all need some good bluetooth earbuds. For listening to podcasts or just blocking out noise, I’ve been a huge fan of Jabra’s line of earbuds for a long time now. I have the 75t, 85t and now the Elite 7 Pros. They’ve all been great. With the Elite 7, you now get the ability to use either earbud separately, or both together (before you could only use the right earbud alone). Along with a bunch of other great features for calls and audio. Anyone who gets this gift will be quite happy, I’m sure.
Remarkable 2 - $299
I love handwriting notes. I use my iPad (and have for a while), but I’ve been tempted many times by the Remarkable 2. It is designed for writing, so it pulls everything together very nicely. I was talking with someone who had one at a conference earlier this year, and they use it for everything. Which I could see myself doing as well, especially if I got one as a gift.
All of us are looking to increase our skills or learn something new. What better way to do that than to have access to a ton of online options? The gift of a subscription to an online learning platform (like Coursera, though there are others as well) will give your gift recipient the option to choose to learn just about anything they could want.
Steelcase Gesture Chair - $1200
I don’t have this chair, but I now have some serious chair-envy of anyone who does. Wirecutter rates it as the best office chair, and you can probably see why. It looks awesome, has tons of places to adjust it just for you, and apparently is really durable. So if you’re going to be sitting for a long time (ahem, product people and designers), you need a good chair.
So there you have our latest list. 10 ideas to help you get a gift for that product manager, designer, or technology enthusiast in your life. Hope you have a good holiday season, and feel free to send any of the items on this list my way.