- Next trainer development cohort 10th - 14th June 2024

10 more crazy useful gift ideas

8th December, 2021

10 more crazy useful gift ideas

Well, it seems you liked my holiday present ideas last week so I’ve got a few more up my sleeve today.


For everyone from gadget geeks and Zoom stars to the overwhelmed and the romantics, I’ve got something for almost everyone.


Happy ‘gifting’ (bleurgh again!),


For the brainwaves ?: like many people, I get my best ideas in the shower.  And then forget them immediately after.  This waterproof writing pad is genius (thanks to Anne Handley for this suggestion in her excellent newsletter).


For the gadget geeks ?:  my lockdown present to myself last year (for surviving homeschooling) was a Remarkable 2 – the tablet that feels like writing on paper.  Expensive, but I love mine.  It hasn’t quite replaced paper for me but I’ve probably cut it by 80%.  And you can back it up to the cloud so you never lose notes again.  


For the broadcasters ?: if you do lots of webinars or podcasts, get yourself a good microphone.  It’ll make you much easier on the ear.  I have this one from Shure.


For the overwhelmed ?: Keep your emails to 80 words or fewer. Because no-one ever asked Santa for longer emails.


For the orators ?: My colleague and partner-in-crime, Esther Stanhope swears by her standing desk for nailing online live masterclasses.  If you don’t want to go the whole hog, try this clever half-way house that fits on your existing desk.


For your team ?: a subscription to Grammarly. It’s still one of the best tools out there to cut typos and grammar mistakes (again, thanks Anne Handley for this one).


For the zoom star ?LED lights like these can instantly make you look a thousand percent better on Zoom.  Choose the ‘warm white’ setting if you’re as pale as me and don’t want to look like Caspar the Friendly Ghost.


For the procrastinators : an elegant hourglass 15 minute sand timer. Give them just 15 minutes to get on with that task that’s been bugging them for so long.  Chances are, they might just finish it … (yes, you can buy one for yourself too…)


For the overlooked ?: Who are the superstars you’ve worked with this year?  Drop them a spontaneous Linkedin recommendation – they’ll love you for it. (Thanks to Vicki Ross for this brilliant idea)


For the romantics ❤: Letters of Note is a beautiful compendium of letters – from the first recorded use of the expression ‘OMG’ in a letter to Winston Churchill, to Iggy Pop’s beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan, there are letters to make you laugh and cry.  Just beautiful.

University of Cambridge


- Next trainer development cohort 10th - 14th June 2024

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