10 best holiday gifts for product managers

It’s a week since Black Friday which means we’re officially in the holiday season and many of you may be asked by your loved ones “What do you want for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa?”

I’ve pulled together a few items that are some of my favorite things. Feel free to share this gift guide with those who might be struggling to pick the perfect present for their beloved product manager!

Sennheiser CX 5.00i Black In-Ear Headset

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 10.57.40 AMMost PMs work in open workspace environments, so a good pair of noise-canceling headphones is a must-have to help them block out the noise and focus on making their products even better. I love my Sennheisers! You will have a hard time finding earbuds as good and affordable as these. Plus, they have a good microphone which is a bonus if you’re doing a lot of calls from your desk.

 

 

Sonos One (virtual assistant included!)

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 11.01.33 AMFor the PM that works from home occasionally, this is a home-office must-have. The Sonos One lets you play your favorite music and control it with your voice or choice of apps. Whether you’re most productive when listening to your favorite Spotify playlist or want to catch up on product management podcasts (I have an article about my favorite podcasts coming soon), the Sonos One is ideal. And because Alexa is built in, you can use it as a virtual assistant to book meetings, check the weather and save you time.

 

A Desktop Air Purifier

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 2.26.52 PMI’m lucky that I work from home now, but I remember the days of being in an office surrounded by co-workers that had a cold, were just getting over a cold or said “really, it’s just allergies”. Stay healthy by keeping a desktop air purifier at your desk. This one is nice and small for a personal space.

 

 

A balance board by FluidStance

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 2.28.40 PMThis is a life-changer! If you have a standing desk, this will help you focus on maintaining good posture while — bonus! — strengthening your core and improving your balance. I found that it also prevented back strain associated with standing too long.  

 

 

A good journal for taking notes

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 2.05.28 PMAlthough I do most of my work on my laptop, there are times when I prefer to take notes the old-fashioned way. In fact, research has shown that writing notes (rather than typing) helps you retain information better. I prefer this journal that has dotted pages so that you can easily create boxes and diagrams.

 

Books!

There are so many great books I’ve enjoyed this past year, so I’ll just highlight a couple that I would recommend as gifts.

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 2.08.06 PMINSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 2.10.08 PMTools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 2.11.46 PMSprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days

 

 

 

Project Starter Kit for Arduino

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 2.24.25 PMArduino is the hot open-source prototyping platform for anyone who wants to create interactive physical environments. Perfect for you makers out there!

 

 

 

A crystal ball

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 2.18.26 PMWho wouldn’t love to gaze into a crystal ball to get answers to the universe’s most challenging questions, such as “What does 2019 have in store for me?!?”

 

 

 

 

 

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