Tis the season for parties, eggnog, and Amazon deliveries. Black Friday has come and gone. Cyber Monday is dropping productivity across the country. In the season’s spirit, I want to share some great shopping ideas for the academic on your list. I’ve tried to include items from multiple price points and I think these are things that nearly any academic would like to find in their stocking.
1. Noise cancelling headphones
Whether working in a coffee shop, the library, or on a plane, noise cancelling headphones are a game changer. I’ve written before about why I love mine so much. I use them all the time and can’t imagine working without them.
2. Wireless presenter
Academics present all the time and there’s nothing worse than being tied behind a podium so you can advance your slides. A wireless presenter should be in every academic’s bag. I have a Kensington one that works with both Mac and PC. It is simple and works well.
I’ve never met an academic that doesn’t love books. It doesn’t matter if the person is in the sciences or arts or humanities. Every academic loves books. Looking for book ideas, see my post of books that everyone in higher ed should read in 2016 (or 2017).
4. Book stand
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to hold a book open while you type a quote. I’ve set everything from my phone to a stapler on top of a book to keep it open. Finally, I had enough and went looking for a book stand. I found this cheap one that works great. Why did I wait so long to solve this problem?
I’m a huge proponent of reducing paper and one of the best decisions I’ve made in recent years was eliminating my filing cabinet. If you’re going to be successful in cutting back on the paper you keep though, you need a really good, easy to use, and easily accessible scanner. I use the ScanSnap S1300i which works great and integrates easily with Evernote. This is one of my favorite tech gadgets and is really worth the price!
6. Starbucks gift card
Academics need caffeine. I suspect no place is as busy on a college campus than Starbucks. A Starbucks gift card is a great gift to help your favorite academic get the perk up they need to finish their writing goals for the day.
7. Bibliography software
No one should ever spend time formatting a bibliography. It is painful, time-consuming, and software can do it much better. Endnote is what I recommend. It isn’t the cheapest available, but I have found it is best. Endnote works across platforms and makes the bibliography process as simple as possible.
8. Apple Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter
I love my Macbook laptop but it does have a couple of drawbacks including the need for an adapter to projectors (most require a VGA connection that the laptop doesn’t have). As a result, I carry around this adapter. Unfortunately, it is also pretty easy to lose them. If you have an academic who uses a Mac on your list, this adapter is a nice choice.
9. Battery backups
There’s nothing worse than traveling and getting a message that your cellphone battery is down to 5%. How will I know what time it is or how to get where I’m going? We rely on our devices too much to risk running out of power. There are many different kinds of battery backups at various price points. A battery backup makes a great stocking stuffer!
If you really love the academic on your list, an iPad can be a great gift. I’m partial to the iPad Mini but any of them can be a great addition for your academic. iPads have many uses from basics such as emails or web surfing to serving as a useful teaching tool in the classroom. There are many different tablets out there, but I firmly believe iPads are the best for academics in terms of what they provide, how prevalent they are on campus, and the education apps that are available.