It’s been a few years since I came out with a holiday gift guide, but if you have Instructional Designers, E-Learning Developers, or anyone else who might enjoy these bits in your life – I’ve got you covered!
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II – These were in my 2018 gift guide, and they’re too good not to include in this year’s! I’ve had my QC’s for about 5 years now, and I love them so much! They’re perfect noise cancelling headphones for working, for traveling, and even sleeping! My set has held up surprisingly well, even after wearing them nightly since pretty well the beginning of the pandemic. I have had to replace the ear pads once, but they’re reasonably priced and easy to install…and once in 5 years, I’m not going to argue about that!
- Apple AirPods – I didn’t think I’d enjoy these as much as I do. I have the Second Generation AirPods and got them as a free gift with my last iPhone upgrade. They’re my go-to dog walking headphones, they’re super portable, they charge quickly and hold a charge for an extended period of time, and they don’t hurt my ears like the old corded Apple headphones did.
- Sonos Speakers – Our household has a few of these speakers now. The quality is great, and as someone who receives frequent unscheduled work calls, being able to use the voice controls to tell it to pause is great! They also facilitate my mid-workday dance parties, and I’m not mad at that.
- Blue Light Over-Monitor Screen Filters – I suffer from migraines, and I also stare at screens for many hours per day. I invested in these screen protectors for my work monitors and they have been a total game changer. Initially I was worried that they would impact colour and become problematic for design, but they don’t! The big caveat here is that these ones sit over top of your existing monitor instead of being a film that you peel and stick. I had heard that the peel and stick ones were a bit of a pain and didn’t want to deal with that.
- Microphone with Arm – I’ve used the Blue Yeti microphone for years, but coupled with a compatible microphone arm, it’s even better. The YetiCaster bundle is totally worth it – for $100 more, you get both the mic and the arm that goes with it. The quality is great and the allows for various settings.
- External Monitor – These monitors are really handy for anyone who travels regularly for work and needs a second monitor. They make work life a whole lot easier than straining to use one monitor when you’re used to a minimum of two, and they’re very reasonably priced nowadays.
- Dongles – For the Apple user, dongles are a necessary evil. Ridding MacBook Pros of their USB drives will have me shaking my fist at Apple to the point of carpal tunnel. Dongles in my possession include a multi-USB hub, USB-C to Ethernet, USB-C to HDMI, and USB-C to SD Card reader.
- Articulate 360 – Articulate Storyline is one of the leading E-Learning software development tools, and the 360 license allows use of all other Articulate tools, making you a one-stop E-Learning development shop!
- Adobe Creative Cloud – With so much software provided within the Creative Cloud license, this product suite is sure to enhance the development capabilities for any Instructional Designer or E-Learning Developer.
- TechSmith SnagIt and Camtasia – I can’t remember a time when I didn’t use SnagIt or Camtasia. I use SnagIt daily for quick screenshots and basic image editing, and I use Camtasia for all of my screencast recordings and video editing. TechSmith has great resources and tutorials for all of their tools, and their products definitely help me streamline my development.
- A Good Office Chair – I’m a big proponent of investing in the things that you spend most of your time doing. For me, that means investing in my work and sleep setups. After years of waffling, I picked up a Herman Miller Aeron chair, and it was hands down one of the best decisions I could have made. Are they expensive? Yes. But the quality is bar none, the chair comes fully assembled (I may have squealed with delight), and as someone who is 5’1″, I struggle getting a chair to go low enough in height. This one goes even lower than I need! It allows me to sit properly without having to scootch forward to get my feet on the ground.
- A Large Enough Desk – My husband picked up one of these Need desks years ago, so when I was upgrading my office setup, I ordered one. I use 3 monitors, so I appreciate a spacious desk that also doesn’t take up the entire office. These desks are collapsible, but extremely sturdy and provide me with all of the space I need.
- Gaming Mouse Pad – These come in all sorts of designs, colours, and sizes. When I picked up the Need desk, I wanted to grab a really large mouse pad to go with it. It’s seamless on my desk surface and I can sit my keyboard on it while still being able to use my mouse. It’s the simple things.
- Storage – If you’re still stumped for gifts, storage is a great option for any creative – from E-Learning Developers to Photography enthusiasts, to creators who produce videos. You can opt for some cloud storage from Google or Dropbox, or physical storage options, such as large external hard drives.
- Audible Subscriptions – Audible subscriptions are great for anyone who wants to listen to books, podcasts, or get professional development via books without having to read a physical book. I enjoy listening to audible while working, because…multitasking.
- Coffee or Tea – Brewing equipment, subscription services, or hand-picked coffee or tea is always a nice gift!
- Membership Subscriptions – Instructional Designers and E-Learning Developers often purchase professional memberships. If you know someone who has an ATD or Learning Guild membership, paying for their membership renewal is a great option.
- Gift Cards – Some folks think of gift cards as impersonal, but if you’re not entirely sure what to get someone, a gift card for them to choose their own gift is never a bad thing.