21 Holiday Gift Ideas for Hardworking Freelancers
Is your holiday gift shopping done?
There are plenty of good deals to be had on high quality presents for freelancers. The clock is ticking down to that big present opening occasion. It’s time to get those purchases finalized, gifts wrapped, and sent off in the mail (or email for digital purchases).
The best gifts for freelancers are those that assist them with expanding their client base, help them organize their schedules, keep them in the work groove when on the go, and allow them to streamline their business more efficiently. We have an awesome assortment of gift ideas that fill those needs.
All of these gifts are practical and would help freelancers in their business, though some are more on the wishful end of the spectrum, like finding a new iPad mini under the tree. Jump into this freelancer holiday wish list and check out all the cool hardware, useful accessories, mobile apps, cloud services, and top quality gear to go.
Be sure to link to this post on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, which will make it easier for Santa to add this to your holiday wish list.
Laptops, Tablets and Accessories
For those of you that are Mac enthusiasts, like myself, the new Macbook Pro is packed with goodness and would make a dream freelancer holiday gift. It has an awesome retina display, which makes images remarkably detailed. All flash storage is built in and it’s packed with upgraded graphic processing.
How cool is this functionality? Twist transforms into a laptop when you need to type, a tablet when you’re on the go, and a stand when you want to share presentations. When you’re ready to browse, bend it backward into a tent for a close-up view. This laptop runs Windows 8, is durable in design, and has a touchscreen.
More than just an alternative to the iPad, this device packs all kinds of tablet features, and the price point is right on the money. It has an HD display, fast WiFi, and you can justify this as a freelance expense by watching training videos and keeping up to date by reading those must have freelance eBooks. The Kindle Paperwhite is an excellent option if you want a device that is just for reading.
iPad features a stunning Retina display, iSight and FaceTime cameras, the all-new A6X chip, and ultrafast wireless. This is the top tablet for freelancers. As you’ll see later in this article there are plenty of apps that will enable this device to do some serious freelance business. Or you may have the Ipad Mini on your wish list, which offers the same functionality in a compact size.
Are there times you’d like your tablet to function as a laptop, yeah probably every time you want to use it to type up an email or draft an article? This tablet station is an excellent option. It’s keyboard is also removable, allowing for up wide range wireless functionality. Yup, the stand holds your tablet at just the correct angle for typing and folds up compactly for storage when not in use.
This energy efficient color laser printer is a quality and affordable wireless printing solution. I’m actually looking at black and white laser printers myself, specifically looking at this affordable Brother HL-2270DW Compact Laser Printer with Wireless, which was rated well by Consumer Reports. The main reason to go with black and white rather than color laser is to save costs on ink. Going with B&W laser can save quite a bit of money over the life of a printer.
7. Rode NTG-2
Broadcast sound quality, rugged metal construction, and two step high-pass filter makes this a high quality mic for taking your screencasting to a professional level. To plug this into your laptop you’ll need the Icicle. This is the equipment recommended by Jeffrey Way in Pro Screencasting for the Rest of Us. If you’re a content creator then you should consider screencasting as a way to expand your freelance service offering.
If you’re looking for wireless bluetooth speakers at an affordable price, then this is a great option, and excellent sound quality at this price point. The device has a 33 foot range to stream music. The Big Blue Studeo connects wirelessly with an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, AndroidTM, BlackBerry and other devices, which makes it very compatible. This is high up on my holiday wish list. If I don’t actually find this under the tree this year, then I’m buying it for myself.
On The Go Gear
If you’re looking for many storage pockets for great functionality, with comfortable padding, and an urban style, then this is the laptop backpack for you.
This is the ultimate organizer for freelancers on the go. Keep your peripherals secure and all your gear organized with endless configuration options. Drop the case directly into your car, or situate it in your laptop bag, and your off to the office (your local coffee shop).
If you often forget to keep your phone charged and are constantly running low on battery at all the wrong times, then a compact battery charger may be just what you need. This 92-hour Rechargeable Backup Battery provides up to 10 hours of talk time, up to 18 hours of video and up to 92 hours of music on a single charge.
Mobile Business Apps
OmniPlan is designed to help you visualize, maintain, and simplify your projects. It offers advanced project management functionality. This app can transform your freelance business by making you more efficient and effective.
Create and edit ALL Microsoft Office document, spreadsheet, and presentation formats, as well as view PDF files, on the go. This versatile file manager allows you to manage local files or access Google Drive, as well as connect to additional cloud accounts.
Jump Desktop will transform your iPad by giving you access to control your computer. It’s compatible with iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. It boasts reliability, easy setup, and sports a streamlined user interface. Admittedly, this one is on my wish list this year so that I can watch web only Hulu episodes of Alphas on my iPad.
This app will feed your analytics addiction. It’s especially good at giving you quick access to the high-level values in your Google Analytics account. It displays the most important numbers you want to see all the time: Number of visitors, pageviews, average pageviews and bounce rate. There are more features and data you can dive into as well.
1Password for iPad keeps your important information securely stored and it can automatically log you into websites with one tap. No more need to remember super long passwords or fumble with the iPads virtual keyboard to type it in. If you’re like me and own 1Password on your laptop, then you can sync everything or use Dropbox service for synching.
Adobe Creative Cloud is a monthly service that lets you download and install any of the Adobe Creative Suite applications. With this membership you will always have the latest Adobe software, such as Photoshop. You also get online services for file sharing, collaboration, and publishing.
18. Media Temple
If you need web hosting Mediatemple is one of the best. They have been at this for ages, have numerous package options available for getting your WordPress blog, portfolio site, or freelance business websites hosted. They have great uptime, reliable and innovative data control, and provide 24/7 live support.
Backblaze is a cloud based service that backs up your data automatically. It’s easy to set up. It does take a few days to get your initial files backed up, but after that all new files and changes to existing files are backed up very quickly. The service is affordable, includes external drive support at no additional cost, and has unlimited backup. They have convenient options for restoring your data if it’s lost locally.
Shoeboxed is a time saving service. You mail in your business receipts and they scan them in for you. They also use accurate OCR to place the data into a trackable format that you can access online. I’ve been using the service for months and it has streamlined my booking process.
Squarespace 6 is the most recent update of this content management system and inclusive hosting solution. It’s made some really great enhancements, which make this a solid web platform for freelancers. I love the look of their templates and their layout engine allows you to create custom page setups with ease. If you want to build a mobile friendly site that looks great and is super easy to manage, then Squarespace is a great solution to work with.
Your Wish List?
Many of these items above would be awesome to find under the tree this year. What’s the number one item on your wish list? Is there one particular gift you want that we missed in this year’s 2012 freelancer holiday wish list?
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