22 Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for Freelancers
Santa will be going down the chimney soon. We’re running out of time to give those perfect gifts to freelancers. Shipping will only get more expensive as we get closer to the big present opening morning. The clock is ticking and the days are running down. There are plenty of good deals to be had and now is the time to finalize your purchases if you’re shipping for this year’s holiday.
We’ve compiled a list of great last minute holiday gift ideas for freelancers. Some of these are practical gifts, such as affordable apps, organizers, and books, and other items are more wishful items, such as finding an iPad under the tree.
There are plenty of options for any budget. The best gifts for freelancers are those that help them grow their business, assist them with getting better organized, becoming more efficient, improving their skills, and achieving success. We’ve got plenty of ideas that fill those needs, as well as a few unique items as well.
Make sure to link to this post on Twitter, Facebook and G+ – you never know – a friend or two may take it as a hint.
Devices and Hardware
1. iPad 2
Unless you’re buying a freelancer a new laptop, this is really the highest end gift on most freelancers wish lists. The iPad 2 is a sophisticated device, awesome for web based work, taking advantage of productivity and planning apps, video based training, and more.
2. Kindle Fire
This is a great alternative to an iPad and significantly more affordable. Especially, for those that only use a their tablet devices for a few work activities, such as checking email, web based research, reading industry publications, and keeping up to date with freelance business books. This is a gift any freelancer would love to have.
A sturdy, portable hard drive is essential for freelancers on the go. This Iomega drive is durable and made to take a beating, it should withstand drops from up to 7 feet. It’s formatted for Mac compatibility with multiple connection options. It has a slim, compact design. Here is a comparable Windows formatted drive. You may also want to look at more affordable external storage gifts, such as a USB Flash Drive.
This keyboard is the high quality you’d expect from Apple and would make a great gift for any freelancer that is a Mac fan. Of course, if you’re not an Apple fan, then there are other models of wireless keyboards to look at. I’ve been using this keyboard for months now and am very happy with it. The battery life is long and functions on just two AA batteries. It’s light and easy to work with.
Many freelancers create various types of content. If you’re a freelance content creator of any type, you may be asked to record screencasts or create other content that requires voice recording. This USB microphone is very well rated, has studio-quality recording capability, and a stylish retro look. This mic would make an excellent under the tree freelancer gift.
This is a high quality stylus pen by Wacom. It’s available in six colors and is substantially weighted, comfortable to hold with a smooth pen to paper feel, elegant in design and sophistication – everything you’d expect from Wacom. This would make a great gift for a freelance designer looking to add another level of functionality to their iPad. Also, it works well with the free Bamboo Paper App!
There are lots of options for online storage apps, many of which would make excellent gifts for freelancers. I personally like Dropbox. It works seamlessly on my Mac and allows for access on my iPad, iPhone, and online when I need it. It’s affordable and easy to collaborate by sharing files.
Having a physical file cabinet is a must have for any freelance business, unless you go paperless. There’s no better online software than Shoeboxed for making this transition. With the year ending now is a great time to get all your receipts and documents from 2011 in order.
This would make a helpful gift for any freelancer. In addition to storing your paperwork and receipts, they also have a scanning service with OCR technology. I’ve been using Shoeboxed for a few months and am really happy with it. It will take me some time to go paperless though.
9. Font Book
This app is the most comprehensive type reference tool available for the iPad. It features 110 type foundries and featuring over 620,000 typeface specimens. This would make a great gift for any freelance designer. This has a well designed interface and is specially made for fast, easy navigation. This app is great for compiling your favorite fonts, test driving them, and comparing fonts to find the best ones for your next design project.
Planners, Calendars, and Journals
Some freelancers like to keep track of their schedules by hand. With this 2012 Weekly Moleskine, with distinctive cover design by Mattias Adolfsson, they can do so with style. Moleskine notebooks are well known for their quality craftsmanship. This planner has all the same hallmarks of quality with acid free paper, elastic closure, distinctive rounded corners, expandable pockets, and more.
11. 2012 Calendar
A creative and inspiring wall calendar is a great gift for any freelancers. It adds another space for placing much needed reminders and for marking important dates. You can’t go wrong with a full year of Charley Harper artwork. His nature themed works are rendered in a “minimal realist” style with geometric shapes and vivid colors.
This journal is perfect for freelance designers or any freelance visual creative. It has a subtle dot matrix design, which helps with lining up your drawings and keeping your text flowing on a line – without lined rules overbearing under your thoughts. It’s constructed with sustainability in mind and made of recycled materials. The team at Behance did a great job with this one, it’s on my holiday wish list. I love seeing how brand designer David Pache drew the Sponsr logo using his Dot Grid Journal.
Office Equipment and Keeping Organized
This attractive business card holder is crafted from bamboo. It’s expandable, so as your business card collection grows, it adjusts to accommodate. The flip-through design is easy to use and made more efficient by adjustable dividers and alphabetical index tabs. While it’s a good idea to save your business contacts in digital format, this is an excellent original business card backup that fits on a freelancer’s desk.
This is a great gift for a freelancer on the go, which most of us are, hoping from coffee shop to client meetings. This versatile organizer has endless configuration options and can firmly keep all your cords, pens, phone, digital devices, pencils, and USB storage devices. It’s designed to hold everything firmly in place and fit comfortably in your laptop bag.
Give the health benefits of full spectrum lighting. This sunlight desk lamp can brighten up any freelancers office. It features a stylish design, touch sensitive controls, and solid construction. I know my home office could use more natural lighting.
Every freelancer with an office space will need desktop organizers for there daily tools, such as pens. These high density milled aluminum cubes are available on Etsy, which is a great place to find unique gifts. With the clock running down though on getting holiday gifts delivered in time, you’ll need to contact individual sellers there and make sure they can make the delivery before Santa comes down the chimney.
This cube design would make a great gift for those analytical freelancers, such as freelance coders. It is a bit expensive though. Here is a more affordable metal pencil holder to consider as well, which is geared more toward freelance illustrators.
Tuts+ Premium was recently expanded to include a bunch of quality eBooks and video courses. This expanded the already large selection of over 700 Premium tutorials on loads of subjects, such as step-by-step technical design skill training and web development. Tuts+ Premium is a great gift to help freelancers keep their professional skills sharp.
Lynda.com is another respected online training resource. A gift subscription to the lynda.com Online Training provides access to over 70,000 easy-to-use video tutorials from professionals. These high production value video tutorials cover subjects fully and are excellent for mastering the basics of new software programs.
How to Be a Rockstar Freelancer covers everything from getting started to expanding your business, This is the official FreelanceSwitch book, which is written by founders Collis & Cyan Ta’eed. This is the classic book for getting your freelance business started and for reaching success.
One of Rockable’s more recent releases would make a great gift for freelance designers. In Rockstar Icon Designer learn the history, theory, and practical methods for creating icons from seasoned professional Kate McInnes.
These are just some of the great titles available from Rockable Press.
Written by freelancing pros Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage, and Ed Gandia, this book is filled with firsthand advice. It combines practical, very specific advice, with compelling stories. Learn how to get the clients, income, and lifestyle you deserve. This is a compelling book and you’ll walk away with proven tips to implement in your freelance business.
This book covers all sorts of practical money issues freelancers need to handle. Not only how to track earnings, but also how to plan for savings, taxes, retirement, overcoming the ups and downs of earning irregularly, and more. Learn to create a comprehensive financial plan for any level of freelancer. I recently read this book and found it really helpful. It’s packed with solid financial advice.
Learn to build a freelance business doing what you love to do. Freelancing pros Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho explain everything from creating a standout portfolio to navigating the legal issues of starting a business. This book is loaded with practical freelance business advice and the Kindle version is really affordable.
What’s On Your Wish List?
Admittedly, many of the items above are on my holiday wish list. I’d love to find some of these items under my tree. What’s on your wish list this year? And what are you most excited about getting and giving? What would you add to this list?