Whether you’re buying gifts for yourself, another small business owner, or want to give this list to your family – I’m sure there will be something that will start your business off on the right track for 2017! There are real products, digital goods, and subscriptions to services as well.
[Note: I am not affiliated with any of these products/services. Either I have used them, have gotten great feedback about them or they are similar to something I use.]
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Here we go!
There are a lot of planners out there. If you already have one you love – add that to the list. Otherwise, here are a couple of options.
- Passion Planner – I like that this planner is made by a small business. They also have some free pages so you can try it out first. And it’s not too expensive. $29.99 for the large size.
- Your Best Year 2017 – It’s for creatives but is also a productivity workbook/planner which includes a lot of goal planning pages for ~$20.00.
- While I use an online calendar, and a planner – I still like to have a calendar on my desk. I really like this Weekly Desk Calendar Pad. I do write down some appointments, webinars, etc. – but use it a lot for writing down quick notes, doodles, brainstorms, etc. It’s only about $15.00.
- If you’ve read our blog, you probably saw my post about my Mobile Biz Kit and how I advocate always having a bag with certain items with you. I purchased mine inexpensively in a local store. You can look to find yours as well. Otherwise there are a couple of inexpensive options for either an iPad or a tablet. ProfessionalBags for $8.99 and up, a slightly larger one or one for the iPad by Padwa. They come in a variety of designs and colors. Find the one you like best.
- Wristlet Wallet with Phone Pocket – I have a large bag with tons of stuff in it. I like to be able to change my main purse. But I love to have a little wallet that holds my main cards, cash and phone. Sometimes I just want to run in the store for a quick thing and I don’t want to lug my big purse. Tons of options, here is one like mine…from $5.00 – $25.00.
- Do you travel for your work? Or do you work when you travel? Either way, the Lug Puddle Jumper bag may be a great addition. This Lug bag has so much organization built in – that you can take everything you need and not lose it! It’s around $100.00 but an investment.
I spend a lot of time in my car – taking my kids to various activities. While I only work part-time, my car is quite important. I still need to do some work in my car. Here are some things that are really helpful.
- Windshield Cover – Okay. If you live in California or Florida this probably isn’t for you. But if you live north – this will be so helpful. I’ve had this for over a year – and it saves you time and prevents you from freezing to death. The premise is simple. At night, before snow storms, before a frost, you place this on the windshield of your car or minivan, and put the straps around your side mirrors. Then you put the panel in your door jam. Voila. It covers your windshield. In the morning, you come out – and remove it. No scrapping, brushing, etc. At 6:00am – it’s a luxury not to have to stand outside scrapping in below zero temperatures. It’s about $30.00 at QVC but WORTH IT!
- Car Charger – a must have. On long drives, everyone wants to use their device. Make sure you’re always able to use your Google Maps or phone. They are inexpensive around the $10.00 mark.
- Zojirushi – what? This is definitely a must have – but not exactly FOR your car, but to use IN your car. Zojirushi is the absolute best thermos ever! If you put ice in a drink – it’s still there – the next day! For hot drinks – you have to be careful as they remain hot for a long time! (I recommend putting an ice cube in hot drinks – so you’ll be able to drink it!) It’s great if you’re at activities and need to work from your car. It’s about $25.00
There are alot of little gadgets that can make your life easier. Here are a few to check out.
- Popsockets – never heard of them? I didn’t either – nor did I know I needed it until I got one as a present. At ~$10.00 it’s a great small gift. You attached is to the back of your phone or tablet and it is easier to hang on to, stand up, etc. It pops up or lays flat. Great idea!
- Do you lose things often? Or have someone in your life that does (like I do)? This small device may be the answer. Tile Mate is a phone, key or item finder which you attach to something – and then you can locate by sound or map. Chipolo Item Finder is another of many options. They cost around $30.00 – but soooo worth it! Saves you tons of time looking for your things.
- Small Book Light – If you’re a mom who drives her kids to activities, you may need to do work on the run. If you’re like me and are a at practice late, you may need to have a little extra light. A small book light is just enough for your to read, write, etc. There are tons of these on the market ranging from $8.00 – $18.00. I chose one inexpensive option, but there are many.
- Power Bank – You’re on the go. You use your phone all day. It starts to lost battery right when you need it. Never fear. With a battery power bank – you will always have some backup charge. There are variety of options available here is one that is popular from Anker.
- zPhlash – Do you take a lot of photos or selfies with your phone? Do you need to take a lot of images for your social media posts? The zPhlash is a great little light – that will improve any photo or selfie. From Lori Grenier, this “flash” plugs into the earphone port – and provides more light to make your pictures turn out clearer and sharper.
Ok. Security isn’t sexy. But it can be vital to a mobile business owner.
- RFID Blocking Sleeves – If you travel, or are at coffee shops alot, you may want to protect yourself and your information. These sleeves protect your credit card and passport information from the hands of unscrupulous people. There are many options – but here is one to check out.
- VPN – If you travel a lot and are still using your laptop/tablet with free wifi, you may want to check out a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. It encrypts all of your data, protects your ID, etc. There are many such services. Tunnel Bear has a free level of service. You can search for your own VPN services as well.
- Backup Program – if you have a website (if you don’t, you should), it’s imperative to have regular backups. So many clients come to me after there’s a problem – with no backups. While there are free backup programs that work quite well, I recommend getting a paid service that has one touch restore capabilities. Backup Buddy and VaultPress are two good options that range from $80 – $100 per year. It’s well worth it for peace of mind. (Not only do they backup, but if you ever need to move your website – the process is a breeze.)
- Website Security – if you have a website (as we’ve already established you should), you need to make sure it’s secure. There are some really good free wordpress plugins such as iThemes Security and/or Wordfence Security. If your site has been compromised or is being attacked, you may need to go up a level. Sucuri has a website monitoring and cloudproxy that can really secure your website. If you’ve been hacked, they clean it and harden it. It costs from $200/year for their service. But if you’ve been hacked, you know the time, money and aggravation it causes. You can alleviate it with a little proactive work. There are other similar services – I’m just familiar with this one. [They also have a free scanner – Sucuri SiteChecker – to see if your site is infected.] I urge you to take your website security seriously in 2017.
- Image Credits – while I’m a big believer in taking my own photos and/or using free images, there are times when you need good images for your blog posts, ebooks, website and or ads. I’ve been lucky enough to get great deals through AppSumo for Deposit Photos. Sign up for AppSumo’s list and you’ll receive some great deals. Most of the big image providers have deals on a number of credits for a certain dollar amount. This gift could be really useful for jazzing up your content for 2017.
- Evernote – I love Evernote (so much that I created a course). I use it for business as well as personal (I have a really in-depth, complex setup for my recipes!). While I have had a free account for a long time, I recently upgraded in order to allow more space for all my notes. If you use it – this may be a great gift for the new year!
- Amazon Gift Card or Barnes and Nobles Gift Card – if you have a kindle or nook, and are a business owner, you should be reading business books. I always have some new books loaded on tablet (with the Kindle or Nook Reader app). That way when I’m at my kids’ activities, I always have something to do, read. A gift card will allow you to buy some of those books throughout the year. I often hear about a new book or read about an inspirational or practical ebook in a group – and the gift card allows you to buy it without thinking.
- iTunes or Google Play Gift Cards – There are some great apps that can really increase our productivity. Some only cost between $2.00 and $10.00. With a gift card on hand, you’re able to get the best version of the app for your business.
[Note: Again, I’m not affiliated with any of these products. There are no affiliate links – only direct links to the gifts.]