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The Lifehack 2008 Gift Guide

The Lifehack 2008 Gift Guide

The Lifehack 2008 Holiday Gift Guide

    It’s that time of year again – time to sally forth in search of the perfect gift for the special and not-so-special-but-they’re-family people in your life. Given the economic situation this year, I made up a list with a few criteria in mind:

    1. Nothing crazy expensive. Everything on this list is under $400, and most is way under. Sure, a 48-foot LCD TV would be nice, or a 64 gigapixel DSLR, or that 128-core gaming PC you’ve been looking at for your teen, but in these uncertain times, I felt it would be best to keep things a bit more reasonable.
    2. Lots of style. Good design doesn’t have to be a luxury. In the past, style was what you traded for affordability, but these days it’s easy to find fashionable classics for everyday prices.
    3. Practicality first. With one exception, I tried to find things that your loved ones will actually be able to use regularly – things that will make their lives a little easier, a little nicer, or both.

    Most items link to Amazon for quick shopping, and when I had a choice I made sure they qualified for Prime shipping (Prime members pay about $70 a year for “free” 2-day shipping on every Prime order). Prices are in US dollars.

    Feel free to share your ideas in the comments – let’s help each other make the best of this holiday season!

    Productivity to Go

     

    Acer Aspire One netbook

      Acer Aspire One netbook

      This tiny laptop, barely bigger than a hardcover book, packs everything you need to work wherever you might find yourself. 1/6 GHz Atom processor, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB hard drive, and built-in wi-fi power a laptop with one of the larger keyboards available on a netbook and a lovely 8.9” screen. Runs Windows XP (although there’s a Linux-powered model for about $20 less). ($350)

      Fujitsu Scansnap S300 Color Mobile Scanner

        Fujitsu Scansnap S300 Color Mobile Scanner

        Small enough to travel just about anywhere, the ScanSnap is favored by paperless office devotees for its ease of use. Powered by your computer’s USB port, the ScanSnap scans documents directly to PDF, allowing instant capture of important papers, receipts, articles, and whatever else you want to keep. ($360)

        RichardSolo 1800 portable charger for iPhone

          RichardSolo 1800 portable charger for iPhone

          The geek’s charger, the Richard Solo 1800 is stylish and functional, providing just about a full charge to your iPhone’s famously short battery life. If that strikes you as all too pedestrian, consider this: it also has a built-in LED flashlight and laser pointer. Useless, of course, but doesn’t the uber-geek in your life deserve something useless and shiny? ($70)

          SimpleTech Signature Mini 250GB Portable Hard Drive

            SimpleTech Signature Mini 250GB Portable Hard Drive

            250 gigabytes in a case smaller than your Hipster PDA? Tiny, sleek, and sexy as hell – that’s some kind of backup! ($85)

            TomTom ONE 125 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator

              TomTom ONE 125 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator

              The Tom Tom one is a super-affordable yet full-featured GPS, with full US maps and points of interest, turn-by-turn directions using built-in voices or downloadable “celebrity” voices, and both “official” and community-contributed updates. ($100)

              Practical Productivity

               
              Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen

                Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen

                Perfect for students and people who attend a lot of meetings, the Smartpen takes taking notes to a whole new level. Sensors detect where you are on the special paper, allowing you to not only capture your analog notes in digital form but control the built-in recorder as well. Notes and recordings can be imported to your computer and even uploaded in sync, meaning that clicking a spot in your notes brings up the recording at exactly that moment. ($200)

                Field Notes “The Kit”

                  Field Notes “The Kit”

                  Field Notes pocket notebooks are thin enough for the back pocket and have great retro, Indiana Jones-y charm. “The Kit” comes with 6 notebooks, 6 wood pencils, 6 ballpoint pens, and a Field Notes mini-calendar. ($27)

                  Asus Eee Box PC

                    Asus Eee Box PC

                    Asus has crammed all the components of it’s popular Eee PC netbook (sans the screen) into this compact desktop computer, perfect for students and other casual computer users, especially when space is tight. ($320)

                    USBCELL AA Rechargable Batteries

                      USBCELL AA Rechargable Batteries

                      Unchain yourself from wall chargers with these AA rechargeable batteries. To recharge, simply pop the top and plug into any USB port! Great stocking stuffers for the gadget geeks in your life. ($20)

                      Staple-Free Stapler

                        Staple-Free Stapler

                        A great stocking-stuffer for the office jockeys in your life, this cute little device attaches up to 5 sheets of paper without a staple. ($7)

                        Epson Artisan 800 Wireless Photo All-in-One Printer

                          Epson Artisan 800 Wireless Photo All-in-One Printer

                          Epson brings its photo printing expertise to the home in this all-in-one printer. Best of all, it’s wi-fi enabled, allowing you to set it up anywhere in your home and print – or even scan – from any computer on the network. Two paper trays allow you to switch from plain to photo paper (or between photo sizes) and Epson’s archival-quality inks produce pictures that will last for decades.($230)

                          Productive Style

                           
                          Give & Take Card Box

                            Give & Take Card Box

                            Anyone who has ever juggled the task of accepting a card from someone while fumbling around for your own cards will appreciate this card case – one compartment holds your cards, the other holds the cards you’re given. Of course, its modern styling doesn’t hurt, either.($20)

                            Blomus Notepaper Roll Holder

                              Blomus Notepaper Roll Holder

                              Keep your thoughts straight with this ultra-modern twist on plain oldnotepads. Addingmachine rolls allow you to jot notes, make lists, and doodle as long as you want! Mounts vertically or can be used on a desk- or countertop. ($25

                              Bubble Calendar

                                Bubble Calendar

                                This giant wall (48”w x 18”h )calendar combines stylish looks with the most satisfying activity known to humankind: popping bubble wrap. Pop each day’s bubble as it passes! ($50)

                                3-Bay Charging Station

                                  3-Bay Charging Station

                                  Another Vat19 product, this charging station has spaces for three gadgets with a concealed power strip underneath and space to hide all those ugly power cords and convertor “warts”. Comes in glossy black finish. ($45)

                                  db clay Version 3.1 Wallet 1
                                  db clay Version 3.1 Wallet 2

                                    db clay Version 3.1 Wallet

                                    db clay wallets combine function and artistry, with beautiful imagery printed onto each waterproof, eco-friendly wallet. They’re already sold out online, but they’re now available in stores; check out their store locator to find a location near you. ($45 – $85)

                                    Just for Fun

                                     
                                    iPod Building Block Speaker

                                      iPod Building Block Speaker

                                      Our friends at Vat19 sell these funky, fun little additions to your iPod accessory case – tiny clip-on speakers for your iPod. They require no batteries, look like Legos, and sound decent given their size. ($20)

                                      xkcd “Actual Size” stickers

                                        xkcd “Actual Size” stickers

                                        Highlight the obvious or mock the small with these snarky stickers from the snarky folks who bring us the xkcd comic strip. (5 ea. 1”, 2”,and 3”, $5)

                                        image

                                          Samsumg YP-S2 1GB MP3 Player

                                          Samsung takes on the iPod shuffle with these cute-as-a-button (and almost as small) 1 GB mp3 players. Available in 5 colors,the S2 plays mp3, wma (including protected wma) and ogg files. Bookmarking allows you to pick up where you left off, making this a nice player for listening to podcasts and audiobooks.

                                          ($34)

                                          Sony Cybershot T700

                                            Sony Cybershot T700

                                            10 megapixels, 4x optical zoom, image stabilization – everything you’d expect from a digital point-and-shoot these days. What sets the T700 apart is two things: it’s super-slim body, of course, and 4 gigs of internal memory, enough to hold thousands of pictures. You can display all those pictures on the big 3 1/2” high-resolution screen. ($350)

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                                            Last Updated on July 31, 2018

                                            40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                                            40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                                            Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                                            There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                                            Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                                            It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                                            Productivity apps to help you get things done

                                            1. OmniFocus

                                            This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                                            Download it here.

                                              2. Forest

                                              Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                                              Download it here.

                                                3. Things

                                                Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                                                Download it here.

                                                  4. 30/30

                                                  Recently covered here at Lifehack

                                                  , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    5. Any.Do

                                                    A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      6. PocketLife Calendar

                                                      This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        7. Asana

                                                        We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                                                        , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                                                        Download it here.

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                                                          8. ToDoist

                                                          This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            9. FlowTasks

                                                            From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              10. Calendars 5

                                                              This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                                                A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  12. Due

                                                                  A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    13. Checkmark 2

                                                                    I use this app

                                                                    for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      14. TeuxDeux

                                                                      Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        15. Wunderlist 

                                                                        Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                                                        Download it here.

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                                                                          16. Nirvana

                                                                          For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            17. Priorities

                                                                            An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                                                              18. Productive

                                                                              With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                                                You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  20. Streaks

                                                                                  This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    21. Remember The Milk

                                                                                    Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      22. Day One Journal

                                                                                      When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                                                        23. Evernote

                                                                                        Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          24. Pocket

                                                                                          You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                                          Download it here.

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                                                                                            25. Sync.Me

                                                                                            This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              26. Droplr

                                                                                              One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                27. Dropbox

                                                                                                Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                  28. iDolly 

                                                                                                  In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                                                  Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                    29. Soulver

                                                                                                    It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                      Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                                                      30. Captio

                                                                                                      A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                                        31. Drafts

                                                                                                        A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                                          32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                                          This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                                          Download it here.

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                                                                                                            33. Doodle

                                                                                                            This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                                              34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                                              I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                                35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                                                A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                                  36. GoodReader

                                                                                                                  This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                                    37. LogMeIn

                                                                                                                    Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                                      Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                                                      38. 1Password

                                                                                                                      There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                                                        39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                                                        You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                                                        All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                                                          40. Truecallers

                                                                                                                          Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                                                            There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                                                            Reference

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