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It’s that time of year again. Some people love shopping for gifts, and for other people, it can fill them with a sense of dread. What on earth are you supposed to get your loved ones? Something that they’ll love, that won’t break your budget, and that they’re unlikely to get 37 versions of. In other words: the perfect gift.
If you’re still not sure what to get the techies on your gift list, then we’ve got just the guide for you.
Whether you’re shopping for the amazing web designer you call your BFF, your cousin the mobile developer, or a secret Santa recipient in your office, there are tons of great gifts for techies that you can still pick up before the big day.
Check out our complete (linked) list below the infographic, carefully curated to reflect the best gifts you can get at the last minute, that won’t betray their last-minute status!
The Complete List:
Subscriptions and Memberships
1. Envato Tuts+
Envato’s Tuts+ network offers up great tutorials for specific tech projects, from web design to development (and tons of other topics!) They’re a leader among tutorial sites, and their memberships are very reasonable at just $15/month.
2. Spotify Premium Membership
Who doesn’t like music when they work? A Spotify premium membership gives your techie friends and family ad-free music that they can also access from their smartphone or other mobile device (and even save playlists for listening to offline!).
3. Wired Magazine
Wired Magazine has been an awesome resource for all things tech-related since 1993. That’s over 20 years!
4. ScreenCastsOnline Video Tutorials
If you’re buying gifts for an Apple fan, then ScreenCastsOnline is a great option. They offer tutorials for all things Apple: iPads, iPhones, Mac, Apple TV, and even Apple Watch.
Books and Ebooks
8. Smashing Library
With the Smashing Library, you get access to 150 Smashing Magazine ebooks for just $99/year, PLUS all of the new ebooks they release. They cover everything related to web design and development you could imagine, including responsive design, mobile design, working with clients, front-end development, WordPress development, UX design, and way more.
9. Design is a Job by Mike Monteiro
Learn all about the business side of design in Mike Monteiro’s debut book. He talks about working with clients and other designers, contracts, selling design, and other relevant topics.
10. Hello Ruby by Linda Liukas
Know a young developer-in-the-making? Get them a copy of Hello Ruby, part picture book, part activity book. It introduces youngsters to programming without requiring access to a computer.
11. Make Your Own Luck by Kate Moross
Know someone who wants to be a graphic designer? Then get them a copy of Kate Moross’s Make Your Own Luck, which includes great info on self-promotion, working with other creatives, dealing with “copycats”, and when to consider working for free, among other great topics.
More great gift ideas:
12. You’re My Favorite Client by Mike Monteiro | 13. Designing for Emotion by Aaron Walter | 14. Just Enough Research by Erika Hall | 15. Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty by David Kadavy | 16. Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky | 99U Book Series: 17. Make Your Mark, 18. Manage Your Day-to-Day, and 19. Maximize Your Potential by Jocelyn K. Glei | 20. Any of the A Book Apart books
Planners and Notebooks
21. The Spark Notebook
The Spark Notebook helps you reach your goals. It includes six months’ worth of undated calendar pages, and 200 pages total so you have plenty of space for your planning needs. Note: this is a pre-order for the next print run of notebooks, which will ship in March.
22. Passion Planner
The Passion Planner helps you get focused and follow your passions! It has weekly challenges to help keep you motivated, daily appointment calendars to manage your time, prioritized to-do lists for both work and personal tasks, and a whole lot more.
23. Moleskine Evernote Sketchbook with Smart Stickers
Moleskines are great. Evernote is great. Combine the two, and you have an awesome sketchbook that combines the best of digital and analog notetaking and design tools!
24. Moleskine Folio Professional Notebook
This notebook has plenty of space for your project plans and goals, and the squared rule is perfect for either sketches or notes. Bonus: Moleskine notebooks look super professional, so you’ll have no problem taking them to work or along to client meetings.
30. iTunes or Google Play
Pretty much every techie out there has either an iPhone/iPad or an Android device. Give them an iTunes or Google Play gift card so they can get paid apps, their favorite music, or other media.
Amazon has everything. Even groceries. So if you have no idea what to get that super-picky techie on your gift list, an Amazon gift card is a pretty safe bet.
32. Coffee Shops
Who doesn’t love coffee? Okay, there are all those tea drinkers out there, but guess what? Most coffee shops also serve tea! Find out your techie’s favorite coffee shop and get them a gift card. Bonus points if their favorite coffee shop also has wi-fi.
Have you seen all the tech gifts on Etsy? Phone covers, t-shirts, accessories, jewelry, even cable organizers! Plus, it’s all handmade by artisans from around the world, so it directly supports real people, not huge multinational conglomerates.
38. The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog card game
Who doesn’t love a good card game? This one is perfect for anyone who loves typography. It’s a grown-up version of Memory, with 25 card pairs to keep things super interesting.
39. Sensu Solo Stylus
The Sensu Solo Stylus is a paintbrush you can use with virtually any touchscreen device (like your smartphone or tablet). Perfect for the artsy techie who wants an option for creating outside of usual styluses on the market.
TextExpander is a super productivity tool for anyone who does a lot of typing. Save text snippets and associate them with shortcuts to make typing repetitive things (like email signatures, or code snippets) painless.
41. Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi is a simple DIY computer that can run Linux or even Windows 10. The kits are fairly basic, but let you create a functioning computer that uses SD cards instead of a hard drive (so you could technically have a bunch of different “computers” that are all run on the same hardware). It’s a very cool gift for geeks of all ages.
More great gift ideas:
42. Wacom Inkling Digital Sketch Pen | 43. Smartphone-friendly gloves (like these, although tons of stores carry them now!) | 44. Portable battery charger (like this one) | 45. Cord management tools (like these) | 46. Headphones with a microphone (here are some cool ones with Bluetooth!)
Gifts to Make Techies Happy
47. An exercise ball to replace their desk chair
Sitting on an exercise ball instead of a typical desk chair engages all sorts of core muscles that help prevent back pain and other symptoms of fatigue that come along with a job that requires a lot of sitting. The great thing is that you can get them at virtually any big box store or sporting goods store.
48. Gift cards for a massage therapist or some yoga classes
Most professional techies do a ton of sitting. And even if they’re using a standing desk, they’re still pretty sedentary. That can lead to all sorts of joint and muscle pain. A gift certificate for a massage (or even a whole day at a spa!) or some local yoga classes is a much-appreciated gift that helps keep them healthy and pain-free.
49. Ergonomic seat cushions
Ergonomic cushions (like these seat, lumbar, and back support cushions) are key for a healthy body when you spend much of your day sitting. And when compared to the fancy-schmancy, top-of-the-line ergonomic chairs, they’re a real bargain.
50. Emoji Stickers
Who doesn’t love emojis? As someone who sends (possibly way too many) emojis all day long, these stickers make an awesome stocking stuffer or even secret Santa gift. You can order specific ones, or a giant pack of all of them!
Cameron is a staff writer here at Skillcrush, and spends most of her time writing and editing blog posts and Ultimate Guides. She's been a freelance writer, editor, and author for going on a decade, writing for some of the world's leading web design and tech blogs. When she's not writing about design, she spends her time writing screenplays and making films (and music videos for rock and metal bands!) in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.