cat-computer Gift suggestions for your home office

Our community shares these gift ideas to make your home office more comfortable.

The holiday season is upon us. If you're looking for gift suggestions for someone close to you, check out these outstanding recommendations from our community to add a personal touch to your home office.

Jeremy Rosselot-Merritt shares a great book about technical writing:

One of the better books that's come out in recent years about technical writing—especially for folks just going into the field—is Yvonne Cleary's The Profession and Practice of Technical Communication. I give it a strong recommendation if someone is trying to learn the foundational (and many advanced) aspects of technical writing as a field.

Chris Hermansen recommends items for home office comfort:

How about a decent espresso machine? Can't imagine writing without coffee. We have a Nespresso machine in the office here and it makes nearly as good espresso as my top of the line espresso machine, at a fraction of the price.

For those who listen to music while writing, a great sounding comfortable headphone like the Sennheiser HD6XX or HiFiMan 5XX, both sold by Drop, are excellent candidates. Or maybe some nice Sony noise-canceling headphones.

Ashley O'Brien has several recommendations for a comfy writing environment:

I love my HappyLight and Himalayan salt lamp. I sometimes forget to turn them on, and when I do, it’s a tiny moment of self-care. Not only do they add to the comfortable feeling of sitting down to write, they are a little reminder that I need to care for my whole self, not just the writer in me.

I love using a footrest when I sit down at my desk. I have an adjustable footrest at work that doubles as a fidget and helps me vary my position when I am stuck at my desk.

Speaking of fidget, I love the magnet toy my little brother gifted me many years back. It gives me something familiar when I am talking about unfamiliar situations in preparation for a writing task. It also gives my fingers something to focus on that isn’t my keyboard.

Sometimes I have a hard time sitting down to write, so I brew tea—and by the time I look at my tea cup, it's cold because I have been on a roll putting words on the page. I love using an electric kettle to brew tea, a nice addition to my tea ritual! It also has settings to control temp, it helped me know what temp to use for which tea.

I have my camera on a lot when I collaborate and present and I love sharing my background to add a personal touch. I love having wall art that people notice and appreciate. My niece painted something for me that I love to display. I also used this wall hanging for many years and got lots of compliments.

Jim Hall loves this portable speaker:

I like to listen to music while I work. Sound quality matters, and I love the Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker, in black. It has excellent audio quality, including strong bass.

Ben Cotton uses a recorder to take memos:

One underappreciated gift for writers is a voice recorder. I have a Sony PX470, but the specific model doesn't matter so much. What's important is having a simple way to take voice memos.

Writers are magnificent creatures, but they can't always make words flow on command. When I get stuck, I like to take a walk. The words start flowing when I'm furthest away from my house, so having a voice recorder lets me get those thoughts saved. The voice recorder also comes in handy while driving. It's much easier—and safer—to flip a switch and start talking than to fumble with unlocking my phone, opening the voice recorder app, etc.

Seth Kenlon shares these gift ideas for downtime between writing:

I'm not a fan of mobile phones. For what I do I'd rather just use a laptop. The one thing mobile phones are useful for is portable audio. Lately, though, I've been using my Sansa Fuze (running the open source Rockbox firmware). It turns out that they're still being produced. I can't actually vouch for the new models because my player from 15 years ago is still working, but I guess that's theoretically an endorsement in itself. If you're trying to tempt yourself from putting down your smartphone, this is an excellent way to enable yourself to do just that.

And for something to listen to: The crowdsourced Librivox project is an effort to create $0 audiobooks from all the great literature of the past. If it's fallen out of copyright, Librivox has probably recorded it. A few $0 DRM-free audio books of a few classics can make a fun gift, and it also acts as a gateway to a huge audio library to explore in the future. I've been reading Herodotus's histories about Ancient Greece and Egypt, but I've also recently read Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E Howard, Arthur Conan Doyle, and so much more.