Staff Picks: Kevin’s Top Gifts

Many of us spend our days with our heads turned down to our smartphones, often losing touch with the real world around us. As a tech fan, I love the way the mobile device is shaping our world. As a writer, I often long for the days of the printed page when taking notes involved a pen and paper, not an app. With this in mind I have compiled a list of gifts that would be right at home on my desk or in my back pocket. The items I have curated below are perfect for the creative mind on the go, whether it’s as simple as keeping your phone charged or using NFC to interact with your surroundings, these unique gifts create new levels of productivity by merging the traditional with the futuristic.

Little Printer (Get it!)

Little Printer is billed as a “miniature newspaper,” a novel concept that takes digital feeds and turns them into your own personal print publication. With content ranging from news, weather, and social streams to more interesting fair such as daily puzzles, pixel art, and micro-stories from science fiction writer Jeff Noon. Little Printer works with BERG Cloud to provide a constantly growing collection of services and feeds to create an experience catered to your interests. Perfect for those still longing for the days of the traditional newspaper without sacrificing the adaptability of the digital age.

Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine (Get it!)

Evernote provides a great way to keep track of your thoughts throughout the day, but for many there is just no replacement for a real notebook and pen (are we sensing a theme here?). Luckily you can have your cake and eat it too with the Evernote Smart Notebook. Manufactured by Moleskine, the trusted companion of writers for decades, the Smart Notebook interfaces directly with Evernote through the Page Camera feature. This not only saves a high quality digital version of your notes but also allows for the use of included Smart Stickers, which make a pages content searchable.

Though Page Camera is currently only available in the iOS version of the app, it should find its way to Android soon. In the meantime, you still get a high quality notebook upon which to ink your thoughts. Available in both large and pocket sizes with a choice of ruled or squared paper.

Samsung TecTiles (Get it!)

Samsung’s TecTiles make a great stocking stuffer for Android smartphone users, specifically those with one of Samsung’s best-selling devices such as the Galaxy S3. TecTiles are fully programmable stickers that interact with any device with NFC capabilities to trigger specific actions. Stick one to your night stand and tap your phone to turn on your alarm. Place one on a business card and make transferring contact information seamless. Priced around $15 for a pack of five, the creative user can find plenty of uses for this cool tech.

Kensington PowerBolt (Get it!)

If you’re anything like me, you often find yourself away from home and running out of battery power. With a dead phone not an option, a reliable car charger is the way to get where you need to go and arrive with a full charge. The Kensington PowerBolt is compatible with any smartphone using a standard microUSB charging port (nearly all Android devices) and provides a constant 1.0 Amp charge to quickly juice up an ailing battery. Just plug it in and go.

Herschel Pop Quiz Tablet Sleeve (Get it!)

So what if this tablet sleeve’s official name is the Pop Quiz iPad Sleeve? Measuring in at just over 10 inches in width, it will hold your similarly sized Android slate just as well, and it will look mighty fine doing it. Plus there are additional internal and external pockets to house other items (Evernote Smart Notebook?). Herschel has a few different tablet cases available, but the Pop Quiz is the most full-featured. Also worth checking out is the company’s great selection of backpacks.