by Deborah Ng
When it comes to gifts, I like to be made to feel special. Ask Mr. Ng, a paper shredder under the Christmas tree doesn’t exactly fill me with warmth and holiday spirit. I do understand the need for practicality, however. Which is why I recommend buying the writer or blogger in your life some flash drives or an external hard drive as a stocking stuffer. I wouldn’t give these as “the big gift”, if you know what I mean, but it’s a good wingman.
I know it’s not so glamorous, but believe you me memory space fills up fast. Nothing slows down a laptop more than lots of downloaded….stuff. Images, silly programs you never use and ebooks all take up space. A year later you’re working on a slow machine and wondering why you have to replace your computers so often. The writer or blogger in your life will appreciate your thoughtfulness. No really. And you’re more likely to get a flash drive than, say, an iPhone which I’ve been hinting for forever even though Mr. N keeps saying, “You already have a cellphone. Never mind that it’s 10 years old and you can’t do anything else with it but dial. It works.” Yes. This is what I’m up against.
Flash drives, as pictured above, make fantastic and inexpensive stocking stuffers. You can get decent ones for $20 to $50 and they hold a lot more stuff than you think. What I especially like about flash drives are their portability. They fit in purses and pockets so if you’re traveling they travel with you. They also store easily in desks or file cabinets. Memory size varies, they can hold from 1 to 16 GBs of stuff and they’re so inexpensive you can buy as needed. Flash drives plug easily into your USB port and don’t get in the way.
External Hard Drives
I have an external hard drive plugged in to my laptop at all times when I’m at home for the same reason I recommend flash drives. I save everything to the external or portable drive and my laptop remains uncluttered. My weapon of choice is a Western Digital Passport Essential and it retails for a little under $100 (though I’ve seen it for $169). Really, a small price to pay when you consider your prolonging the life expectancy of your laptop or notebook.
This particular model is very lightweight and travels well. It’s compact enough to fit in my hand and doesn’t take up much desk space. It has a small cord which easily plugs into your USB port and holds about 250 GBs. Trust me, anyone who works online all day will appreciate seeing this puppy nestled among the tinsel and fake snow.
As the weeks go by, I’ll throw out more suggestions for holiday gifts for writers and bloggers. Hope some of these ideas work for you!