Since we’re in the midst of prime gift-giving season (aka December), I thought I would do a couple of additional gift suggestions posts, all centered around the idea of keeping your life organized, decluttered and simplified.  This is the focus of my new organizing business: Well Ordered DC.  (Tell all your friends!)

In my last post, I shared some great time/life planner products with you.  Today, I share some gift ideas for the reader in your life.



You probably know about the Kindle, but I am a huge fan of it, so I wanted to mention it here straight off the bat.  The Kindle is Amazon’s e-reader.  I recommend either the basic Kindle or the Kindle Paperwhite (These are their two dedicated e-readers.  They allow you to read books electronically. That’s it).  I have the basic Kindle and I love it for a bunch of reasons:

  1. It’s small and lightweight. I used to avoid carrying around certain books I was reading because they were too big.  This is not a problem with the Kindle.  It fits in even my smallest purse.
  2. It’s easy on the eyes.  I work on the computer ALL day.  The last thing I want to do at night or on the weekend is stare at another glaring screen.  The Kindle screen is designed to look like a piece of paper – no bright light staring back at you.  The Paperwhite has a new type of screen which is also designed to be easy on the eyes, but comes with a special kind of built in light. I have not tried this version myself, only watched the videos on the Amazon site.  I’d love to hear what you think of the new screen in the comments!
  3. It stores a ton of books. No matter how many books you own, its still the same size – unlike your home library! You can obtain more books with no additional clutter.  This might be my favorite feature of the Kindle.  There is also a new service/product called kindle matchbook.  If you bought a paper version of the book in the past (from amazon) you can buy the kindle version of the book for a discounted price.  Another way to clear off those shelves!
  4. It’s a reasonable price.  Tablets are expensive. Period.  The Kindle starts at under $100.  For a little extra, you can buy a version without ads.


Subscription to

If the book lover in your life is also an audiobook lover, maybe they would like a subscription to has a ton of audiobooks available via a subscription service, much like Netflix’s DVD program.  For a monthly fee you get X number of audiobooks per month.  Non-members can also purchase books for a higher price. You can listen to the audiobook on your computer, your phone, or your tablet – they have tons of compatible devices.

What I like about this gift idea is that it might be something the recipient would love but wouldn’t consider buying for themselves – my favorite type of gift to give and receive!

*Also, I don’t mean to only promote Amazon on this post.  Audible used to be its own company, but was bought by Amazon last year*


Library Site Lesson

My final gift suggestion is an experience gift – something new I’m trying out this year.  Did you know that your library probably has e-books and audiobooks (and maybe even e-magazines) available for borrowing?  I pretty much guarantee that the process to actually obtain these books is complicated and a bit convoluted.

So as your gift to the book lover in your life, offer a lesson in how to use their library’s e-collection service.  Start to Finish.  You’ll first need to figure out how to do this yourself – so plan accordingly!  Once you’ve got the system down, sit down with the gift recipient and walk them through the process, step by step.  Make hot cocoa, turn on some relaxing music (Jazz Holiday Radio station on Pandora, anyone?), and spend some computer time together.  Be patient and go at their speed – not yours. :)


Any other gift ideas for the reader in your life?  Please share in the comments!

It is officially December, which means a busy month of holiday parties and celebrating.  We’re also nearing the end of the year, which always makes me look forward to starting a new year and thinking about what improvements I want to make to my daily routine.  This year, I’m focusing on finding a new paper-based productivity product.

Whether you’re looking for a new system for yourself or need a good gift to give, here are a few products that I recommend.  These products all can double as planners for the year and as places to store your ideas and various to do lists.

Moleskin Weekly Planner+Notes

This little notebook I used all through college and grad school.  It’s small (3.5″ x 5.5″) and has a soft cover.  On the left hand side of the page is each day of a given week.  The right hand side is a lined page for notes.  There’s a ribbon bookmark and an elastic band to wrap around the book itself – keeping everything nice and tidy.  Moleskin has lots of other calendars as well; there are daily versions, full size planners, and hard covers too, if that’s more your style.

Passion Planner

I just ran across this planner today.  Currently there is a Kickstarter to get it into production, and there are a lot of features I like in this planner.  It’s similar to the Moleskin planner in basic appearance; it has a soft black leather cover with a ribbon bookmark and an elastic band.  This planner is full-sized and contains lots and lots of  room for notes and big picture planning, in addition to calendar planning.  You can also download and print your own two page weekly layout for free.  Print out a copy or two to try it out in your own life.

Emergent Task Planner

This is another downloadable I found recently.  This planner is designed around the notion that you should set 3 main tasks to complete each day.  On each sheet is room to block off time for each task (and includes mandatory break times!) as well as space to make additional notes on other tasks or ideas that come up during the day.  Various sizes of the forms are available from the designer’s Amazon shop.

Circa Notebooks

For the person who wants their planner fully customizable (myself included!) – there is the Circa notebook system.  There’s a couple of key ideas that make these notebooks unique:

  • You can combine any type of paper you like in a single notebook.  Pads are sold pre-punched from the store – including plain lined pages, to do lists, and calendars (monthly, weekly, and daily).  They also sell hole punches, which allows you to use any paper you’d like – including either of the free printables I’ve mentioned above.
  • You can move papers around within the notebook.  I love this feature.  I often find myself tearing pages out of notebooks that I no longer need or wanting to move various lists or project plans from one section of a notebook to another.  These notebooks allow me to do both of these things without making a mess of my notes or notebook. offers a sampling kit for $40, which includes basic supplies for 3 different size notebooks and get this – a $40 gift certificate to the store.  Shipping is additional, but the deal is pretty close to free!