Life·11 min read

19 Things to Spark Creativity and Increase Your Productivity

19 Things to Spark Creativity and Increase Your Productivity
Robie Rogge/Amazon, mooas, Uncommon Goods
Jun 16, 2021

This was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated.

What better way to kick off a new year than with some recs that’ll inspire you to make the most of your time and energy? We rounded up our fave products to help you get sh*t done and spark some major creative juices. Work-hard, play-hard mode = activated. 

Psst: While you’re in full planning mode, we’ve got a ton of recs for planners, journals, calendars, and more right over here.

For when you’re trying to up your productivity levels...

A budget planner so you can take control of your finances…

Who said that budgeting had to be stressful? This planner helps track payments, bills, income, and more in a digestible way. The blank calendar pages are also great for customizing and tracking any important payment deadlines. Your rainy-day fund is looking sunny. ($9.99, Target)

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A weekly desk planner to keep track of all your work to-dos...

This 52-sheet notepad will let you plan your week out all in one place. And it’s as cute as it is functional. It’s a little bit bigger than your standard piece of printer paper so you shouldn’t run out of room for your tasks. Perfect for when you’re trying to cut down on screen time and get back into pen and paper. ($14.95,

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A timer-slash-clock device that’ll help you focus...

This battery-operated, two-in-one device will quickly become your new BFF. Because sometimes you just want to put your phone away, stop scrolling through Insta, and get stuff done. Just set the timer up — it has one-, three-, five-, and 10-minute options — and voilà, instant focus. Plus it’s great for cooking, working out, cleaning up, and more. The fun colors are an added bonus. ($18.90, Amazon)

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Or if you prefer something more visual to keep track of time...

Get this modern version of a classic hourglass timer. This one comes in ten-, 30-, and 60-minute options. Just flip it over, and see how much you can get done before all the sand slips through. On your marks, get set, go. ($28+, MOMOCUI Design via Etsy) 

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A 52-page meal planner for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…

Hot take: Planning meals every week is actually kinda fun thanks to this trusty 52-page notepad. It lets you prep ahead and get ready for each day of the week. One half allots daily planning for all three meals while the other half has a tear-off grocery list. Plus it has strong magnets so it'll keep your personal menu front and center on your fridge (no sliding here). So gourmet. ($9.99, Amazon)

Pssst: Need some more time-management tips? Here you go.

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A motivating subscription box for anyone looking to pivot careers...

This one is focused on helping you get creative in your job space. It comes with exclusive workbooks, goal-oriented activity sheets, journaling materials, and other items that’ll kick off exciting brainstorming sessions and can help ya set career intentions. Past themes include achieving goals, and how to live fearlessly. Sign us up. ($35+/per month, Cratejoy)

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A calendar to help you track your progress...

Trying to change your life? Congrats. This habit planner will make it easier to stick to your goals — whether they’re about getting more organized, a better sleep, or into a regular fitness routine. Just write your habits in one column and then check off the ones you’ve completed as you go. It’s printed on 100% recycled paper and comes with a nail hole and calendar hook — so you can prop it up however works best for you. Check, check, and check. ($18, Free Period Press)

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A motivation jar filled with inspirational quotes...

Because sometimes you just need some good old-fashioned words of wisdom to get you through the day. This glass jar comes with 52 hand-rolled quotes that’ll provide a mental boost. So whether you keep it for yourself to open as a Monday morning ritual or gift it to your friend who’s been hitting a lot of roadblocks lately, we support. Goodbye, defeats; hello, big wins. ($22.80, Etsy)

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A program that'll help you build healthier habits (and actually keep them)...

They say it takes 21 days, but who remembers to keep track? Enter: Noom. Their psych-based approach makes it easier to set and work towards allll your wellness goals. They’ve got recipes, grocery lists, step counters, and resources you’ll want to dive into ASAP. Like “14 Foods for Stress Reduction” and “How to Stop Eating Out of Boredom.” Plus a free 14-day trial. Goal get 'em. (Prices vary, Noom)*

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A 1-gallon, time-marker water bottle so you can fuel up…

Because a hydrated body = one that’s well-suited to get sh*t done. This BPA-free option will help you remember to drink enough throughout the day. It has a strap and leak-proof lid with a locking feature, so it’s a breeze to carry from room to room. The wide-mouth opening makes cleaning it and adding ice cubes super easy. Plus its size means you won’t have to constantly refill it. Employee of the month, coming right up. ($17.84+, Amazon)

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Something that’ll help you kick your career (and life) into gear…

Fashion mogul Rebecca Minkoff’s new book “Fearless” to the rescue. It has tangible strategies on how to engage with challenges in different areas of your life. Minkoff shares helpful tips while telling stories from her many years in the business world. And reading it feels like getting the ultimate one-on-one experience from someone who’s been down in the trenches before. Your goals? They’re about to be reached. Congrats. ($12.99+ Amazon)*

Read it

For when you want to get creative...

A mini hand-embroidery set that’s as relaxing as it is satisfying...

This one is perfect for when you want to put your phone down and let your mind escape. You can choose from three options — each with varying supplies that’ll help you. Think: a hoop, fabric, stitch and color guides, embroidery needle, and more. All you need now is some calming tea and music and the vibe is set. ($13.41+, Etsy)

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Food dice that’ll spice things up in the kitchen...

All out of creative new dinner recipes? These birchwood dice to the rescue. Each side is engraved with a protein, cooking method, grain, herb, and bonus ingredients that’ll add up to one amazing meal. All you have to do is roll your dice and get cooking based on their selects. There are over 186,000 combos (whoa) — so you’ll never get bored. Pssst: Want more dice for other parts of your life? Here are our faves for mindfulness and yoga. Get rolling. ($24, Uncommon Goods)

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An arts-and-crafts subscription box for your next weekend activity…

Because getting in touch with your artsy side isn’t just for kids. Or for all those months in quarantine. This one for adults and teens will bring a different craft to your doorstep every month. It’ll come with all the tools, accessories, and instructions you’ll need to get going. Past boxes include everything from wood burning and engraving to making a wine and cheese chalkboard kit, and more. Endorphins, it’s go time. ($31+ per month, Cratejoy)

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A “do one thing every day” journal… 

Resolutions and resets aren’t only for January 1. This 365-day journal will help you engage with your creative side and tap into your imagination, no matter when you decide to start. Each day has a new prompt that’ll push you out of your comfort zone. Like drawing a round figure using only lines or creating a shopping list to a melody. By the end of your year you’ll have an entire collection of daily doodles and notes that might just lead you to something great. The new you starts now. ($8.34, Amazon)

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A DIY tie-dye kit that’ll bring you back to your youth...

This set will guide you through the Shibori basics (aka a Japanese dyeing technique) and remind you of summer camp days. With thorough guidelines, it will also encourage some freedom to let your artsy side shine. The pack comes with a dye, rubber bands, twine, squares, gloves, and instructions to get you through. Order an extra so you and your partner, roomie, or kids can have some fun too. ($12.97, Amazon)

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Faux matches for when you want to lean into some right-brain activity...

Each match comes with a printed prompt that’ll get your creative juices flowing. Pull one a day or use ’em when you’re feeling uninspired. It’s a cute little item that’ll look good on your desk and makes for a great gift too. Go ahead, strike a (fake) match. ($10.91, Walmart)

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An at-home marbling clay kit to bring back all the childhood memories….

There’s nothing like a crafting activity to bring out your inner artist and take you back to your Play-Doh and Model Magic days. This kit is a satisfying de-stresser with a grown-up twist. Easy-to-follow instructions will have you whipping up a jewelry dish…or two. With 15 blocks of clay, corresponding tools, and a gold marker for fancy finishing touches, this activity is perfect for rainy days…or any time you just want to do something fun. ($42, AdultsAndCraftsLLC via Etsy)

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A music subscription so you can tune out all your distractions…

Goodbye, loud roomies: hello supreme focus. With this membership, you’ll get unlimited access to podcasts, songs, and thousands of playlists so you can easily disregard the dog barking or whatever other chaos coming from the room next to ya. Plus you can listen in offline mode, which is great for those afternoon-walk breaks where your Wi-Fi can get a lil’ spotty. PS: When you sign up you’ll also get six months free of Disney+. Headphones on. (30-day free trial, then $9.99 per month, Amazon Music Unlimited)

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*This denotes a sponsored post.

If you buy anything from this email, theSkimm may get something in return. Oh, and if something’s out of stock, oops, it was there (and all prices were accurate too) when we published. Thanks.

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