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    27 Products That'll Actually Help Make You Productive In 2020

    Yes, even if you're lazy sometimes.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. An alarm clock to wake you up with a chill, gradual sunrise, the way all of our bodies ~evolved~ to wake up.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Just because you're a little lazy (or have trouble waking up to a regular alarm) doesn't necessarily mean you need the loudest alarm on the planet — if gimmicky, loud, fight-or-flight alarms have failed you in the past, maybe something chill is what you've needed all along.

    Promising review: "Oh my goodness! I bought this for my husband to replace an old annoying nuclear-level alarm clock which he would snooze six or seven times. THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER GIVEN AS A GIFT. I didn't know my mornings could begin so peacefully! I am GENTLY woken by the light before it reaches it's brightest setting, and then the chirping birds sounds are so real. I thought they were singing outside my window at first! Now I don't mind when my husband hits the snooze, 'cause those birds are lovely! Makes dragging myself out of bed great!" —Amazon Customer

    Get one on Amazon that a sunset feature to help you fall asleep, as well as the gradual wake-up sunrise, for $87 (or get a newer model for $115). Or get a similar one that has only the sunrise feature, no sunset for $19.99.

    2. A simple planner with built-in tools to help you overcome procrastination by setting and tracking goals, undated pages so you never waste a spread for a vacation week, and a happiness guarantee that lets you return it at anytime.

    BuzzFeed Reviews

    Promising review: "This is a lovely journal and planner. I spent a lot of time looking at all the new planners that promise to help me achieve EVERYTHING this year, and this one is on point at a great price. Goals for the week, reflection by the week, yearly vision board space, three bookmarks to move around...lots of neat details. I definitely recommend it! If space were not an issue I'd try to have room for daily gratitudes, but as it is I just add them in each day. The paper is adequate, if not hefty, weight. Customer service follow up has been great. Definitely recommend the Simple Elephant. <3" —Freeamanda

    Get it on Amazon for $17.99+ (available in blue, black, or pink). It comes with a single sticker sheet, but if you really like stickers, you can get their six-sheet sticker pack for $6.25, too.

    Read even more about it on BuzzFeed Reviews — it's our pick for best inexpensive productivity planner.

    3. Or a dotted notebook you can turn into your very own bullet journal, if you want a truly custom way to track and plan your days.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Purchased this for my bullet journal because I didn't want to break the bank getting the more popular brands, but this is just as amazing and can replace the Moleskine ($15) and Leuchtturm1917 ($20) dotted journals! The color comes just as shown, the pages are the perfect thickness (I use Sharpie Pens and it doesn't bleed through) and it also lays pretty flat. Obsessed. No need to pay $25+ for a journal." —Amazon Customer

    Get one of these 192-page journals on Amazon for $8.95 (available in seven colors).

    And if you want to learn more about starting your own bullet journal, check out this bullet journal explainer and bullet journal tips and tricks.

    4. OR (and I swear this is the last one of these) a bare-bones productivity planner designed to help you focus on one main task each day, plus two secondary ones.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I love the helpful tips and words of wisdom in the beginning of this planner. It's a really nice touch. The methodology that this planner uses has really helped me prioritize tasks, and I feel like my thoughts are less cluttered after having used this. A great tool for improving productivity and also for holding yourself accountable for not completing those dreaded and uncomfortable tasks on your to-do list!" —Neenyo

    Get one on Amazon for $24.99.

    5. A set of no-smear colorful pens nearly 2,000 people — including lefties, who tend to have extra problems with smeary ink — swear make all their notes look neat and color-coded.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I am a pen snob. Left handed. Teacher. These pens have me finding excuses to write! I generally hate gel pens because I smear them so quickly when I write, but these are amazing. Also, unlike other color-ink pens, the yellow and lime green are easily legible! I highly recommend these pens! Well worth the cost." —Alli &.

    Get the pack of 14 colors on Amazon for $16.99.

    6. A pair of noise-cancelling headphones to mute all the distractions around you and focus on the task at hand.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "These are so helpful in my co-working office. I love my coworkers, but sometimes (okay, a lot of times) I need straight up focus time. These cancel out the sound so well that they often have to tap me on the shoulder to ask me a question because I can't hear them over my music. I wondered if I should make more of an investment, but these are suiting me just fine." —Andrea S.

    Get a pair on Amazon for $29.99.

    7. Or a pair of squishy earplugs, which do pretty much the same trick for much less money.

    Michelle No / BuzzFeed, Amazon

    One BuzzFeeder swears by these earplugs for sleeping, but they'd work equally well in a noisy office or dorm.

    Promising review: "Everyone's ear holes are unique, but these are the most comfortable earplugs I've ever worn, and I've tried over two dozen types (not joking). I use these to sleep and concentrate on work. They are rated NRR 33 (among the highest rating available), so they effectively reduce normal conversation to a barely-audible whisper. Although these are intended to be single-use disposable, I can get about three uses out of each pair before the plugs become uncomfortable (body oil from your ear canal will build up on any foam plug during use)." —Jon G.

    Get a pack of 10 pairs on Amazon for $2.98.

    8. A desk lamp that you can switch on to brighten up the space in front of you before hunkering down to the task at hand.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "This is a great lamp and I am very pleased with the purchase. Yes, it totally looks like the Pixar lamp. It took less than 20 minutes to assemble and the finished product is a clean looking modern design with a solid wood-jointed arm and nice matte-finished metal on the base and shade. I went with the green (teal?) and am glad that I did as it is a very attractive subtle color that brightens up the room without too much flair." —Jordan Benjamin

    Get it on Amazon for $29.99+ (available in four colors).

    9. A subscription to Audible, so you can listen to that book you've been meaning to read for ages while you wash dishes, hang up laundry, commute, and otherwise do other productive adult-y things.

    Audible

    You're about to double or triple your yearly book consumption! You get one free audiobook and two free Audible originals to start (and you just sign up using your Amazon account). After that, it's $14.95 per month for one audiobook plus two Audible originals. Oh, and if you ever start an audiobook and don't like it, you can swap it out for free, no problem.

    (Some local libraries have audiobook programs, too — ask your local branch to learn more!)

    10. A dry erase calendar with a cork board you can hang in your kitchen or home office to keep track of all the major upcoming events happening with everyone you live with.

    amazon.com, Amazon

    Or just with your own life! It comes with four pens, four magnets, and an eraser that are all magnetic, plus a handful of push-pins. If you don't want to use screws to install, a few removable Command Picture Hanging Strips would do the trick.

    Promising review: "This is exactly what I was looking for to replace the small cheap weekly calendar that we used last year. Now we can see the whole month at a glance! It covers most of the width of our cellar door, installed easily with hangers that hang on screws and has good depth so that it’s substantial but it doesn’t stick out too much! I hesitated last year about spending the money on this and ended up with a cheap version from Target. We really rely on the calendar to keep track of school games and pick up times for three children. We all love it, except the kids aren’t happy about being reminded of the first day of school in a couple of weeks!!!" —Anne M Caouette

    Get it on Amazon for $29.89.

    11. A cookbook that makes it easy and cheap to cook for yourself, because eating three square meals (that aren't just take-out) = an important key to true concentration.

    Harmony

    Get it on Amazon for $14.99, Barnes & Noble for $17.99, Indiebound, or find a copy at your local library.

    12. And a water bottle designed to help you remember to actually stay hydrated all day long. If college studying taught me anything, it's that a productive mind starts with a well-fed, not-thirsty body!

    FuzzyLoonDesigns / Etsy

    You know, Maslow's hierarchy and all.

    Get either the fox bottle or the Friends bottle from Fuzzy Loon Designs on Etsy for $25 each. Or get a similar (but more "plain") set of two timed water bottles on Amazon for $14.99.

    13. And speaking of Maslow, some relaxation tea that you can enjoy before bed to help promote restful, restorative sleep...another important factor to maximize all-day focus, concentration, and memory.

    Traditional Medicinals / instagram.com, Amazon

    Promising review: "This tea works exactly as advertised. Sometimes I will lie in bed for hours because I can't shut my brain off enough to fall asleep. When I drink a cup of this before bed, I fall asleep and stay asleep all through the night! Steep the tea as directed for the best results: for 10-15 minutes, in a cup covered to keep the steam from escaping. This will give you the most of the valerian root goodness! I feel like it takes me a full 30-60 minutes after drinking this tea for me to fall asleep, so give yourself time to steep the tea and drink it. Valerian root can be bitter, but this tea is blended with other herbs to make the taste is quite pleasant. The results are worth every penny." —The Degamos

    Get them on Amazon: two boxes for $11.45 ($0.36 per teabag) or six boxes for $22.62 ($0.24 per teabag).

    For more, check out 27 Cheap And Easy Ways To Improve Your Sleep.

    14. A meal planning and grocery list pad that's perforated in the middle, so you can plan your meals, write down what you need to buy, then peel off just the shopping list when you head to the store.

    amazon.com, youtube.com

    Plus it's magnetic, so it can stick right to your fridge. And the shopping list for the *next* week would be exposed when you tear, so you can easily add to it through the week as you think of things!

    Promising review: "I love this meal planner and shopping list! In my house, it was constantly "what do you want to eat" "what do we have" blah blah etc. Now, I can lay out the weeks meals, and get my shopping list prepared so I make sure I don't miss anything at the grocery store. The magnet on the back is strong and holds it to the fridge perfectly, even with the door opening and closing constantly. The perforation is good, and doesn't stray off into the paper like some cheaper papers do. Will be buying again when my current one gets low." —Haley

    Get it on Amazon for $9.95.

    15. A 60-minute timer so you can try practicing the "Pomodoro Technique": work for 25 minutes, break for 10 minutes. Then every fourth break, break for 20-30 minutes.

    Amazon

    And don't just look at your phone during those breaks: get up from your chair, walk around, do some stretches, get some water, and otherwise completely disengage from whatever task you're doing. This is where a physical timer comes in handy — yes, your phone has one, but it's hard to pick it up and only look at the timer app.

    Read more about the Pomodoro Technique on their website.

    And get a 60-minute timer on Amazon: the Death Star for $22.99 or the teal magnetic one for $12.99.

    16. A habit tracker to help you stay accountable to the one person that matters — yourself — when you want to establish a new routine.

    Amazon

    It has 12 categories (so you could theoretically focus on one new category each month), including creativity, reflection, finances, and exploration.

    Promising review: "Tracking time is something people always talk about, but rarely do. Time is to much of an ambiguous concept that feels like a multi-head hydra. I don't know about other folks but I am visual. I need to see a physical representation. Habits are hard to start and harder to break. I like that this calendar can be customized and placed on your desk or a cork board "gently" reminding you about your goals. All in all a great habit calendar that keeps you on track. :)" —LEJ

    Get it on Amazon for $18.

    17. A UV sanitizer for your phone that could lower your chances of getting sick, at least a little bit.

    PhoneSoap

    A few years ago a BuzzFeeder tested a bunch of our phones for germs, and the person with the cleanest phone used a similar device every night (everyone else, well, let's just say it's pretty gross). Although if you really want to help your immune system, you prob also should follow these tips to avoid getting sick.

    Promising review: "I work in a large dental clinic with 50+ docs and even more assistants. Anyone who knows about dentistry knows that there are a lot of aerosols given out during almost every procedure. Since we don't have a radio in the operatories, I've had to use my phone for music. Before phone soap I had to wipe my phone down every time with Cavicide wipes...not the best for your phone. Enter PhoneSoap! I'm able to sanitize my phone without destroying it with Cavicide! We've even tested and swabbed the phone for cultures before and after...this sucker works! Hands down, great investment. I'll be buying another one for the home because this one is staying in my office." —James

    Get one on Amazon for $79.95 (available in three colors).

    18. A colorful cube of Post-It notes, because sometimes you just need the reminder to do something right in front of your face.

    Amazon

    What can I say? I'm a person of routines, and if I want to do something out of the ordinary for that routine, I need the reminder right in front of my face. (Not to an extreme of course, but they really do help!)

    Get them on Amazon (450 notes!) for $5.98.

    19. Forest, an app that lets you set a timer to watch a little virtual tree grow while you work — but kills the tree the moment you leave the app ahead of schedule.

    itunes.apple.com

    Let the little tree live: don't immediately reply to that Twitter mention! Eventually, the trees you grow become their own little forest.

    Get it from the Apple App store for $1.99 or Google Play for free.

    20. A copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (aka Marie Kondo's book) to help you tame the physical clutter in your life — even if it's just in one part, like your closet — which is both productive in and of itself *and* useful for focus in the long-run.

    Amazon

    Although it's helped me declutter a BUNCH of old clothes, you definitely don't have to take every word seriously, just the stuff that you find useful.

    Promising review: "It's soaked with knowledge and super inspiring! As a chronically messy person, this book completely changed my perspective on 'tidying,' what to throw away or get rid of, and how to find joy in your space again, how to reclaim it! Honestly pretty awakening, and I think absolutely everyone could learn something from it." —rainydayshopping

    Get it on Amazon for $9.69 or find a copy at your local library. (Or if you're looking for something a little more low-key or the concept of "sparking joy" doesn't appeal to you, I also like and recommend this book.)

    21. A standing desk converter for your workspace that'll be perfect if you suspect sitting most of the day is draining your ability to pay attention to your work.

    amazon.com

    Reviewers say it's very simple to assemble, and it easily adjusts from sitting to standing (and back again) with gentle pushes or pulls.

    Promising review: "This thing is awesome! Well constructed and saved my neck and back! I spend at least four hours of my workday standing now! I feel like standing gives me more energy and I have not had any pain while working since I bought this. It lowers and lifts fairly easily considering that I have two pretty large monitors on it. The keyboard tray sits almost flush with the desk which is great. I have no issue fitting a standard keyboard and mouse with mouse pad on the tray. Trust me when I tell you that this thing is worth every penny!" —Dmarie330

    Get it on Amazon for $169.98+ (36" high, available in four colors).

    22. Or an adjustable desk shelf to organize your workspace in an appealing way, so you actually look forward to sitting there each and every day.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I love this bookshelf. This shelf is extremely easy to assemble. Even my HUSBAND could do it. :-) It's sturdy, attractive, adaptable, adjustable. It met my needs perfectly. I would order this again and recommend it to everyone." —Dr Pepper

    Get it on Amazon for $29.99 (available in three finishes).

    23. A to-do list pad that'll motivate you with the carrot, not the stick — but the carrot's a delicious adult beverage of your choice.

    Knock Knock Stuff

    Get it on Amazon for $8.

    24. A memory-foam lumbar support for your office chair or car (or even airplanes) because when your back and body's happy and not aching, it's infinitely easier to stay focused and alert.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "Working a desk job where I'm sitting 7+ hours a day, I started having really bad lower back pain. Tried foam roller, stretching, massages... nothing solved it. Ever since buying this, pain is gone. Came back and bought another for my boyfriend. I highly recommend it." —thatgirlfrombr

    Get it on Amazon for $25.89+ (available in eight colors).

    25. And an ergonomic wrist-rest set for your keyboard and mouse, to rejuvenate and support, well, your wrists, if they feel achy after just a couple of hours of sitting at your computer.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Wow, what a difference! These keyboard and mouse wrist pads make keyboarding so much more comfortable that they're helping me type faster, and no more 'mousing shoulder,' since you don't need to move your arm around as much while using the mouse. (Seriously, 'mousing shoulder' has been a very painful issue on many occasions. These pads are surprisingly helpful with the ergonomics of the keyboard/mouse area.) Both pads are very comfortable on the wrists, and have good traction on the bottom so they stay put on your desk or typing surface. I'm typing and keyboarding for much longer time periods, with very little pain. Highly recommend!" —ARCReviewer

    Get the set of two pieces on Amazon for $11.99 (available in three colors).

    26. A book to remind you that productivity and busy-ness are not the same thing, and to help you understand all the different ~productivity theories~ out there — including the fascinating concept of productive procrastination.

    Amazon

    To productively procrastinate, you do things like laundry, dishes, or other little tasks that you usually don't love, just to put off doing the one big thing you don't want to do.

    Promising review: "If you are going to choose only one book to improve your productivity, pick this one. It implements brand-new advice along with tactics from other famous productivity experts. It is easily digestible, and Chris has given you physical actions you can actually take to implement the tactics in each chapter. It is hands down the best productivity resource I have read. The author is to be applauded for his use of scientific evidence along with his anecdotal evidence. As he presents the advice, he also tells you his own journey through his experiments which helps make the advice be practical and relatable. I truly believe if you use even just a fraction of the advice in this book, you will not only become more productive, you will become a happier and healthier person." —Zach

    Get it on Amazon for $15.30 or find a copy at your local library.

    27. A ~nootropic~ gum — it'll boost you through your three-p.m. slump without dosing you with so much caffeine you're still feeling jittery at dinner.

    Kayla Suazo / BuzzFeed

    Each piece combines 40mg of caffeine (a cup of coffee usually averages 95mg) with L-theanine (an amino acid that supposedly promotes stress relief and focus) and B-vitamins (another non-caffeine boost) so you feel clear, alert, and energetic. Kayla, a writer here at BuzzFeed, loves and swears by this stuff: read her full Neurogum review (it's #2).

    Promising review: "As a medical student this has been an amazing addition to my daily study regimen. Same amazing boost as the Diet Coke and coffee I used to chug, but without the jitters, crash/headache, or teeth staining. It's become my new go-to for staying awake and alert in the OR or on the wards. Highly recommend for anyone who needs a pick-me-up but doesn't want that "wired" sensation you get from coffee." —R. Sardesai

    Get a six-pack of the mint or cinnamon flavors from Neurogum for $21 (about $0.39/piece).

    You, living your most productive life ever in 2020:

    Dreamworks

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!

    BuzzFeed

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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