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Practical and boring tech gifts people will use time and time again

It sure can be difficult picking out gifts with a certain wow factor during the holidays. After all, we can’t always surprise someone with a brand new car that’s parked outside with a bow on top, right?

But that’s just the thing. Presents don’t have to be over-the-top or very expensive, when something practical could actually be the gift that keeps on giving. It’s about giving them something they didn’t even know they wanted, but now wonder how they made it this long without.

So although many of the products below may seem boring and definitely won’t elicit scream-crying fits of joy when the wrapping paper is torn away, they may very well become a part of everyday life. We’ve covered it before, but here’s an all-new list that’s guaranteed to be a hit, even if it’s not right away.

1. KeySmart Pro, $49.90, Amazon

KeySmart Pro key organizer

At first glance, the KeySmart Pro resembles a small pocket knife or multi-tool. But instead of blades, tweezers and nail files, this is designed to organize your mess of keys – and prevent them from becoming lost!

This pocket organizer will take on up to 10 standard size keys, freeing up valuable space in your pocket or bag. No more incessant jingling, or one key getting stuck while you struggle to pull them from your pocket.

But it’s not just an organizer. Not only does it have a built-in LED light, it also comes equipped with a Tile smart tracker so you’ll always be able to find your misplaced keys. From your phone, you can even have the KeySmart Pro emit a sound. Or, in the reverse, you can use your KeySmart Pro to locate your missing phone – even if it’s in silent mode.

Do you have more than 10 keys? No problem! KeySmart sells expansion packs to increase the number you can add (that means extra stocking stuffers!). They also throw in a bottle opener and a loop to attach to your key fob.

Bonus: Why you should wrap your car keys in aluminum foil

Depending on color, you can pick one up at Amazon for between $50 and $60. Or for less than $20, you can get a stripped-down version without all the tech built-in.

2. Kingston Digital DataTraveler, $7.99, Amazon

Kingston Digital DataTraveler 32GB

Even though so many things are stored in the cloud these days, it can still be helpful to keep a USB flash drive with you because there never seems to be one around when you actually need one. How about one for your keychain?

For $8, you can grab this Kingston Digital DataTraveler with 32GB of storage. It won’t survive a dip in the pool, but it’s metal casing will hold up to general wear and tear.

Bonus: 10 incredibly useful ways to use a USB drive you didn’t know

And as an added bonus, it fits into your KeySmart Pro!

3. VAVA Magnetic Phone Holder, $19.99, Amazon

VAVA magnetic phone holder

Let’s face it: A lot of traditional phone mounts for your car can be bulky and take up a lot of real estate on your dash, windshield or vents. So instead, how about the easiest-to-use car mount you’ll ever own that you barely know is there? You probably know others who would benefit from this, too.

It’s the most simple way to dock your phone on the go, and you can set it to any angle you prefer.

The VAVA Magnetic Phone Holder comes in two parts: The magnetic mount that connects to your dash with adhesive and a small metal plate you place on the back of your phone case. Once the adhesive has time to take hold, it’s ready to use. It’s rated to hold more than six pounds, so it should be no problem to use with the biggest phones out there including the iPhone XS Max and Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

It’s available in four colors and costs only $19.99 at Amazon.

Alternative: Spigen Kuel TMS24 One Tap CD Slot Car Mount Holder, $17.99, Amazon

Spigen Kuel TMS24

The magnetic mounts are great – unless you’re a fan of wireless charging. If you don’t want a metal plate compromising your phone’s ability to do that, check out this low-profile standard phone mount that you attach via the dash CD player slot. This is a great gift for those who have CD players in their car, but don’t use them much anymore.

4. 2 Pack Multi Charging Cable by Trendsetter, $12.99, Amazon

Trendsetter multi-charging cable

Is anyone you know tired of looking for multiple cables to charge very different devices? Extra cables already make for great gifts, and one of these 3-in-1 cables just happens to compatible with both iOS and Android phones. That includes recent iPhone models as well as small tablets like an iPad Mini or Google Chromebook.

One cable can connect to devices with Lightning, USB-C or micro USB ports – and charge three devices simultaneously. Keep in mind, the manufacturer says this cable is for charging and not meant for data transfer.

Bonus: Traveling? 5 ways not to get hacked

Each nylon braided cable is 3-feet long, and they (depending on quantity) come in silver, gold and rose gold.

5. Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones, $15.89, Amazon

Mpow Flame Bluetooth earbuds

Headphones can be pricey, especially if they’re wireless. And if they’re expensive, I tend to take care of them and only use them for certain situations. You don’t have to worry about that with these.

Give the gift of affordable wireless, noise-canceling earbuds you can actually wear while working out. The Mpow Flame Bluetooth headphones are water resistant and pack a good amount of bass. The ear hooks provide a snug fit to keep them in place no matter what you’re up to and the battery lasts up to 9 hours.

The best part? You can get a pair through Amazon for less than $16.

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