Second favorite organization tool: The labelmaker

I have written in the past about the ScanSnap, my favorite organization tool. Today, I want to talk about the item that runs a very close second on my favorite’s list, which is the labelmaker.

I’m actually a little surprised that I haven’t written about it on Unclutterer before today. Any storage box in my home that isn’t clear gets labeled. Same applies to every file folder in my filing cabinet, the recycling bins, containers in the bathroom, and about 1,000 other items in my home.

Until I had one, I didn’t know what I was missing. Unfortunately, there isn’t much more to say about the labelmaker because it is such a straightforward device. Maybe its simplicity has something to do with why it’s so high on my list of favorite organization tools …

72 Comments for “Second favorite organization tool: The labelmaker”

  1. posted by Alex on

    Are there any non-obvious/unconventional stuff you use those labels for?

    What about pre-inked stamps? Again the obvious are ‘past due’, ‘paid’, ‘rec’d on …’. However, they can be custom made. How do they integrate (or not) to a GTD/uncluttering workflow?

  2. posted by Avlor on

    Just got a label maker a few weeks ago. Love it! Reorganizing my craft area and it will be so much easier to put stuff away. Doing same for son’s room. Will be easier for him and friends to put toys away now. (Even friends will e able to figure out where stuff goes.)

    Hadn’t thought of the containers in the bathroom. Will do that for my bathroom closet bins that hold meds. Things get stuffed in them that don’t belong all the time. Think it will help.

  3. posted by Michele on

    I’ve been reluctant to use a labelmaker for a few reasons. First, it’s really a unitasker, wouldn’t you say? A little electronic gadget with its own carbon footprint issues, and you have to buy special labels and special ink for it. It seems to me that masking tape and neat block lettering with a Sharpie works just as well.

    Second, and this is totally personal, I don’t like the aesthetics of having labels all around my home (even if they’re behind cabinet or closet doors). Feels too institutional, like the a hospital or warehouse or grocery store. Supply closet at work, fine. My medicine cabinet — no, thanks.

  4. posted by nat on

    i have this exact labelmaker and i love it!

  5. posted by Doug Ransom on

    I like having labelmakers. I have one at work so I an label files instantly (if they don’t need instant lables, I have my assistant do them in batches on the printer). Basically, anything I keep at my desk is in letter size, and I label it, because I need to get that paper off my desk and where I can find it NOW. Anything that goes into client files are legal and my assistant deals with it.

    One thing I have had problems with at home is my toddler/preschooler getting into the label maker and pulling $9 worth of tape out at a time!

    The frustrating P-Touch desktop model I use at work (I only bought it because it was on sale) uses the higher quality TZ tape has a nasty habit of defaulting to use the most tape possible (font size and leading/trailing amount) whenever I clear the text. It is a time waster and expensive. The cheaper P-Touch M-Tape models don’t do this. Even though its functional, I am tempted to throw it out it costs so much waste.

  6. posted by Jason on

    I use masking tape + a sharpie

  7. posted by Dave P on

    @ Michele — You are RIGHT ON. I agree completely! I much prefer using yellow stickies to label things. They’re cheaper. They have more space to write stuff. They’re more personal. They’re cheaper. They’re better for the environment. They’re free if you steal them from the office. They’re easily changed… just rip the old one off and stick on the new one. I have about 200 12-gallon clear hinged-top plastic storage boxes in my basement, all labeled with yellow stickies. (My big problem, though, is that many of those boxes are labelled FILE THIS or SORT THIS.) The label maker gadgets produce sterile-looking labels. Handwritten stuff is much more personal and has more style.

    @ Erin — Sorry I don’t agree with you about the label maker, but I agree 100% on the Scan Snap!

  8. posted by greer on

    I agree–much easier just to grab some tape and a marker.

  9. posted by Susan on

    Tape and a marking pen can’t be beaten for quick labeling. Too sinple for a lot of you, I guess.

  10. posted by David Bump on

    I’m in the unitasker camp.
    I prefer two cheaper, smaller, more flexible systems:

    LabelOnce labels (permanent label, with eraser and marker)

    Or the Ghetto solution: clear packing tape, and a sharpie. When you change the contents, erase the sharpie with alcohol and re-write.

  11. posted by Tubin on

    I agree: this is so single-use, it deserves a unitasker Wednesday slot! Sharpie plus tape is the cheap, obvious answer. But if you want fancy printed labels, buy a box of Avery labels and print out labels with your printer. This way you’re not left with this clunky thing sitting around when everything’s labeled.

  12. posted by Matt. on

    Wow, this conversation just made me realize — my toothbrush is a total unitasker! Better get rid of it.

    Tape and yellow stickies are fine for some things, but I’ve had the disheartening experience of having to deal with someone else’s closet and finding:

    a) a collection of identical, unmarked boxes on the shelves, and

    b) a collection of old, dried-up hand-made yellow sticky labels on the floor.

  13. posted by PJK on

    Gee, come to think of it, my car is a unitasker. So is my bed and my office chair.

    Personally, I love my labelmaker. It’s much neater than my own writing, and it does different size fonts, including ones small enough to fit on narrow items where I couldn’t write that small and still be clear.

  14. posted by Jess on

    I have the same labelmaker and I love it. Handwritten labels look sloppy to me, and don’t inspire order (the fact that I’m an engineer may explain this). The only place I use pretty, handwritten labels is in my craft room.
    If you’re worried about an extra gadget, you could always buy your own tape and borrow a labeler from work or a friend.

  15. posted by Matt on

    Personally, I bought labels that can run through my printer. Its neater than my handwriting, and I already own the computer / printer, so I didn’t have to buy a unitasker just for labelling.

  16. posted by Michele on

    I resisted buying a label maker for for the longest time for the same reasons a lot of people have mentioned. But now that I have it, I love it and use it all the time.

  17. posted by Fazal Majid on

    The TV show “Friends” used to have a running gag about how obsessive-compulsive neatness freak Monica was enamored of her label maker…

    David Allen of “Getting Things Done” recommends you use a labelmaker for filing, and that you keep it at hand’s reach on your desk so you will not have unconscious reluctance to use it. For the same reason, if you need to wait to print multiple labels on a sheet in a laser printer, you just aren’t going to do it. The laminated labels from a label maker are much more durable in any case.

    I’ve had Brother label makers for ages but that’s because I am an IT guy and we tends to be obsessive about labeling things in the data center. My current one also has a USB interface and bar-coding capabilities, but I don’t use either because it is so much simpler to just use the keyboard on the unit.

    Other important tools:

    – a trash can. Enough said

    – a good shredder. Staples makes 2 micro-cut models that are very quiet and cut paper into tiny flecks, much more secure than ordinary strip-cut or cross-cut shredders

    – a date-stamper, so you know when you received a document you scanned (the PDF timestamp is not enough because I combine multiple PDFs into one per supplier). If you keep a simple chronological file (one envelope per month), you can easily retrieve any scanned document if you have to.

  18. posted by Sophia on

    @Doug Ransom
    i have the p-touch, sadly.
    is there anyway to get rid of the trailing spaces?

    i still love my label maker though? so much neater than own handwriting.

  19. posted by Jeanne B. on

    Just wanted you to know…

    YOU MAKE MY DAY!

  20. posted by J.J. on

    Maybe it’s just me, but I get creeped out when I go to someone’s place and they’ve got those little DYMO labels everywhere. Because they invariably tend to be used too much, as the person tries to justify having purchased the label-maker.

    But if you can limit your usage, I guess it could help organize things (or allow quick access to things you’ve stored away).

    For what it’s worth, though–and this is a matter of personal preference–I think things look better-organized and cleaner if they don’t even require labels. But, with the kind of struggle it takes to battle clutter, maybe it’s dangerous to start discussing the merits of the appearance of organization versus actual organization.

  21. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    To everyone who suggests using masking tape and a sharpie, I don’t see how this looks professional. I can’t imagine walking into a meeting with a potential client with a strip of masking tape slapped on a file folder. It projects sloppy, not organized. Plus, my handwriting is nice, but a label looks so much better.

    Additionally, you also can print labels on your home printer, but most printers aren’t extremely portable. A label maker can travel to the basement or workshop or car where and when you need the labels.

    I also would like to point out that every person who has responded in the comments so far that they have a label maker, says that they love their label maker. This could be one of those instances where it’s difficult to see the benefits unless you use the product. Just a thought …

  22. posted by Andrea on

    I love my label maker! I understand the whole sharpie/tape thing, but my handwriting is border-line illegible and the label maker is so much neater.

  23. posted by Angela on

    I have a label maker in an unopened package. I have been reluctant to open it, wondering if it would really be an advantage to use it. I am now convinced to open it and use it.
    PS I love this website and check it daily!

  24. posted by Colin on

    Pah, a label printer with a keyboard etc? When I was a kid, we had a Dymo where you rotated a wheel to select a letter and then punched it onto hard plastic tape that you then tried to stick on whatever it was that you were labeling. If you didn’t get it right, you got back to work until you did! None of this namby-pamby easy-to-use-device nonsense!

    As for you “Oh it’s easier just to write a label” crowd, where’s your sense of discipline and hard work?

    (just in case it’s not obvious, I’m not being serious…)

  25. posted by Andamom on

    There are some great points here… and really I don’t see the need for a unitasker that could easily be replaced by tape/paper/pen. That’s right, if I need to label something, I can write what I need on the paper and cover it with clear tape.

  26. posted by John of Indiana on

    I have labelmakers both at home and work. Very useful devices.
    Sometimes one can carry this Unitasker thing to the ridiculous extreme.
    Or do you also use the toilet as a foot washer? :)

  27. posted by A. Non on

    @David Bump:
    I checked out the LabelOnce website, and decided they were worth a try for about $20 including shipping. Best of all they accept PayPal – which I use as often as I can so that I don’t have to give my cc number to all and sundry websites. But, LabelOnce just lost a sale – the checkout process REQUIRES submitting cc number even if I want to use PayPal. Their loss, I’ll just go back to the tried and true Avery labels from OfficeMax

  28. posted by Deborah on

    I have to laugh, because a guy I worked with was in love with his label maker, and I must admit I did tease him a bit. I am far too right-brained-have my own filing system-can’t see how I could amalgamate it with a gadget like this. Great for some though! I enjoy your blog-makes me feel as though there is hope for people like me. LOL.

  29. posted by Phil on

    I have been pondering to get a label maker for quite some time, but I think I will get one soon – one additional feature I like from work (Computer Networks) is the ability to print cable labels that wrap around the cable.

    We use a Dymo Rhino for that, and it is great.

    BTW, I also remember these old-school plastic labels which were punched with a rotating letter-dial. Until now I didnt know that was Dymo, already…

  30. posted by Valerie Zinger on

    I was looking at buying a label maker yesterday for doing mailing labels. Dymo is probably the industry standard but there was a Brother that could also be hooked into the computer. As I am just starting my business, I may wait and do my mailing labels on Word from my data base. My little single strip Brother label maker, that I have had for years, has been used to label every box in my workroom. Finding things is so much easier. Now, if I could only get mailing labels mastered…..

  31. posted by Mary on

    I read in GTD something about a label making dignifying your files and giving them more respect. I totally agree .. I resisted using it for our pantry until my son and I spent a long time trying to figure out which mason jar contained the brown rice and which contained the whole wheat berries … they will get a small label to be fixed to the bottom of each jar. I love them for labeling bins in obvious storage areas.

    There’s something about masking tape that just looks sloppy ..

  32. posted by Susan on

    Geez, Erin (and all the rest of you label-maker huggers), get a grip. I hardly think the topmost thing on a client’s mind at a meeting is whether or not your file folder “looks professional.” FYI, tape is not needed on file folders – neat block printing with marker does the job. Also I would like to point out that every person who responded to this would probably also love a Hummer if they bought one. It just that a lot of us don’t have a need to buy a label maker.

  33. posted by Anne on

    oh how I loved the ol’ Dynamo’s we never used them for labels but for printing Anne loves Tony, or other silly things, they never stuck for long, but the process of punching out the label was a dream.
    I don’t have a label maker now…because I am cheap. That is my motivator usually in my declutter/simplifing of life.
    I have bad reminders of watching Granpa (whom I loved dearly) succumb to Alzheimers and begin labeling strange things in his home with a sharpie right on the cabinet in hopes of remembering where he put it.

  34. posted by Michele on

    I hate to flog a dead horse, but regarding file folders — if you mean hanging file folders, they come with the little clear plastic tabs and cardstock inserts. (Or you can buy a little bag of tabs and inserts when you run out.) I don’t mean to be hard-headed, but I don’t see the time, money, or convenience advantage of using a label maker to print out the labels for hanging file folders. Also, each insert has two sides, so you can re-use them if the file goes defunct, or if you misspell something on the insert.

    If you mean manila folders, I don’t like to use labels on them at all, because they always dry up after a time and fall off whether the labels are from a label printer or the Avery type. (As a secretary and paralegal for many years, I always hated to dig up a five- or ten-year-old file where multiple layers of labels had dried up and disappeared, so nothing was identified.) Masking tape would last even less time, and it doesn’t adequately cover up writing underneath it, either. What I meant for masking tape and a Sharpie was a task like labeling boxes in the closet or basement.

    As for what clients see . . . is a client really turned off if they see a manila folder with a hand-written word on it? It must depend on the profession, and I guess on whether it’s internal paperwork or something given to the client.

  35. posted by Beverly on

    I love my label maker! I’ve used one for years at home and at work, but of course I don’t use it for everything, only what seems to be most in need. Where I find it really useful, is I label new spice/herb jars when I open them with the date, so I know when they are past their usefulness.

  36. posted by PJK on

    My best friend gave me a Casio label maker as a gift about 9 years ago. I didn’t open it for a year or two, not seeing the need for it, even though I’m a BO. Finally I opened it, and I’ve loved it ever since. As Erin said, it might be one of those things you don’t fully appreciate until you start using it.

    I also received a Dymo hand held as a gift about 2 years ago and it no longer works. Even when it did, the printing looked like it was running out of ink (even though the cartdridge was brand new). My Casio is still going strong.

    I find that labeling helps keep things organized – it’s a reminder to what sorting system you used. For instance, I just cleaned out the spice shelf and after purging and sorting, I put all the baking related spices on one shelf of the carousel, all of what I call the “leaf” type spices on another shelf, etc. So I labeled each shelf with the general category and it helps my husband put things back in the right spot, as well as reminding me where to put something new (I can usually manage to remember where to put something back if I just got it out, but my husband…not so much).

    For those in the “masking tape and a sharpie” camp, I’ve noticed that after years of having masking tape or even those white 1″ x 3″ type labels on something, it leaves a residue when you take it off – the white labels shred coming off, and the masking tape even falls off after some time. I’ve taken the plastic labels off from my Casio and they don’t seem to leave any residue, even after several years of being on something. Also, masking tape is a lot more “conspicuous” if you ask me. I usually use the clear labels with black writing (sometimes white labels with black writing, if the clear would be hard to read on a certain object, like something dark) and they’re a lot smaller than a piece of masking tape. I have canisters of flour, sugar, etc. labeled with the clear labels /black writing and they’re not that noticable unless you’re right there opening them. I can’t imagine how ugly they would look if I were to label them with masking tape. I would just skip the masking tape and end up having to open multiple ones until I had the right one.

  37. posted by verily on

    I personally like the old version of the label maker. Had one at a place I used to work. I stuck those little blue labels w/ raised lettering everywhere!

    Currently I have no use for one, so it’s masking tape and a sharpie for me.

  38. posted by gigglechick on

    just went out and bought this!!! i didn’t know if i was going to love it or not, but… I LOVE IT.

    i am sitting here sorting through a HUGE box of papers and just bought my first hanging file folder thing…

    i’m sorting these and feeling very organized (it just looks and FEELS much more organized when there is a uniform sans serif font —- i mean, i have really neat handwriting, but, it just gives the files an overall cleaner look… and is inspiring more organizing)

  39. posted by Amy on

    I can’t tell you all how much I love my label maker. It’s one of those things I bought on a lark and has since become my #1 organizational tool. Plus, I echo one of the other commenters–it helps not only my husband but also our nanny find items and put them back where they belong. It saves so much time and energy!

  40. posted by Mer on

    I hate my handwriting, so I love my label-maker.

    My home filing cabinet looks so neat now that every folder has a typed label and is in alphabetical order.

    I use my label maker for anything I can think of. I have tons of data cables and power cords for various electronic devices so I just type the name of the device it goes to and fold it in half around the cord – easy to figure out what goes to what just in case it’s misplaced.

    I make neat labels to mark what the light switches operate for family and guests so they don’t have to worry about turning on the garbage disposal versus the light over the sink, stuff like that.

  41. posted by Boots on

    I have never posted here but was amazed at the level of ferocity that “label-maker addicts” are using to defend their habit. Like my super nice smoker-friend at work who shows fangs when another friend threatens his habit with logical health facts about smoking. Well, if the unitasker is your one guilty vice, I guess the rest of us can realize that you could have a worse vice. At least your foible actually helps you organize! My confession is that I send shirts to the dry cleaners. Senseless? Yeah. But I feel like all of my shirts are brand new every time I pick them up.

    My wife’s friend has a label maker and lent it to her to label baby bins. Yikes! I fear that I may have one of my own soon enough. If this is true, although it makes no sense to me to get something buy a clunky machine that serves one purpose…to take the place of a Shapie and tape, I will smile as I watch her enjoy her new addiction. See ya…Gotta get to the cleaners.

  42. posted by Maria on

    i have this exact labelmaker and i love it!

  43. posted by Christine on

    I love my labeler. When I first bought it, I was at first thinking “Oh, here I go again, another impulse buy I’m going to have to donate down the road…” But, I use it a lot more than I ever thought I would.

    Sure, you can use regular printer labels, but for me, I’d never actually “get around” to it and the thing would remain unlabeled.

    You can use masking tape or labels and a pen, but for me, the clearly-labeled box really makes it worthwhile. I have neat handwriting, but no matter what, these look neater and thus make it easier for me to read and find what I need easily. And these labels tend to be smaller than if I created one myself.

    I don’t have obvious things labeled all over the place, but I find it handy. For example, I use it to label the travel bottles, to put labels on binder clips which are a temporary filing solution (I have a picture of that here on my blog…http://compassandcoffeespoons......onal-.html)

  44. posted by Rashid on

    I would say, unitasker, but to each his own i suppose!

  45. posted by Gayle on

    How timely – I recently bought this exact labelmaker and just last night I spent time re-organizing my jewellery studio. All of my beads and gemstones are now neatly divided and labelled in their little plastic boxes, and it’s SO satisfying. Who knows why? It just is.

    I’ve also used it to label my file folders (on the edge, as they sit on a shelf above me) for easy access, and the cookie tins I collect from value village (all the same size, a couple there every time I visit!) that are used for various other studio storage.

    The only thing is, I should have sprung for the QWERTY keyboard. This one slows me down.

  46. posted by Aisha on

    Can I just say: I’m sitting on the fence about whether or not I need to spend the money on a labelmaker, and why can’t people just accept that for some people it’s a useful tool, for others, not? People who actually make pasta at home need a pasta maker; people who do not, don’t… why all the hostility for the fact that someone else doesn’t have the same needs as you?

  47. posted by Tiara on

    Just have to put my two cents in. I use a label maker at home, as well. I’m not the kind of person who has labels on everything, though. I use it for two very important purposes: labeling things that go to my kids’ daycare and labeling filing folders.

    I tried the masking tape and sharpie thing, as well, but my handwriting (especially in a rush to get off to work in the morning) isn’t that great, and the adhesive isn’t that great either. While the masking tape stood up to the dishwasher (bottles, sippy cups, etc.) it seemed to make the adhesive even stronger. I had to remove the adhesive with Goo Gone before I passed teh bottles on to a friend. Also, the marker eventually faded. Labels hold up to dishwashing and come off without leaving anything behind.

    I also use the labels to mark my kids’ clothing – spare clothes and jackets – that go to daycare. I have the permanent labels for things like nap blankets. But I’m in a round-robin with some friends for hand-me-down clothes and permanently marking my kids’s clothes makes it hard on who I’m handing them down to. While the labels wear off the clothes after a few washings, they usually outgrow them by that point.

  48. posted by Rachel on

    Unitasker?? Honestly people, it’s only a unitasker if you use it to label only one thing, like “Rachel’s Left Sock,” or putting a label on the label-maker itself! Humph!

    I have one of the LetraTag models, it has a QWERTY keyboard and is so easy to use, I’m constantly lending it out to friends! I also bought it on sale for less than $15 and have used it reliably for several years. Yes, I am one of those people that have labeled (and alphabetized) my spices, but we also use it for my DH’s hardware organizer! It makes it so much easier when he’s looking for a specific size screw and washer, as opposed to pulling out one drawer after another in a 30-drawer unit!

    I use it in my craft room as well. I can’t tell you how much easier it is to have my “stash” organized enough that I never have to waste time looking for the perfect part for a project. And to be honest, my room gives me more peace by having all those “creepy” little labels. I get a creative boost every time I go in there! Call me a “label maker hugger,” I don’t mind!

    And as to the Hummer comment…. I get to drive one any time I feel the need, and no, I wouldn’t like to own one. It’s like trying to park an M1 Abrams Tank!

  49. posted by Shannon on

    I’m a label maker lover. I always had them at work, and I was so delighted when my boyfriend surprised me with one of my very own for Christmas.

    A funny story:
    A co-worker and I spent a long time reorganizing a disastrous area of the office and labeled everything. Several other co-workers didn’t see the point, and we came back to find various other items labeled: phone, stapler, label maker.

    PS I’m with Aisha. Different strokes for different folks. I can’t believe people can be so adamantly opposed to something that other people find useful. Okay, don’t buy one, but why criticize those who do?

  50. posted by Georgia on

    My mother has celiac disease (cannot eat anything containing gluten or let her food come into contact with anything that contains or has touched gluten). She finds a label maker very useful for labeling such things as her different flour jars (bean flours, soy flours, rice flours, etc.) and her appliances (toaster, waffle iron) so that other family members don’t accidentally contaminate them.

  51. posted by Colin on

    I must say, I enjoyed the proposition that a label maker is a gateway to Hummer ownership, or reveals a deeper character defect of some kind. Because there’s no difference in the energy required to produce and use those two devices, as well as their pollutive impacts.

    Maybe I’ll just go ahead and get that Hummer after all, since I’m using a moleskine when cut-up paper grocery bags would do the same thing – I must be defective too.

  52. posted by amy on

    “or putting a label on the label-maker itself! Humph!”

    Oh surly none of us would do such a thing…. ahem…. :-D

    Yes I own one! I bought it after reading Getting Things Done (which I havn’t finished yet… ironic?).

    No it’s not something you need every day but, unfortunatly my hand writing SUCKS HAIRY MELLONS! Seriously, I can’t write, but I can type, so this makes my life readable for me and people who are around me.

    Once you have one, you’ll be amazed how often you use it.

    Also… hide it when certain people are around unless you want your entire life labled :-D

  53. posted by debbie on

    My real question is this — is a hand-held, portable version more useful than a specialized, small label printer that I can attach to my laptop? With our in-home wireless internet and laptops for each of the three of us, we share printer, backup disk storage, and scanner, so I was saving for a usb-attached label printer instead of a handheld. Good idea or not?

  54. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @debbie — I think the answer to your question comes down to two factors: 1. Are you self-disciplined enough to be working on a project in your basement and then later follow through with labeling something from your computer? (If you are, I’d use the USB-attached label printer.), and 2. Do you regularly have a need to print shipping labels? (If you do, then again I’d go with the USB-attached label printer.) However, if you’re like me and won’t ever return to my computer and make the labels or have no need to regularly print shipping labels, then I’d go with the handheld device.

  55. posted by Thomas on

    I love my label maker which I bought from DYMO store at very reasonable price…..!

  56. posted by Rae on

    This site is just wonderful! Every time I visit, I go away feeling a bit more organized.

    @ Susan – I’m late to the party, but your comments were harsh and rude. Learn some manners.

  57. posted by Philip Lipton on

    I like this labeler. My hand writing is not as legible as you Sharpie folks.

  58. posted by Amelia Beasley on

    I love label makers. They are wonderful for helping my children go solo in making professional looking poster projects! Thanks so much for this site.

  59. posted by Carolyn on

    Good morning! I must say I am one of those persons who spends endless hours trying to better organize and get rid of clutter. I would love to have one of these label makers and look forward the opportunity of “winning” one. I have 5 children and this little “unitasker” as many have said could virtually provide answers to the confusing task for a mom of five of figuring out whose toys are whose, etc. I like the idea of having labels on the clear boxes; especially in our youngest child’s room. He just started kindergarten and visualizing his toys with the letters will help him to lean to read those labels an dknow exactly where his toys need to go, thus minimizing the time mom must spend doing it or aiding in the process. The thought that post it notes are more professionaly and cleanly makes me chuckle. Professional Organizers and clutter experts alike state the first thing to get rid of are all those sticky note. I for one vote for the Dymo Unitasker and would be proud to own one. Thanks for your consideration.

  60. posted by R. Wyse on

    Love them! Makes life a little easier.

  61. posted by R. Wyse on

    Great and useful product!

  62. posted by Michael on

    I have suffered for years with hand written labels and the label maker is a massive improvement because it’s actually more LEGIBLE at any given distance than the equivalent-sized handwriting. You can actually read it from further away! For me that’s the clincher. I couldn’t care less about how professional it looks. Also, if you need to label really small items with 2mm height font then the label maker can (again) print much more legibly than you could ever hope to write by hand.

  63. posted by Chelsea on

    Understandable, the sharpie and tape crowd are correct in that their way is simpler.

    However, I absolutely HATE my handwriting for labeling. I’m -just- cool enough with it that it works for me but just OCD enough that I will rewrite the label a few times to get it right, mess it up, then have to redo it. How much paper and ink does that waste?

    The label maker is worth it to me.

  64. posted by Laura on

    I use the masking tape + Sharpie solution for temporary labels (like containers that are going into the freezer) and the label-maker labels for more permanent labels (like boxes used to store stuff). Since I live with other people I find the labeling helps them understand where to find something when I’m not there and where to put it back. (We are still working on putting it back. Ahem.) I can’t really defend the label-maker except to say that it makes organizing more fun for me and thus I am more organized. As with many things in life, YMMV.

  65. posted by anonymous on

    65 comments, and not a single Seinfeld reference!?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Label_Maker

    “‘The Label Maker’ is the 98th episode of NBC sitcom Seinfeld. This was the 12th episode for the 6th season. It aired on January 19, 1995″

  66. posted by J.T. on

    For speed, efficiency, and convenience, I prefer to write directly on the item itself, usually not even bothering to put down a piece of tape first. For something I can’t write directly on, I use a strip of duct tape, or masking tape if I wan to be able to remove it later. Why use a labeler when I can jot a name on a folder and move on that much faster?

    I use printed labels, however, on “outward facing” materials that I plan to give someone that needs to be pre-labeled. For pure professionalism, though, I don’t think anything beats a completely blank manila folder.

  67. posted by Angie on

    I use my label maker for committee files and organization around the house. But for personal files and my craft organization, I like to practice a consistent calligraphy font.

  68. posted by How Do You Mark Your Passover Kitchen? | The Jew and the Carrot on

    […] you use those handy (but ugly) stickers you can buy at Judaica stores? Do you have handwritten or homemade labels? Do you buy things in two or three different colors in order to make it obvious if something is one […]

  69. posted by 1 Thing Done » In Praise of Unitaskers on

    […] I don’t have a big problem with Unclutterer’s “Unitasker Wednesday.” For many of the items featured I’d be happy to just label them “stupidtaskers” and leave it at that. For a more telling look into dogmatic anti-unitasker sentiment read through the comments to this old Unclutterer post on labelmakers. […]

  70. posted by A year ago on Unclutterer on

    […] Second favorite organization tool: The labelmakerThe labelmaker is such a simple device that it belongs on my all-time list of favorite organization tools. […]

  71. posted by Charity on

    I put off getting a label maker due to my reluctance…what an idiot I was! I am an avid EVERYTHING hobbiest so this has made everything MUCH more streamlined. I used to stick to the masking tape/sharpie, yellow sticky note crap, but frankly I ended up “redoing” things too much due to how sloppy it looked. I am anything but a MINIMALIST so in an effort to streamline, this helps the looks of everything.

  72. posted by Denise on

    I LOVE my Brother P-Touch label maker, my handwriting is horrible because I started typing when I was about 6-7 yrs old, and from then on, every school paper/report was typed. I’m used to seeing NEAT, CLEAN, TYPED lettering…My labeler makes little icons, pictures & borders…makes my file cabinet look much nicer having all of the tabs printed instead of good handwriting one day, then ugly scribbles on a more stressed out day.

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