Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Great Label Maker Search of 2009

I'm a professional organizer. I don't have a label maker. Those two sentences may seem like an impossible contradiction, but it's true. I've never owned a label maker. The experience I have with them was from the year I worked at a bakery in West Hollywood and had to label the little plaques that advertised what those yummy looking treats were, and it wasn't a pleasant experience. (The treats, yes, the label making, no.) We used an old, clunky machine that tended to spit out tape whenever it felt like it and get jammed and in the end, it always took several tries before we got it right. Then came the task of putting the label on the plaque straight!

Anyway, I think it's time to bite bullet and get a label maker. Or at least think about getting one. I figure I'll start the process now, do some research, get some recommendations, and then find the one that works for me.

My hesitation up to this point on getting a label maker is partly the expense. I've heard that the label makers themselves aren't such a big investment, but you have to keep buying the tape and that adds up. Also, I think it's faster to handwrite labels, and sometimes it's reassuring to know that you can just change a label as fast as you can write one, rather than programming it in. Homemade labels can also turn into mini areas to express your creativity, with color and design choices, if you are into that sort of thing.

On the pro-label maker side, there is definitely the neatness factor. Many people's handwriting is barely legible to themselves, which is where the uniformity of label maker labels would be nice. Also, in an office environment machine-made labels look more professional. If you have to program the label in and wait for it to spit out, then you'll likely think harder about the label you really want, and your filing system will benefit from the extra thought.

So if you have any label maker opinions, recommendations or stories, please share them in the comments. I will keep you posted on any progress I make!


  1. Label Makers are highly underrated. Having the ability to quickly print out a cute little title for something that might not otherwise have a title or nickname is an opportunity we can not pass up. I lucked out, and found this one for 2 dollars at a garage sale!

    Glad you liked the drawing!

  2. I'm all for the label maker- in fact, mine has been on the 'blink' for the last year or so and I feel so handicapped without it. I do know the frustrations of having it jam up- however, I think the neatness on the label is a great asset. (of course, my handwriting is horrible)

  3. Thanks for the comments. I'm keeping my eyes open for used label makers, and scanning Freecycle for them. Maybe I'll get lucky and get a deal!

  4. Aby at Creative Organizing recommends this new labeler that you hook up to your computer
    This could work for me, since I hate punching in the label letter by letter!

  5. Update on the p-touch labeler by Aby at Creative Organizing blog:
    She quoted part of my comment in the post-very cool!

  6. I learned about Dymo label printers over the weekend at a fabulous workshop on filing systems: Seriously considering one of these, though they must be hooked up to computer and I also need something portable.