Labels are an important step in the organizing process. They help you establish a place for everything. They help you identify categories. They help you remember.
Most organizers I know have a label maker of some sort. They’re not required certainly. There are many ways to make labels, some of them less cumbersome than using a label maker. (There are some ideas in this post).
But I do love my label makers. (I have two.) I love their ease of use. And I love the professional-looking, tidy, uniform labels they create. I’m sometimes asked what to look for in a label maker, so I thought I’d share my suggestions.
First, I’ve always had Brother P-Touch label makers. I know that Dymo makes good label makers too. (And I have fond memories of my handheld turn-the-wheel-and-squeeze Dymo label maker of my youth.) But Brother’s P-Touch label makers have always been more than satisfactory to me.
I have the PT-2030, which I think is a terrific label maker. I see that it’s been discontinued, unfortunately. I’m sure ones with similar features are available. I also have a ten-year-old (or perhaps even older) PT-1800, also discontinued. (In case you’re wondering why I have two, one lives in my organizing bag that I take to clients. The other lives in my office for use there.)
The PT-2030 has the ability to do fancy frames and also has some pre-loaded labels. Frankly, I rarely use those features. The PT-1980 is more of a no-frills workhorse. It has just the right number of features as far as I’m concerned.
Size is important to me. I’m a bit of a Goldilocks when it comes to label makers. I think they should neither too big nor too small. Mine are just right. My size requirements mean that I buy desktop, not handheld models.
Here’s what I look for in a label maker:
Here are features of a label maker that would make me reject it:
The thing that amazes me is how many different models there are and how different they are from one another, even within the Brother P-Touch brand. On a team job, I like all the labels my team makes to match. Even though virtually all my team members carry label makers with them, each different device seems to print a slightly different label. The solution to that is to use one label maker, which sometimes is inefficient.
As I said, you don’t need a label maker, because there are all sorts of other ways to create labels. But if you want one (and you have a use for it), I hope that these suggestions will help you choose one.