Do You Love Your Label Maker?
Do you own a label maker? If I had a dollar for every client who handed me their labeled and said, “Here, you figure it out. I’ve never gotten it to work,” I’d be rich. You don’t have to own a label maker to be organized; here’s a post about great labels that don’t come from a label maker. But for now, let’s make the most of what you have and get you to love your label maker.
How to Choose the Best Label Maker
If you don’t own a label maker, get the best one for your needs. If you just want pretty labels for your kitchen canisters, the low-cost ones are fine. But a business who creates labels daily will need a sturdy machine with more functions. They might want to hook the label maker up to a computer for more fonts and borders. They might travel from office to office, and need a nice case to keep it safe. They might even want a wireless label maker.
(Edited in 2023) I originally wrote this post in 2013. My label maker pictured above is over 15 years old, but the newer Brother label makers are wireless and work with free apps on your mobile device. I’m nearly ready to buy this Brother P-Touch Cube that handles 1″ tapes.
Label Maker Tape Choices
Have you seen the types of tapes that are available? Get your favorite colors. Get specialty tapes like flex tapes perfect for labeling cords. Summer camp is here, and the iron-on tapes are great to tag personal items and towels. Glitter tapes are fab for parties and just because.
But even more important than the color choice for your tape, SIZE MATTERS. We’ve gone exclusively to 1″ tapes, unless size is limited. It’s easier to see bigger letters, period.
My Favorite Label Maker
My favorite label maker so far are the Brother label makers (click here). Their TZ tapes are amazing. Have you seen the video series showing the kinds of abuse (sanding, fire, chemicals) that their tapes can withstand? Starting at just $20 for their models, they are a great value.
The worst is tapes that end up falling off. Sad. Just buy a better one if this happens with your label maker.
The other bad label maker is the one you won’t use. I’ve been evaluating craft-style labelers for a while, the kind that cut vinyl designs. Some of them require expensive specialty materials, upgrade kits, and monthly subscriptions. Who has time for that? And since they are all software-based, their lifespan is likely shorter than the one I’ve had for 20 years. If you need die-cut designs in your life, those types of labelers might be for you, but if you need readable labels for shelves and other items, stick with a simple text label maker.
Get to Know Your Label Maker
It seems like we should just be able to pick it up and use it, but these are mini-computers today. Read the manual, watch the YouTube video, or have the salesperson or professional organizer show you their favorite tricks. This is especially true if your label maker connects with your computer. Don’t wait until crunch time. Get to know how to change font sizes and know how to use only the amount of tape that you need, to save money. Label tapes can get expensive!
My Favorite Reason to Label
Even if you don’t love your label maker today, you will once you start labeling your gadget cords. Chances are, you have a drawer full of black or white cords and plugs from gizmos you might not even own anymore, but are afraid to get rid of. Once you start labeling the devices you are using right now, you’ll never wonder again wonder what cord goes with what gadget.
Go fire up your label maker, make sure you have batteries or a cord, label tape, and find something to label. Come on back and tell us what you got organized.