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label maker - worth the time??

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  • label maker - worth the time??

    I have label makers for my work office and my home office (Brother P-Touch 1750) and am using them for lebeling my general reference files as recommended in the GTD book. It makes very nice, neat tabs that are easy to read, but it clearly takes extra time to make and attach a label compared to just writing on the tab with a pen. The benefits of neat labels are clear, but I am starting to seriously doubt whether the benefits are really worth the cost of the extra time it takes, (not to mention the financial cost, which is mostly sunk now for me anyway).

    It is hard for me to quantify the difference in time and convenience, but the inconvenience of using the label maker and affixing the label is, I think, leaving me a little reluctant to really stay on top if my filing like I should. It seems to me that in the true spirit of "getting things done" in an expedient and efficient manner, we should just be writing on the tabs and being done with it so we can get on to something more valuable to do.

    Of course, I think it is fine for those who like making the labels to do so, but for those who fail to grasp the fun of it, should we eliminate this step?

    What do you think? Any opinions?

  • #2
    My choice is to continue with the label-maker. The labels are so much easier to read and find. I consider My Brother to be an improvement to my overall organization.
    Mike

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Barry
      It seems to me that in the true spirit of "getting things done" in an expedient and efficient manner, we should just be writing on the tabs and being done with it so we can get on to something more valuable to do.

      Of course, I think it is fine for those who like making the labels to do so, but for those who fail to grasp the fun of it, should we eliminate this step?

      What do you think? Any opinions?
      I'm kind of with Barry on this. I use my labelmaker, both because I like having my files labeled and because I think I "should," but I'm not sure it is either a time-saver or an efficiency-booster. I know DA makes a pretty big point about doing this, but it has always struck me as an oddly fussy touch to a mostly low-drag, low-overhead system.

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      • #4
        My primary reason for using the labeler is that my handwriting is so bad, so I was always stacking folders until I had 20 or so and felt it was time efficient to print a sheet of labels on the computer printer. Problem was, I'd sometimes have 30 - 40 folders sitting there waiting for labels, plus my temporary handwritten info wasn't always the best label so I'd have to re-think what it actually should say.

        I now label each file as soon as something goes into it and I don't have one or more stacks of unlabeled folders sitting around waiting to be labeled and filed. Labeling also encourages the other step (filing) while it's still manageable and forces me to generate the N/A reminder for that file since it's about to go into its proper place and I'm not tempted to lapse into using the file as my action reminder.

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        • #5
          I've never used a label maker, but nevertheless, the filing tips and the notion of maintaining "hard edges" has been the most dramatic benefit I got from the book.

          My handwriting stinks, but I can manage the effort of writing legibly for something so short as a folder name! Other people usually don't see my files or folders, but truthfully, I'd be a little embarassed to show up in my non-corporate circless with professionally labeled folders.

          DA sure does sell the concept though--I almost bought a labeler right after reading the book, and it sounds like it's helpful to many people.

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          • #6
            I bought a label maker, despite considerable initial skepticism, entirely because David recommended it.

            To my surprise, it's a great tool, one I use all the time, both at the office and at home.

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            • #7
              tradeoffs

              I think that if you don't want to hesitate to file stuff you will truly need to retrieve, and if the P-touch labeling makes you hesitate to file, don't bother. Or, just write on the tabs initially, then tell yourself that someday/maybe you'll come back and affix P-touch labels all at once, since batch processing is more efficient.

              I am personally a freak for aesthetics, so I love the labels. My handwriting is so bad now. Also, on occasion some of my colleagues have seen me whip out a paper from my beautifully labeled folders, and they have been quite impressed. Even my mother -- who has hardly filed a piece of paper in her life -- asked about the label maker when she saw the labels. It sure does take extra time with the P-touch, though. But once the label is made, it's done forever. And retrieval is great.

              As for the cost, I think I spent around 75 bucks; a similar model has been selling at Costco for what -- 25 bucks? And the label tape is expensive and some is wasted on every label. Oh well.

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              • #8
                Dymo LetraTAG QX50 Label Maker - $9.97 At Tiger Direct

                i just got one actually and see they have more, it's an excellent addition to my GTD toolkit.

                http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...CCODE=WEBDO071

                Comment


                • #9
                  Stinking handwriting...

                  Originally posted by spectecGTD
                  My primary reason for using the labeler is that my handwriting is so bad...
                  Originally posted by ActionGirl
                  My handwriting stinks...
                  Originally posted by andersons
                  My handwriting is so bad now.
                  Isn't it sad?

                  Isn't it nice to write readable letters and words?

                  My handwriting is readable and I like it. I like my handwritten labels.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TesTeq
                    My handwriting is readable and I like it. I like my handwritten labels.
                    A co-worker has beautiful hand-written labels -- well, they are printed rather than written and look like calligraphy. I think one's penmanship is the key. I have access to files from several co-workers, and some labels are so ugly and difficult to read that I clearly understand why DA recommends a label maker. If you are the only one who accesses your files, do what pleases you. If others use them, . . .

                    Carolyn

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TesTeq
                      Isn't it sad?

                      Isn't it nice to write readable letters and words?

                      My handwriting is readable and I like it. I like my handwritten labels.
                      No, it's not sad. I am happy for you that you like your own handwriting. I like my labeler, but I don't think the relationship is going anywhere.

                      Seriously, that about sums it up for me. Helpful, I think, but not essential.

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                      • #12
                        Forgotten skills.

                        Seriously, I am missing the forgotten skills.

                        People cannot write readably by hand. What were they doing at school?

                        People cannot count without calculator or computer. If you want to see fear in someone's eyes, ask him how many hours are in the week (7*24).

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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=TesTeq]Seriously, I am missing the forgotten skills.

                          People cannot write readably by hand. What were they doing at school?[QUOTE]

                          Right on, TesTeq. My handwriting is legible, but I prefer to label my file folders with nice hand printing, which looks better. When I compare the cost of any labeler, be it never so inexpensive, with the cost of a broad-tipped pen, which wins?

                          Here's another forgotten skill, perhaps. (Okay, a little OT, but bear with me.) How many kids used to play "Chopsticks" on the piano even if they had never taken piano lessons? They learned from one another and had fun with that one piece of music -- or two, if you count "Heart and Soul." How many kids do that now?

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                          • #14
                            I purchased a labeler and found the process to be a hasstle and not worth the benefit. I'm back to using a (shock and horror) marker.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TesTeq
                              People cannot write readably by hand. What were they doing at school?

                              People cannot count without calculator or computer. If you want to see fear in someone's eyes, ask him how many hours are in the week (7*24).
                              I learned to print and write perfectly and beautifully in school.

                              However, all skills, including motor skills, must be used or else they will deteriorate. I type virtually everything now, so my handwriting has deteriorated. But my typing has gotten very good, even though I was never taught to type.

                              I was also taught arithmetic. I did thousands of multiplication and division problems -- including the hated long division. So I'm plenty competent enough without a calculator, but arithmetic is boring for me so I use a calculator whenever I can.

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