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  • why use a labeller?

    I'm just re-reading GTD and have got to the bit about labelling files using a Brother labeller.
    I have hanging files with plastic tabs which take small bits of card as labels and I have stand-up files which come with a set of stick-on, replacement labels.
    Writing by hand on these cards and stick-on labels is no big deal. When I need to re-label a hanging file, I remove and replace the little card; I can stick a new label over the original one on a stand-up file.
    Maybe I'm misundertanding something. Could someone please enlighten me as to why I need a battery-powered labeller?

  • #2
    I can only tell you my own experience. Pulling out a file drawer and seeing only neatly printed labels makes you feel VERY much in control. And when you pull out a file in front of a client, the printed label makes you look more professional, I think.

    Yes, it's all in your mind, but it's still very powerful, nonetheless. You FEEL more organized, and it's very comforting.

    I still have a few handwritten files from the "old days", and when I occasionally look at them, I feel like I was an "amateur" back then.

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    • #3
      Hi Izzy. It all comes down to speed of storing and retrieving files. It's a case of "if you don't file, you'll pile," and most people find the labeler makes both easier, with the added benefit of being more fun (the gadget factor).

      In addition, I've found that most people are slowed down by hanging files, partially due to the inconvenience of what you mention: Those tiny slips of paper inside the plastic tabs. I think most folks won't go to the trouble of pulling them out, relabeling (maybe hunting for replacement paper), and sticking them back in FOR ONE FILE. They end up creating those giant "catch all" hangers packed full of individual files. All this makes it hard to sort A-Z, find files, etc.

      Hope that helps!

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      • #4
        I don't use a labeller.

        I take DAs advice on not using hanging files. I think being able to quickly file one sheet in it's own file is a definite advantage. Also not using hanging files gives you more space.

        But no, I don't use a labeller either. One reason is I can't buy them here in South America. Second, they seem rather expensive. And three, I don't really have a problem with my own handwriting and I can write very quickly.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by izzy View Post
          Writing by hand on these cards and stick-on labels is no big deal. When I need to re-label a hanging file, I remove and replace the little card; I can stick a new label over the original one on a stand-up file.
          Maybe I'm misundertanding something. Could someone please enlighten me as to why I need a battery-powered labeller?
          You don't need a labeller. That's the short answer. The longer answer is that, depending on your handwriting, file system, love of niceness and tech toys, and general disposition, you may find one useful.

          For instance, I mostly write mine by hand, although I do have a labeller. I tend to use that for more official stuff and client documents, and I've been tinkering with my file system, which means more labelling than I'd like to do with a labeller.

          But I'd run screaming from hanging files. These are the implementation details that we can each customise, because they fall outside the core of GTD, and because we each think and work differently.

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          • #6
            Thanks for all the useful replies.
            I don't have a problem with my handwriting and I'm not really a "gadget" person, so I think I'll stick with the handwritten labels. So far I haven't had a problem with making a new card to go into the plastic tab on the hanging file or writing a new, replaceable label for the standing file. Producing something by hand is more fun for me than using a gadget.
            As for the hanging files themselves - I bought a big, three-drawer filing cabinet BEFORE I read GTD. It's in a corner of my office, behind the door, so not very obtrusive.

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            • #7
              Best labeller you've used

              I am a bit of a gadget nut and am about to buy a labeler. Which one should I get? With which have you had the greatest success? Does having one connected to your pc help? Again which one?

              Thanks much
              Geo

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              • #8
                I used hanging file folders during my initial GTD implementation. About a month ago, I converted all my hanging files to regular manila file folders.

                There was a significant difference. I file things more quickly now. I seem to be searching through the manila folders more quickly, too.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gjesien View Post
                  I am a bit of a gadget nut and am about to buy a labeler. Which one should I get? With which have you had the greatest success? Does having one connected to your pc help? Again which one?

                  Thanks much
                  Geo
                  I recently purchased a Dymo LabelManager 450. I can use it for more than file labels. It was abot $80. I prefer Dymo over Brother as past experience has shown that the Brother labelers waste about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of label for every one you print. It kicks out this small piece prior to printing each time. The Dymo does not. The 450 accepts several widths of tape and attaches via USB to my laptop. It can run on AC or batteries. Hope that helps.

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