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Labeler question

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  • Labeler question

    Is the labeler really necessary? DA basically makes it a "no option" issue, but I just wondered if you really think it helps that much?

  • #2
    Labeller Question

    The labeller has absolutely helped with my GTD implementation! Do *not* discount the "fun factor" - you may find yourself looking for things to file, just so that you can fire off another label. I also find, that since my eyes are not as young as they used to be, that it is much, much easier for me to read the labels than it was to read pen or pencil written on the folder tab (especially if the folders are coloured).

    I use a Brother PT-65. The manufacturer often offers $20 rebates to stimulate sales. Right now in Canada, you can buy the thing for $10 after rebate! Of course, they will get their margin back on the label tape refills.



    • #3
      I purchased a Brother labeler and use it a lot at home. At the office, I print labels on my computer from a sheet of Avery or similar brand labels. This can be a little probematic if your printer is not close by or you are printing only one or two labels and re-feeding the sheets (eventually they get darkened by the toner). I definitely believe it is superior to handwritten labels if that is your comparison. On the other hand, if you are comparing it to typing labels or printing them on a computer, the comparison is a little closer. The real key is whether you can get things into your filing system quickly. If having a labeler makes it less likely that you will defer filing, then it's worthwhile to make the investment.


      • #4
        Re: Labeler question

        Originally posted by pbs
        Is the labeler really necessary?
        No, the labeler is something I never needed and probably never will. I either use handwriting with a pen or computer with printer.



        • #5
          When I start with my implementation, I was got nto this issue, then I decided to get a labeler (the cheapest I found) and after a little bit I have regret the decision of do not get the most expensive, I use my labeler a lot, and I think makes in my files a hughe difference, to the point that I have one at home and one at work.
          I think is great, try it and you will not regret...


          • #6
            It would be hard to argue the labeler is “necessary” is any objective sense, but I consider my labeler critical to my process because 1) It serves as a filing filter. I am a bit of a pack rat by nature and this hesitancy to throw away and/or delete stuff is an ongoing and significant threat to my moving past brown belt territory with my workflow. If filing were as easy as jotting down a name, company, project, or topic, I think the amount of paper I would file would increase by 50%. But because I refuse to compromise on my use a labeler, I must stop briefly and consider whether or not the paper really needs to take up space in my drawer. Many times, it does not and I toss it. It doesn’t seem like much, but those few seconds of my fingers hovering over the labeler keys as I try and decide how to file the document are all I need to rethink file or toss. 2) It looks good. No, it really looks good. Who cares? I care because then I want the rest of my office to be as neat as my files; and if I call into the office and ask someone to go into my files I know they will be able to find the file I need. And yes, I like how they look on the table at a meeting. The printed label conveys (maybe it shouldn’t, but it does) organization and competence as a first impression and then this is an impression I want to live up to with things that really matter.


            • #7
              I agree with the previous comment that "it looks good." It is really surprising what a real, concrete difference this makes. I used to hand-write labels for my hanging file folders. I now use the labeler (at home and at the office) to label manila file folders, which I then drop into unlabeled hanging folders. I've also started using the labeler for case-specific folders at work, which I used to hand-label. It's odd, but I think that the fact that the labeler labels look so much more "together" than the handwritten ones just makes me feel like I'm more "together" myself. That makes me more committed to the whole system. May not have that effect on everyone. The one down side: although the labelers themselves are inexpensive, I have spent quite a lot on the label tape -- it's pretty pricey if you use it as much as I do. If anyone knows where to find it cheap, please let us know!


              • #8
                I jumped on the Brother Labeler bandwagon, and labeled up everything, and I agree, it makes a HUGE difference in the way you feel about filing.

                But then I ran into a great little program called PowerMarks, and from Bill Kratz's suggestion, I now use it for my filing system.

                I can fit about 100 Pendaflex / Manila files in each 26.5" drawer. I print labels from my computer A-100 to A-199. When I have something to file, -I always have PowerMarks open - and I select the next available number and quickly fill in the Name of the File and any search words to help me locate it.

                Retrieving a file is simple: Type in any word that comes to mind, and the files with that word instantly comes on the screen.

                I still file reference material (catalogs, vendors, etc) alphabetically.

                So I now have a Brother labeler that is collecting dust.



                • #9
                  Good suggestion Coz!

                  Actually what helps is PowerMarks will let you sync all your data online to their website. Your data is stored online, plus I sync it with 3 other computers, so all computers have the same data.

                  So I have 4 of the ten back-ups you're talking about, and I rotate from one computer to the next. Does that count?



                  • #10
                    Necessary, no. But the formalism does help your brain recognize and distinguish the categories you create with your folders, in the same way that business cards make a better impression than handwritten notes, or typewritten letters are easier to process than handwritten letters. Consider it one of those silly alchemical rituals of civilization, like wearing a tie.

                    I don't know if this has been brought up before, but on a similar note, I've noticed the same effect with creating a printed calendar page for the month from an AppleWorks template (there's probably an equivalent in MS Works or Office). Seeing the printed calendar on the wall with typeset actions is something you have to try to believe -- much better than just having the calendar sitting in your computer to disappear when you turn it off.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the input--I think you've all convinced me that I need to do it.


                      • #12
                        Easier way to peel labels??

                        Hi gang,

                        Related label question -- I've a Brother PT-65 and I love it, except for one thing -- the labels are very difficult to extract from their backings. I used to have a Dymo a while ago and the backing was divided into two, to make it easier to bend-n-peel. But the Brother labels don't have any such division, making me have to perform micro-surgery with my nails to get between the backing and the label.

                        Does anyone have any advice on how to quickly remove the backings from labels??



                        • #13
                          label problems

                          You need to kind of "flick" the corner of the label. This will loosen it and make it easy to separate. Most of the time, I can get it to peel back easily after that. If I happen upon one that isn't cooperating, I try another corner. Wish I could demonstrate for you--once you figure the motion out, it's easy to remember.


                          • #14
                            Re: Easier way to peel labels??

                            Originally posted by jddqr
                            Does anyone have any advice on how to quickly remove the backings from labels??

                            Hmmm. My Brother labeler came with a tool to remove the backing. It's a plastic stick about the size of a stylus with a split in the middle. You slide the label through the stick and twist the stick and the label comes right off (it takes a few tries to get the hang of it). If your labeler didn't come with one, maybe you can get buy one?


                            • #15
                              Cost of storing plain vanilla's in pendaflex

                              Hi there,

                              A short reaction on DallasLawyer's system.

                              I tend to use the exact same system: storing plain vanilla's in pendaflex folders.

                              However the con is that you have doubled the cost per reference file: you need a plain vanilla file + a pendaflex folder (which are about 4x expensive as plain vanilla's). Imagine storing about 20 reference files a day...

                              At this moment I'm experimenting with several plain vanilla's in one wider pendaflex folder (they have a U-shape, almost the size of an ordner). the problem with this system is that the folder gets stable until you've stored at least 5 or 6 plain vanilla's in it.

                              Other ideas on combining plain vanilla's with (different shape) pendaflex folders in a more cost saving manner?