Using a label maker is great fun, and allows you to create an organised environment both in the workplace and at home. Label makers have come a long way over the past decade, with models that make it easy to design labels on your computer or to sync up your online retailing platforms to the machine.
Once you start making labels it can be hard to stop! Ideal for those who love to live an organised life, a label maker helps you to save time and streamline your work and home admin. Here, you can learn what a label maker is and how to make the most of your new purchase. Looking for tips on how to use a label maker? Continue reading our guide. You’ll soon be ready for a marathon labelling session.
What is a Label Maker?
The perfect addition to an organised home or office, a label maker allows you to print out sticky labels which you can then adhere to mail, jars, files, and storage shelves.
Although it can be done, anyone who has tried to print labels through a standard printer knows it can take time and effort. You need to make sure the file you create on your computer will print in alignment with the sticker printer paper you’ve purchased, and it’s easy to waste this expensive paper if it doesn’t quite match up. You won’t have the same issue with a label maker.
Some handheld label makers allow you to type the text for your label directly into a keypad or touchscreen. Other models encourage creativity and let you make more detailed labels using software on your computer. The machine then prints off your final designs for you.
Label makers are usually fitted and then refilled with rolls or cassettes of labels. These stickers tend to be paper or plastic with an adhesive backing. Some rolls are one continuous sheet that the machine cuts off to the desired length, while others feature fixed-length labels that you peel off once printed.
Today, many label makers rely on thermal printing rather than ink. This can be cost-effective in the long run as, if you print off large numbers of labels (for example, delivery labels for packages), you’ll never run out of ink halfway through a print run.
In some cases, the labels themselves contain a colour which is activated by heat, but some thermal label maker machines have a ribbon in their cartridge that transfers the colour onto the blank label.
Some label makers still use ink, allowing you to produce colourful labels. These are ideal for creative home use or if you’re making attractive labels for a product you sell.
If you’re new to label-making, opting for one of the popular brands is a good idea. There is plenty of guidance and lots of tutorials online for their models, and it’s easy to buy refills. Great home and office-friendly brands include:
There are many reasons why you may like to buy a label maker. For example, once you know how to use a Dymo label maker in the home you can:
- Label boxes that you keep in the attic or in storage, to help you quickly find items.
- Label spice and herb pots, pasta jars and other food storage containers in your kitchen for an attractive, uniform aesthetic.
- Label toy boxes in a child’s room to make it easier for them to organise their belongings.
- Label your hobby boxes and drawers for better organisation of crafting materials.
- Mark your filing system for home admin. This will make filing away paperwork a breeze and will allow you to locate important documentation quickly.
If you run a retail business, you can use a label maker to print barcodes and addresses for mailing. You can also clearly mark stock on your shelves.
In the office environment, staff can use a label maker to personalise their stationery and office chairs, and labels can again be used for organising filing systems and clearly marking items on shelving.
The Benefits of a Label Maker
Is it really worth purchasing a label maker when you could simply write your labels by hand with a trusted Sharpie? There are plenty of reasons why a label maker is an excellent buy for your office or home.
1. Get Organised
A label maker allows you to dive deep into the stress-relieving world of organisation. Once you start to get the workplace or your home in order by using labels, it becomes easier to keep these spaces tidy and expand your organisational strategies.
2. Clear Labelling
Whether you’re marking a spot on a warehouse shelf, labelling a file or printing out a delivery address to stick to a parcel, using a label maker ensures the wording is easy to read. Even if you have wonderfully neat handwriting, writing a label by hand means you’re more prone to ink smudging. Whether you do this accidentally with your hand or the label is exposed to moisture at some point, pen ink is simply more prone to bleeding. This can be particularly problematic if you’re sending mail, as it could lead to financial losses due to items failing to arrive.
3. Save Time and Money
Once you know how to use a label maker you can save a lot of time. It’s much faster to print out high numbers of labels than to write them.
Time is money in a business. By creating clear labelling, you allow workers to easily find and replace items. It takes far longer to fulfil orders without clear signage, especially if your items are in plain packaging.
If you use labels for mailing, you will save time by avoiding the time-consuming process of trying to track down a parcel that has been lost due to a smudged address.
Clearly labelled files make work and life admin so much easier, and marking items means you won’t need to hunt around the office for your stapler or calculator.
If you’ve labelled reusable food containers at home, you can save money by purchasing the refill version of a food. This option is both cost-effective and more environmentally friendly.
4. Create Space
Thoughtful categorisation with the help of labels allows you to save space, as you can group more items together. This can be a useful strategy in an office stationery cupboard, when you’re organising your child’s arts and crafts boxes, or when you’re putting spare bed linen and seasonal clothes into boxes.
If you’re keen to start reaping the benefits of labels but aren’t sure how to use a label maker, the following step-by-step guides for two of the most popular brands will put your mind at ease.
Step-by-Step Guide to Using a Dymo Label Maker
Great for creating mailing labels, marking your files and for use around the home, Dymo’s LabelWriter range of label makers features thermal printers that link up to your computer. You’ll need Microsoft Windows to be able to work with the software for creating labels with these devices.
If you’d like to know how to use a Dymo label maker, just follow these simple steps:
- Install the software – your Dymo LabelWriter machine comes with a CD which you should insert into your computer.
- Once the installation screen appears, click Install and follow the instructions.
- Next, you need to connect the label maker to your computer. To do this, plug the supplied power cord into the power adapter on the base of the label maker. Plug the other end of the power cord into a power socket in your home or workplace.
- Next, plug the supplied USB cable into the port on the base of the label maker.
- If the installation process on your computer is complete, you can now connect the other ends of these cables to your computer.
- Once your label maker is loaded with a roll of labels or a cassette, you’re ready to print your first label. Open up the Dymo software on your computer and click on your chosen label.
- Enter the text and make any edits you want in terms of font and justification.
- Now you simply hit print to produce a label.
Dymo also has models that don’t require you to use a computer, such as the Dymo LabelManager range. With these, you simply type your wording using the inbuilt keypad, choosing your font and letter sizing before printing off the label.
Step-by-Step Guide to Using a Brother Label Maker
This handheld series is ideal for those who want a label maker they can take with them as they walk around their workplace or home, and who just need to make simple labels. This range is usually operated as follows:
- Once the label maker is on, press the label button and scroll through the different labels.
- After choosing your label, select the text button and choose your style, before entering the chosen text.
- If you want, you can add a special character, or simply hit the print button to print your label.
- The file button allows you to access frequently made labels, so you can find your favourite formats quickly, edit the text and print them out.
Finding the Right Label Maker
In addition to finding a label maker that falls within your budget, you may also want to consider the following points:
- Label stock – what type of label material is most practical for your needs? If you’re organising shelves or adding labels to food containers, plastic labels may be more durable and moisture-resistant. Paper stock may be more appropriate for adding postage labels to letters and packages, and will lie flush within files, documents and diaries, and on the front of notebooks.
- Ink vs. Thermal printing – if you want to make pretty labels, having the option to use coloured ink will allow you to be more creative. However, if speed and efficiency are your priorities, thermal printing means you’ll be able to keep on printing without running low on ink. Although some thermal printers do print colour, this isn’t standard in home and office label makers.
- Portability – if you’ll be making labels for shelves in a warehouse, or if you want the machine to readily go from desk to desk in an office, you might like a handheld device. If you’re happy to keep the label maker in one place, one that hooks up to your computer may work well for you.
- Creativity – if you need to get creative with your labels, a model that comes with label creation software is ideal. But don’t worry, even keypad label makers usually have numerous options when it comes to font and sizing. Label makers are a great way to encourage children to get creative using IT, giving them useful skills for the
- Durability – there’s no getting away from the fact that plastic labels are more durable than paper. If you’re going to be adding labels to food containers in your kitchen, plastic labels will allow you to wipe down these items, maintaining good hygiene.
We hope you found our guide on how to use a label maker useful. If you want to stop arguments over who stole the officer stapler, keep kitchen cupboards neat, and print out delivery labels like a pro, invest in a label maker. This handy device is a real game changer.