Saving tape on a label printer

One of the recommendations in Getting Things Doneis that you buy a label printer of some kind so that you can neatly and quickly label all of your files, inboxes etc. After reading a few websites, I settled on getting a Brother P-touch 80. This runs on 4 AAA batteries,has a QWERTY keyboard, prints onto polyester tape (which is nearly indestructible), and has the option of printing two lines of text on a 12mm (1/2 inch) tape.

One of the major complaints people have about this labeler is that it leaves large start and finish margins- it wastes around 1cm of tape on each side of the text every time you print something. Tape is supposedly fairly pricey (haven't had to buy a replacement yet) so this is understandably a problem. Here is a simple solution: try and print more than one label at a time. I was making up labels for my tickler file, and didn't fancy the idea of printing 43 separate labels. So instead of a label with '1' on it, a label with '2' on it, etc. (with 2cm wasted tape per number) I printed a label with '1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (etc)'. I left two spaces between each number, which translates to about 1cm, meaning the margin on each side of a number after cutting them is now 5mm, halving the tape used per number. Whenever you have multiple labels to make, you can use this trick to save tape. I find that when I'm labelling things, I tend to label a whole lot of things at once, so there is normally a saving to be made.

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posted by Peter le Roux @ 9:46 PM,


At 5:08 AM, Blogger virtuallori said...

Some labelers have a setting you can change to stop the automatic feeding and cutting, which will accomplish the same thing without having to make one long label. My only complaint with this feature on my labeler is that it is not a sticky setting; you have to remember to set it each time you turn the labeler on.

At 1:33 AM, Blogger ThePurpleSeal said...

I just thought it may be of some interest to you to know, a while back i came across a british labels company who sold me a batch of plain labels at a really low price. If you are at all interested then it may be worth visiting their website.

At 6:18 AM, Blogger ThePurpleSeal said...

Hi there,

I just found your blog, it has been a great read! Thought it may be of some interest to you to know, a while back i managed to find a british labels company who print many types of labels. They printed me some labels for a really low cost, i also ordered a label dispenser as i had been in need of one for a while and they were so cheap.

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Thanks for this, I was just reading GTD, and contemplating which labelmaker to purchase. Now I'm going with the PT-80!

At 1:47 AM, Blogger gonzo said...

Hi, Im after a printer which will print barcode labels quick and in large quantities. Would this particular device do it?


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