Hi all,While doing my end-of-the-year shopping (you know, tax-deductible expenses and all that), I've been seeing these stand-alone label printers, by Brother and Dymo, etc., going for anywhere from $80 to $200. For a while, I've been thinking about getting something for printing address labels, but imagined it would just be software for my PC, with special standard-size printer paper having, say, a couple rows of labels on each that I would just feed through the printer. But these other machines I've been seeing seem less complicated, and I could just set it up right next to the printer.Anybody have any experience with these standalone units? Or any advice one way or the other? I don't print a LOT of labels, but think it would be handy to have, as writing addresses by hand isn't my favorite thing to do. :(Thanks,C3
I just buy labels at Staples and print them off the PC. I also have a label making program that I got as a freebie because I bought some software, and that works OK as well. But because I just do it off the PC, I don't see any particular advantage to having a label printer. If all you are doing is address labels, then I would think it would be just as easy to do it on the PC.I actually have a file of labels with DH's customer list on it, so every month when I send out plow bills, I just print from that file. And I use the label software to print his return address labels because with that, I can just type in the one label, and tell it to print it 80 times on the one sheet of address labels.You can also print right on the envelope with a return address and a To address from Word. I do that when I'm just doing one or two envelopes.Have you considered either of these alternatives?
Anybody have any experience with these standalone units? Or any advice one way or the other? I have a dymo one and I love it. I got it from buy.com as the price mistake of the day maybe a year or so ago. It was just under $100 and I picked up extra labels on ebay. I use it business wise for billing - a couple of labels a month. I also use it for sending books I've sold on half.com. And a weird little thing - I print out a set of labels for each kid to use for thank yous to relatives on birthday and Christams. It serves as a list and ensures a legible & correct address.radP.S. The alternative for one at a time for me was switching out the paper for an envelope in my printer each time and I'd still be doing it if I hadn't caught a deal.
For address and return address labels, I use my desktop computer and printer and print them off in batches. Avery (the label manufacturer) supplies free templates for Microsoft Word and other programs. The Avery templates and/or software can be downloaded from the company's website.I like the idea of printing directly onto envelopes, but I've generally gotten bad results in the past. The envelope usually gets mangled, the printing ends up distorted and in the wrong place, and some envelopes are too big/thick to feed through an ordinary printer.However, I do own a Brother label maker for an entirely different purpose. Some people are particularly... particular... and dislike hand-written labels on their file folders. A portable label maker can be a good compromise for these people.Getting out a sheet of labels, pulling up Word, looking up the proper template, feeding the labels through the desktop printer twice because you screw up the first time, and then putting the remaining sheet away, is a lot of time and hassle if you only want to create a single new file folder. This actually results in some people staying disorganized because they're too uptight for hand written labels but too busy to create computer printed labels. Hence, everything ends up in giant heaps around the office. David Allen popularized portable label makers as a solution to this dilemma in his personal-productivity book Getting Things Done.IMO, the labels produced by a portable label maker don't look as good as the computer printed labels. But they look good enough that I now stay better organized. If I didn't have this personality quirk, I wouldn't bother with a label maker.-Brian
Just to clarify - the labelmaker I'm referring to is kind of like this one :http://www.buy.com/prod/LabelWriter_330_Direct_Thermal_Label_Printer/q/loc/1814/10277276.htmlIt allows you to print one at a time from your computer(via USB port). I can also work directly from Word.rad
I'd like to find a label maker that works off Quickbooks so I can print shipping labels (one at a time) w/o having to retype the address.
You can print out address labels a sheet at a time but I've found that trying to run the same sheet through the printer twice (to print just a few labels, after all, who needs 30 of the same label at a time?) results in labels coming of inside the printer on the second attempt. Years ago Jim Seymour of PC Magazine published a solution in his column. His office prints out a full sheet of each address and file the sheets for later use.I print graphics on my business envelopes along with the return address. Then I just slap a "To" address label on it for an impressive mailing. When doing so I've found that it helps to fold the flap OUT so the envelope's thickness doesn't gum things up. I use Microsoft's Publisher to make the templet for the envelope. When I have the time I can run off a graphic enhanced envelope with the addressee's address printed in the same pass through.As someone else said: "Avery (the label manufacturer) supplies free templates for Microsoft Word and other programs. The Avery templates and/or software can be downloaded from the company's website."As to spending a hundred bucks on one of those little stand alone one at a time Coke can sized label printers that require you to buy special paper, maybe it would be worth it if you do a LOT of envelope addressing.
During my five years working as a secretary and I printed alot of labels. I have always used the avery templates in word. These can be modified to accomodate cheaper brands of labels. For doing smaller batches of labels, I simply saved a copy of the the template and typed up labels manually. Then saved the document and simply started at the next label the next time around, while deleting your old labels. You simply click on the "New Document" button in the "Labels" menu of the documents and labels section, then save this document. Running the same sheet through several times, discolours the labels a little bit, but its not a big deal usually. You can also cut the sheets into columns and run them through that way to avoid discolouration - you just have to be careful when feeding the labels through the printer. You can also create large batches of individualized labels in much the same way you would create mail merge documents. Another way to avoid the whole label problem all together is to get envelopes with clear windows. Then you have to have a standardized template for you documents and fold your letters / invoices the same way each time, so that the address always shows through. It takes a little bit of trail and error, about an hour's worth, to set this up. If you have a basic laser printer, a label maker seems almost superfluous, but your milage may vary.
I probably would not get a label maker. I also would not get special software to print labels. Microsoft word, any printer and label sheets really do work fine.
The only other thing I can think to add to this conversation is that the stand alone printer does use thermal printing...so if you're caught in a rainstorm the address isn't going run. If you're using an ink cartridge printer, water will smear the ink.Not that this is likely to happen, but you never know. James
Thanks everyone! Great replies. I will use the Word/Avery solution, and skip the standalone gadget. I will probably run into the problem of having to feed the same page through multiple times (because rarely will I need a whole page of labels with the same address), but I will cross that bridge when I get to it...and use the advice recommended here. Thanks again!C3
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