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GTD with a Mac label maker?

multipart/mixed: Turbo-Charging the Dymo LabelWriter

Dymo LabelWriter 330

I love my Brother PT-65, which is regarded by many as the unofficial official label maker of GTD nerds (and which, quizzically, appears to have been discontinued :-().

The PT-65 has easily paid back its modest sticker price with three years of faithful service. Trouble is, I like using it so much that it's gotten to be kind of a pain to pull it out and Blackberry-thumb-type my bajillion labels via its teeny keys. Now, I want something that hooks up to my Mac.

Josh Carter's gotten me interested in the Dymo LabelWriter 330 Turbo via this handy tutorial from late last year, which covers basic setup info, plus a tip on speeding up the creation of a new label with Quicksilver.

Josh has good stuff to say about the 330:

The advantages of the LabelWriter, as I see it:

  • The Dymo software is easy to configure for "power user mode" which eliminates all the extra dialog baggage, and then it's wicked fast to use. (Doubly so with Quicksilver in the mix.)
  • You get to use your computer's nice keyboard. This is especially important for me since I use the Dvorak key layout.
  • The Dymo labels are cheap and look totally pro, even better than a stand-alone label maker.
  • Labels are the same size, so reusing a folder is as simple as sticking a new label over the old one, and it still looks nice.
  • You can use fancy Mac OS X features like printer sharing if needed. (I tried it, it works great.)

Anybody using one of these units or similar? Care to recommend a label maker of any brand that hooks up via USB and works well with Tiger/OS X? I ♥ my little Brother, but I'm ready for Label Maker 2.0!

Chris Marsden's picture

Like Susan, I've gone a...

Like Susan, I've gone a different route (though no theft is involved)..

When I first read GTD, I headed to office depot to price a label maker and labels and pick up some file folders, etc... I was stoked about getting a label maker. The geek in me was crying out for one. Then I saw the price. Not of the label maker, but of the labels. So I thought about possible workarounds and came up with this.

I use the Avery File Folder labels (Avery 5202) that come 7 per 4x6 in sheet. I get the plain white ones, but you can get a rainbow pack or individual color packs for color coding (not GTD, per se, but might work for you). The price per inch for the DYMO labels came out to around $0.04. This meant that the average label would cost between $0.02-0.12 each. Office depot has a pack of 252 labels for $2.29. This puts the cost per 3.5 inch label at $0.009 each. AND, since I have a color printer, any color, any graphics, anything I want.

Now the whole point of the labeler, according to David Allen, is to make it easy so you will actually do it. But doing 7 labels at a time makes it the kind of stack until you get around it sort of thing that is anti GTD. So what about throwing away a sheet after only printing one label. That brings my cost up to $0.063 cents per sheet. Still in line with what an 1.5 inch label would cost me on a DYMO printer, and I didn't have to buy the extra printer.

The Geek in me is still looking at the type of printer Merlin references in this post, but for now, simpler has proven to be better. And Since I rarely have just 1 label to make, sinpler has also proven to be cheaper.




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