GTD recommends a standalone label printer so nothing gets in the way of printing labels immediately when they are needed.
Researching what's available as far as label printers go, I'm seeing:
- terrible stories about how quickly they eat up batteries, 4-6 at a time, rechargeables depleted after as little as 10 labels.
- power adapters for them being 2A switched modes, costing twice as much as the printer
- thermal labels fading quickly
- very high prices on labels (especially locally)
I'm thinking about the unproductive use of time involved in recharging batteries, or trips to restock on batteries & labels at best, or being caught without labels or good batteries more realistically. The price of labels and propensity of companies to bring out new models not accepting older consumables has taught me not to stock up.
USB label printers
After seeing some of my desktop printers become throw-aways because they no longer have drivers under later versions of Windows, I also fear buying a dedicated USB-driven label printer.
Laser/Inkjet label sheets
I'm considering just sticking to sheet of labels in the laser printer. Some stories I've read from people who did this found themselves waiting for a full sheet of labels before they'd print. Not good. I'm thinking of printing straight away and just reusing the label sheet until it's empty or too beaten up to use anymore. Or did you also think you'd do that? Does the glue become ineffective after being heated through the laser printer multiple times, or labels start to peel off inside the printer?
I've heard the laminated type of stickers used by some label machines can be peeled off quite easily (which those laser stickers don't!) Is this something handy for a GTD style workflow?
If the dedicated label printer is preferable, would the portability of running it off batteries outweigh constantly replacing them?
Essentially I'm just looking for the least intrusive method of professional looking labeling. The professionalism of printed fonts is important to my psyche, so just using a sharpie is out. In fact, even the 200dpi fonts these label printers seem to output bugs me a little.
Edit: I note two posters have talked about the simple pen. Normally I'd agree, I hate complex software engineering tools, preferring just a whiteboard. But here I get what David Allen is on about. Seeing well-designed fonts just seems to trigger a clean, organized mind. They can be read easier and from farther away, they're the same color, same stroke width, not haphazard.
Update: Reading some of the answers here and at other sources, I'm convinced labelling is just one task that must be handled by a unitasker, so it's always ready-at-hand. I've ordered a p-touch (PT2030AD) that comes with an adapter and appears to be unanimously liked by reviewers.