My very favorite productivity hack

I used to print my mailing and filing labels using Microsoft® Word’s label templates (a torturous, curse-producing process), but I always worried about wasting the other 32 labels on the sheet when all I needed was one label. The label manufacturer always warned against running the labels through the printer a second time, but really? How wasteful is that?

Then I found DYMO® Label Makers (a half-price sale lured me in to buy a LabelWriter® 450 Turbo). I was hooked after printing my first label. This tiny printer connects to my PC (or your Mac) through a very intuitive interface. I can manually produce a label with a bar code in less than 38 seconds.

But wait! There’s more! To produce multiple labels from a spreadsheet or Word table, I only have to select the relevant rows, click “DYMO Label” in the ribbon, select the type of label to produce, and the DYMO printer spits out the labels instantly. It’s even faster to print from Outlook. Of course, the labels are way more pricey than sheet labels, but I justify the expense by balancing it against the value of my time and the fun I have printing instant labels, not to mention the fact that I can smugly announce to you that I have completed all my holiday mailing―both personal and business―earlier than ever before.

Believe me, when the Apocalypse comes, they’ll have to pry my DYMO LabelWriter out of my cold, dead hands.

What is your favorite productivity hack? Tell us here what productivity aid you can’t live without (and why).

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