Top Ten Ways to Use Labels to Get Organized in Your Office!
Written by Lisa Montanaro | December 14, 2010

Okay, folks, I know I sound label happy. To be honest, I am! I love using labels in an office because they are so neat looking, and the visual cue is a powerful one that helps you to see what the contents of an item are. So here are 10 ways to use labels to get organized in your office. Grab a few and have fun while boosting your productivity. And be sure to check out the great line of label makers by Dymo . They have a label maker for every type of office environment and need.

  1. Inbox system. If you use a multi-tiered inbox system on your desk or on the wall by using wall pockets, make sure to file each tier or pocket. For example, a typical inbox system may include Inbox for incoming and unprocessed paper/mail, Action for item that need to be tended to, File for the 20% of paper that should be kept, and Shred for the confidential papers that should be shredded. Labeling each tier is an easy reminder of what your categories are.
  2. Phone Instructions. This may sound silly, but there are usually multiple phones in an office. Some you have to dial 9 to get an outside line, some you don’t. Some have free long distance, some don’t. Why not throw a small label with some phone instructions on the base so you are not guessing at its use?
  3. Printer/Fax/Scanner/Copier Instructions. The all-in-one machines found in many offices can be downright confusing. If there are any simple instructions that could be posted on the machine, or near it, to guide people as to the proper buttons to push, go ahead and use a label to help people out.
  4. Wall Pockets as Mail Slots. If you have one wall pocket for outgoing mail, and one for incoming mail, be sure to label them so that they are easily distinguished.
  5. Shelves. If you have bookshelves of any kind, why not label each shelf so you (and others) know what is stored there. Looks great and can help avoid rummaging and messing up the shelving system!
  6. File folders. This is probably the most common use of a label, for the very reason that it works so well. Label all of your file folders in the office. That way, if any get separated from their category tab, left in a pile (you know who you are!), or taken with you to a meeting, you can easily identify which file it is and return it to its home in the file drawer.
  7. Tickler file. If you maintain a tickler file for your action items, label the file folders so that you know each category that you need to act on. For example, you can use labels such as, To Call, To Respond, To Fill Out, To Return. As an alternative, you can use major categories such as Marketing, Administrative, Expenses, etc. Label based on the way your brain thinks and processes the information in your tickler file system.
  8. File Cabinet Drawers. Once the inside of your filing cabinets are organized and labeled, be sure to label the outside of the drawers so you know the category of files each drawer contains. For example, Clients, Marketing, Financial, etc.
  9. Magazine Holders. Magazine holders are a handy way to keep periodicals organized. Industry journals, supply catalogs, etc. can all be organized by category in magazine holders. Label the spine of the magazine holder with the category of its contents, and you have a great resources section in your office to access when you need it.
  10. Do Not Touch. There are some items in an office that are off limits to others! Maybe a personal drawer (for snacks, medication, extra pantyhose if you need them!), a jar of pens that everyone always steals from, or any other section/item in your office that you don’t want people digging into. Why not let them know you mean business? Put a label that says ‘Do Not Touch,’ ‘Personal,’ ‘Hands-Off,” or some other admonition to help people know to keep out.

Full disclosure: This is sponsored content and we have been paid to do this post. That being said, we do not blog about anything we do not believe in and Dymo did not edit our post or direct our content in any way.

Meet the Author

Helping others be the best versions of themselves gets me jazzed!

I’ve worn many hats in my lifetime—often at the same time—while enjoying fulfilling careers. I’ve been a performer, teacher, sign language instructor, lawyer, career counselor, law professor, coach, consultant, mediator, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, writer, and author. 

I’m an eternal optimist and life-long learner, constantly researching ways to improve personal and professional effectiveness. And it brings me great joy to then pass on the results of that persistent curiosity to my clients and audiences. 

Of all the career hats I’ve been privileged to wear, my favorite is owner of this business since 2002. Why? Because it provides me the opportunity to work with wonderful organizational and individual clients. On any given day, I get to connect deeply with audiences, work with dedicated teams, improve workplaces, watch clients have a-ha moments, and know I’ve made a difference in their lives and careers. And that is very satisfying.