I don’t know about you, but when it comes about CD/DVD writing, I have a problem: if I’m too lazy to label it immediately, it gets lost in the pile and there are 90% chances that I’ll never use it again, as most of the times I get bored of the search process before managing to find the one I was looking for. It is definitely better to have something at hand, to label it on the spot. There are four ways of labeling CDs or DVDs:

  • Special marker: they come in different colors and sizes, they are handy and easy to use, the ink is resistant, so for in-house purposes this is an excellent, cheap and fast solution. Drawback: it does not look professional at all, so for official purposes it does not fit. Tip: don’t use roller pens for labelling because they damage the discs.
  • Paper labels: they are available in stores, can be easily printed using a normal printer, you can give them a very nice and professional look, as many CD writing programs come with the option of labels design. Drawbacks: there is a high probability to damage the disc, especially when the volume of written data is big (e.g. movies); in case you don’t apply it perfectly, your disc will be lost forever, as it cannot be removed without any trace; worse, you can damage also the disc unit. Tips: you can either go to a specialized center where they can apply the labels for you, or much better, don’t use them at all.
  • Direct printing: there are printers that can imprint directly on special discs, either in black and white or in colors. Drawback: the ink is not very stable and it can go away with time or in case of accidentally rubbing the surface.
  • Laser printing: this is the newest method of labeling discs. There are special optical units which have this feature and they are only a little bit more expensive than common DVD writers. The printing is very stable, it does not go away with water or by rubbing. Drawbacks: printing is available only in shades of gray and the process is slow (between 17 – 27 minutes for one disc printing)

For those who don’t care about looks, or if you have a big bunch of discs to write in a short time, I have the fastest method of all: write the text fast on a small post-it paper and stick it on the disc. Take care, though, the method is only temporary: after a while, post-its go away and you’ll end up looking desperately at a big pile of notes lying around a bigger pile of identical discs (actually this happened to me once).