Odds are you learned how to address an envelope as a child, perhaps as a school exercise to send your parents a postcard. It’s simple enough.

Until you need to address 50 packages a day. That’s when you’ll start looking for a simpler solution.

You could type up your labels in a word processor to save time—but we have some better tricks. Here are 3 ways to automate your shipping label process, from simple tricks that take a couple steps each time to a fully automated workflow.

Make Shipping Labels Automatically in Google Docs

Avery Label Merge in Google Docs

Avery Label Merge can make standard sized labels in Google Docs

Let’s start with the simplest option: Making shipping labels in Google Docs using the Avery Label Merge add-on. If you have a spreadsheet with addresses, it can turn them into ready-to-print labels in seconds.

First, open Google Docs, and install the Avery Label Merge add-on from that link or via the Add-ons -> Get Add-ons… menu. Once it’s installed, click Add-ons -> Avery Label Merge -> New merge to start making labels. That’ll open a popover where you can choose which type of label and the size of label paper you’d like to use.

Avery Label Merge Google Sheets

Add fields from your spreadsheet to the square to arrange your label

Avery Label Merge needs a spreadsheet with the addresses you want to use in labels—and for that, it relies on Google Sheets, the spreadsheet sidekick to Google Docs. Make sure you have a spreadsheet with those names and addresses, then in the Avery Label Merge add-on in Google Docs, choose the Google Sheets spreadsheet that has your addresses. The Avery add-on will then add a square to your document—and open a sidebar on the right. Click in the square first, then click the fields from your spreadsheet you’d like to add to your label. Press your return key to add new lines, as normal, and type any extra characters you want on the label.

Avery labels in new Google Docs document

Your labels will be added to a new Google Docs document

Once you’re finished, click the Merge button, and Avery Label Merge will make a new Google Docs document with your finished labels. Click File -> Open and select the newest document in the list—with the name of your label size, such as Avery_5160—to see your completed labels. You can then tweak the font and color of your labels, if you’d like, or print them directly.


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