I have a separate article on how to make more durable labels and signs.
I really like white gaffer tape for quick-and-easy labels. And I don't like the cheap stuff either, it should be ≥$18 a roll. While that is expensive, the fact that it leaves very little residue behind really helps in temporary situations. And it's the "Jack of all trades" tape, it's incredibly versatile.
Places that I use white gaffer tape — labeling leftovers in tupperware containers, and labeling my plastic storage bins.
Blue painter's tape has to come in a white color, right? Blue painter's tape is usually reasonably-quality stuff, but I'm unsure how to choose a higher-quality white tape that purports to be "painter's tape".
TODO — figure this out
With some basic knowledge, it can be fairly quick to make some marks with the pen, and the paint will last for a while.
However, if the surface is exposed to abrasion, the paint will eventually wear off. Our other article talks about two ways to make that paint more durable — adding a clear coat after painting, and/or engraving the base material before painting.
If you want to make paper signs slightly more durable, many printers can print on cardstock. I like to keep medium-weight (~90 lb) cardstock around, since it's cheap enough to use pretty frequently, but also it's almost as durable as high-weight cardstock.