Based on the original question I think there is a point when you have a more significant amount of plants or varieties or too large a planting/gardens to just leave it to your memory.
I don’t think it matters how you keep track; map, spreadsheet or tags. If you have a significant planting it is important that you do. I am cheap so I use wooden stakes and permanent marking ink. I get my stakes at little or no cost from a lumber yard. Sometimes I use paint stir sticks.
Marking has kept me from over planting and over buying. It makes my garden more beautiful.
I created an orchard layout using excel which can also be read by libreoffice which is free. I cannot upload it here as an excel but if someone knows of a way it can be used and modified by anyone. easy to use.
Lessons in life will be repeated until they are learned.
My feeling is it depends what you want the labels for. If it's to buy in more nursery stock of a good variety or propagate plants to sell, then some form of written labelling is needed, whether labelled on a map, or labelled on or near the plant itself.
If though it's to make sure you propagate the best tasting fruit, the biggest bearer, the one that survived the pests or the frosts or the heat best, purely for your own garden use or to give plants to friends, then maybe the variety name doesn't matter so much. I'd just tie a red string on the fig tree that gave the best tasting fruit, so I know which one to take cuttings from in spring. Plus, sometimes the best plants are the ones that just appear in the garden, self-seeded from who knows where.
I'm only 60! That's not to old to learn to be a permie, right?