Best tip ever and it costs about $1.
The good old fashioned spiral notebook.
Grab one of those. Come on, go ahead and grab one from around your house. I know you have them. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Ok, ready now?
Open up to a clean page and write down the date of your next lesson. Don't waste time finding a cute pen or to write in a font. I know you think it should look great. It should not. Don't waste time here friend.
Now, take that notebook, go stick it on your piano (or in your book bag if you are a travelling teacher). And here it is, the best tip ever, drumroll please ....
Write in it. During your lessons.
Something comes to mind when little Suzy is playing her C scale? Write it down. You promise to look for a piece of music for nervous Ned? Write it down. You need to double check to see if late Louise paid her bill? Write it down.
Do that over and over again. Keep going down the page and when you get to the end of it, flip to the next page. If you must get fancy, use one colored pen per week or one page per week or whatever. But stop at that, fancy pants! Nothing else!
Then, there's one more piece to this: Look at it later.
Write it down in your planner, or schedule it as an alarm in your phone for two days after lessons: Review lesson notes.
You will be SO GLAD you did. Trust me on this. Your lesson notes will inform everything you need to do for the next lesson. Plus Fearful Franny will be so impressed that you actually emailed her that article you talked about and Insistent Ian will be grateful you copied more staff paper for him.
Your to-do list or to-think-about list is now on paper instead of in your head. You are less stressed. Your clients are impressed at your follow through. Its a win win.
$1 notebook. Yes, you're welcome.