Monday, January 11, 2016

My 3 Favorite Organization Tips for SLPs


In my next life, I'm either going to come back as one of three options:

1) An SLP/OT/PT all in one
2) A Solid Gold Dancer (dare to dream)
3) A professional organizer

The most realistic of the above is obviously number three, which would delight me to no end!   I sometimes toy with trying to figure out how to run a private speech practice by day AND freelance as a professional organizer by night, but that wouldn't leave much time for my treasured sleep.  So, to fill the void, I write blog posts on how I keep organized in my home office. In fact, two of the most frequently viewed posts on my blog are SLP Organization and Organizing my Organization.  Today, I'm linking up with The Frenzied SLPs to share my three favorite organization tips for a private practice SLP.

FIRST:  The BEST thing I ever did was invest some money in giant binders and page protectors and then organize my paper and flashcard materials into seasonal units.  I did this a few years ago when I worked with a small caseload in a private school setting and each year since, I go through the binder while planning my weekly sessions and recycle anything that I haven't used much or no longer need with my caseload.  I have even taken those binders that are overflowing and broken them into more binders.  For example, my winter binder was divided into the following: Christmas, Black History, and Valentine's Day with the Winter one retaining New Year, Snowmen, and Hot Chocolate.


SECOND:  After sorting materials into binders, I quickly saw that I couldn't store my literacy units in this manner, as the card decks are thicker and most contain object manipulatives.  Luckily, I found a storage solution for my home office in the form of a corner cabinet with a hanging rod, hangers, and over-sized Ziploc bags for bulky units and file folder containers for lesson plans and books that can fit in a file folder.


THIRD:  This tip is my personal favorite for anyone working with a small, private practice caseload. When I begin services with a new client, I create a SOAP note that lists my goals, a blank chart for tallying data, and lines for writing homework plans.  While I use an electronic scheduling and billing system, I cannot convert to digital notes.  Personally, I find it easier to mark down data during the activity and then calculate the percentage at the end of the session.  Using my iPad for data collection can be a fairly big distraction too!  Every Sunday afternoon, I spend a couple hours planning and printing my SOAP notes for the coming week's session.  Finally, I stack the notes in order of occurrence and place them out of sight but within reach for sessions.

Printing weekly SOAP notes

Laying out materials for a new theme
during weekly planning

BONUS TIP:  As a bonus, I'm attaching a "cheat sheet" that I created for calling insurance companies to verify coverage for clients.  Make sure that you have both your NPI and tax ID number handy when calling to obtain information.  You can grab your copy here.

Now go ahead and take a peek at more SLP organization tips at the next blogs.  You'll be glad you did!!  Thanks to Speech Sprouts, Speech2U, and Old School Speech for hosting on my favorite topic.  Please take a moment to follow the above Facebook links to show these hard-working ladies some love.






10 comments:

  1. You are very organized! I use the binder and large plastic bag method, too! I love how it lets you find everything fast!

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  2. Your binders are beautiful. I think I just have too much stuff!!

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    1. Thanks, Annie! I just updated my picture to show how the 4 binders multiplied into 11 now. All of which are filled to the brim. I do like flipping through them though while planning.

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  3. You are so much fun! I love how professional and organized you are. I am starting to get back to SOAP notes and find they are extremely helpful.

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    1. Thank you! I think that you are pretty fun yourself;)

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  4. Thanks so much for the form! I'll be using it with my next new client! I'd love to see your SOAP note form, too. Is it something you created?

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    1. You are welcome, Pam. The SOAP note is something that I created and customize for each client. I can email you the templates if you would like. Send me a message at nanettecote@gmail.com so I can email them to you.

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  5. I like your idea of the weekly SOAP notes.

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