My Super-Secret (But Not Really That Impressive) Organization Tool

I have a secret code that I use to organize things.

Are you ready?

(Prepare to be pretty disappointed at this point, because it isn't all that thrilling, but here it goes...)


(See, I told you it was not all that thrilling, but it has really saved me lots of time and lots of energy when looking for different things.)

I use color to organize everything music therapy around me. 

I have four emotion binders that I use with my clients who do not speak. Each one is a different color. This allows me to keep them organized. When there is a red emotion card in the green folder, even my youngest clients know that isn't right and fix it!

When I was an itinerant therapist. moving between two storage places and five buildings daily, I used color-coded boxes to organize my session materials. The blue boxes were for my young students. The purple boxes were for the middle schoolers, and the red boxes were for my high schoolers. I could grab the right colored box and have all the materials that I needed for the session.

Now I use a color-coding system to identify my visual aids.

That's right - I color-code my file folder activities, my posters, my storage boxes, etc. I am also in the process of identifying my TMEs with this color-coding system as well.

When I grab a red file folder, I know that it will be focusing on motor skill development. Orange is for holidays, yellow is for academic/cognitive tasks, green is social/communication skills, blue is emotional/behavioral focused tasks, and purple is for music concept development. If I need TMEs for groups of clients with diverse needs, I can pull out a rainbow of file folders and have something for everyone to do.

I'm using this for my TME strategies as well. I don't use the color in my TME plans because most of my TMEs address several domains simultaneously, but I am using it to link all of the TMEs together. For example, I have a red striped card that will include a list of TMEs that I have written that address upper extremity range of motion. I have a yellow stripe on a card that lists all the TMEs that address letter recognition. By linking my TMEs to specific goals, my session strategizing time has decreased exponentially. 

I just had a great idea! (One of those things that really should have occurred to me earlier...) Client-specific TME cards with color-coding!! Whoo-Hoo! Another way to use my colors to make things easier to organize.

The last thing that I do that helps me stay organized is that I add different colored stickers on my visuals that help me remember the many different domains that are addressed when the visuals are used. For example, the America folder pictured above also addresses academic/cognitive skills, so the tab includes a small yellow sticker.

This one little trick has saved me so much sorting time, so much time explaining things to others, and has made things just plain old prettier around my music therapy clinic.



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