Get Yourself Organized by Joelle K. Jay, Ph.D.

By admin
In Coaches
Dec 20th, 2013

It may sound obvious, but if you want to be a good coach for your clients, you’ve got to get organized. Organization is a foundation for productivity. Use these tips to make your coaching practice efficient and effective.

  1. Make every client a binder. Keep them all on a shelf in a nice, neat row.
  2. Make every binder “match.” Make dividers you can use again and again: Admin, Assessments, Coaching Session Notes, and Ideas for Next Session.
  3. Make a Notetaker template. This is a single-page organizer that you can follow to guide your notetaking in a single session. It might include items like: Follow-Up, Agenda, Session Notes, Commitments, and Reminders.
  4. Create a computer file for every client. This is where you keep the notes you type and the things your clients send you. You never know when you might want to refer to them again.
  5. Keep sub-folders for every client. You might organize these by year (2006, 2007, 2008, and so on), by subject (360 Feedback, Assessments, Coaching Sessions, Invoices), or by phases (Getting Started, Ongoing Coaching, Completion).
  6. Create a per-session routine. Something like this: Review past session(s), anticipate agenda for today, note any logistical details to follow up on, have session, take notes, and file client binder away.
  7. Create files for current clients. Your current clients are the ones on your calendar now.
  8. Create files for past clients. Move these clients to a separate folder – your “archives.” (You never know when they might come back.)
  9. Create files for pending clients. Keep careful notes in the early phases of the relationship to get off on the right foot.
  10. Maintain your system rigorously. It doesn’t matter how airtight your system is if you never actually use it. Make your system a habit!

The best way to set up a foolproof coaching system is to work with an organized coach. Let us know if you’d like a free consultation by emailing Joelle at

© Joelle K. Jay, PhD, is president of the leadership development practice, Pillar Consulting. As an executive coach, author and speaker, Dr. Jay helps leaders achieve top performance and results. Her clients include presidents, vice presidents, and C-level executives in Fortune 500 companies. Joelle is the author of The Inner Edge: The 10 Practices of Personal Leadership. To find out how Joelle can help you reach the next level, email Joelle at or visit

And if you liked these tips you may be interested in the Get a Plan! Guide® to Ridding Your Workspace of Clutter part of the Get a Plan! Guides® series designed to give you the ideas and inspiration to do your work easier, faster, and in a more focused fashion.