line up those ducks

now (before apps are due) is the time to decide how you are going to manage this entire process. Already people are mixing up ids (mcat vs amcas), forgetting passwords etc. So here are a few hints about organizing the process.
You will probably need a paper system and an electronic system. When everything was on paper, a good solution would be a file cabinet/envelope, with separate files/sections for each school appiled to, another section for transcript masters, etc. Now, so many things are electronic, you won't be filing paper secondaries away, but you still have to track them.
your needs will vary depending on number of schools that you are applying to - but you will need something, even if it is only a calendar notation of critical dates.
Here is what I used for tracking.
1) make a directory on your hard drive for MedSch2004 (of course, name it whatever you like).
In there keep a document of your central user ids & passwords - MCAT, AMCAS, TMDSAS, AACOMAS, etc. Pick a userid/password combination. Whenever a site gives you the option of selecting a userid and/or password, use this one - rather than make up a new one for each school and get mixed up. If you get assigned by the school - note it in this document by school.
Make a spreadsheet for application tracking.
I had one sheet where I listed these columns:
school; app sent; app fee; 2nd-ary req; 2nd-ary due date; 2nd-ary return date; 2nd-ary fee; LoR requested; 2nd recvd; LoR mailed/req from ltr service; LoR rvcd/file complete; interview invite; interview date; travel dates; per yr tuit; other comments.
make a general folder set and keep: paper copy of each master application, your ps, your transcript masters, your MCAT score, etc.
Be prepared to make a folder & file it for each school for any papers you get. Print all emails and store them here. Keep a paper copy of the secondaries here (if you can print from the submission site).
Keep an electronic copy of all essay-type answers to secondaries - name them so you can find them again. I used a naming convention for school, with a document per question (e.g. DukeQ1 , USCQ3, PITTQ2, etc.) ,
I'd always repeat the question at the top - in a different font, and then store the response. This way, you know what you were answering when you go look at it again for cut & paste.
Print out your tracking spreadsheet and put it in your general folder as well - or up on your wall/bulletin board.
Don't forget to backup this directory to portable media when you make major changes.
If you are still pursuing LoR writers - track them too. Again, I used a spreadsheet with: Writer; asked for LoR dt ; gave LoR package dt ; checked on status; received confirmation LoR is at letter service, etc.
Anyone else with organization ideas - feel free to join in.

Absolutely agree with Lisa on everything. I had a similar paper/electronic system. I also wrote down dates and times of when I called schools and with whom I spoke. This became very important when one of my schools decided I had a missing letter of rec but told me otherwise (they said my app was complete). Recording the dates and times and the name of the person I spoke to (and what they said) helped when I emailed the dean about their administrative error and got my app reviewed right away.

not being coordinated enough to write things down and find them later - I used email for stuff like phone conversations - I figured I can always open a note and mail it to myself - but if I use a piece of paper, I cannot always find that piece of paper later. I did this, for example, if I called AAMC to get a “ruling” on how to put something in the appl.