Here's a photo of my color guide which I put on all my palettes, so I know exactly what colors I have in my palette. I paint from full strength to lightest value so I can see the range of each color.
Additionally I put down a fat black line before painting the swatches, so I can see how transparent each color is. After they are dry, I lift out a small strip in the full-strength part, so I also have an idea of how staining each color is. I write the name and brand of each color over the light part of each swatch.
I am a big fan of arranging my colors in the order of the color wheel and I tend to use mainly primary, transparent colors with a few "convenience colors" such as Burnt Sienna (to mix easy browns and greys) and Permanent Magenta (to darken reds & pinks).