I'll share how I organize my practice and how I encourage all of my students to do the same. First off, I start with the premise that we can't (or shouldn't) do everything everyday. Without organized practice; some things get too much attention, other things get neglected, we never feel like we reach our goals, and lots of time is wasted. To remedy this, I use a practice log. The practice log is very straightforward. There is space for the following categories:
Right Hand Exercises
Left Hand Exercises
With the new rep, I have no more than 2 pieces in that category at any given time. If there is more, it usually has to "get in line" and wait its turn. With old repertoire as soon as a piece hits that category, it is by default to be "practice performed" no less than 4 times per week. Once a week, a make a super fast decision to either maintain the 4 times a week, or bump it down to 3 times per week. The ultimate goal is to get everything down to 1 time per week. In reality, pieces often bump down, bump up, or maintain their number. Further, I am often spending far more time with them. However, it is a great way to make sure the practice is well rounded, the pieces are well maintained, and that I am making weekly goals with the least amount of time needed. To explicitly state the goal here: to be able to always perform the music I have worked so hard on for others.
Concerning scales, I leave a little more space for details. Perhaps I'm doing free or rest stroke; im or ma, or pi, etc. There are also different reasons or ways I practice the scales. Maybe I'm working on speed and various exercises that help with that. I leave plenty of room to abbreviate what I'm doing, metronome markings, etc. Ultimately, this guides my scale work so that I am not doing the same things every day and that no particular types of practice is getting neglected. The variation on scale practice comes mostly from the ideas of Berg, Iznaola, or various flamenco players.
With right hand exercises, I primarily work out of Christopher Berg's Giuliani Revisited. I've worked out many different routines for these right hand arpeggio studies. All of the routines have two things in common: they are primarily the more common right hand patterns we see in the repertoire. They incorporate a pattern or two that utilized m and a a lot more. Further, the routines may only have a few patterns, or they may have many. More time is to be spend with each pattern in the "smaller" routines. Taking it further, I may do speed bursts, or rhythmic variations. This allows me to get a well rounded workout, not neglect anything, and not waste time doing the same things over and over. The variations of these exercises come mostly from the ideas of Berg or Stanley Yates.
With the left hand, it is the same idea. There are many exercises that have made it into my regimen. Through experience, and trial and error, I've chosen the ones that are most useful and beneficial for me. And it is good to shake things up a bit no merely relying on the same few exercises. Further, I occasionally experiment with new ones, or ones that I may have falsely assumed aren't so useful. Keeping a record of everything saves me time and makes sure that my practice is well balanced. Most of my left hand work comes almost directly from either Shearer or Carlevaro.
There are a few personal categories in my practice log, but I won't mention them.
In closing, I'll explicitly state the theme of all of this. As we gradually learn exercises, some are more or less useful. Further, there are many ways the exercises can be approached. There are particular benefits to doing exercises in particular ways. It is all too much to do, yet none of it should be neglected. Without a practice log, I am simply wasting lots of time. Concerning repertoire, it is the same attitude. If I'm going to take the trouble to learn a piece, it is because I want to be able to perform it well. Going to all of that effort is detrimental and for nothing if it isn't maintained. Again, it is simply too much to do. The practice log helps to spend the least amount of time and effort to maintain a piece.
Dr. Todd Tipton, Noda Guitar Studio
Charlotte, NC, USA (available via Skype)