They say that one of the best ways to learn a new language is to completely immerse yourself into the language and the culture. I would love be in Japan for six months to learn Japanese, but I can't. For many of us, it's impractical to drop everything and go live in another country for an extended period of time. The challenge then becomes "How can I immerse myself here?" For me, I've found some success with writing more "everyday" items in Japanese. First, I started by writing short, simple notes to family and friends who were taking Japanese classes with me. Then, I tried writing my students' names in Katakana on my schedule and planning lists. I've graduated to writing out my "To Do" List and grocery list in Japanese.
The "pièce de résistance " is my waterproof keitai. I labelled all my folders in Japanese: