I love Terri Sánchez’s idea of creating sound sheets. I use a notebook to keep all my practice music in, and the sound sheet is a perfect cover for that book. She describes how to make your own sound sheet here.
I play a Miyazawa flute. I love the sound of this instrument. It is fluid, consistent, and a pleasure to play. I often get the question of “what flute should I buy?” I wish I could give a blanket answer to this question. But, every person is different and every flute is different, even within brands. You have to try everything and decide what works for you. Often in this discussion, the point is made that the player is the most important part of the equation. I’m certainly not going to dispute that, but I’m not going to discount the vital importance of having a good instrument. You won’t see any professional flutists playing student model instruments in the most prestigious orchestras. They’ve all chosen an instrument that feels like their own voice.