I just finished bottling a batch of pale ale, and and it was one of those where it seemed like nothing went right. In the end I think the beer will turn out ok, but it was more of a headache than necessary. It reminded me of a few tips:
1. Don't rush. on the brewday I was in a rush to get things done. If I had taken more time I probably could have avoided the two boil overs I had (both right at the end of the boil too, I had let my guard down). In the end this would have saved a lot of time, as cleaning burned wort off of an electric stove is not easy.
2. Have enough space to work. I had carefully cleaned the stove and counter that I was using, but lots of clutter had built up on some of the other table space in the kitchen, which meant that I didn't have places to put stuff to get it out of the way quickly.
3. Plan ahead and take stock of your equipment. The day before I bottled I couldn't find my bottle filler, and the homebrew store is an hour's drive away. I made do without, just using height and pinching the hose to stop the flow of beer, but it made for more spills and a lot more mess than normal. I'll be in Indianapolis this weekend, and will definitely be stopping by Great Fermentations to restock. At $2.75 a filler is worth it.