When installing, write down your customizations, including settings and software you add.
Lately, I've had to reinstall every couple of months due to crashes. Lots of customizations follow, which are easy to forget, but I usually use the same ones each time, and some settings I leave at their defaults. A list lets me skip the ones I don't change, saving time.
Keep the list as text on another machine, in the order in which you carry out your steps, starting with what original software you want handy for a clean install.
I don't remember seeing this advice in a book on any OS.