First, look up the admission requirements and registration timelines for your jurisdiction. Find out what certifications, character investigations, personal interviews, or other licensing requirements you must satisfy. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners requires applicants to be fingerprinted electronically, whether or not you're in Florida.
Second, search for any checklists, FAQs and forms. These will save time and help you organize your admissions process. Virginia has a good interactive FAQ web page: Virginia Board of Bar Examiners, FAQ and Answers.
Third, carefully note all the filing deadlines. Missing a bar application deadline is a costly error. Some deadlines are several months prior to the bar exam.
Fourth, remember that you'll have to rely on others to provide some of the information, so factor extra time into your own deadlines. To sit for a July bar exam in Georgia, the filing deadline for the bar exam application is the first week in June. However, the deadline for filing the certification of fitness application is the first week in December. Georgia will accept late filings through the first week of March for the fitness application, but a significant late fee is charged, in addition to the regular fitness filing fee.