My sweet sister-in-law told me about this a few years ago and I thought it was so simple and smart. At the start of each new year, she fills in the new year's number on the date line of her next five checks...just the year number (i.e. "12"). That way when she writes a check, she doesn't mess up and write last year's number...then scribble it out...then rewrite this year's number.
I just got my next five checks ready. Of course, I hardly write checks anymore...it might be July before I get to the fifth check!