I had a great1 idea the other day. When I'm going to go somewhere, I write the address and any other pertinent details on the lined side of an index card. Then, on the blank side, I draw a map of the area directly around it. If there are multiple addresses of interest within a few blocks, I list them all on the lined side and mark them on the map.
Having the address and a minimap easily available is very handy. And it can also include phone numbers, hours, or whatever else might be useful. But even more than that, the act of writing out the address and then drawing the map gives you a much better understanding of where something is and how to find it.
I know, I know, some may object that in the age of smartphones, one can just call up maps and directions wherever they are. That is true, but I prefer not to lead a bland, gray existence, eyes locked on a little rectangle in my hand, ignoring the sights and sounds around me. I don't judge or condemn people who live that way; in fact I pity them, and have nothing but sympathy for their bleak, flavorless existence.
Instead of living like an automaton, having a card to exactly where I want to go lets me enjoy the trip. I can pay attention to what I'm doing, and what's going on around me. I can take in the sights and scenery, instead of wrestling with an irritating little app.
Another benefit is that once you have a card to a place, it's easy to give directions to someone else. Just show them on the card, and, if you're so inclined, let them borrow it. Not only do they get directions, they have access to any other notes you made.
Opinions may differ; some may think that it was a clever idea, or a stupendous idea, or perhaps a brilliant idea. I chose "great" as being the least controversial. ↩