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How to use your Garmin Nuvi GPS

Using a GPS in your car is just like using any other piece of technology. You have to balance using it and learning it. My first experience with this type of technology was when I learned my first video game, and the same principle holds. Turn it on, push some buttons, and figure it out. That's the first step.

The next step is to find out more about it. Talk to other people who have it. Back in the day it was fun to talk to other people about how they played a particular video game. And now you can use YouTube also to do that. The next time you're surfing the web with insomnia, Google a video or two about your Garmin.

Then (and this is the most important part), go get it out of your car and bring it into your house. Push the buttons, look at it at your leisure while you are not driving, you will find some cool stuff.

When I first got mine, I just pushed the button "View Map". But if you just use that, you are really missing out. Push the other buttons! Don't worry about typing in addresses, etc., go look at Points of Interest. It will find the closest anything you need. Then go out and practice a bit using the turn-by-turn directions. I set the voice to be a female British, which makes me feel as if Miss Moneypenny is giving me directions. And bring the car back to Q when you are done!

Something that I hadn't realized until I played with this, is that the directions recalculate if you take a different turn. And if you went to the trouble of putting in your home address, all you have to do is push the button "Home" to be directly safely home. Works great.

Some other thoughts - don't even think of blocking your vision by mounting a GPS on your windshield! That's as bad as the people who used to drive with road maps up on their steering wheel. Find a safe place for your GPS, sitting low enough on your dashboard not to block vision - and away from passengers who may feel tempted to play with it. Mount it securely - I used double-stick foam tape for mine, don't rely on the suction cup effect - which means your GPS and holder will fall exactly when you don't want it to, while you are doing an emergency maneuver - around someone who didn't see you - because their GPS was mounted on the windshield!

Technology is a wonderful thing. Make it work for you and your life will be better and easier.