For starters, I have become a great believer in stored flight plans and have all 20 flight plan slots filled in the 530 to cover my frequently traveled routes. If I am going to a new place, I put the flight plan in on the previous trip if I know of that next flight at the time. Failing that, I usually enter the whole flight plan in after starting the engine but before taxiing. If the clearance isn't "as filed" then I fix it in the navigator before takeoff.
The Garmin 530, as well as the smaller 430, has four basic operating modes to cover navigation, waypoint detail, nearest airports and navaids and auxiliary functions. The 530 has four nav pages, two of which are used a lot for primary information. The default nav page, nav one, has a compass arc at the top, with the present ground track displayed like heading is displayed on a directional gyro or horizontal situation indicator. There's also a digital readout of track and a bearing pointer that does just that-points to the active waypoint. When flying, if I keep the track and the bearing pointer in alignment, presto, the airplane gets where I want it to go.
The nav one page displays the IFR approach selected. The approach is also shown on the nav two page, the true map, but I think that the nav one gives a clearer picture of what is going on with the approach. There is an auto zoom feature on both the nav one and the nav two page that keeps reducing the range of the map as you approach a waypoint, but I like to control the range myself using the rocker switch to adjust the scale of the map. With the auto zoom feature selected, the waypoint moves further away on the map picture as the scale zooms in, and somehow having a point automatically get farther away, on the screen, as I approach it is not my cup of tea.
Other items displayed on the nav one screen, which also includes aviation information and prominent bodies of water, are the pilot's choice. My choices are bearing and distance to the waypoint, groundspeed and estimated time to the waypoint. Some pilots like to display desired track on this screen. That is the line from the last waypoint to the next or from where you were when you selected a direct to the next waypoint. I don't show that because my relationship to the desired track is shown on the horizontal situation indicator as well as on the 530's course deviation indicator, which is only on the nav one screen.
The emphasis on track on this screen is good because track gets you where you want to go, and the word "track" could replace a lot of other words we use in airborne navigation that are at best confusing. For example, we have omni-bearing selectors, but they really select the desired track. A radial is nothing but an electronic signal from a VOR that defines a track across the ground. A course deviation indicator shows us where the desired track is in relation to our position. The bearing to the waypoint, be it digital or with a pointer, just tells us what track we have to fly to get from here to there. If GPS had not had to be laid over an existing airway navigation system and pilots were taught to fly IFR using the terminology of GPS, everything might well be called just plain old track.
The second nav page on the 530 is the map page. Where I use the nav one page when flying approaches or other procedures, I do almost all the rest of my flying with the nav two page displayed. Why? Because it's fun to have a map. I'm an avid sightseer, and while there's not much of the country that I haven't gazed at from a light airplane, I still like to know the name of every town, river or lake. If it doesn't automatically show on the map, there's a cursor that can be used to extract the name of points on the map.