EagleCAD PSA – Use the schematics

This is a super simple post to encourage you to use schematics when you use EagleCAD.  When I learned, the person who taught me didn’t use schematics so I learned to not use schematics and just design the board using packages.  At first I didn’t know any better and blindly accepted the occasional error that happened because I switched pins.  It was especially difficult when the chip package is rotated from the documentation and gets even worse when it’s also on the bottom of a board.  But in the last few months I’ve been burned several times by this and I’ve seen the light.  From now on, I’ve started using schematics for all my boards.  Compared to just designing a board from packages, doing the schematic first is a lot more work.  But if you verify the package and schematic when you make it, it eliminates almost all of the errors.  And while making the schematic and device is a pain in the butt, it makes laying out the board a lot faster because everything is already connected by airwires.  Anyway, that’s my advice, take it or leave it, but I hope it helps somebody avoid the mistakes I made.