Coordinate frames are your friend!  Serious engineers use them, the figure is from NASA Technical Memo JSC-09084 “Coordinate systems for the space shuttle program”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I find that it’s handy to have a few lying around that you pick up and manipulate.  You can download and print these files and after a couple of minutes with scissors and a stapler you’ll have a 3D coordinate frame.