Use the appropriate plane for the work at hand.
Use Bench planes for stock removal, smoothing rough surfaces, truing, and fine finishing.
Use Jack Planes or longer planes for longer length planing (i.e. doors) to produce a straight line.
Use block or trimming planes for end grain, where single handed working is required, and to dress up short work.
For optimal cutting performance, place cutters in bench planes bevel side down and cutters for block planes bevel side up.
Always keep the blade sharp.
Lightly oil the working surfaces after use.
Rest the plane on its side when not in use.
Store the plane with its cutter retracted to avoid premature edge wear.