Re: Looking at your fretboard
I think this develops with time. You learn a song, realize "oh, that's how this chord relates to this scale" then you learn some riff and realize "oh, this is the whatever scale with every other note doubled" or something like that. I always stress the importance of trying to figure out songs/riffs/solos on your own. Makes a big difference because you develop your own view of the fretboard. Over time these individual observations begin to connect together.
I had a jam session recently where the guy I was with said "I'm going to vamp on an A chord and you just do whatever" so I started on the tenth fret of the B-string and branched out from there. That seems to be a comfortable spot for me to start, I have no idea why.
Using the D chord in the usual beginner's position, the B string is the name of the chord. Move it up two frets (a full step) and you have the E chord. It's a place to start and there are dozens and dozens of other places you could start, too.