Cellular signaling networks are composed of multiple pathways, often interconnected, that form complex networks with great potential for cross-talk. Signal decoding depends on the nature of the message as well as its amplitude, temporal pattern, and spatial distribution. In addition, the existence of membrane-bound organelles, which are both targets and generators of messages, add further complexity to the system. The availability of sensors that can localize to specific compartments in live cells and monitor their targets with high spatial and temporal resolution is thus crucial for a better understanding of cell pathophysiology. For this reason, over the last four decades, a variety of strategies have been developed, not only to generate novel and more sensitive probes for ions, metabolites, and enzymatic activity, but also to selectively deliver these sensors to specific intracellular compartments. In this review, we summarize the principles that have been used to target organic or protein sensors to different cellular compartments and their application to cellular signaling.