i think numerical distribution is very useful. there will be times where you'll come across a game that's a bit confusing cause it'll involve like 8 or 9 things, but if you figure out what the numerical distribution is, it makes it 100 times easier. just recently, there was some grouping game involving 9 things, and at first i was really pissed obviously haha, but once i figured out the distribution, i finished it in 5 minutes
as for the identifying the templates/possibilities... i don't mind doing the template if it's a bit confusing, but the possibilities is a little time consuming. sometimes, i'll do the possibilities if i'm struggling, but i don't do it as properly as the book describe... just a few notes and whatnot on what could happen so i know what definitetly can not happen.