We employ +R using the clicker. The trick to training is consistency and immediate acknowledgement of good behavior. A dog's attention span is quite short so that if there's a delay between the good behavior and the reward, then a dog may take a relatively longer time associating the two. That's why we use the clicker - it sinks in to the dog's understanding much faster.
Winging it can work - but it's harder to be consistent if you're just winging it. Every member of the household who interacts with the dog will have to be on the same page so that if you use the command "Lay" to tell the dog to lie down, then your spouse issues the command "Lay Down" for the same behavior, it becomes inconsistent and the dog's response to either command will be delayed. So, it is better to plan out these things. We also use hand signals to go with the vocal commands so that if, for instance, you're talking to somebody and you want to issue a command to the dog, you won't have to interrupt your conversation, you can just use the hand signals.
We don't bother with tricks. We just teach the dog the basic things necessary for good manners and do it over and over - even when they're older, we still reinforce the basic stuff all throughout his life.