Tuco is one of my all time favorite film characters, not least because of his personal approach to technology. In the following clip he takes parts he likes from several pistols in order to construct one that he likes:
I’d advise a similar approach to chess technology. There’s no need to use it the way the manuals recommend, you need to personalize it in a way that fits your own approach and personality.
I use Chessbase because I was given a complimentary copy but I don’t use many of the features it has. I like to check references and sometimes have an engine running in the background, but that’s really about it.
To actually prepare something I’m more likely to take a book to read in the bathroom and then doodle around with the positions on a pocket chess set. My goal is not to ‘learn the latest theory’, I’m just trying to get an understanding of the positions so that if I get them in one of my games I’ll know what to do.