phonetic-based input method was for me the easiest to find explained in the internet how to install and how to use. and I guess it is the easiest to use.
because at first I normally remember pronunciation and 'basic' shape of the character so I can recognise it in typed or written text, and it's only after a while (sometimes it takes couple of minutes, sometimes - months) when I have all its strokes memorized and know how to write it by hand.
though I've never tried a shape-based input method yet ^^
and you, which input method do you prefer?