At every woodworking show I have ever been to, there is always at least one vendor hawking their clever pocket hole drilling jig, and how you can use it to build stuff fast and without any time consuming joinery.
That always annoys me a bit. There's no substitute for good joinery. But sometimes, pocket holes sure come in handy. But I refuse to buy one of those jigs, because of the whole connotation of slapping things together quickly.
One can drill pocket holes without a pocket hole jig by just starting the hole in a sacrificial piece of wood. The sacrificial piece of wood should be at least as hard and dense as the actual piece you are drilling the pocket holes in. Having another piece cut at the angle of the pocket hole to clamp to helps too.
The sacrificial piece of wood, if hard enough, can be reused by just drilling into
the already drilled holes again.
One of the things these vendors of pocket hole jigs always also sell is an extra long stepped drill bit, which can drill the pocket hole, and the hole for the screw in one step. I don't have one of these either, so I need to use an extra long skinny bit to drill the through hole separately. It needs to be extra long, so the chuck doesn't hit the work piece.
I used yet another rechnique for some much large pocket holes for this bed frame