downunder sorry I may have been a little unclear.
I sort of changed subjects while on the topic of saving time, from planer vs. router to drill bits.
I just use the drill for insert and fin holes, that's all I meant about the drill bits.
With the planer, the key is how you work it.
Set the blade to take a little bite (maybe 0.5-1mm?), and work the planer at a diagonal across the blank tip so the planer is following its nose, with the back part or body hanging free.
This establishes a "Step" at the tip of the board that is about 1/3 or so of the width of the planer.
Advance the planer and repeat, but this time the body of the planer can rest on the step you just created, so the planer should be more stable and easy to control. After this pass the step will be twice its former width. Repeat until you have done enough.
Go back to the tip and start over to create a second "step", repeating passes to advance the second step as far as your planned taper requires.
After roughing out the taper this way, forming several steps, it's time to smooth off the steps into a smooth taper. This can be done by taking lengthwise strokes with the planer from the middle of the blank to the tips, but it's easy to introduce longitudinal ridges this way. You could instead run the planer sideways across the core, so the blade knocks down the projecting steps, but this too can cause issues, depending on your planer, its settings, your technique, etc.
You may prefer to use a disk or RO sander, sanding block or plane to knock down the steps instead.
Anyway, once you have established a taper, you can use the planer to thin it out uniformly with longitudinal and diagonal strokes.
That's how I do it. If the router works better for you nothing wrong with it.
For the router you may not need a full jig, basically just a plate or sled to carry the router.
You can use all sorts of blocks or props to run the sled across, in case you want to change the angle of the taper. Just make sure they are secured and oriented correctly before cutting! Or maybe you prefer a jig.
Also, I start with a blank with no taper, usually.
You could of course choose to taper each strip before glue-up. Never done that myself.
One more idea, if a vac table sounds like a pain, double sided carpet tape will also hold down a core pretty well, if you are careful removing it.
picture of how I do planer tapering: