Proper trim control technique involves exerting control pressure to attain the desired attitude then using the trim to alleviate the requirement of holding that pressure. There can be a temptation for pilots to make small adjustments using trim alone. Resist the temptation and use the proper procedure.
We use the proper technique because it's the most precise way to use trim. If adjustments are made with the trim directly we'll end up over-controlling and chasing the correct trim position.
Trim isn't just a convenience. Especially for pilots flying in instrument conditions, alleviating the load of holding control pressure and ensuring that if the pilot lets go of the controls the airplane maintains its attitude are a matter of safety.
The Airplane Flying Handbook explains Trim Control starting on 3-6. It lists the proper technique in greater detail and provides a complete rationale.
There's also the matter of doing things the same way every time. Once we've established the right procedure, we should always use it to enforce the habit. This also benefits the pilot when things get busy. Proficient instrument pilots are experts in using trim effectively.
Predefined trim positions are impractical because they vary based on weight, CG, airspeed and other factors. These factors change the amount of downforce required on the elevator and therefore the trim position. Situations like "level at 8000" or "gliding descent" won't always result in the same trim position. For other control surfaces there are similar factors. We do have predefined trim positions for takeoff, but loading often makes those undesirable and trimming is required immediately.
During flight training, good trimming technique becomes especially important during instrument training. There's a lot of good information about trim and its importance in the Instrument Flying Handbook.