We used the plain-Jane Shop Vac system for years. Clients really appreciated the vastly reduced dust problem (using a ShopVac sander) created by drywall sanding. Most of our customers had heard horror stories from others who'd had reno's done, and where the contractor had done little or nothing to protect the customers' homes and possessions. It just doesn't have to be that bad.
First step is dust barriers in every doorway...confine the dust to the room you're working in. Alternatively, move everything in the house out into storage. You can't eliminate all the dust.
When you fill, don't leave globs of mud on the area you're mudding; it should be flat and clean with a feather edge. depressions in the mud don't matter...you'll catch them with your next or final coat. If you aren't a pro at filling, count on doing three coats not two.
Don't try and sand down the first coat; you only need to do a couple of passes with 100grit, to knock off any high spots and bits sticking up.
That's the trick with sanding; you're only trying to remove the high spots, not take it down to the level of the lowest areas. I've seen guys put on a bucket of mud, then sand it down to the point that most of it's sitting on the floor!
Buy finish mud for your final coat; you'll be a lot happier mudder. The final sanding is referred to as 'polishing'...220grit A light touch!!!
Here's the rub...no pun intended. The screens for vacuum sanding have a nasty tendency to leave scratches, unlike paper or sanding sponges.
If I'm doing small repairs, I just sand with a fine sanding sponge and hold the Shop Vac nozzle right under
where I'm actually sanding. That's extremely effective.
Also, if there's forced air heating, cover both the cold air returns and the registers with poly; turn the furnace off. Having the ducts cleaned is a p.i.t.a.
Oh, and if you're over 50, take a *Vitamin I before starting a big sanding project!