Personally I use the pillowcase method. Small torch, asthma inhaler, old phone I use as an alarm/music player (vibrate wakes me, doesn't wake anyone else, best ever), and locker key, all fit into a corner leaving the rest for me to use. Anyone wants in and they're going to need to physically move me and I'm not going to sleep through that.
A quick trick, you know how on your pillowcase there's generally a folded side to stop the pillow sliding out? Put that on the bottom and now even in your worst sleep where you move around a lot your stuff is only going to slide down into that pocket and stay in the case. And my head is in the middle of the case, so things also need to get past my head.
It's not 100%, deep sleeper and someone could theoretically cut the case, but nothing is guaranteed and this hasn't yet failed me in around nine months ish of hostel usage over a year or so; from party mad 32 bed dorms to dingy 6 bed cash only hovels to saner 3 - 4 bed rooms with 24/hr staffed receptions. Traveling is personal though so if you usually wear a chain or necklace while sleeping then sliding a key onto that is simpler. Others have a bag with them on the bed, works great on bunk beds placed around the centre next to a wall as someone's going to need to climb onto the bed to get to it, but I hate that method as it takes away valuable stretch room and pillowcases are a bit more versatile.
You can also use an ankle pouch, I dislike that method though as after a day of walking I don't want anything on my feet/ankles. Or a waist pouch if that feels better, I use that as a backup for when I'm away from a pillow, though if you move around at night on a bed then it can twist and be annoying.
As for phones, I cheat a little. Get a cheap USB battery pack and charge that while you sleep. Get up, attach it to your phone, and you have a charged phone with negligible risk. You can even leave it at the hostel during the day and throw it in the pillowcase as well if it's small enough. And if that gets stolen then 1) it's cheap enough to not matter and 2) you know to only charge things while you're physically there.
And a little niggle from someone who worked as a locksmith for a while: Not all combination padlocks are bad and they have their own advantages. No keyway makes it impossible to pick for instance (epoxy in the front if there is one), and with a three digit code on a twenty or more digit lock there's enough combinations there to deter most people. Get a decent lock, Sargent and Greenleaf 8077 for instance (my favourite convenience lock), and shimming is going to be ridiculously hard as well. With shrouds so is using a bolt cutter so don't forget your combination. From a usability point of view combination locks excel since there's no key to take care of. Swimming pool? Junk in locker, combo lock on, nothing to carry with you. Ditto for a beach or the like.
Even if you prefer locks with keys, and they make up for the lack of convenience with daunting security, approach your lock purchase like you approached the purchase of the most expensive item you're securing. If you'll spend weeks comparing laptop specs and then drop a few K, a few hours looking at lock features or chatting to a decent locksmith and then spending a hundred dollars on a decent lock securing that laptop is absolutely worth it.
And you know how that page you linked had Master locks as an example of how to beat combination locks? Don't. Buy. Master. Locks.
Like, ever. Just no. They make far too many shoddy products to chance your security to. The only exception is if you want to learn picking, having a Master around is a great confidence booster.
Finally, a little something to start your lock research: Choosing a High Security Lock (YouTube).