I made proof sheets just to get an overall sense of the image, and to aid in the tracking down specific negatives, as I kept the proof sheet and the sheet of negatives together.
Eventually, and no better time to start, one learns how to judge the negative by the negative. This will be especially true for the LF negatives -- gorgeous things on a light table! Stare at enough negatives and make enough prints from them and one's brain starts to invert the image -- one sees the negative as a positive. Or at least that is the way this old guy sees it. I don't make proofs of my 8x10's anymore, actually I never have. For one, I prefer to "read" the negative rather than a print, especially since I print alt processes and a silver print would not tell me much. Second, my negs I use for alt process tend to be very high contrast and make for crappy looking proofs. And lastly, carbon printing reverses the image, so I can just put the negative emulsion-side up on the light table to see what a carbon print would look like, then flip the neg over to see what a platinum print would look like.
But basically, I love looking at negatives, and I am too lazy to make proofs...