On point 5:
Contacts should be done in a standard fashion, so you can judge & correct any exposure or development problems going forward. This also makes it fast!
A generally accepted method is to proof for maximum black through the film rebate at grade 2 on your printing paper. There are solid reasons for this; ask if it's not obvious. So you figure the height, aperture, and time just once for every film you are using, via test strips, then you are set. For example, to make contacts from Tri-X film, my enlarger head sits at 25", my 80mm lens is opened to f/8, and the time is 10 seconds at grade 2.
Every roll of Tri-X gets cut, laid on Ilford MG RC, covered by sheet of glass, an given 10 seconds. Any frame that is too dark is underexposed and every frame that is too light is overexposed, and if contrast is lacking on the entire sheet, then development was a bit short. If I notice that every frame is underexposed, then I may have a shutter or meter problem. Having a good standard proof sheet is valuable when it comes time to actually print, as you can imagine.
So standardizing your proofing means that there is only one print to make your contact sheet AND you can see how you are doing on exposure & development.
More than a tool of organization, the contact sheet improves your negatives over time. Unfortunately, this means that you can't put off doing them. They sort of have to be done as you go along, but I think you can see that the side benefit of this methodology is it takes the 'do overs' out of the way.
This regime is described rather nicely in Steve Anchell's 'The Darkroom Cookbook' as well as other places.