One can print with a second hand on a clock and an on/off switch on the enlarger. Or, one can completely automate the entire process from scratch using computers. Or, maybe somewhere in the vast spectrum between those two extremes.
Originally Posted by jseidl
My advice to a beginner would be to keep it simple until you gain some skill with basic printing. I am a big fan of using f/stop timing, but I did not utilize it for almost 40 years. It doesn't necessarily make things any faster or easier, except that sometimes my test strips give me more accurate and/or useful information. Your outline of 4 steps for either straight or split grade printing is right on target. That's really all there is to it, the rest is secondary.
Perhaps you're just over-thinking this, or trying to use skills you already have mastered to learn a new skill set, where it may not be necessary.
Record keeping is a whole other discussion.