Well, as you get more settled, use the same film type for a long period of time, enlarge to standard sizes, get more control over the process of exposure and film development, you'll find that your exposure times become more consistent, so you can often print without a test strip, or you'll maybe do a test strip for one exposure on a roll and then arrive at a standard time at least for the first proof with all the other exposures.

I've tried doing B&W using one channel of a color analyzer and just found it not terribly accurate. Maybe if I had worked more with it, I could have improved the technique, but test strips are simple and informative, and you can even dry them in a microwave oven to check for drydown effects with fiber based paper.