One of the most essential things you can teach yourself as a video editor is keeping your projects organized. Do this well, and it will allow you to browse and access the assets you need quicker, freeing up more time for creative work on your edit. Here are some tips on how to keep your Premiere Pro project nice and tidy.
As discussed in our Video Editing 101 post, your Project folder contains all your project-related files. Keeping all your files in one place saves time and allows you to work efficiently as a team if multiple people are working on the same project. You can use the folder structure below to get started. While editing your project, store and manage your files in the following folders:
Tip: For record-keeping sake, name your folders using the following method:
Creating bins in your project
In the Premiere Pro Project window, creating bins will allow you to organize everything more efficiently. Bins are basically folders where you can store your assets. In order to create one, just right click within the project window and choose “New Bin” (or ⌘+B / CTRL+B). Kick off your editing project by creating the following bins:
Depending on the scope of your project, you’ll find the need to create sub-bins for more specific categories (e.g. b-roll, music, After Effects renders).
Make more sequences
One of the most important things you can do is back up the different versions of your cuts throughout your project. The flexibility of being able to jump back to an older version of an edit can save you tons of time. Make a habit of duplicating your sequence every time you’re ready to make changes to a rough cut (right click on your sequence file in the Project window and choose “Duplicate”). Rename the following sequence accordingly (e.g. SequenceTitle_v1, SequenceTitle_v2). Keep all your sequences in the Sequences bin.
Timelines from top to bottom: Rough cut, v3, fine cut
Premiere Pro allows you to label your files using different colors, either in the Project window or on the Timeline. Using colors to label your media is useful for distinguishing between different types of content (e.g. interviews, b-roll, stock footage). Once you label an item, it will appear in that color on the timeline. This creates a timeline that can be easily visually interpreted.
To color label, right click on one or multiple items in the Project window or Timeline and specify the color you would like to set under “Label.” You can also customize the color labels under Premiere Pro CC > Preferences > Label Colors.
Quickly find assets
The Project window has a built-in search bar you can use to filter bin content and easily find items. You can search for clip names, frame sizes, file types, and any other metadata attached to your items. There’s also an advanced Find option tool for more specific searches (accessible at the bottom right of the Project window).
By utilizing all of these tips and best practices, you’ll save yourself countless hours of lost time and feel more on top of your workflow then ever. Do you have other ways of keeping your projects organized? Tell us in the comments!