How to improve editing workflow

We all love creating things but there is only so much time in a day to get things done. From working 9-5, to family time and other hobbies sometimes we can all stand to get creative in how we work to help speed things up. This is mainly a video editing workflow improvement but some of them will transfer over to other skillsHeres my top 5 tips to improve you’re video editing workflow (mainly within Adobe Premiere as this is the NLE that I use)



SAVE OFTEN – No matter what you do creatively the number one tip should always be save, save and save often. From power cuts to program crashes you don’t want to be four hours into rhythm editing, writing or creating and then you find out it’s lost. Yes some program are great at auto-saving but I still advise saving often and even saving various versions after major changes so if it doesn’t fit just right you can go back to another re-iteration.


ORGANISE ALL MEDIA – Before you start cutting, create a new folder on your desktop and create subfolders for each type of media – clips, music, photos, graphics etc, then when you drop it into Premiere it will all be nicely organised and save your frantically searching for that music snippet or bit of b-roll. Taking half an hour before you start will help speed things up while you edit ending up saving you time and a headache.


TRANSCODE AND PROXY – Most prosumer cameras encode internally to h264 codec and will it’s nice watchable codec packing a lot of detail into a small filesize, it’s not great for editing enter transcodes and proxies. With Adobe Media encoder or Handbrake you can turn your laggy h264 files into easier to edit ProRes, Cineform or DNxHD codecs. This will help watch your editing and with more cameras shooting 4K, proxy workflow generates smaller files that you can edit easier with then when you render it replaces them with the full scale source file. (LINK to resources about proxy editing)


LEARN THE SHORTCUTS – Most things on  computer have a default list of shortcuts, everyone know Ctrl+C is copy, but NLE’s have a massive amount of keyboard commands that can dramatically speed up your workflow, there are plenty of cheatsheets available online that show the defaults but you can create your own within the program. If you can shave off a few seconds every cut that can add to up a lot of time saved.


DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT – Stealing from Peter McKinnon, we all strive for the best possible ending but sometimes it isn’t worth the hassle of an extra block of hours required to try and acheive from the unattainable colour grading process to effects that aren’t as Holywood as you’d like, done is better than perfect, finishing a project is much more meaningful than bashing your head of the wall rotoscoping every pixel. I’m not saying speed through your edit to get it finished BUT when you find your spending 6hrs tweaking a curve and it’s dramatically improving the movie, find the happy spot and finish. Deadlines are great for this as you don’t have the time to overthink and overedit a piece, so even if just shooting for fun set one, you’ll learn more the more you finish and complete projects.


Tha’ts just a few tips on how to improve workflow, but some people may find better solutions for their OWN workflow and things that help them out instead, it’s not a one size fits all.

I’d love to hear your tips and tricks to speed up workflow down in the comments


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