Non-linear video editing in an inherently complicated process. You have tons of files, sequences, renders and compositions to keep track of all in one project. If you’ve ever lost a project or encountered the dreaded “media offline” error message, you’ve probably learned first hand just how important it is to keep an organized workflow when editing. Here’s a simple check list of things you can do to keep your digital editing space clean and efficient.

Determine your go-to import and export settings. 

Consistency is key when it comes to video editing. Take some time to determine which capture and export settings are going to be the best for your overall workflow. For instance, here at VideoBlocks we convert any raw camera files to ProRes before we import them into Final Cut, and then we export everything as a Quicktime Photo-JPEG .mov file. This way, we always know what format our videos are in and what they’ll be compatible with. Then, if we need to convert them to another file format for a specific project, we can do that in Adobe Media Encoder or MPEG Streamclip

Pick a file naming method. 

There should be some rhyme and reason to all of your file names. Whether you decide to use SKU numbers, or if you prefer to name things sequentially, there should be a method to the madness so it is easy to find a specific clip when you’re looking for it. We typically use the date they were imported and a sequential number to keep track of all of our clips. 

Keep all your files in the same place. 

For any given project, you want all of your files in the same folder and on the save drive. This lowers your chance of losing something or spending hours trying to find where you saved that one crucial clip. When you begin a project, take some time to organize and copy/relocate all of the media files needed into one folder. 

Use an external hard drive to save projects and media files. 

It can be easy to forget just how big video files can be sometimes. And even if they’re compressed or small, they can easily add up over time! Don’t take the risk of running out of space or fragmenting your computer’s hard drive. Keep all of your video editing projects on a sturdy external hard drive. This keeps your projects portable, too! This method is perfect for collaborative work! 

Work with bins within your video editing project. 

A common mistake with new video editors is to let things get messy within their video editing workspace. Do your best to keep things clean and organized by using bins to organize clips, graphics, music and any additional elements. Name everything properly and keep it all in its place. Again, this will save you a lot of time next time you’re looking for that perfect shot to incorporate into your project. 

Learn keyboard shortcuts.

Learning keyboard shortcuts and being confident with your video editing interface will make you leaps and bounds more productive and efficient when editing. Take some time to watch tutorials and acquaint yourself with the most used tools in your software. We have a guide of shortcuts you can find here

Do you have any tips to help organize video editing workflows? Share them with us! Leave a comment below or add them to the VideoBlocks Facebook page

And if you really want to bring your video editing projects to the next level, try incorporating some of our awesome graphics. Just add your own text on top and create a stellar looking animated graphic! Download your free blank After Effects template here: 

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