1. Arrange footage into labeled folders
The amount of times I have just thrown footage into a project and not arranged them, then walked away and come back a few hours or even a day later and had no idea what anything was is too high. Putting stuff into labeled folders can save you so much time scrolling through all your footage and trying to figure out what each clip is.
Here you can see we've got footage from multiple cameras and different settings. We labeled these so we could easily find a piece of b roll or interview quickly and easily.
2. Colour code your timeline
Ever been working on a project that's taking a few days or maybe one that you're working with 2 or 3 other editors. This tip is for you. Colour coding your timeline will save you tons of time. If you assign a colour to each type of footage then you can leave and come back a instantly know whats happening without any trouble.
The example below shows how we used colour to distinguish different footage types. Working from the top of the timeline down we've got:
Orange: Logo Watermark
Light Green: Titles
Blue: B Roll
Dark Green: Music
3. Select the track you're working on
As many of you will already know you can press the up and down arrow keys to scrub through your timeline. Well this tip will make sure you are scrubbing through the correct clips. When scrubbing with the arrow keys your timeline marker will move along the beginning and end of the clips on the track you have selected. This can be really annoying if you've selected track 2 and want to scrub through tack 4.
So always check the track you have selected.
4. Save many iterations of the same project
Always, Always, Always save your projects in iterations rather than overwriting the last iteration. Simply this is so if the client decides that they prefer the last iteration over the changes you've made or even if you decide the changes aren't all that good, all you have to do is open the older version and BOOM, you right back to the old version. If you don't do this you could end up spending unnecessary hours working to get the old version back.
5. Shortcut Zoom (Shift+Alt+Scroll)
This is a really simple but effective tip especially if you are working on a laptop or a small screen. You can zoom your timeline in and out by using the Shift + Alt keys and Scroll with your mouse. This will help you navigate the timeline. Also if you press Ctrl and Scroll with you mouse you can easily scroll up and down your track rather than left to right on your timeline.