5 Tips to Organize In Premiere Pro


If you’re like me, it doesn’t take long until you start to get really really disorganized.  And the same is true with editing in Premiere.  Staying organized can help you save time, energy, and even potentially money, but it always seems to be a challenging task.  So today we’re going to go over 5 tips to help you stay more organized in Premiere Pro.  Let’s do it!


Let’s be honest, this is step 1 when it comes to staying organized.  As soon as your clips enter into the project manager you’ve just got a list of numbers and letters.  And even if you use thumbnail view you still only get part of the picture.  So what helps.  Make a bin and organize what goes where.  

Either click this button down here to create a new bin or right click and go to new bin. Now, label it with something that will tell you exactly the type of footage it will hold.  Master shots, B roll, sound fx, music.  If you’ve got a lot of elements to your project, this will dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend searching around for that one piece youre looking for.  And here’s the best part, if you organize everything in advance in your finder or file explorer, when you drag and drop your project in all the folders keep the setup you started with.  Easy peasy.  

Label Colors

Back in school, I was that kid with different color binders for each subject.  Color coded to have things perfectly organized.  Didn’t help me at all in school, but it totally helps me here in Premiere.  Being able to look at your timeline and instantly knowing what goes where and what kind of footage you’re dealing with saves time, and it looks so nice!!!

Right click on any clip, or on a highlighted selection of clips, and then go to label and select a color.  Oh, and if you’re on CC 2018 or up, you get 16 label colors.  That’s twice as many as before!  
You can select from the project manager too! Highlight the clips and then go to Label and choose a color!

Then go to file > Project settings > general, and select the bottom box for ‘display the project item and name for all instances”  Now everything in your project manager and timeline will match!

You can even manually change these colors under

Edit > Preferences > Labels

Choose whatever colors and names you want!

People don’t give enough credit to just how a timeline looks!  I mean there’s timelines where you’re like blah! That’s so uurgh!  I, I can’t do anything with that.  

But color coordinate it all and it looks beautiful! Now you look at it and you're like

YEAH! I’m ready to edit! This is Awesome!!!!!  (away from mic so sounds distant)

Multiple sequences

At some point, we’ve all done that thing where we use the editing timeline as just a smorgasbord of literally anything.  Dragging in any clips that you think could work, and as you piece your edit together you find things that don’t work, but you think it could somewhere else so for the time being you just put it to the side. And then you do that same process for like 70 other clips. So now you’ve got pretty much a second video of just the unused clips left over after your main video you’re constructing And it’s all inside the same 1 sequence.

Why don’t you just create another sequence, and move it all over?  If you can’t bear to get rid of clips yet, label a new sequence for junk and put it all there.  Or maybe you want to try a second different edit of the same video.  You can do that.  You can even have those two different sequences visible at the same time.  Want to compare or swap footage between them.  You totally can! It’s super easy.   

Did you know this method actually has a name? It’s called the pancake timeline, and you can use it right from the get go of your project to save a lot of time.  We did a video all about it that can help you save time editing.

Remove Unused

There’s a lot of times I’ve gotten mid way through a project and realized

I’m not using even half of the stuff I’ve imported. Wow.  So why wade through it if you don’t have to.  If you’re sure you’ve used only the elements you need to, you can get rid of the junk by going to edit> remove unused.  Now anything that doesn’t appear in one of the sequence timelines you’ve created will be removed from your project manager.  So all you’re left with is the stuff you’re actually using.

Name your track layers

By default these layers here are all labelled different boring names like video 1, video 2, or audio 1, or audio 2.  But you can change the labels if you want to keep specific clips on specific layers.  Just right click the name and go to rename and you can name each of these tracks yourself.  

Maybe you have one for the Master Shot.  NICE!   Or one for B roll.  SWEET!    One for Titles, Graphics, Overlays. Perfect! And now you’re ready to take on your edit looking like a champion.  And the best part is that if anyone sees your timeline, like a client, then their first reaction is gonna be to say,

WOW! THIS person knows what they're doing!

So there you guys have it, those are 5 ways to stay organized better within Premiere Pro! I hope you guys liked the video. If you think we missed anything, leave a comment down below and let me know what you’re favourite organization feature is.  

We hope you found this video helpful.  If you did, we’ve got lots of other tutorials for Premiere Pro, After Effects, and filmmaking in general! If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.  

Thank you so much for watching and we hope to see you in the next video!

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