Mahatma Gandhi said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

There’s no question that Gandhi was a wise individual. But, and I hate to admit it, he may not have made the best video editor.

Of course, quality is vital to any editing project. But on the same token, speed and efficiency are just as valuable. Being able to prioritize tasks, and complete them in a timely manner, will only benefit a video editor in the eyes of their employer.

In this post, we’re going to present 8 simple strategies for faster video editing. Whatever professional level you’re at, these video editing tips will streamline the process.  

So sit back, pull up your NLE of choice and let’s get started with these video editing tips!

 

  1. Organization Is Key For Quick Video Editing

Okay, we’ve all had a friend, desk covered in loose papers, claim, “I have a system.”

Unfortunately, clutter is not conducive to a healthy editing environment. In fact, it is often the leading culprit behind unnecessary production headaches.

To avoid this, always organize your footage and assets. Properly label all items, and place them in the appropriate folders.

Here’s one of the more standard folder structures to follow:

  • Footage
  • Project Files
  • Graphics
  • Audio
  • Images
screenshot of bin folder structure in Premiere Pro, which when setup properly, saves you time
Organization within your editing software is vital.

You can also organize items by date and what camera they were shot on. This becomes important later if you are doing any kind of color grading.  

In video editing, time is of the essence, which makes thoughtful organization essential, and makes this tip one of the most important in this article.

 

  1. Make Custom Presets For Your Editing Projects

Let’s say you have a successful YouTube channel called Giraffe Therapy. Every week, you treat viewers to the psychological insights of the world’s tallest mammal. And for this project, you always have the same lighting and camera set up.

This is where custom presets come in. In the case of Giraffe Therapy, you can create a color grading preset in most video editing programs. That way, as you’re producing weeks worth of content, you don’t have to manually color grade over and over again.

screenshot of a color curve preset which can save you time when video editing
Video editing programs like this allow you to create custom presets.

This is a feature most editing software supports and will save you a good deal of time and frustration.

 

  1. Export/Compress Your Video In Batches

You know the old saying, “It’s quality, not quantity.” Well sure, quality is important to video editing. But let’s not forget about poor, neglected quantity.

Whenever possible, perform tasks using batch processing. Whether you’re importing files or rendering sequences, complete duties in bulk.

screenshot of files being batch processed to save the video editor time
Batch processing is an important function in video editing programs.

Now, this won’t always be available to you. But more often than not, you will have the ability to tackle each item on your editing to-do list in batches rather than individually.

In video editing, efficiency is the name of the game. Sure, it may not seem like one of the advanced video editing techniques. But this useful tactic will make all the difference.

 

  1. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts In Editing Software

When it comes to a video editor, the keyboard is their prized tool. Cutting and molding raw footage, the object is almost an extension of the individual.

Editors who have survived the industry long enough know that every second counts. Which is why keyboard shortcuts are so important. For Premiere Pro users, check out these 5 Premiere Shortcut Tips

A keyboard shortcut is a key or combination of keys providing quick access to a particular computer function. In video editing, if you are attempting basic tasks such as playback or cutting, there’s a good chance a shortcut exists.

Here are a few resources that provide shortcut lists for video editing programs:

In connection with shortcut keys, it is also advantageous to have an editing keyboard. An editing keyboard clearly displays the editing shortcuts on each appropriate key.

Again, you may think well, how much time is it really saving me? Remember, in the world of video editing, every second counts.

 

  1. Make Sure Your Hard Drives Are Fast

With editing software, hard drive speed is key to faster render times. When choosing your hardware, make sure the rotation speed of the drive is as quick as possible. This would be 7,200 RPM at the minimum, but nowadays, use Solid-State Drives (SSDs) if you can afford them.

You also want to make sure the interface you are transferring files across isn’t bottlenecking your transfer rate. For video editing, this would be USB 3.0/USB-C or Thunderbolt. 

Remember, if your drive can’t keep up with what you’re doing, you’re going to lose frames.

Again, understand your editing system, and make sure to design it in with speed in mind.

 

  1. Properly Allocate Your RAM In Your NLE

Now, just because your computer has 32GB of RAM, doesn’t mean you’re using all 32GB of it. Typically, the majority of non-linear editing systems will default to processing only a few gigabytes at a time.

To work around this, and increase the amount of RAM, you must adjust it in your system preferences.

screenshot of premiere pro's RAM settings, which can help speed up you video editing efficiency
Proper RAM allocation is often neglected when using video editing tools.

Don’t worry, we won’t make you hunt around for this function. For your convenience, take a look at the following links:

Adobe Premiere RAM Allocation

Avid RAM Allocation

Final Cut Pro RAM Allocation

This often overlooked tactic will increase your processing speed, and keep your project on track.

 

  1. Choose The Peripheral That’s Right For You

Understanding peripherals will allow you to perform at the highest level.

Besides an editing keyboard, another popular tool in the video editor’s arsenal is the gaming mouse. A gaming mouse is a desktop mouse with additional features such as lighter weight, faster response time and programmable buttons.

These programmable buttons can be used to save and reverse an action without using both hands.

Some editors also use a Wacom pen input tablet. If you’re editing videos for long hours, you want to use a peripheral that doesn’t require you to massage your wrist every five minutes.

If efficiency is the name of the game, then minor implementations such as these can make all the difference for video editing jobs.

 

  1. Add Markers To Your Music Tracks

Often, when working on a sequence that contains music, a video editor will have the waveform displayed and attempt to match edits to the beat.

But there’s a simple way to increase the efficiency of this process.

If you play the audio track in the viewer first and add markers to it, those markers will display on your editing timeline. After that, you can simply line up your edits to the markers, where they will fit nicely into place.  

screenshot of audio waveform in Premiere Pro with edit point markers to save time
Markers are one of the most beneficial video editing tools.

Again, why make more work for yourself? By implementing these shortcuts, you’re improving your productivity to a great degree.

 

Wrapping It Up

It’s no surprise that video editing jobs are complex and time-consuming.

Yes, quality is always at the heart of editing projects. But by implementing adjustments such as these, the video editor will increase their efficiency and value when it comes to future opportunities.

 

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