Staying Organized, Part 4

In the last of this 4-part series, I’m wrapping up the rest of the master bin structure I use to keep me organized and efficient when editing. Over the years, I’ve found that if I don’t start out organized I end up spending more time than I want to dealing with cluttered bins and trying to find things. 



The Finish bin is my catchall bin, whether I do an online finish of another editor’s project or I finish my own. This is also where I put footage coming in from a color session. It’s tempting to put graded scenes in the Footage bin, but I’ve found keeping them separate is less confusing. Sometimes the graded clips have the same names as the original, so it can be hard to quickly distinguish between the two.

If provided, I also put XMLs that I get back from the grading session. I’ll then use this bin to work through the conforming of graded footage to my sequence. Once conformed, I either move a copy of the sequence into the Cuts bin or copy and paste the clips into a finishing sequence that resides in the Cuts bin.

This is also where I put composites, as well as effects shots like stabilization and screen replacements—when I’m not doing it within the edit.

From Others

From Others

In addition to the graphics and graded footage from others mentioned previously, there are other elements that come flying in from clients. These could be reference clips from other shows or the web, sent by the client with words to the effect, “We were thinking it might look something like this.” The From Others bin is a catchall for these clips.

This is also where I put any kind of branding guidelines, color palettes, etc. that I can use for reference during the edit. This and the next bin are the only two bins in the project template that may contain content, even though it’s a template. For some clients, I populate this bin with client-specific content and then save the project template as a client template.


Last and—I’ll say it—least is the bin where I put common clips that I use for most projects. As I said above, I actually put content in this bin when I create the template. Instead of creating black/white frames, color bars and tone or slates each time I start a project, I create them in the template so they’re automatically created each time I start a new project.

I also put things in here like masks or overlays for 1×1 or other aspect ratio approval. I might also have other faux interface elements for social media “title safe.” I’ll admit that sometimes this bin becomes a miscellaneous bin. But I’m careful to make sure it doesn’t get too cluttered.

That’s the project bin structure that helps keep me organized during an edit. And it really does help me. Even for quick, one-off projects, I regret it if I don’t use one of my templates because the project can quickly get out of control without some organization.

Read Part 1

Read Part 2

Read Part 3