Simple Bin Organization Strategies in Premiere Pro

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This article is on simple bin organization strategies and techniques in Premiere Pro. It shows how I set up my bins and their sub-bins for virtually every type of editing project I do. These are easy solutions to bin organization you can use in your own Premiere Pro editing projects.

How to Create a Bin and Sub-Bins in Premiere Pro

To organize bins in Premiere Pro you first need to know how to create them. You have a few options. First, in the Project Panel click the New Bin icon (it looks like a folder). Second, you can right-click inside an empty area in the Project Panel and choose New Bin from the menu that appears. Or third, with the Project Panel active use the keyboard shortcut Command+B if you’re in a Mac or Control+B if you’re in Windows.

Project Panel in Premiere Pro with arrow pointing to New Bin icon
Click the New Bin icon to create a new bin

Once you do this a new bin will be created and automatically make it so you can type in a new name for it. When you’re done, click outside the bin or hit the return or enter key. At any time you can select a bin and hit the return or enter key to rename it.

New bin created in Premiere Pro being renamed
Type in a new name for the bin and hit return/enter. At anytime select the bin and hit return/enter to change the name of it.

To create a “sub-bin” (a bin within a bin), either 1) create a new bin and drag it into another bin or 2) select a bin then create a new bin and the new bin will be created inside of the bin that was selected. I will refer to the bin that contains the sub-bins as the “main bin” for this tutorial.

Don’t know what a bin is? Learn right here. Bins are basically folders like you’d use on your computer, but for assets just inside of Premiere Pro. These assets are things like sequences, footage, images, titles, and music. You organize these assets into different bins.

Organizing Bins in Premiere Pro

In the section above I explained main bins and sub-bins. The best way, in my opinion, to organize your bins is to have a handful of main bins (no more than 4-6) that house as many sub-bins as needed.

Main Bins Organization

My main bins are:

  • 01_Sequences
  • 02_Audio
  • 03_Graphics
  • 04_Footage
  • 05_Old
Project Panel in Premiere Pro showing my Main Bins
My “Main Bins”

The numbers + underscore is so they appear in that order in the Project Panel. You may want to reorder them which is perfectly okay. Just give them a different number. The main bins don’t actually house any of the assets. All the assets are in the sub-bins.

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Sub-Bins Organization

Here’s where the fun begins and where your project may start to differ from mine depending on your typical needs.

Project Panel in Premiere Pro showing my Main Bins and Sub-Bins
My “Main Bins” and “Sub-Bins”

01_Sequences Main Bin’s Sub-Bins

Inside my 01_Sequences main bin are three sub-bins:

  • Master Sequences
  • Nested Sequences
  • Working Sequences

For me, whenever I make changes to a sequence I make a copy of the sequence, throw the previous version in the Old Sequences bin (more on that bin later), and put the copy I’m working on in the Working Sequences bin. 99% of the time my project will have no sequence in the Master Sequences bin. I only move the sequence to Master Sequences once I do my final, final output. If I have to come back and make a revision then I duplicate the sequence, move the previous version to Old Sequences, move the new copy to Working Sequences, and start all over.

The Nested Sequences are for all the nested sequences that Premiere Pro creates whenever you make a nested sequence. If you don’t use this feature then there’s no need for you to have this bin in your project setup.

02_Audio Main Bin’s Sub-Bins

Inside my 02_Audio main bin are typically three sub-bins:

  • Music
  • SFX
  • VO

If I have audio recorded separate from the footage that needs to be synced, I’ll have a bin for each day of filming and/or card depending on how the shoot was structured. The name of this bin will match the footage version of this bin with -Audio appended to it (or something like that). ~90% of my projects do not have separate audio (thankfully!). If you have separate audio from your footage then your 02_Audio main bin could have a heck of a lot more sub-bins.

In my projects Music, SFX (SFX = Sound Effects), and VO (VO = voiceover) are usually all I need.

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03_Graphics Main Bin’s Sub-Bins

My 03_Graphics Main Bin is fairly simple. I usually keep it to two bins: Imported GFX and Titles. FYI, GFX = Graphics.

When my Imported GFX need to be segmented apart from each other more, let’s say I have 50 lower thirds, 20 different backgrounds, and 30 stills, then I’ll add bins for each of these things. But typically for most of my corporate projects I can get away with throwing all these assets into one bin. My rule of thumb is once it gets to the point where I can’t quickly find something, then I need to change the organization to make it clearer. Most of the time I can do this with changing the color label of each asset so for example all the lower thirds are Teal, backgrounds are Brown, and stills are Caribbean.

I still use the Legacy Title Tool in Premiere (because I’m old and set in my ways) and the Legacy Title Tool creates a Title asset that needs to be housed in a bin. This is why I have a Titles bin.

04_Footage Main Bin’s Sub-Bins

For each card and/or day of filming I’ll create a sub-bin for in my 04_Footage main bin. If I have other types of video that is imported into a project like screen captures or just random miscellaneous video I’ll create separate bins for them. I will name the bins Screen Captures and Misc Video Imports.

In order to keep things organized, for the card and/or day of filming, I recommend trying to name that bin as specific as possible.

05_Old Main Bin’s Sub-Bins

In the 05_Old main bin I always keep an Old Sequences bin. If there are other bins, such as leftovers from a different project that you imported in but you don’t necessarily want to delete, you would stash it here. I keep this 05_Old main bin collapsed most of the time so this junk isn’t in my peripheral vision while I work.

I hope that all makes sense and that you now understand some simple bin organization strategies in Premiere Pro. Give me a shout in the comments if you have any questions or suggestions!

Did you enjoy this tutorial on bin organization in Premiere Pro? If so, I’d love to keep in touch. All you have to do is go here to stay in the loop on new blog posts, tutorials, and announcements.

– Josh

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