How You Can Use Time-Stamped Notes to Speed Up Video Editing and Save Money [Free Google Sheets Template]

How To
September 15, 2022
A video editing timeline

If you’ve ever had to sift through hours of recorded material like podcasts, video interviews, or live streaming events and determine what clips will be used in the final draft in such a short period of time, then you know how time-consuming and annoying that can be!

In this post, you’re going to learn one of the most powerful workflow techniques we use to save us (and our clients) time and money by shaving off hours from your video editing workflow– all for free, and using Google Sheets. I have also included a completely customizable template at the end of this article that you may download for your own projects. 

What are Time-Stamped Notes?

Time-stamped notes are a tool you can use to make your video editing workflow faster and more efficient. They are text labels you can add to your footage as you produce the content live or review it afterwards, and the time into the recording that you take the note at will automatically be logged. You can write down any information that might help you later in the process, like which shots work well together, what types of shots look great when stacked up next to each other, or unique moments you want to remember to include in the final draft.

Benefits to using time-stamped notes include:

  • Speed up video editing workflows
  • Save hours of time
  • Save both you and your clients money
  • Ensure you do not accidentally omit things you’re likely to forget later

How are Time-Stamped Notes Used for Video Editing?

When editing a video, it's easy to get bogged down in the details. You need to remember where you left off, what clips were good, what clips weren’t, and ultimately highlight all the important elements you would like to use. That may not sound too hard, but when you’re going through hours of footage with multiple takes, the total editing time adds up quickly. 

Time-stamped notes enable the video editor to link their notes to the exact time in the video clip they were at when they made the note. In other words, the goal is to align the very first second of your recording with the very first second of your time-coded notes. Having your notes and video synced together allows anybody on the editing team to quickly identify what clips should be used in the final draft without having to physically watch or listen to the clips repeatedly.

Practical applications for time-synced notes:

  • Live streaming events
  • Video interviews
  • Podcasts
  • Long-form videos
  • Legal depositions
  • Any time you may want to cross-reference between an audio/video file and a transcript

Speed Up Video Editing Workflow with Google Sheets 

There are some programs that allow users to take time-synced notes – both free and paid. While each has their own pros and cons, we have found success keeping it simple using Google Sheets by simply integrating an app script extension. 

We were able to develop our own custom script thanks to the gurus over at Learn Google Spreadsheets YouTube channel. Go check them out to learn more about adding scripts to your spreadsheets, or watch any of their other tutorials that cover everything Google Sheets has to offer. 

Don’t have time to learn how right now? No worries! You can download the exact template we use at Relatu below.

FREE TIME SYNCED GOOGLE SHEETS TEMPLATE 

  1. Login to your Google Drive account.
  2. Click on the download link in the description to make a copy.
  3. A prompt will appear that says there is an app script. Making a copy will copy that script inside your own drive.
  4. You can then edit the script to align with all your project needs.

Matthew, Executive Director at Relatu, put together a comprehensive video detailing how we use our time-stamped Google Sheets template for projects like video interviews. He goes even further by sharing bonus tips to make the script an even stronger tool, like adding common phrases, shorthand, how to use an API to fill out header information, and much more. 

What Did We Learn?

Time-stamped notes are a huge time saver when it comes to video editing. We have used this method to save time and money for years now. We hope you find this valuable for your video editing projects. 

In this post we covered:

  • what time-stamped note taking is
  • why it is a powerful tool for saving time and money on video projects
  • how you can easily take time-synced notes for free using Google Sheets
  • how to download our free, prebuilt Google Sheets template with app script
  • provided a video tutorial covering how to use and customize it

Thanks again for taking the time to learn more about Relatu and how we maximize our productivity when putting together live streaming events and video projects! 

How do you plan to use time-synced notes to enhance your own workflows? 

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