1. Start from the beginning. Every program needs to be set-up a certain way. Like any other program, Premiere needs to be configured before you can begin. This includes creating a project file directory and setting your scratch disks. You can apply the same organizational structure to your Premiere projects as you could your Final Cut projects. Keep them consistent and stay organized. Don’t worry about setting your sequence preset. Adobe will automatically detect the format of the files your working with and adjust your sequences accordingly.
  2. Learn the shortcuts and force yourself to use them. Repetition is key. A popular shortcut combo in FCP is control-v, cut clip. The cut is made at the playhead. (You could do this during playback as well.) On a Mac, Adobe’s equivalent is Cmd-K. Just make sure the necessary audio/video tracks are selected on the left-hand side of your timeline. Another handy shortcut combo I’ve been accustomed to using is Opt-Cmd-Drag. Using this will allow you to slide a clip or multiple clips in your timeline without having to select and drag one by one. Here’s an example:
  3. Don’t try to do too much. This point is almost counter-intuitive. The best way to learn anything is to do it. Work with what you know until you reach a point where you need help. Then look up what you need and use it. If you try to learn everything at once without using it in practice, you’ll wind up forgetting most of what you learned. For example, you might begin selecting clips in your timeline by clicking or dragging your cursor over them. However, as your project becomes more complex and you begin adding more and more clips, you might consider using the track selection tool (A) to highlight the clips you wish to move. You’ll discover numerous ways to accomplish one action in this program. You just need to decide which is the best way for you.
  4. Watch Tutorials. This ties in with my last point. When it comes time to look something up, this is I recommend doing. There are countless videos on the web that can teach you how you do just about anything. Lynda.com, creativecow.net, and Video Copilot, are a few of my favorite sites to reference whenever I need to look something up. Many of their titles are posted to YouTube along with several independent authors who you also might find helpful. Abba Shapiro (@abbashapiro) is a great resource to reference for tips on editing in Premiere Pro. Use him!

It took me roughly two days of steady editing in Premiere to get comfortable with it and I continue to learn more each day. Follow these tips and you will too!