Our Video Creation Workflow (How to Make YouTube Videos FASTER!)

Without the right process, creating great videos can be incredibly time and labour intensive. Many people give up because they can’t  figure out how to make YouTube videos quickly and easily. 

But there’s good news! A simple, effective video creation workflow can make your production process hugely more efficient.

To help us better track ideas, plan our content calendar and manage our YouTube videos, we use a simple process that helps us keep tabs on each project at every stage.

Important: When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!

This process has saved not just a ton of time, but also our sanity! Best of all, we implement the process with a completely free software called Trello

In this article we’ll walk through how to create a video production process that works for you as well as the exact workflow that we use.

If you’re ready to learn how to speed up your YouTube content creation process, you’re in the right place. 

Here’s exactly what we’ll cover: 

Let’s get started. 

How to Plan Videos for YouTube

A video content creation process isn’t just about coming up with an idea, recording a video and then editing and publishing.

An effective video production workflow involves planning, tracking and managing every step of the process from start to finish. 

Over time, we’ve repeated and scaled our process, making it as efficient as possible. 

This process can be implemented using a number of different softwares, but we hands down recommend Trello. It’s powerful, it’s easy to use, and it’s completely free.

Trello is our favorite software for creating an efficient video creation workflow

Trello can be used whether you’re working solo or with a team. We particularly love that it easily allows you to manage your video production process with team members who work remotely.

If you’ve already got an existing system that you prefer, then you can definitely take this same process and apply it there.

So, what is our recommended workflow? Well, it goes like this… 

Topic Pool → Shortlisted Topics → Keyword Research And Notes → Ready To Shoot → Preparing For Edit → Editing → Preparing For Release → Released

This might look a bit scary right now but don’t worry – we’ll take you step by step through how to implement this process and improve your video production workflow in no time. 

Let’s jump on over to Trello and get acquainted with the software. 

How to Get Started on Trello 

First of all, head to the Trello website. In the top right corner you can click either Log in with an existing account or Sign up for a new account. 

It's easy and free to sign up to Trello

It’s completely free to sign up and use Trello

Once logged in, go to the top right corner, click on Create and then select Create board. Give your board a title (for example Video Production), pick a background image or color, and then select Create board again. 

To begin, decide on a name and color for your Trello board

Well done, you’ve created your first board! 

The next step is to create columns. 

How to Create Columns on Trello 

After creating your board, Trello will prompt you to create a title for each column. These columns represent the stages of your content creation workflow.

To create a column, type a title into the Enter list title field and hit enter on your keyboard. 

Create a column for each stage of your process, starting at Topic Pool all the way to Released. 

Create a column for each step of your YouTube video workflow

Now let’s go over how to add cards to the Trello board. 

How to Add Cards on Trello 

The next step is to add a card for each of your topic ideas. To add a card on Trello, simply select + Add a card and begin typing a title.

All of our topics start in the Topic Pool column until we’re ready to progress them along the board.

Add a card for each topic you could potentially turn into a video

For example, some of our topics include How to Edit Faster, Color Correction Tutorial, How to Grow on YouTube and How to Use Trello. Over time we’ve built a massive list in the Topic Pool and yours will grow as well!

How to Move Cards on Trello 

This is where the power of Trello comes in. 

To move a topic throughout the video production process, you simply click and drag the card into the next column. 

Each video starts as a random topic in the Topic Pool, we’ll move some to Shortlist, and then continue moving them throughout the various steps right through to being released on YouTube.

Click and drag a card to progress it to the next stage of your workflow

This is especially useful when working with a team, as each team member knows with a quick glance exactly which stage each topic/video is at. 

To make this workflow even more informative, we can add extra information to each of the cards. 

How to Add Information to Cards on Trello 

To add information onto a card, simply click on the card and a box will appear. 

Add as much information to each card as possible – this means every team member will have all the details they need

This is where you can add a detailed description of the video, a checklist, and any attachments. You can add attachments from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, another Trello board, or any URL. 

We insert all relevant information to the card so that each card is it’s own self-encompassing file with everything that we need for that specific video.

How to Add Labels on Trello 

Another really powerful feature on Trello is the card labels. You’ll see these as colors or full text labels that give further information about where the video is at.

Add labels to your Trello cards to make your video production workflow even more efficient

Some labels we use include: 

  • Image Uploaded
  • Video Description Done
  • Update Thumbnail

These are ones that make our process simpler but you can come up with labels that fit your workflow. 

To add a label, click on the pencil icon on the top right corner of a card and select Edit labels. Then click on the one you want to add.

Create and add any labels that work well for your processes

If the labels are taking up too much space on your board, you can click on the text and they will condense so you’ll only see the colors assigned to them. 

How to Assign Colors on Trello 

Trello also allows you to assign different colors to a card. This has been especially useful since we’ve started creating YouTube Shorts as it means we can differentiate regular videos and Shorts videos.

Assign colors to your Trello card to make them easier to differentiate

Assign colors to your Trello card to make them easier to differentiate

To do this, hover over the card and click the pencil icon on the right side. Select Change cover and pick a color. 

Now that you know your way around the Trello board, let’s dive deeper into our recommended workflow! 

Here’s some more detail into what happens at each stage of our recommended content creation process:

  • Topic Pool: Add in any ideas for potential videos 
  • Shortlist: Good ideas are shortlisted and progressed when ready
  • Research: Keyword and topic research, script writing (either full script or some bullet points)
  • Preparing for Edit: Gather any additional content for the video such as B-roll footage, graphics or animations, and any prep-work for editing
  • Editing: This is where editing takes place 
  • Preparing for Release: Get thumbnail images ready, write text for video description, anything else to have the video ready for upload
  • Ready to Release: The hard work is done and the video can be scheduled or immediately published 
  • Released: The video has been uploaded and released on YouTube 

We suggest starting off with this workflow and building it as and when you need to. 

Now, as promised, we’ll go through the full Primal Video video creation process. 

How we Use Trello to Plan Video Creation 

Over the years, our Trello board has evolved to include a few more columns than what we mentioned above. 

So instead of this… 

Topic Pool → Shortlisted Topics → Keyword Research And Notes → Ready To Shoot → Preparing For Edit → Editing → Preparing For Release → Released

Our Trello board looks like this… 

Ice Box → YT Shorts → Topic Pool → Shortlist to Discuss → SELECTED: JB to Note Key Points → MB Initial Research and Script → JB Review → Detailed Research + Scripting → Ready To Shoot → Preparing For Editors → With Editors → JB Review #1 and Initial Changes → Back with Editors → Edits Completed and JB Review #2 → MB Review → Final Changes in Progress → JB Adding Cards + Linking & Updating Documents → Ready to Release → Released

Our Trello board has developed and grown over the years to suit our video creation process

Our Trello board has developed and grown over the years to suit our video creation process

Keep in mind that our process has scaled significantly as we’ve grown. Your process doesn’t need to be this long! 

Let’s get into what happens at each of these stages. 

  • Ice Box: Topics that we don’t plan to shoot videos for anytime soon. They might be good YouTube video topics but not for right now. This list is like our long-term storage facility.
  • YT Shorts: These are ideas for really short content that we could use for YouTube Shorts.  
  • Topic Pool: Here is where we keep a list of potential topic ideas that we may create videos for.
  • Shortlist to Discuss: The team will discuss any ideas and decide whether the topic should move forward, needs more brainstorming, or will be sent to the Ice Box for now. 
  • SELECTED: JB To Note The Key Points: Justin notes any key points that would need to be covered in a video on this topic. This isn’t a full script, just an idea of things we should include. The video is still in the initial phase – we haven’t committed to this topic yet.
  • MB Initial Research And Script: Mike conducts topic and keyword research to make sure there’s demand for the video we want to create. This is a critical step in our planning that allows us to optimize every element of the video. Mike also drafts an initial script and structure for the video. You can learn more about how we optimize our videos through keyword research in this full tutorial. And if you’re wondering how to create a simple but effective script for your video, check out our step by step training in this tutorial.
  • JB Review: Justin reviews the keyword research and the script, then signs off on the overall topic. The topic has officially been approved and a video will be created.
  • Detailed Research + Scripting: Justin researches the topic in detail. This is where we look at the biggest questions viewers would have around this topic and figure out how to answer them. Things like product reviews, pricing and alternative options are looked into.
  • Ready To Shoot: The script or key information has been prepared and the video is ready to be filmed.
  • Preparing For Editors: We gather everything needed for the video including the footage, B-roll, animations, and any other files the editors may need. 
  • With Editors: The editors are working hard to provide a polished version of the video.  
  • JB Review #1 and Initial Changes: This is Justin’s first look at the finished video that the editors have sent through. If there are any changes to be made, the video is moved forward one column to Back with Editors. If there aren’t changes, then it’s moved forward a few columns to MB Review.
  • Back with Editors: The card is only moved here if there were any changes to be made by the editors. 
  • Edits Completed and JB Review #2: If any changes were made to the video, Justin completes a second review and gives his tick of approval.
  • MB Review: Mike does a final review to make sure there aren’t any mistakes or anything that’s been missed. 
  • Final Changes In Progress: We make any final changes and tweaks after the review process to ensure that the video is 100% perfect.
  • JB Adding Cards + Links And Updating Documents: We finalize the description, prepare cards, thumbnails & links, and schedule it for release on YouTube. 
  • Ready To Release: This stage is like a waiting room. Cards here are awaiting their release date. 
  • Released: The video is finally released on our YouTube channel! We keep all of our released videos in this column so we still have all the information if we decide to update the video. 

And that’s it! 

Create your own Video Production Workflow

So you’ve been through our exact process for managing our video ideas from early stage ideas, to the production process, and through to upload on YouTube. 

Now that you’ve got the hang of Trello and you’ve seen what can be achieved with it, we recommend going back to the start and building your own Trello board. 

Build your own Trello board using our simple recommended process

Build your own Trello board using our simple recommended process

It doesn’t need to be as complicated as ours. Start out with the simpler process we ran through in the beginning – you can build it out when you need to. 

Having a process like this in place saves a ton of time and a huge amount of headaches. This workflow will streamline your entire process AND save your sanity. 

If you’re interested in checking out our recommended process for video editing as well, then have a look at our PDF guide Primal Video Method. This runs through the ultimate video-editing process to save time and eliminate rework.


Links

When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!

Other Video Creation Resources & Templates:


Recommended Gear & Resources

Check out an up-to-date list of all the gear, software & tools we use and recommend right now at Primal Video on our resources page here!

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