Create New Project Sequences and Save the Presets as a starting point.
Then Create Projects filled with whatever you want and save them as Templates
Open the templates and "Save As" a New Project.
(You may just run into one or two Global Preferences that need setting each time eg Transition Default Duration)
One thing I would be sure to do is have a Back Up workflow for the "clean" Templates and each project you build from them. Templates used constantly may get corrupted over time.
I went through this for a series of training videos a few years back and I still use the same basic idea for every project I create. My solution was to create a set folders on my hard drive to hold all of my reusable assets. Those remain the same for every project so they sit on a completely separate hard drive.
Then I created a set of folders that sit on a drive where I keep captured and imported files from file based cameras.
When I created my first project, I imported the folder structure for constant media and imported the folder structure for new media. That gave me nicely organized bins.
I found that naming the captured or imported files in a standard manner helped me to reuse the project file. This won't work for some cameras, but for mine it does. I went through the first project after I was done editing and before I did the final export and I changed the name of the files to indicate where they were in the project and what they were about.
The file names ended up looking like:
Well, you get the idea.
So, when I did the next class, I copied the entire directory structure of the new media over to a new top level directory and I copied the project file over to a new name. I deleted the old media files, and I captured what I wanted to use, changed the file names to match the template and moved the video into the new directory structure.
Basically, when I do it that way, I have to remember to change the name of the old top level directory or the project will link to that when I open the project file with the new name. Since I changed the name of the old directory, Premiere Pro asks me where the files are. I just point to the new files, select the first one, and all of them sync right up since they have the correct names.
Of course, the durations and trims are all wrong but I am pretty good about having a student hold up a white balancing card and slap a clapper. The students generally find it amusing. The only problem I have is that they know that the segments will not exceed 60 minutes because I shoot to tape, so they pretty much know when the breaks are going to be. That causes a little problem, but that's the way it goes.
So, each new project consists of a copied project file and directories. A change of the titles in the project, and a lot of trimming rght on the timeline. If I recall correctly, the first project from a three day class took a few days. The second project a couple of days. By the time the tenth and final project came up, I believe I was able to complete it in a little over a couple of hours. (Not counting real time capturing of course.) I have to admit that some of the reason for the quick editing is that I got pretty good at giving the class in one hour segments, and I got better at the lighting so I didn't have to mess with levels.
I figured as much. I think I might have to make a feature request. I don't mind setting things up that way, but I definitely feel like a feature like this woud save myself and others from repetitive and tedious tasks.
Downloaded PostHaste and am sorting through it right now. Thanks I think this might be wha I was looking for.
I spent some time working for a college district so I definitely sympathize with your situation. That process sounds quite taxing on the memory if I were to be honest. But sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. This is definitely something I would hope the Adobe team could implement as a built in feature. I would love to be able to pre-define an entire project (assest, duration, tool palette) like I am able to do in After Effects.
Most of what you want can be achieved by creating the project file and either using that for new changes, or opening that project file and doing a Save As... before making any changes so that the basic project remains intact.
The three items where you will get tripped up is that Autosave is fixed to the project folder. You can't change that. Also the default transition and stills duration are global preferences, not project based. So you will have to check those with each project you open. And finally the Save location remains constant from project to project, so that if you normally save Project A exports to Folder 1, when you open up Project B it's default save location for exports will be the same Folder 1. You'll have to change that for each project.