Sounds like a fun puzzle to solve!
When you say you want them animated differently, what do you mean?
When you say you need names coming out of a box, what do you mean?
I could think of several different things you might mean for both of those and it will drastically change recommendations depending on what you intend.
Well, I have a list of 150 names that need to individually come out of a top of a box (container/flat rectangle/etc) as if it was confetti (perhaps not so random since they all need to be readable for the few seconds they remain on the screen). I would like to know how I can go about this the most efficient way to not spend too many hours trying to individually animate each name popping out of the top of a box and off the screen. Do I make the list in Illustrator or perhaps text layers in AE? I would hate to have a 150+ layered file for this short animation.
How short of an animation is this? If you want 150 names to be readable, I can't imagine it would be very short!
If I were tasked to do this, I would use Trapcode Particular to make the names animate. In a precomp, you would have all of your names set up (as individual layers, yes). I would trim the layers to be a few frames long and then I would use the Sequence Layers command in After Effects to spread them out with no overlap. Then, in your main comp, use the names precomp as the source for your particles and make them emit the single frame and set the emitter to emit only as many particles per second as there are layers per second, if that makes sense. For example, if you set the names to last for ten frames apiece in your 30P comp, you'd want three particles per second (3*10=30).
That makes perfect sense! I'll give it a go. Thank you so much!