Still re-learning the things I forgot. I have tons of footage where I need several clips. Do I have to edit them first using my FCP program or is it easier to bring the whole thing into AE4 and edit it there?
AE is not an editing package, therefore it is always easier to use an editing program like FCP to select your shots and then bring them in in AE. Premiere Pro makes this even easier through the use of Dynamic Link.
Here's a slight alternative, which may or may not work for you. I often have projects in which I need edited pieces that contain anywhere from four to ten clips. What I do is create my "build reels" in separate comps, with logical naming conventions ("Patriots_Open", "Jets_Open", etc.), then drop those "edited" comps into my master comp, which could be an open, bump, or other element which needs an edited piece which can be quickly changed.
If you're doing tons of these, it might be quicker to use PPro, or FCP, but I found that I could jump back and forth between comps in AE much faster than I could switch hats from compositing mindset to editing mindset. Your choice.