It’s happened again, you have an assignment due and it requires Finale. You may want to dive right in because the sooner it’s done the better, but if you can spare a quick 10 minutes, just watch 3 of the tutorial videos that Finale has created. This can really speed up your entry time and will end up saving you more time than it takes to watch them. You can access these from the splash screen that opens once you open the program under the heading "Learning Center."
Before you get started, you might want to check out one of the videos about the Setup wizard - choose the ensemble you think you'll write the most for and watch "Set up an orchestral/band score" (2:13), "Set up a choral score" (2:13), or "Set up your own ensemble" (2:17).
The "Simple Entry (Extended Keyboard)" video (3:45) shows some keyboard shortcuts and hints that will help move things along, it gives you the basics and you can refer to the Keyboard shortcuts in this guide.
Take advantage of the MIDI keyboards in the library to speed up your work. Watch the "Speedy Entry" video (3:15) to see how to use a MIDI keyboard to select pitches. If you want to use the MIDI keyboard to have Finale notate the music as you play, watch “Using MIDI Keyboard: Hyperscribe tool” (2:02). (The speedy entry video is probably all you need if you don't plan on using Finale regularly.)