When you open an image in the Develop Module, you can see that some sliders have presets. Since they sort of work for me, I have not taken the time to find out if I can change those settings.
My flow is influenced by my habit of just going back in the develop history instead of actually undoing a step. I feel if the log gets too long it becomes cumbersome and it is easy to undo a step that did not work out.
Normally, I start with the spot brush set on healing (not cloning) to clean up spots – sometimes a bird can look like a ‘spot’. You can move the circle from where LR gets its data for replacement, which can allow for some creativity. Then I look at the temperature. In the camera, I have the White Balance set on Automatic and most of the time it is right on. Next, I look at the exposure / brightness of an image as well as shadows and highlights. If there are relatively straight lines bordering the area that needs to be changed (overexposed sky for instance), I use the ND filter otherwise the adjustment brush (check the automask this helps in the transition areas)
ND filter: by having the 3 lines of the filter close together, you work with a hard transition. The more they are apart, the softer the transition becomes. You can tilt the lines of the filter to parallel ‘lines’ in the image. Depending on need, I apply the filter from the top down, from the bottom up (usually to open up a shadow area) or from the sides in.
Adjustment brush: I use it for the same purposes where the ND filter does not work or to play with light in small selective areas. It works great to make white really white.