Happy New Year! I hope this new year brings you to a place of peace and contentment, and that you find yourself recommitted to whatever it is that will make your dreams come true. I am not one for resolutions but you can’t ignore the opportunity for new beginnings when the new year comes. I plan to be more mindful of my time management in order to achieve more of my goals. I used to be so methodical about managing my time, but it seems resting on my proverbial laurels has ruined my good habits.

Any of you writers out there use Scrivener? If so, I want to hear from you!  I downloaded a trial version and it seems quite useful for plotting. I am curious what you think about it overall. If you use it for your writing I wonder, what is your favorite feature?

I’ve spent some time over the weekend going through the comprehensive and very easy to follow tutorial and one feature that stands out to me is the research folder.

Looking around my office, I see paper. Lots of paper. There is paper stacked on my desk and stacked on the floor, sheets pinned on top of each other on my cork board, and a huge pile of shredding.  I find stuff and print stuff and use a lot of it, but much of the paper ends up sitting here useless. I can imagine using Scrivener to keep these digitally (most of the paper is stuff I’ve printed off the web anyway) so I envision being able to save paper and ink as well as clearing space and clutter in my writerly cave.

I also have a white board that I stopped using because I have nowhere to hang it when it is out. Not to mention the frustration when one of my children takes some spark of their own creativity to my work or a dog walks by and wipes it clean with a swish of a tail. #truestory

I want to hear from anyone who is or has been using Scrivener to find out if you utilize this research folder–or any other feature, for that matter–in a meaningful way that makes this worth switching over to. I wonder if it is convenient enough to let me break the old MS Word and Paper habit and move into storing everything electronically. Speaking of storage, it seems to save everything immediately as you go, so no more lost work – bonus!

I’ll give it a try and let you know what I think. They say it takes 21 days to create a habit so I’ll make a note on my calendar and revisit this later in the month.

Scrivener Image from: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php


About the Author Corinne

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  1. I use Scrivener and love it. It’s great for keeping everything related to a project in one place – chapters, notes, etc. rather than having a gazillion Word docs in various folders. I open a project and can see everything I have at a glance – can navigate easily, can switch to full-screen mode for writing, etc. I love it!

  2. Hi Corinne, Saw your tweet…I’ve used Scriv (on a Mac) for several years. The research folder is indispensable and I use it constantly–not just for “official” research but for stuff like characters profiles so someone with red hair isn’t a blonde 35 pages later.

    Their automatic save feature is fantastic, too. So is the ability to chop your ms up & move scenes around when you need to.

    Scriv is very flexible & offers lots & lots of functions. I suspect every writer uses it his/her own way.

    One last thing: their support forums are excellent. When you get stuck, someone is sure to have the answer–including the developer!

    I say, go for it!

  3. I really like it. My favorite feature is the ability to organize. I write fiction & nonfiction both, so I’ve always got several projects going on. One folder per project, & all my notes, fotos, videos, audio, downloaded research items, etc. are all neatly laid out for me, so I don’t have to open multiple folders. Not sure why this is so hard to explain to some people…

  4. Hey, I’m also in my Scrivener trial! After scrapping my first draft of “The Bombardiers”, I decided I needed a better planning tool. And Scrivener seemed to be pretty popular, so I downloaded the trial.

    I like it so far. I like the layout with the “index cards” and the “binder.” I can label everything and put it together in an easy-to-follow way. It’s much easier to work with than just a word processor, in my opinion.

  5. I am legitimately in LOVE with Scrivener (for PC). I am using it for both my WIP and my research papers. I love the arrangement – when I was doing NaNo and I realised I needed to add something in, I didn’t have to scroll through a whole long document; just add a “chapter” where the thing needed to go, wrote what I wanted and easily jumped back to where I was working before. It was also fabulous when I hit a wall and needed to move to another scene – new “chapter” and the other one could sit there until i was ready to go back to it. I love the research folders and the pre-made character and setting worksheets too. Okay. enough gushing. The only difficulty I’ve had is some weird formatting issues when transferring to Word, but I just make sure I do a good proofread after exporting :)

  6. Wow, so many fans of the software program! I am so excited to get my teeth sunk into it and flesh out the character profiles and really get my research plugged in. I am curious to move things around as well.

    Thank you all for awesome feedback!

  7. Love Scrivener. LOVE IT. The research folder is my favorite. I use it for pictures and pdfs mostly, but it’s great to be able to just click over and double check something.

    Another favorite for me is the Binders. You can put a group of scenes together and revise them as a whole, and any changes you make apply directly to the main document.

    I don’t draft on it, since I’m a fan of the fast and messy zero draft, but once I have the basic story, I divide it into scenes, plug it into scrivener, and rewrite from there. It’s a huge timesaver.

  8. I’ve used it for all 10 of my complete novels and every short story and every started story. I LOVE it because I often write a scene that should be 2 chapters later and go back, insert a folder for a chapter, insert new scenes and keep on writing and it’s always organized. Everything is soooo easy to find and search for, view in bits and pieces and as a whole. I love that it exports to Kindle so when I’m done I can read my WIP on my Kindle in no time flat. :)

  9. I love Scrivener! I keep a character sheet for each character, and a setting sheet for each setting, not to mention research folders. I can switch seamlessly from one folder to another without saving and know I’ll come back where I left off. I only use my Mac for writing, and I’m glad to be able to use Scrivener on it.

  10. Yep, I’m in love with Scrivener – doubt I’ll ever go back to drafting novels in Word. For the first time, I’ve outlined fully, and I love keeping track of how many scenes I have to complete before I finish my first draft of the manuscript. I haven’t really used the research folder much, but I love how you can add pictures to your character sketches.



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