Scrivener – An AMAZING tool for writers of all kinds

Scrivener Logo

Scrivener “how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.” For those in search for an ingenious writing tool that helps organize your writing at a low cost (currently $40) – look no further!

Before I get started, let it be known that I am not a Scrivener rep or otherwise associated with the Scrivener team. Rather I am a completely satisfied customer and can’t help but shout the amazingness of this program from the virtual rooftops!

“So what’s so great about Scrivener?”

I’m glad you asked. If you are like I was you’re probably writing the bulk of your work with something like Microsoft Word. I wrote notes on a pad, planning out my ideas and would write endlessly, copying and pasting something a few pages down if it didn’t seem to fit in the current chapter.

The problem with using Word, for me, is that it’s very linear and you have to keep a lot of things organized in your head rather than in the program. This wasn’t working so I decided to check out other avenues.

Enter Scrivener! This amazing program allows you to break up chapters into “scenes”, move them to and fro with just a click and a drag and easily finalize your work into a book!

Take a look at the picture below. You see the colored bits on the left where it reads “Chapter 1″ and below it says “This is a sub heading”? All the text there is something I put in so Chapter 1 will say, “Chapter 1″ followed by text until you get to the scenes in which it case it will add the scene’s title followed by its text. Don’t want subheadings? There’s a setting for that ;).

Scrivener Example

Indexing and Organization

Now set your gaze to the index cards on the right. This is one of the best features in all of Scrivener. Notice how the index cards card titles and colors all correspond with the bit on the left? That happens automatically so whatever you set on the left (the binder) will show up in the corkboard and vice-versa!

The words “First, Revised and Final Draft” are markings you can put on your card if you so choose. The colors, too, are also an option which I like to use to delineate on the section’s completeness. For me I use green if I’ve skimmed through and it’s looking okay. Orange as a revised draft and blue when that section is ready for print.

That might sound like a lot of work but it makes it SUPER easy to keep things organized with just a glance and only takes a couple clicks.

“So where do I write?”

Well that’s a good question too. What I have on that picture there is the “corkboard view.” You can change this to the writing or even the outline view.

So let’s say you’re done with your book, now what? Go to the “Compile” function, setup your options and choose your format (PDF, epub, MS Word doc just to name a few) and VIOALA! Your document is ready for anything!

So it’s all rainbows, puppy dogs and bunny tails then!

Not exactly.  Though I absolutely adore using this product it was a bit frustrating to learn the ins and outs in the beginning. This is mostly due to the fact that I skipped the tutorials and figured I would learn as I go. This is not a path I suggest taking.

After I actually did the tutorials and read about the features more I ended up slapping myself in the head for how easy and accessible everything was. Though I still don’t know all the features I have the essentials for what I need and that’s good enough for me until I learn more about it.

Do what works best for you.

No matter what program you use I find this makes me more productive. Do what works for you but should you be in the market give Scrivener a chance with their 30 day trial. Don’t have much time to write each month? That’s okay, they give you 30 working days rather than January 1st to February 1st.

Enjoy what you do. Make it simple and do it passionately, whichever method you prefer. The important part is that you keep writing and never give up on your dream.

For more information visit Scrivener’s home page here.

About David Grenier

I am a writer, through and through. Life is about passion and I try my best to help those around me find and nurture theirs.

2 comments on “Scrivener – An AMAZING tool for writers of all kinds

  1. Hi! I just found out about you through Bisky Scribbles.
    I love where you are going with your blog. It’s very nice.

    Quick question, sounds like you have a french name, where are you from?

    But most of all, I was writing to you about Scrivener. I’m really interested in that application, but I see a big problem for me. First of all, I work a lot on Ipad. I don’t think there’s a version for it yet, am I write? And is there any Cloud/online access? If I want to change computer, would my documents be automatically transferred?

    I currently use Evernote. It’s not as fancy and practical as Scrivener seems to be, but I manage pretty well especially that I can work at home, on my ipad, on the pc at work and it all communicates in between them. I use a similar system as the cards you get, but it’s just different notes.

    What do you think?

    Let me know. And if you have a Twitter account, drop me a line. =)

    • JF,

      I’m glad you found the page useful! First of all, Scrivener is a Mac based program so rest assured they will get something on the iPad “soon.” I know it’s in the works but they haven’t given a date yet.

      That being said I am a Windows person so I don’t know how much greater the Mac version is than the one I’m using (though it’s a 2.0 and I’m only at 1.5.7). They do allude an app in their about page ( at the bottom.

      As for the cloud access, that’s not an option at this point. One of the things I do to get around this is autosave to my Dropbox which I can access from all of my devices. This is a “best practice” for anything I have of importance in case my computer fails for some reason. At the end of the day I make a copy on my computer too.

      Evernote is awesome; I use that to keep notes on when they hit me. Great because that, as you know, updates all devices with Evernote.

      As for my name, I’m from Boston originally but the name comes from my French-Canadian grandfather. It means “storage space” or “attic.” I guess that’s good because I need a place to store all these story ideas ;).

      Thanks for commenting! My Twitter name is @grenierdave, I’ll follow you momentarily.


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