Authors as organisers

Hi everybody,

after quite a productive trial period, I finally purchased Scrivener and am very happy with it, already having drafted and written a few short film screenplays. What comes across A LOT during this kind of work is organisational stuff. I wonder how others manage this: I’d need checklists or to-do lists quite often, the same goes for a calendar where I can enter scheduled tasks WITHIN the project and so on.

  • Is there any way to realise checklists in Scrivener? I’d like to have a list with checkboxes that I can tick and they STAY ticked. Can it be done via RTF files somehow? Or is there an OS X based function for this that is supported by Scriveners Quick View, so I don’t have to open an external app?

  • What about calendars? When I export an ics file from iCal, I can drop it into the binder, and double click it in there. But then, iCal opens and integrates the calendar completely again. How can I save a calendar that I can also EDIT within my project? I could even imagine creating a calendar as a table in RTF format and then fill it in or something. Does that make sense?

Don’t you ever crave for these things? If yes: Do you improvise with Scrivener’s own features, or do you use external apps? Which ones? What’s your workflow? How do you connect Scrivener and the external app?

Could be an interesting comparison of workflows…

Best regards,


My approach is to use a range of the most suitable applications, rather than try to force-fit a single application to cover roles for which it wasn’t designed. As a migrant from the world of Windows, I’ve found that the Mac operating system and the overall uniformity, harmony and homogeneity of the applications that run on it lend themselves to this approach.

Thanks for your feedback… May I ask which apps you use for your creative tasks alongside Scrivener? Do you even need organisational apps or something for your notes etc.? Is it DevonThink, OmniFocus, Things, Evernote…?

Inspire me! :slight_smile:

Best regards,


I don’t regard my choices as particularly inspirational, just more or less the usual predictable things :slight_smile:: Omnifocus for task management, because of of its flexibility and inter-operability (horrible word!), DevonThink Pro Office for data capture, storage and search, Tinderbox and/or Neo and/or Curio for first thoughts. I’ve tried several applications for snippet capture and note-taking: Notational Velocity, Journler, MacJournal and Shovebox, but am now gravitating towards DevonThink for everything note-y, plus a favourite pen, and an assortment of Moleskines and yellow legal pads whose sheets I can scan into DevonThink. In my possibly heretical experience, these are “quicker on the draw” than anything electronic; but maybe that’s just the legacy of a pre-iPad upbringing :slight_smile: . For scanning those notes and other items I’ve found a Fujitsu Scansnap an extremely useful piece of kit, worth all its (relatively) high price.

Edit: This thread should perhaps be moved to the “Software by Other Folk” sub-forum?

I don’t have anything to add, as I’m not an author in any sense of the word, though I make heavy use of Scrivener for editing translations.

Just my observation … this ought to be, not in “Other Software” but in “Zen of Scrivener” … there are a number of similar threads there, if I remember rightly, or are they in “Tips and Tricks”?


There is a big thread on organisers (actually, probably several threads). Task based software, along with large-scale research organisation and writing software are one of the genres that the Mac is blessed with in terms of innovated and well-crafted stuff being produced by a cadre of dedicated developers. Many task list style programs offer a central database approach, which is nice if you are into the “everything bucket” philosophy, but less useful if you want quick lists that are very specific to a task that you can store in Scrivener’s own bucket. TaskPaper is a nice solution here. It treats to do lists in the same way that text files are treated, and that is literally what they are, text files. It pretties them up and adds a nice layer of features of the text file, but it itself is just text, and that means you can compose lists anywhere, even from an old cell phone, and likewise view them anywhere, including Quick Look. Main downside with TaskPaper these days is that it’s developed by someone who has somewhat migrated over to iOS development in recent years. It hasn’t seen any substantial updates in quite some time. I would argue it’s already pretty much doing everything it needs to do, but if you are one of those that needs active development always adding and refining—you might wish to approach it more cautiously.