Basic Submissions Tracking...

Hi Everyone.

I’m looking for a little help using the Mac version of Scrivener and I thought this would be a good place to start.

I use Scrivener, in the main, for writing magazine features. I have my workflow organised such that I have a single Scrivener file per client and each feature I write amounts, I guess, to a chapter in each project. I also use snapshots to store different versions of each feature as they may vary depending on the destination magazine.

I’m looking for suggestions as to how I might extract from the work I’m generating, some sort of a system that’d help me see at a glance what’s been submitted, where and when. It’s that simple. And it’s that complex too.

I’d really value any input from the community here and I thank you for your time in advance.


Great question and one I’d never really thought of, I was/am stuck in the “saving project with a descriptive filename” methodology, which I think is a clunky, outdated & fragmentary solution to this problem.

It did make me immediately want to add something to the Scrivener wishlist. Snapshots work on individual items, but have a title meta-data. What I thought would be great would be a Project snapshot – all this would do is take a snapshot of each item giving them the same creation date and a common title – that title would contain the details of the submission. Then I read the manual and realised Scrivener could already do this – ⇧⌘-5 8) :love:

In your case, as you scriv file is not a “project” in the traditional sense, then all you need do is use the title of the snapshot as a description of the submission. Another idea is to use the document notes meta-data to store more detailed info on the submission, but I don’t know if snapshots store that or not?

EDIT: just tested and documents notes and other meta-data are not part of a snapshot, so can’t be used as a details store for a particular “submission” (aka snapshot :wink: )

What about compiling meta data would that work?

Have you looked at setting up custom meta-data? You could add fields there for the various submission aspects you want to track–venue, date, etc.–and can set up dynamic search collections to group together all files meeting certain criteria (everything submitted to a certain magazine, for instance) so you can view them at a glance.

Keywords might also work for this, but the meta-data might be more elegant. This would be project-specific, though–I’m not clear if you’re trying to gather together files from different projects. If that’s the case, you’ll need to ultimately do something external to Scrivener, since otherwise you’re always just working in a single project, but something like compiling the meta-data as StaceyUK suggested might work for you, since that would push files out of Scrivener and you could organize them elsewhere. Specific exports might work well too, as you can for instance export the outliner contents as a CSV, so you could occasionally set up your outliner to show the columns you want to extract (e.g. the custom meta-data you set up along with title and synopsis) and then export that and dump it into another program.

The downloads in this thread from AndreasE and Apollo16 may help:

Thank you all for these suggestions. Compiling Metadata might do the trick.

What I’m hoping to accomplish ultimately is perhaps akin to an outliner view but, over time, that’s going to grow into a very unwieldy matrix so I need to think it through.

I wouldn’t expect Scrivener to go and develop this capability as core. I think most folk here would need something much more sophisticated than I’m asking for and it would take Scrivener off target providing it.