Binder as source list

Apple are more and more going in the direction of “source lists”.

Source lists can be found, for instance, in iTunes.

They look very much like the Binder, but they have some grey titles above certain sections.

Suppose the binder went this way. How would you see it happening?

I’m thinking:

WORK IN PROGRESS (or some such - suggestions for a good title of this section would be appreciated)

  • Draft
  • Research
  • Trash
  • (Any other folders or files arranged in here too)


  • All saved searches would be placed here


  • (I wish I knew how to add To Do’s etc in Leopard. :slight_smile: )

This is just a thought. Take a look at iTunes to see what I mean and let me know what you think.


My feeling is that while iTunes has clearly externally-defined source-lists – Library, ITMS, Playlists etc – Scrivener doesn’t.

Which means I’m all for it if we can edit the titles. If we can’t edit the titles, I’m against it.

So I suppose, to me, the titles you choose are irrelevant because if I don’t like them I’ll change them, and if I’m stuck with them and can’t change them, why, I shall hunt you down and…

No. Let’s be reasonable about this. Can we know first if the titles are to be editable?

Hmm… I shall have to think on this. It works fine for me in iTunes but I’m not sure if it’s something that would be as useful in Scrivener. It will take me a while to figure out how this might help me in my work.

That said, Scrivener already has a somewhat similar structure. (Draft, Research… though I know many rename those categories.)

Would there be additional benefits?

Sorry I can’t give a more definitive answer right now, but I will think about it.

If anyone is having trouble visualizing the iTunes source list, here are some images of same: … rch+Images

I think putting saved searches into their own little spot would actually be a good move; and if that means the adoption of Windows XP Explorer sidebar sections, ahem Source Lists–then so be it. Saved searches always felt a little funny mixed in with the rest of the Binder items, since they didn’t quite play along with everything else.

I wonder if the automatically generated clipping folders, note folders, and so on could appear in Other? Would that make sense as long as the documents within them can be moved up into the WIP section? I’m always deleting those when I’m done with them, to keep things tidy–but if they had their own place, I wouldn’t be so bothered by their presence.

What would happen when you search? Would a new source list appear, or would the WIP be replaced by search results? Either way, having access to the other saved searches, while looking at a search result would be a nice change.

I’m not so sure that this is a good idea Keith. I’ll agree, it works well in iTunes, but what are the benefits to Scrivener users? If I’m reading correctly, such a move will impose a top level structure that may, or may not, suit the user. If that structure is fully configurable, then nothing is lost (though at this stage, I fail to see what is gained). If it isn’t, then I shall join Mr Bywater in the hunt… :wink:

Really, I’m just trying to fit in with the new Apple UI here…

There would be an imposed top-level structure, but nothing really glaringly horrible.

Basically, everything you currently use (bar saved searches) would be placed under some heading at the top of the binder, e.g. LIBRARY or WORK IN PROGRESS. Everything under that would work exactly as it does now.

If you created any Saved Searches, though, another heading would appear beneath everything you have entitled “SAVED SEARCHES”. You could rearrange the saved searches here however you liked. The benefit here is that this makes obvious the fact that saved searches are a bit of a different beast to other files in the binder, and do not act the same in any way.

This would really be the only difference - saved searches would have their own section.

I also like AmberV’s suggestion - creating clippings or notes would place the default folders that hold such files into a section entitled “OTHER”. But you could then drag these clippings out of the folders under “OTHER” and anywhere else in your draft.

Thus, not much would really be imposed other than the fact that saved searches would be kept separate, which I really think is a good idea anyway. The only question would be what to call the main area containing the draft, research, trash and any other folders you want to create. “SCRIVENINGS”?


I think it’s a good idea. However…

That would cause too much confusion when put alongside the Edit Scrivenings command, I think. People might expect the ES command to incorporate everything in the Binder, not just stuff in the Draft folder. How about ACTIVE DOCUMENTS, or even just DOCUMENTS?

Just to give you some idea of how this might look, here’s a mock-up:


I like the idea, as long as the imposed structure is very limited. What you have here is actually rather nice to keep things a bit more organized. I myself find that things get lost in the binder. I would request the ability to minimize the font size and that things be very simple. Being a highly visual person, less is more for me in terms of busy-ness.

But I do rather like the idea at first blush.

However, thining on it, I rather wonder if even a minimally imposed structure might not work for some. I can see that perhaps some might like their saved searches organized a different way, for example. Perhaps I might have a folder for a particular location in my novel and in that folder I have saved searches for all the characters who live there. Okay, maybe not a great example. But something like that. In such a case, would want to be able to move my saved search folder wherever I want it.

So, I guess in reality I have mixed feelings. One of the reasons I think Scr. works for so many is that it can be adapted for a lot of different users and the way they work. I’d be hesitant to move in a direction that alters that ability.

Just my thoughts at the moment! :slight_smile:


The point with saved searches, though, is that they cannot be placed inside folders at the moment anyway - they can only exist at the root level. So having a special place for them in the binder kind of makes this difference more explicit. That would be the only imposed difference in this structure - saved searches (which already can only exist at root-level) would be kept in a separate subsection (“SAVED SEARCHES”). They could be rearranged within that section but not moved elsewhere currently you can only move them anywhere in the root anyway). The “SAVED SEARCHES” title wouldn’t appear unless there were actually any saved searches. Under “OTHER”, the notes generated from new (Scrivener) links, clippings and the scratch pad would be placed by default, but they could be moved anywhere else in the DOCUMENTS structure. Thus, for many users, the binder would appear no different except that it would say “DOCUMENTS” at the top of it…


Oh. :slight_smile: You can see I never tried moving a saved search into a folder. So my response is…never mind. I like the idea! And having Other as a kind of temporary spot for clippings and scratch pad notes, etc, works because those can be moved wherever needed, as you stated. So it gets my vote.


If one doesn’t have any saved searches, would that whole ‘Saved Searches’ section not appear? I never use saved searches, so if it’s there even if there are no searches, it would just be taking up space.

Which brings up another concern - space. Those big “DOCUMENTS” and “SAVED SEARCHES” and “OTHER” bars take up a lot of space in the Binder. Personally I like having as many of my documents visible in the Binder at once as possible, limiting the amount of scrolling required when one has a long list of docs and folders in the Binder. Plus, if it follows the way it is in iTunes, those major sections can’t be collapsed, which I like to do and wish I could do in iTunes.

Bottom line for me is, they’re just big dividers that take up space and can’t be made to go away. So here’s one vote against.

They could be collapsible - certainly the saved searches and other ones. And I already said that they would only appear if they had any contents (except for the “DOCUMENTS” one). The fact that they are collapsible means that you would be able to hide your saved searches if you wanted, whereas at the moment you are stuck with them all at the root level. Why not just allow saved searches to be placed into a folder? you ask. Well, I’ve explained that before - mainly that you would then be able to view saved searches in the editor on the corkboard which, when double-clicked, would affect the binder, which would be odd - but in this case, you wouldn’t have this problem, as clicking on the “SAVED SEARCH” header would do nothing - it wouldn’t show any contents on the right as it would just act as a divider, albeit one that could be collapsed.

You do point out the only real drawback, the fact that you would have a big “DOCUMENTS” label at the top of the binder.

Source lists are visually pretty nice in Leopard, though I’m not really allowed to say why. Without these subheadings, the binder couldn’t have these other nice visual improvements.


Is this something that is pre-set, i.e., can it be not so big? I wouldn’t like to have big headers either, especially on my 12" iBook. But if the headers are small in size, it would be less of an issue.

I definitely like the idea of grouped saved searches (now that I know you can’t put them in folders!) and being able to hide them.


I am with michaebywater in this matter: As long as the source list section are not editable and impose a structure and language (I changed “draft”, “research” etc. into something that look more familiar while writing) on me, I prefer a simple file structrue like now.


Somehow I knew this would be your vote. :slight_smile:

Mmmn. A lot clearer now. I suppose there are a couple of advantages, but I fear they are outweighed by the rigidity imposed. I can’t see this change, if implemented, being at all popular. But hey! What do I know? Luddite is my middle name. :unamused:

I don’t really see how there is really any more rigidity here, except for the imposition of grouping saved searches. But the advantage gained by that one rigidity is that you could then collapse the saved searches and thus have a less cluttered binder if you have lots of saved searches…

Consider this example: You create a new clipping or scratch pad note which gets placed into a default folder in the binder “Clippings” or “Scratch pad”. Currently, that folder will appear at the bottom of the binder. Now, you want to expand that folder and drag your new note into a more suitable location in the draft. Currently, if you have lots of saved searches, you have to drag it over the lot of them, as they clutter the root. With the source list system, you could have the saved searches collapsed and thus have less distance to drag the newly created notes. Moreover, the appearance of the “OTHER” header would make it more obvious where your newly created note or clipping has been placed at a glance.

So I actually think this could make the binder easier to navigate and less cluttered without sacrificing any flexibility (given that the only flexibility sacrificed would be where you placed saved searches, and you don’t have much flexibility with that anyway).


Yeah, I don’t get the rigid argument either. The only things getting sorted out are the things that are kind of the illegitimate children of the Binder anyway. Stuff that either doesn’t act like other things, or things that appear automatically no matter what you want.