Creating a Master Folder in the Binder[NOTED]

I posted this in the technical help section, and then figured it out myself. Not sure if it qualifies as a bug, but thought it best to pass along to minds in charge.

I wanted to personalize the binder for my own research/writing style. The novel template only provides three master folders…draft, research and trash. I want to add additional folders to the binder, basically duplicates of the research folder that I can rename and organize. I tried right-clicking and duplicating the research folder to no avail. I tried clicking the green plus button up top and creating a folder. I tried file>new>folder. It would only ever create subfolders in the existing “master” folders (draft, research, trash). The only way I could create a new master folder was by creating a subfolder in the research section and then dragging that folder to the binder on a blank spot. Voila, new master folder. This wasn’t intuitive, and incredibly frustrating. Not sure why duplicating the research folder or any of the other above options didnt work but I’m hoping its a bug and easy fix for you creators. Hope this helps.

You’re sort of asking a question like, why do we bother with vowels and consonants in language? The Binder’s master sections, Draft, Research, and Trash, are the most broadly conceived units in any writing project, and everything else is a sub-topic within them. I think the developer was very sharp to figure that out. Small wonder we refer to him as The Creator. :stuck_out_tongue:

My only revision to them might be to put Research first and Draft second, since that’s my order of progression—although in truth I use Trash first, last, and always, so maybe it should reign supreme.

I use Research very little (preferring DevonThink Pro) except as a container for early and superseded Draft material, so it helps to place it below Draft, which I hope is climbing upward to the paradise of Publication.

The pattern you want to create is unusual, possibly even unique, since I can’t recall this issue arising earlier. Since you succeeded, great, but it’s an overstatement to call this central feature of Scrivener design a bug that needs fixing.

Erm, well … is this supposed to be a Joke? I do not think one should judge others peoples working style that way. Scrivener is the best software i know to make it fit ones working style instead that one have to adjust ones working style to the program.

I prefer to use much more first level folders, too, but i did not tell about this “bug” because i do not have it. When i click to a free space in the binder (bottom of it) so that no folder is selected and click the add button a first level folder is added without any problem.

Druid’s point was intended to humorous, I think. Let me try it a little more directly.

Shouldn’t your subfolder fit into one of the 3 categories of “Draft”, “Research” or “Trash” (which is where all my should start and stop)?

I guess I can see a second draft folder (or a third, fourth, …) but not so much research.

I don’t think it is a judgement of your method as much as an out loud question of “why do you work that way?” Read that with no inflection or accent. It is a clinical question.

Ah ok, then i am sorry (i lay the blame to my bad english).

I does it because i like to have all my text and material available all the time without opening different files (one reason for example is that most of my stories take place in the same fictive town and i do a lot of cross reference or the like).
I Have 5 main folders which are: “short stories”, “novels”, “ideas and fragments”, “translations”, “miscellaneous” (and trash). The Novel folder for example is then devided into “published” and “work in progress”. Work in progress is devided in “textwork” and “resarch material” … and so on. Many might find this system bad or idiotic but for me and my style of work it is perfect.

I like to keep all projects for a single client in one Scrivener “project.” Having multiple top level folders makes it easier to keep related materials together than using the standard “Draft” and “Research” folders.


I was writing to someone named PhyliA_Dobe, not to you. So I made no judgement whatsoever about your working method, whatever it may be, nor was I judging PhyliA_Dobe. I was just trying to explain the 3-folder layout of the program and its rationale. You want to mess with that, be my guest. Just don’t come whining to the forum when your nose falls off and your skin starts to peel. NB: that IS a joke. :unamused:

There is another way too, just make sure you don’t have anything selected in the binder at all. Click somewhere in the background, and then create a new folder. Also, like you noted, you can move folders around at will.

The reasoning for the three special folders are:

  1. Draft is important to the Scrivener workflow because that is what is used as a compile source when creating a single document for submission or publication.
  2. Trash is, well. The trash. You need a trash can to dump deleted stuff. :slight_smile:
  3. Research is less rigid, but still maintains a special role in that it cannot be deleted.

However do note all of these items can be changed. You can rename Draft to “Manuscript” if you want, or even the title of your book. Even the Trash can be renamed; and they can all be sorted amongst each other too.

So yes, there are these three special folders you can’t delete, but they are flexible, and you can definitely have more than one folder at the top level. They cannot be duplicated because they have special roles. How would compile function with two draft folders? I suppose it could, but it would be a strange twist in the central philosophy of the program for something that is essentially pointless. Only one thing can be compiled (if you need two things compiled—then put both at the top level inside the Draft).

My specific intention in creating a new master file today was to have a Character Bible (a master file where I store all character-related subdocuments…my character sheets, photos, etc.). I dont want it in my research section because I use that folder for, well, research. As opposed to creative development. I wouldn’t want to duplicate the ‘draft’ or manuscript folder because, as someone’s already mentioned having more than one manuscript per novel is a little redundant. I’ve also created a new master folder for archiving. Again, I dont feel this fits into the research folder. Its not research. Its the graveyard for deleted scenes. Not snapshots, but scenes I’ve removed entirely from the manuscript and am indecisive about whether or not I may reintroduce them again in the future.

While I understand others may see the big three folders as an end-all-be-all-holy-creator-doth-bequeath-them system to operate under, my experience with Scrivener thus far has been a totally intuitive and maleable program that bends to the users style and work habits, vs. the user bending to the program. I’ll stand by my assumption that the inability to create a master folder more easily may be a bug. And would like to thank those of you who demonstrated an easier way to create a new master folder (selecting a blank spot on the binder and adding a folder there.).

I’m gonna have to disagree that the three-folder system is somehow a universal umbrella for all possible files we may want to store in Scrivener. I can think of at least one more top-level folder – Worldbuilding – that would be required even to make an attempt at something universal. Things like characters and settings (especially for fantasy and science fiction) would go here; they don’t really fit into research, since research is basically information found elsewhere.

I’d also argue that you’d need to include some sort of Miscellaneous Ideas or Scratchpad folder, too, for any ideas that you may have about the story, the research, the worldbuilding, the anything really, that don’t fit into any of the other folders nicely. So if you said there’s some sort of universal system with five folders, I could buy into that.

To reiterate, Scrivener doesn’t assume one only needs three top level folders. There are ways to create top-level master folders, or to move existing folders to the top level—or even files to the top level. In fact some of the templates demonstrate this by having a readme at the top above Draft.

I would entirely agree with both of you: there is no universal “you must work in these three folders”. Scrivener doesn’t enforce that. Some people may want a Miscellaneous folder, or a Scratch Pad folder (though the dedicated Scratch Pad feature, once that arrives, will probably be better suited for that). Not everyone will want such a thing, but it’s easy to make these things if you want—and if you always use these things, make your own templates so that all of your new projects are set up the way you like.

In short, I don’t think Scrivener is saying in any way that you have to stick with only these three folders! Please, make many top-level folders. I do. I store alternate draft backups and all kinds of things at the top level. Also note that just because it comes out named “Research” doesn’t mean you have to keep it that way. I often rename this folder to a more general “Material”.