Done and done

Well, it’s finally properly finished. I just sent corrected proofs back to my publisher, and the galleys arrived the very next day. It’s a book! Coming out in December (US): … 243&sr=1-1

I could never have written this book without Scrivener, and am recommending it to every writer I know. In particular, the ability to snip paragraphs out of chapters and stash them in a single folder called “Fodder”, perhaps for use in other places in the ms, without having to actually remove them from the file was hugely helpful. Sometimes I did recycle those paragraphs, but the benefit was also psychological. I wasn’t cutting this material, just setting it aside. In the end, however, I cut most of it; 40K words from an ms that wound up being 100K in the end.

One solution I never quite found was an effective way of organizing my research materials. I wanted to find an application that could accommodate thousands of short text snippets, each one with metadata attached, including keywords and comments indicating its original source, and display those snippets in a reasonably flexible way. The display would enable me to survey and quickly select the best from an assortment of quotes or anecdotes for any given occasion, and then easily trace it back to its source when it was time to fact check. Most of the options that people recommended to me – such as DevonThink or Scrivener itself – are instead designed to organize a smaller number of longer documents, and were too unwieldy for my purposes. I wound up using Mori, notebook software that eventually began to lag under the strain. I still believe that a lot of nonfiction writers – whether of books or journalism – would be eager to have such a tool, and wish that I knew enough about programming to design one! If anybody out there is interested in such a project, let me know.

That’s what I use SOHO Notes for. Yes, I do so with some hesitation given its reputation, but so far (five or six months’ intensive use) so good… 8)

I omitted to say - well done and good luck!

Congrats, Laura! Its a great feeling.

AS for storing small snippets - I’ve been using Voodopad for a few years and I find it very usefull. Its probably not exactly what you’re describing, but worth checking out if you haven’t looked at it before.


Hearty congrats Laura!!! :smiley:

VoodooPad and other notebook software is useful in its own way, and I have used a couple of different notebook applications to store odds and ends, but what I’m thinking of (especially in terms of display) enables more of what I think of as “quote crunching.” I think the problem with VoodooPad was the lack of tags, or else the clunky implementation of them.

I actually own SoHo Notes and use it for those notebook-type needs, like saving a restaurant review or the hours my gym is open from a web page, but I haven’t used it for organizing my research. It seems slow and feature-heavy for that, so I’m curious about how it’s working for you, Hugh. How many different notes do you have in it? Has the volume slowed it down? I don’t believe it lets you create different notebooks, as Mori does, (although you can create subfolders within the main notebook), and I worried that if I used it for more than one project, it would get hopelessly bogged down.


Not yet.

Notebooks no, folders yes.

Quite possibly. The aspects of SN I like include folders AND tagging, the side drawer, and the ease with which metadata can be added. But it doesn’t promote itself as an “all you can eat” database, unlike DevonThink, and I have a constant nagging worry about its stability.

Fact is - though it may be sacrilege to write this here - I think “snippet collection” is a category where top-notch Mac software is a bit scarce. Equivalents of, say, the Windows programme Zoot, are somewhat thin on the ground. In another thread on this forum, someone refers to pieces James Fallows of the Atlantic Monthly has written about his new MacBook Air. I noticed he’s gone to the trouble of putting Zoot on it via a Windows emulator!