Effective use of outline - two questions

I am playing around with Scrivener, looking to see how to use it. When I write, I often approach from the “outline” direction. With that in mind, I have two things I am trying to figure out.

  • First - how to best move an existing outline into Scrivener. Say I have a book outline - chapters names/headings/ideas with some of them including a paragraph or two of text. I want to pull that into “Manuscript” (or Draft). I can do a lot of manual copy/paste between Scrivener and Notepad, but it seems there might be a more efficient approach.

  • Secondly - how to best quickly capture an outline - moving from brain to “paper”. I feel that I want to be able to type, and use tab or enter to continue putting down my thoughts (i.e. not having to reach for the mouse. In general purpose software that includes bullet formatting, it would be pretty easy. In Scrivener, I can put down thoughts at one level by typing, hitting Escape, and then Enter, but it’s not a multi-level outline.

Just looking for thoughts, experience, and ideas — I will keep playing around! Very much digging Scrivener.

You import and split a single document by import and split function. Define the split symbol such as. *** .
Just insert symbol where want to split. By default the first few words in a file can be included in the synopsis, or could copy short note and paste into inspector synopsis. In the outline can click option to display synopsis showing file an associated note.
That might achieve what you want.

Yes! That worked great for the first situation. I was able to quickly insert split symbols and “import and split”. Thanks!

My second question is about interactive use of Scrivener - though… I could use a text editor, parse my thoughts with split symbols, and import. That’s something…


Why ?

You can do it all in Scrivener, can’t you ? :slight_smile: Why multiply the tools and therefor the number of steps and therefor the complexity ?

Fluidity is key. Nothing else actually truly matters if you don’t have that to begin with.

My 2 cents.

. . . . . . . .

You can make the Binder much wider and use it as an outliner in the early stages.
The title becomes the “scene in one sentence”.
Develop the idea in the editor. Keep the documents concise (don’t hesitate to create a new doc as soon as it starts moving toward something else).
Then move things around if needed.
You’ll be able to later merge, split, reorder. Do anything you want. :wink:

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Agree with Vincent. The beauty of scrivener is the ability to make/ organize and rearrange small data chunks.
But can customize icons to identify types of info, add custom icons, use labels to color code files or keywords/ metadata to add info to files making granular searches easier. The beauty of the program is the range of tools limited only by your needs and imagination.


Boom. Question #2 answered. Terrific, thanks.

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When in the Outline view mode, you will find the Edit > Move commands useful for your keyboarding. Moving up/down/right/left gives you all the keyboard control you need for structuring your outline line items. If you do this a lot, you might want to reassign the key commands to something like opt-left, opt-right, etc. for ease of use.

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But maybe not those. They’re used for word navigation (in text input areas across all apps).