how do you decide between using document bookmarks vs collections

thank you in advance !

If you’re trying to solve a need for your own process, you’re going to have to provide more background about what you’re trying to accomplish. Document bookmarks (and bookmarks in general) are very different beasts from collections.

Collections (either static ones you add & remove files from manually, or saved project searches) are just a list of documents. Manually created collections are in whatever order you want them in, whereas saved search collections are typically in the order they fall in the binder, though you can sort them alphabetically by document title if that’s useful to you.

Document bookmarks are for individual documents to link to other documents, files that are external to scrivener, and web page URLs. They are most useful when wanting to have an easy way to see documents that are related to the one you are working on in the editor.

Personally, I rarely use static collections. I prefer saved search collections, but that’s mostly because I use keywords to tag files that feature a given character or location (such as character & location “sketch” documents and the chapters they feature in. Searching just for keywords makes it easier to avoid false positives or negatives in the search results.

Sometimes I use document bookmarks to research documents (copied from online sources), inspirational photos, or any material I’m pulling some kind of information from to write the current document.

A brilliant explanation and a delight to read. It’s now crystal clear.

I admire you for having the discipline to use keywords. It’s superhuman to remember to use them every time, to deal with duplications (2 similar keywords with the same meaning) and survive major rethinking of your keyword system

More should be written about keywords and tags because they represent in a sense the way we categorize the world

thanks very much

I don’t categorise the world well… :smiley: I started trying to use keywords as you describe and got hopelessly tangled, again as you describe. Now I only use keywords for very broad categories—POV characters, major story turning points, etc. I don’t create a keyword unless and until I find I have a need for it l ( I repeatedly try to find this sort of thing), it’s a really obvious categorisation to me (I don’t get stuck trying to figure out if a text fits this category or not) and there’s no other way to pull this category (I will write a complex regular expression search and save it rather than create a keyword.)

That said, I use a simple method to avoid having to often remember to assign keywords. When I’m working and get to a place where I want to create a new text, instead of doing that I go to a text that’s already categorised as I want that new text to be categorised, add a new line at the bottom, and split the document. I need only change the metadata slightly and perhaps move the split text to a different point in the Binder. Some people use template documents for this, but I find it too much of a hassle and subject to the same problems that make keywords hard. (I’ve created a lot of template documents that I subsequently never used. I finally just stopped doing that.)

While I do obsessively add keywords (partly as a way to avoid the harder work of actually writing), the best approach is to add them during your first or second read-through. I know I’ve accidentally forgotten about minor characters (and the sub-plots they were the center of) part way through a rough draft; keywords let me see which chapters they appear in (or are mentioned in, for that matter). Keywords are super helpful for deciding if I need to prune them from the story, expand their presence, or at least justify their absence in the rest of the story.

I create keywords that are only present for the purposes of categorizing them; there is a “cast” keyword under which I nest all character keywords, and there’s a “locale” keyword where I nest setting locations. I sometimes even nest each location where it makes sense to (locale->USA->Louisiana->NewOrleans->CafeDuMonde) and/or is helpful to me… but that’s a bit overkill if you’ve got a good sense of the geography of your story.

While that is a bit overboard, categories within your keywords to sort them according to the type of information the keywords represent is quite helpful for avoiding duplicates. Also, if you discover a duplicate keyword, it’s easy to consolodate: Just pop out the keyword list into its own window, click on the keyword you want to replace, and use the search icon to list all the files with that keyword. Then select all of the documents in that list, and drag the replacement keyword onto them. Then you just delete the extra keyword.

I don’t use keywords for much else other than characters and locations (though they’re good for a lot of things), and I use this article as a guiding principal on how to use them so I don’t get confusing results from searches: … /#more-132

thank you for your post and link

interesting idea. I will give it a try. thank you