How do you use "Project Notes"?

I’m jesting of course Katherine. I live in an area that once embraced the great New World diaspora. Actually, folks from around here bunked off all over the place. Anywhere, in fact, where a hole needed digging. Find any deep hole - there’s probably still a Cornishman at the bottom of it, beavering away. Allow me to offer one small correction; while I can’t speak for my ancestors, I can say that my descendants have, to a man, dribbled their way east, not west. Go far enough though, and I have to concede that it amounts to the same thing.

Permit me to beg a favour, if you’ve a mind. Stamp on young Vic’s left foot for me. He seems to have developed a dreadful stammer… :wink:

OUCH !!!

Looking through old threads for inspiration on how best to use labels, keywords etc, I got sidetracked into reading this thread about Project Notes. And I saw an old post of mine, describing how I used that feature back in May. Six months later, I use Project Notes in a different way, so I thought I would post an update.

Whereas I once used Project Notes to store a summary or synopsis of whatever it was I was writing, I now use it as a sort of jotter for things that need to be checked, fixed, researched etc, but which I don’t want to think about right now or which don’t apply to the current document.

I started doing this when I discovered that the inspector was available in full-screen mode (which is what I usually like to write in, finding that I write in longer bursts when I remove extraneous distractions), and that I could fade its colour so that it wasn’t too intrusive. The instant availability of the Inspector information in full-screen mode is really useful to me, and it has led me to standardise the way I use various features:
~ synopsis: used for the key point(s) of that particular document, trying to keep it really brief so that everything will fit on the corkboard index card display (three across, with the binder displayed as well)
~ document notes: used for an expanded synopsis, and (in the revision stages) for a list of general things I want to include/fix/check in this particular document
~ project notes: used for an ongoing list of things that I want to do in the project as a whole, just not right now, and for capturing bright ideas as they occur to me; I go through these systematically every now and then

So there we go - my revised Project Notes usage. And now I’d better get back to looking for information on keywords and meta-data, which is what I was meant to be doing. :slight_smile:

Thanks, Siren, for taking the time to tell us about how you use Scrivener. I’ve not really used the corkboard/synopsis, project notes or doc notes much at all and this gives me some good ideas about how they can make my work on big projects easier.

Yesterday I realized that meanwhile I have arrived at a habit regarding the use of the Project Notes, which came to me almost by itself, and I remembered the question I’ve put here some time ago, so I just wanted to update on it.

I use the Project Notes pane now exclusively for what I call my “Has to happen”-list. Very often, while I write a scene, I realize something else has to happen - either on the story level (“I have to make some use of the gun mentioned in chapter 3”) or on the work level (“I have to include somewhere in the beginning a description of X”). For notes like these, I feel the need to have a special place - something else than just another document somewhere in a tree of hundreds of other documents. The Project Notes pane is exactly this special place, because it’s accessible from everywhere at any time. Here, my notes won’t get lost. (That’s my feeling. Of course, it depends on one’s habits. If one never uses the Project Notes pane, notes there get forgotten.)

BTW, I do not delete items that are resolved, I strike them out. First, because it’s nice to see how much has been accomplished, second, because sometimes the first solution isn’t the best, so it’s better if a reminder remains that there has been a problem.

This is the last sorrow about it: For some mysterious reason, the strikeout shortcut doesn’t always work in the Project Pane. Don’t know why. I call the fonts window and strike text out from there.

For what it’s worth - I use project notes to hold a collection of key internal links and also to hold a few short words (and separators) in various font and paragraph styles. When I need to apply them in whatever page I’m working on I can just do a special copy/paste without having to navigate to my special ‘styles’ page.

One of the best things is that the links and styles are accessible while in full-screen mode.


Hello all,

I thought I’d share this thought: project notes would be a great place to put a thesis for an academic argument. It would always be visible and might help to focus the writing.

Have a good one,


I recently discovered Project Notes by clicking on the carrot accidentally and I LOVE it! I keep document notes on each file, where I make notes about what I might change in future drafts, or questions that need to be answered etc. But Project Notes is so handy for overall manuscript ideas. Basic things, like checking for words that I’ve overused. It’s simple, but very handy. :smiley: Rita

I use Notes for everything that the other two “tab” provide (References are just lists of links, and Keywords I haven’t found a good use for yet).

The notes do everything for me, because I create documents in my Research section for every character, and major location, then I drag that document from the binder into the notes of any other document where those characters or places are featured. So the notes do for me what I see the References being good for, and without needing to add Character Names or Locations to my Keywords, I don’t know what else to use that tab for.

I guess I like the notes because they’re fully-functional rich text, so I can even include pictures. It’s free-form, so I can always put whatever info I need in them, and since I never switch over to References or Keywords, the Notes are always visible.

I use ALL of the little note panes for EVERY document… all of my editing suggestions go in here!! Each chapter, scene, section, even my notes documents like characters, places, weird alien animals, etc. gets editing notes stuck in the little inspector notes pane! Lots of “Remember to make so-and-so’s mother call him and for God’s sake, don’t forget that he owns a dog AGAIN!” stuff like that.

I also tend to go on long philosophical ramblings about the section, scene, or chapter in question in this little pane. It keeps me focused on what this section is actually ABOUT, so I don’t wander off on a rabbit trail. Keeps me focused.

For the main overall Draft notes, I always calculate how long I want my book to be (usually 100k words), I divide up how many chapters I want (usually 12), then I write down in the main Draft notes exactly how many words can go into each chapter (usually 8,300). This is because I am very verbose, and if I don’t constantly keep one eye on my wordcount as I’m writing, I will write yet another 250K book which is pretty much unpublishable because it’s too flipping long. So the Draft notes are my “keep it short!” reminder.

Have you tried using annotations for these kinds of “alert alert” type messages? I find the brightness and immediacy of their placement right in the text makes them great for the “this person doesn’t actually have a living mother” type reminders.

Do you know about the per-document words (or characters) goal you can set for each document in a Scriv. project? It activates the progress bar below your document’s main text area, and shows you how many words or characters you have written toward your goal.

You can set the goal for your documents in a number of ways, including clicking on the little red target in the lower-right of the editing window pane, or in outline mode, you can add a “Total Word Count” column and edit and view the values for all of your documents.

Yes, I noticed that, but haven’t messed with it because it looks like each ‘document goal’ is attached to that particular document, which isn’t useful for me. The way I write, I use folders as chapters, and then the documents become various ‘sections’ within the chapter (to be separated by a blank line in the final draft). I do need a goal bar for the Chapter as a whole… but not for each section. Each section can be as long or short as it must be, but the Chapter has to stay within a certain limit. I end up stuck with using the overall “Project Goals” bar and kind of guessing. Come to think of it, being able to assign each Chapter (Folder) its own goal would be really nice. Wonder if that is already a topic in the ‘feature requests’ section?

I use project notes to hold revision comments after the first pass. I’ll put in comments like - needs more conflict.

It would be great to be able to strikeout the text so I can easily keep track of the changes I’ve identified and see which are still to be dealt with.

It has been brought up. Maybe chiming in with a “please can I have it?”, rather than cursing at Keith, will yield your desired feature in a future update. :wink:

Edit: The link I originally intended to post: Folder target

On the Mac: Select the text and hit Shift-Cmd-[Hyphen] (left of the +/= key on most keyboards).

On Windows: There isn’t a direct shortcut, but Format/Font/Strike Through will do it, as will adding a Strike Through button to the Format Bar, selecting the text in the Document Notes, and clicking the button. All of the Format Bar tools work in Document Notes.

You can, sort of. Make a blank document. Set its target. It will then include the wordcount of any documents you enclose with in it as part of the target. It doesn’t look like a folder? So it doesn’t look like a folder. So change the icon already. You people. bangs forehead. I–

–sorry. Thought I was in a different forum there for a moment. You should go there, God forbid. Those people. Ha. bangs forehead

P.S. Questions have been raised by Gruff Kevin as to what the hell I’m talking about and what the other forum is. It’s just a joke about people getting grumpy on forums. Didn’t really work, did it? But damn me, it’s STAYING IN. Okay? Work, not work, it’s STAYING IN. bangs forehead

Alright! I didn’t even think of that. See, that’s why forums are great. I’m totally going to do that. Thanks Michael! :smiley:


[/size] Mr B, one shouldn’t stop taking the tablets unless your Doctor tells you to.

If you’ve stopped because you’re struggling meeting the cost of the prescription, then you should think about a Prescription Prepayment Certificate, which substantially reduces the cost of medication.
Hope that helps, Mr B
P.S. Vic-k applied for A Prepayment Certificate, for his Guinness and Jameson. He received a disproportionately rude reply from the certificate people.

Thank you, Paolo. I think this is a great idea and will be doing this from now on. I tend to outline ala Jon Franklin (WRITING FOR STORY) and reminding myself about the pitch is perfect (pitch perfect?). The document notes could then be the short version of the outline: how that chapter moves the story forward. Nice. Simple. I like it.